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Film Review -Thor: Ragnarok

It took a total of four additional years since Thor: The Dark World for Thor to catch up with Iron Man and Captain America by adding a third solo movie to the MCU. Between the three members of The Avengers, Thor’s solo movies just continue to get better and more entertaining. Since the first installment, Thor (2011), those movies had a lot of growing up to do. Compared to the rest of the MCU the first two Thor movies are very low in the ranks but what has improved with each one is that Chris Hemsworth continues to get better with his comedic chops and his surrounding world becomes more interesting.

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picture via video.disney.com

Ragnarok involves Thor going back to Asgard to deal with a prophecy he had a vision about in Avengers: Age Of Ultron and learns about Loki’s last mischievous behavior and the whereabouts of Odin. From there he has to deal with the people of Asgard becoming instinct with the arrival of a new villain Hela, played by the amazing Cate Blanchet. She has a bone to pick with Odin and Asgard and she is a force to be reckoned with. Before Thor can deal with her he has to escape a planet he was sent to that captures strong warriors and uses them to fight each other for entertainment to the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum).

Director Taika Waititi, who directed What We Do In The Shadows, brings us one of the funniest installments and probably one of the top five in the entire MCU. The hype definitely adds up from all the advertising you have seen leading up to its release this weekend. Thor movies have a lot more pressure I believe than the rest of The Avengers when you think about it. While still intertwined in the main story with a few lines and references in the overall story, the plot usually is very separate and distance from the main mission that rarely effects the whole scheme of things. With that being said, Thor is no longer an origin story anymore so having a plot that has to do more with him and Asgard instead of driving the story further like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War. With Ragnarok, we finally got a Thor movie that not only connects more to the overall story but has set up some groundwork to a lot to look forward to.

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picture via sciencefiction.com

 

This sequel is wacky, it’s weird, and hilarious. This movie is also full of amazing new and supporting characters that the previous Thor movies were lacking big time. From the opening credits to the post credit scene at the end I was smiling from ear to ear. This film was almost cartoonish in a way. There was a lot more colors, bright colors actually. The wardrobe, the scenery, all of the hulk artwork. We also are introduced to some new characters like Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson, The Grandmaster, and Korg, the polite rock alien with the heart of gold who is also voiced by the director. I think he was my favorite character in this movie. Almost every line out of his mouth was something to laugh at. I hope they explore his character more. That doesn’t take away from the great work from Thompson playing Valkyrie. Her character was fun to watch and interesting to learn about her place on planet Sakaar where she plays sort of a hunter for the Contest of Champions seeking worthy opponents to fight to the death.

The return of familiar anti-heroes in green, Loki and Hulk, was a wonderful treat as well. Both characters add a bit of flare and comic relief to the story. With Hulk being able to talk more English brings lots of good lines and Loki as suave as he is, continues to elevate Thor’s journey with their continued sibling rivalry. Both characters don’t disappoint and also provides us tons of nostalgic and easter eggs from the past films that just makes fans who have been watching these movies from the beginning something to remember. One in particular being that Hulk and Loki see each other for the first time since their little meeting in the first Avengers movie.

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picture via cheetsheet.com

Now here comes the “nothing is perfect” part of the review. While this movie is wildly entertaining and worth a repeating watch, there were a few things that I wish went another direction. Cate Blanchet is a fantastic actress and looks bad ass as Hela, the Goddess of Death. Unfortunately, her arch in this movie is more of a side story and final battle. The way the movie was executed, the film sort of puts her in the backseat and in my opinion the Grandmaster was the main villain of the film. Seeing as this movie is more of a comedy than anything else, The Grandmaster as the main villain actually makes sense. Hela is not playing around. When you watch the film, you will see she means business and will destroy anyone in her way. If she were the main villain, her presence would have changed the tone of the movie. Blanchett still provides some great lines and her look is flawless. I wish there was more of her in the film but her time and talent isn’t wasted when she is on screen so no worries there. The Grandmaster I liked a whole lot. Goldblum knocked it out of the park with this character. He was hilarious and believable as a leader of a planet that serves him. His narcissistic and pompous attitude warrants the mannerisms and behavior without consequence. In other words, he says whatever is on his mind and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Sadly, when it does come to Hela and her quest for revenge, it once again adds to the list of lackluster villains in the Marvel movies where their need for world domination.

