Snapshots - #42: Thor: Ragnarok, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, LBJ

Thor: Ragnarok (2017), (♦♦♦♦½): Thor has saved earth twice by now and has, for the last two years, wandered the universe searching for infinity stones. He hasn't found any. He has, however, become prisoner of an enemy of Asgard, Surtur, who tells Thor that his visions of Asgard engulfed in flames is a premonition of Ragnarok—the destruction of Asgard, which is already in motion. Thor frees himself and arrives at home to find Loki sitting on the throne, passing as Odin, and neglecting his duties to protect the Nine Realms. With Odin's exile, Asgard's enemies have been reassembling, but Odin's death may just free Hela, a goddess against whom neither Thor nor Loki are enough.
It was in Thor: The Dark World where Loki, an antagonist, first threatened to steal the show. He became the villain that Marvel fandom loves to hate. While Loki is at his most charming in this film, the director, with the help of a sparkling screenplay, has very much exploited the great chemistry of t…

We Need to Talk About Kevin (♦♦♦½)

In We Need to Talk About Kevin star Tilda Swinton as Eva K., Kevin’s mother, John C. Reilly as Franklin K., Kevin’s father and Ezra Miller/Jasper Newell as Kevin.

Since Kevin was a child, he was different. He spoke late, even though there wasn’t anything medically wrong with him. He wore diapers until he was five or six years old and he learned to use the toilet after his mother Eva broke his arm when shoving him against the wall. It’s no wonder that Kevin’s relationship with his mother became antagonistic to say the least.

He did bad things on purpose to spite Eva, but everything took an inevitable turn for the worse when Eva became pregnant with a baby girl. Ever since, Kevin did anything possible to grab his parents’ attention, to the point of seriously hurting his little sister. However, the point of no return for Kevin and his family happened when Kevin opened fire against his high school classmates.

The story is told through flashbacks from the past and the present. Emotions are conveyed using close-up camera shots. Dissonant electric guitar notes are played every time Eva has a flashback of the night of the tragedy.

This movie is masterfully acted by Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller as the poster children of a Double Bind education. If Swinton is great as a tired mother who is horrified by her child’s constant crying and as a depressed woman after the events set in motion by Kevin at school, Jasper Newell and Ezra Miller ably keep pace with her, the first as a trouble child and the latter as a deranged teenager.

This movie is strongly recommended if you’re not squeamish.