Mini-Review: Thor: Ragnarok

Thor - Ragnarok Poster
Released: November 3, 2017

Story: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is out to find his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), and stop the coming of Ragnarok, the total destruction of Asgard by his long lost sister Hela the Goddess of Death (Cate Blanchett). Thor seeks help from some old and new friends, including his mischievous step-brother Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, who has been ruling Asgard under the guise of their father for two years (okay, he’s more an enemy than friend). Thor will lose much along the way, but he must ban together the team of unlikely heroes if he hopes to save his home and people. Oh, and Jeff Goldblum also stars in this movie as Jeff Goldblum with strange hair and eccentric clothes.

Thoughts: The Thor series shoots for comedy rather than Shakespearean drama this time out. Director Taika Waititi (probably best known for being a director and writer for the TV series Flight of the Conchords), the three screenwriters, and the entire cast excel at giving the audience plenty to find funny with many genuine laugh out loud moments, so much so that it undercuts the drama. Too bad since the more serious bits of Ragnarok are actually some of the best. The overabundance of comedy also made the moments of surprise comedy predictable and left the film with what felt like very small stakes. That’s quite an achievement when the movie a. Is the last film in a trilogy and b. Is called Thor: Ragnarok. Throw in a two-time Oscar winning actress who has a barely developed villain character with hardly anything interesting to do and a nice but pointless cameo by Benedict Cumberbatch and you have a fun but fairly shallow film that’s worth seeing but maybe could’ve packed a stronger emotional punch.

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Mini-Review: The Lost World (1925)

Outside of the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories, “The Lost World” (1914) is probably Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s best known work. I take a look at the first ever adaption of that novel. It’s a silent movie released in 1925, and it stars some well-known stars from that era. It even contains some of the stop-motion work of the great Willis O’Brien, who would later go on to do the special effects work for “King Kong” (1933). But does all this talent translate to a good movie? Let’s find out.