One other thing is the lack of Heimdall in the film. I think that he was given a great mission in the movie when he was on screen. I just think that Idris Alba who plays the guardian sentry of Asgard. If you are going to add on more than three new characters to a franchise, make sure that you give the veterans to the franchise, who have been there since the beginning, their justice and enough story for them to take less screen time. I understand that there are a lot of stories and characters to introduce but if the movie doesn’t have time to give everyone their due, then edit in a way that no one ends up as just some prop. Alba was clearly wasted in this film and I’m sure he would say the same thing if he asked.

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picture via slashfilm.com

Bottom line is, Thor: Ragnarok is the best Thor movie thus far and Thor himself is now an avenger I look forward to seeing in future Marvel movies. Up till now, my biggest reasoning for watching these films was for Loki. Now Hemsworth just adds to that list and has shown that he doesn’t need The Avengers to be entertaining. In addition to his hammer, he is now worthy of his solo movies. As a standalone movie or to someone who hasn’t watch the previous films will not feel lost or confused with the story. The film does its best to explain anything from past films you need to know in order to keep up with the story. The only thing those who haven’t seen the previous films are missing out on is the hilarious throwbacks to the other films which brings a lot of the comic relief. So, some jokes may not be as effective to you. In addition to the many cameos that pop up, the movie is still worth the watch and for the most part I don’t believe many will be disappointed with the final product that is Thor: Ragnarok. While there were somethings I would have liked to have seen, this movie wasn’t boring or slow at any point.

5 out of 5

Thanks for reading my review. I am sure by the time you read this you would have seen the movie by now. If not, how did you like the review? Comment below your thoughts and if it helped with your expectations. If you have seen it, what did you think of the film? Do you disagree with my opinion of the film? Continue to follow me for more reviews and I’ll see you at the movies. 

Jigsaw Is Fun And Entertaining But a Tamed Version Of Its Predecessors

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picture via horrorpedia.com

In 2004, a tradition was born. A franchise of 7 movies were released back to back, once each year around the last weekend of October for Halloween. That franchise is the Saw franchise. The group of films also gave birth to a horror icon and one of the most diabolical killers on the silver screen. His name is John Kramer a.k.a. Jigsaw Killer. Director, writer, and producer James Wan along with an assorted group of writers and directors kept this franchise going pass anyone’s expectation and gave us one of the biggest twist in a horror film or any genre for that matter to be executed, one of the longest running franchises to tie into each other, all the while providing us with social issues and giving us some creative deaths like you have never seen.

It is now 2017, 7 years after the latest installment, Jigsaw, the long-anticipated sequel, has graced us with its presents. I love this series and I always told people, “If they keep making them, I will keep watching them.” The sequel comes back with a story to tell that attempts to tie in to the previous installments, still keeping them all connected and the illusion that Jigsaw is always thinking ahead. Unfortunately, this entry wasn’t the best way to bring back the franchise after such a long-extended break. While the movie was still fun and exciting to watch, it seemed to have borrowed from an old playbook that has already been used; making this film a watered-down version of what it could have been. Jigsaw fans will still get some enjoyment out of it but will be disappointed if this is a preview of more of these films in the future.

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Movies To Watch During Halloween Weekend If You Stay Indoors

Last year I posted the 7 traditional Halloween movies I watch during the month of October to fill me with holiday glee. That list consist of movies that were release over a decade ago. While they still hold up, that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been other Halloween themed movies that have circulated over the last few years or some older titles that have reached cult Halloween status to be viewed around the holiday.

