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

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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…

Cloud Atlas (♦♦♦♦)

In the past, a young, aspiring musician gains a coveted position as the assistant of an aging composer; another young man of means embarks on a quest to foreign lands to assist his father-in-law in managing a estate whose labor force is slave; this young man’s life is saved by an escaped slave, thus changing both men perceptions of each other and slavery as a whole. In present day, a journalist stumbles upon a story--surrounding a nuclear plant-- that endangers her life and those of the people connected to it. In a distant future, a mass-produced woman leads a revolution to topple the status quo.

Karma, the connection of lives through the fabric of time is what Cloud Atlas is about. The stories are told in glorious detail; this movie is a feast for the eyes, a giant leap of imagination. Great makeup, costume designs, and astonishing visual effects are almost breathing elements in the story…The subplots are hard to follow, though; it’s difficult to summarize what the movie is about. Aside from that, Cloud Atlas is by far one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen.

A star studded cast delivers top notch acting led by Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent (The Iron Lady), Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe), Susan Sarandon, Hugo Weaving (Captain America: The First Avenger), Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw (Brideshead Revisited), Keith David, and Jim D’Arcy (W.E.).

Overall, Cloud Atlas is a movie event that shouldn’t be missed!

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