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…

Quartet (♦♦♦♦)

In a house for retired musicians, egos collide and sometimes talents join forces for a worthy cause. Divas of both sexes in the house share a common goal: keeping Giuseppe Verdi’s music alive.

I really liked this movie. It is produced and wonderfully directed by Dustin Hoffman. It is also masterfully acted by Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins and Michael Gambon.

It seems to me that the most audacious and clever movies lately are being directed by actors; that’s certainly the case with George Clooney, Denzel Washington, Ben Affleck and finally Dustin Hoffman has joined the list.

Quartet is a movie full of great classical music and not so classical but equally beautiful as well. The humor is adult and naughty but in no way crude or over the top. It is a movie to enjoy as a celebration of life, good music and growing old, because only those who die young or before their time don’t get to do the latter. Also, Quartet is about second chances after mistakes that may cost someone the love of one’s life; thus it also a celebration of love in old age, of finding comfort in the familiar.

Quartet is the first movie that I have enjoyed this year. It took me a while to watch it since I’ve been prioritizing the films that were in contention for the Oscars but I finally realized there are too many bad movies out there not to take a chance watching this one. I’m glad to say thank goodness I did! Quartet is a breath of fresh air.