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…

Brave (♦♦♦½)

Merida is a Scottish princess who on the day of the announcement of her betrothal, escapes the castle, rides to the forest and is guided by Will o’ Wisps to the house of a witch. The witch tells Merida that she can have anything she wants, thus Merida chooses to have a spell concocted to change her mother so she can change her own destiny. However, as we’re often reminded, all magic comes with a price, and Merida must learn the importance of family and traditions if she is to save her mother, her siblings and her kingdom.

This is a magnificent family movie where a girl rules. It isn’t that funny for adults, but it’s visually lush and entertaining, and as all Disney films, there’s a strong moral to the story such as the powerful bond of family and people’s power to make their own destinies regardless of fate.

The film was made using motion capture technology, which I find mesmerizing because it looks like there are real people behind the animation. The musical score is fantastic; I wouldn’t be surprised if Brave is nominated in the original song’s category and as best animated film at next year’s Oscars.