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…

Silver Linings Playbook (♦♦♦♦½)

Patrick has an onset of bipolar disorder when he walks up on his wife Nikki cheating on him with a one of her coworkers. The fallout is such that Patrick is hospitalized and issued a restraining order to keep away from Nikki, except he is obsessed with rebuilding the relationship they once shared.

When Pat leaves the hospital he goes back to live with his parents, but part of the arrangement is that he must attend therapy. That turns out to be challenging enough because Pat doesn’t want to take any medication. In the end, Pat manages to fix his life with the help of a friend named Tiffany who has her own baggage.

Silver Linings Playbook is the feel good movie of the year. Masterfully directed and acted, this film is heartwarming and funny. Even though the mental problems the protagonists face get them into funny situations, hysterical even, the movie makes no fun of those issues, it embraces them. Silver Linings Playbook is at the core a romantic movie with plenty of issues worth exploring and beautifully explored.

Bradley Cooper in his second most serious role to date after Limitless, excels in the leading role as Patrick, a man who is caring but must learn to cope with the problem that has been afflicting him for years. Equally amazing, as we have come to expect despite her short time in the spotlight, is Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany, a young woman who suffers from a broken heart due to the loss of her husband and who has channeled that grief in a very unorthodox fashion. Last, but not least, is Robert De Niro’s performance as Patrick’s dad, a man with OCD of his own. Chris Tucker and Julia Stiles co-star.

Overall, Silver Linings Playbook is a winner: romantic, funny and with plenty of situations worth discussing further.

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