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…

Snapshots - #8

The movies...

I have been on a roll lately revisiting movies I have rated three stars and I now like very much, thus, I decided to give Deadpool another try.

Deadpool (♦♦♦♦): I heard two movie critics on television agree that Deadpool was among the best films of 2016 thus far, and that made me think that perhaps I had missed something. Apparently I did.

The problem the first time was that I was expecting a traditional superhero movie, but Deadpool is more spoof than standard superhero fare, and a very good one at that. It is surprisingly and acutely funny, courtesy of a very smartly written screenplay. And Ryan Reynolds...he rocks in this role, so my apologies to him for not giving him enough credit the first time around. I keep my fingers crossed for a sequel as witty as this one.

If you think most superhero movies are alike, you may want to give this one a try.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (♦♦♦♦♦): pure adrenaline ride in the tradition of Black Hawk Down is this Michael Bay's production. John Krazinski, as a Special Op contractor for CIA, gives his best performance ever, followed closely by the one in Promised Land.

If the movie is nearly true to what happened in Benghazi, it poses many questions. Perhaps the most important of all, is how high up the command chain was the order to do nothing to stop those freaking terrorists (a whole city's population by the looks of it) from taking the ambassador compound and attacking a CIA base so covert that apparently hardly anyone on our side knew it existed. Frankly the movie left me in awe at those SIX (!!!) Special Op contractors that held up for 13 hours repelling wave after wave of COORDINATED heavily armed attacks.

Don't be too squeamish. Every American should watch this movie and ask him or herself a few hard questions.

Born to be Blue (♦♦♦½): In 1950, trumpeter Chet Baker was at the pinnacle of his career after pioneering West Coast Jazz. Consumed by a heroin addiction and a stint in jail, his days as a renowned artist were pretty much thing of the past by 1960. Thanks to a sobering love affair, Baker cleaned up his act and by mid 1960s he was staging a comeback. Only his newfound fame didn't agree with his latent drug addiction.

This movie is one of the reasons why I enjoy artsy dramas. Born to be Blue has many elements that make it worth watching. It has great introspective music, which I thoroughly enjoyed even though I'm not too fond of jazz. Ethan Hawke is amazing in the leading role, being equally brilliant both high, or in his normal state—his performance has been described as that of a virtuoso. Last, is the lasting effect of the film for it leaves you uneasy, with the wheels of your mind working over-time. It left me questioning, for example, why are drugs so prevalent among highly creative people in the arts?

I highly recommend Born to be Blue, as you may be watching one of the best acting performances of 2016.

The Man Who Knew Infinity (♦♦♦½): In 1914, mathematics Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, G. H. Hardy, invited Indian genius Srinivasa Ramanujan to Cambridge to work on mathematical proofs to his theories. Their combined groundbreaking work over the next five years would forever alter the face of mathematics.

The Man Who Knew Infinity will mainly appeal to scientists and enthusiasts, though everyone can enjoy it due to the wonderful performances by Jeremy Irons, Dev Patel and Toby Jones in the leading roles.

The subject matter is bittersweet as Ramanujan died not long after those events at the age of thirty two. It can be debated that if he had not been to England he wouldn't have died as young as he did, but he would have denied the world his contributions.


  1. What a variety of films you've been watching!

  2. Thanks to you my Netflix queue is getting almost a long as my TBR lists! Really though, I appreciate your movie reviews a great deal.

    1. Thanks, Judy! That's a great compliment! :-)

  3. I haven't seen your other films but I loved Deadpool. Very amusing and just well done.
    Lynn :D

    1. I had a great time watching it the second time around. ;-)

  4. I have not seen any of these yet -- so thx for the reviews. They all look quite decent. I especially need to try out Deadpool

    1. Deadpool was very funny. I think you will like it.

  5. I watched Born to Be Blue last night. I agree that Ethan Hawke gave an excellent performance. It made me think about why some artists choose to remain addicted, at least it seemed that is what the movie is saying about Chet Baker, because he loved how he felt when he played while high. Not that I wish addiction on anyone but it left me feeling less judgemental and with more understanding. It didn't help his career in the long run but somehow it helped him for as long as he could play.

    1. Exactly what I concluded. I think it must be hard having to entertain people at concerts several nights in a row regardless of how you feel inside; that's the reason, I think, why they choose to do drugs. I don't condone it, but I don't judge it either.


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