*Warning: this review contains mild spoilers. Read at your own risk.
A sequel of a sequel of a superhero movie walks a fine line. It has to be entertaining, but it also has to extend the narrative and the character arc in a way that feels right to both the universe and the characters.
Two weeks ago, Thor: Ragnarok hit theaters. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is no longer of this world. His previously unknown first child, Hela (Cate Blanchett), otherwise known as the Goddess of Death has returned from exile to return Asgard to the way it was before her exile. But to do this, she has to make sure that her brothers, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) are out-of-the-way. They find themselves in another world where Thor is a gladiator and fighting against The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). This world is ruled by Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), who might be crazy. With the help of Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Thor, Loki and The Hulk might be able to defeat Hela and save Asgard.
If there was a proper way to do a second sequel, especially for a movie which is based on a comic book, this film is the blueprint. It is funny, entertaining and takes the narrative and characters in new directions without feeling stale or overproduced. And of course, the two female characters, played by Tessa Thompson and Cate Blanchett are amazing. They contribute to the narrative, both standing on their own two feet and neither relying on the stereotypical female caricatures that exist in the genre.
I absolutely recommend it.
Thor: Ragnarok is presently in theaters.
There are often two sides to any story. There are also two perspectives in life, one of youth and one of maturity.
Jane Austen is a remarkable author. Her books are still read and performed 200 years later. Despite all that we know about her life, there is still a myth about the woman and her writing.
In 2007, Becoming Jane introduced movie goers to a young, pre publishing and pre-fame Jane Austen (Anne Hathaway). She hopes to write for a living, but knows that the only way to support herself and her family is to marry. She is approached with a marriage proposal by Mr. Wisley (Laurence Fox), the nephew of Lady Gresham (Dame Maggie Smith). But she is attracted to Tom LeFroy (James McAvoy).
This movie is decent. Having no conclusive evidence that there was a romance between Jane Austen and Tom LeFroy, the writers relied on what is known of her life, combined with a little fictionalized romance based upon her books. It’s always interesting to see the young writer living their life and developing the idea(s) that will one day become their stories.
A year later, Miss Austen Regrets premiered. Approaching her 40th birthday Jane Austen (Olivia Williams) is visited her brother, Edward Austen Knight (Pip Torrens). His oldest daughter, Fanny Knight (Imogen Poots) is of a marriageable age and has been in the company of John Plumptre (Tom Hiddleston). She is looking to her aunt for guidance in regards to the potential marriage to Mr. Plumptre. At the same time, she is getting sick while an old suitor Rev Brook Bridges (Hugh Bonneville) returns to her life.
We don’t know much about Jane’s personal life. Her sister Cassandra burned many of her sister’s letters after her passing. This TV movie shows us the older Jane. Still in the prime of her life and churning out stories, but as we all know, she died far too soon at the age of 41. I recommend this movie.
There are some movies where one movie is more than enough, making a sequel is a waste of time for the film makers and the audience. Thor: The Dark World, is not one of those movies.
The movie starts 2 years after the previous movie. Thor (Chris Helmsworth) has been fighting to bring peace to the nine realms. When Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is pulled into the conflict between Asgard and The Dark Elves, led by Malekeith (Christopher Eccleston), Thor must choose between his destiny and the woman he loves. In his desperation, he must turn to Loki (Tom Hiddleston) for help.
Despite what some reviewers have said, this movie is so good. Its just about 2 hours long, but it doesn’t feel 2 hours long. While Thor is the title character, Hiddleston is dynamic and unpredictable as Loki.
My only complaint is that the Jane Foster is, except for a few scenes, relegated to the traditional love interest/damsel in distress. The only scenes with strong female characters are not as numerous as I would like. But overall, this movie is excellent and highly recommended.
And don’t leave right after the credits. There is some fun stuff afterwards.