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Showing posts from July, 2015

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…

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (♦♦♦♦)

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Beryl Markham, born Clutterbuck, grew up in Kenya, then a British colony, in the 1920s. She became the first woman in Britain to obtain a horse trainer license and was the first woman in the world to obtain a commercial aviator license. She led a rather scandalous love life refusing to follow the role then assigned to women in society. She married twice, though the love of her life was Denys Finch Hatton, hunter, aviator and free-spirit, who was having a relationship with Karen Blixen—writer of the memoir Out of Africa.
Circling the Sun is biographical fiction, but it certainly has the feel of a memoir. Paula McLain starts describing Beryl upbringing by her father and without the love of her mother, who abandoned both. We get to know the Beryl who played with kikuyu boys and learned to hunt, jump, and live like a warrior boy since she was a young girl.
Beryl Markham lived a life worth living in spite of her scandalous choices in love: two failed marriages, two lovers and a few unfairly …

The English Spy by Daniel Silva (♦♦♦♦)

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Several days after the events detailed in The Heist, Gabriel Allon is bidding farewell at Rome’s airport to a very pregnant Chiara who is traveling to Israel to give birth there. Gabriel is waiting to restore the Caravaggio painting he just recovered.
Graham Seymour, now head of MI6, travels to Italy to secretly meet with Gabriel to ask him as a personal favor to undertake the hunting and killing of the man who has killed the former spouse of the heir to the British throne, and so the adventure begins.
Gabriel requests assistance from Christopher Keller to catch Eamon Quinn, a former IRA bomb maker, now a hitman to terrorist organizations the world over. Gabriel and Keller are certain that Quinn activated the bomb that killed the princess, but as they say, who paid for it? In other words, who would profit from checkmating the princess?
As Gabriel and Keller follow Quinn’s tracks from St. Barthelemy Island to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, they come face to face with Keller…