If you are someone who likes to stay in and avoid the crowds, the parties, the clubs and bars, and for some of you, even children around this time of year; here are a few movies you can view to keep you occupied in different sub genres.

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If You Enjoyed “Boo! A Madea Halloween”, Then You Will Enjoy Boo 2!

This review is a little bit of a rant on the hatred of Tyler Perry movies as well as a brief telling of the latest horror comedy brought to you by Tyler Perry. Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween is a direct sequel from the first. I remember being led to believe in the first one that the sassy, ain’t having it, old woman Madea, played by Tyler Perry himself, would be dealing with actual monsters. Sadly that wasn’t the case but nonetheless, the movie still gave me the laughs I was expecting.

The film picks up a year after the first one with Tyler Perry’s character Brian, nephew to Madea, celebrating his daughter’s 18th birthday. In the first one, she was not allowed to party with frat boys because she was too young. Now that she is 18 she feels a bit freer from the rules and takes up the opportunity to party again with said frat but this time at a lake where it’s rumored 10 kids were murdered. Upping the stakes for illegal shenanigans and possible promiscuity, he forbids it but of course she goes anyways and it’s up to Madea and pals to go up there and protect her…because that’s what family does. Hallelujer! Praise the Lordt!

 

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Happy Death Day Is a Movie You Want to Watch Over and Over Again

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It’s October, the time to celebrate and embrace all things fear. That includes lots and lots of horror movies. Whether it is at the movies or on Netflix and Amazon, horror movies get released quicker than usual. With this particular October, it just so happens that we get a Friday the 13th day as well. That particular combo doesn’t come around that often but when it does you can definitely expect a horror movie to be released on that day. That movie this year is called Happy Death Day. A play on words from Happy Birthday, Happy Death Day, is a horror comedy told in the same structure as the popular cult classic comedy Groundhog Day.

College girl Tree Gelbman, wakes up in a guy’s dorm room after a drunken night and navigates through her day like normal only it’s her birthday. That very evening she is attacked by a masked person who kills her with a knife. The next moment after her death she wakes up in the same dorm room she woke up in at the beginning of her day. She learns that after she died the day has reset itself and she is the only one who can remember what happened to her. She is now repeating the same day over again and it always ends with her dying. Now she has to repeat the day over and over until she can solve her murder and unmasked the killer.

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Was Jeepers Creepers 3 Worth All the Drama?

After many many years of anticipation for the 3rd installment in the Jeepers Creepers franchise, it seemed to cause more damage than good. There is no question that there is a fanbase out there for this horror icon, The Creeper. The ancient monster from God knows where has a following and when the news broke out for another sequel, fans were excited. Unfortunately, due to the making of this movie, the horrible news arose that the director of the previous 2 films, Victor Salva, was caught up in a bit of controversy. This lead to a delay in release, funding, advertising, boycotting, and questioning if this movie was going to even be released on the big screen. It dredges up a lot of questioning and moral obligation on whether fans were supporting the behavior of the director by going to see this movie thus putting more money in Salva’s pocket and to some people supporting his crime.

Jeepers Creepers 3 finally received a release date but it’s not what you think. For one night only in theatres across the world, most people had only 2 showings, maybe 3 to catch this feature on Sept. 26th 2017, before it was never seen again on the big screen. A lot of people rushed to the chance to catch this monumental event out of curiosity. I happened to be one of those few that took the opportunity. Since this movie now just announced that it will also air one night on the SYFY channel. I thought it was my duty to tell you what to expect if you missed your chance at the movies but want to check it out on TV.

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Cult of Chucky is Probably the Cleverest Installment of the Franchise

Don Mancini, I am so glad that you haven’t given up on your creation. Yes, we may not be able to see your latest movies: Curse of Chucky and Cult of Chucky in theatres, but at least you keep making them and we get the gratuitous pleasure of watching them. (stands up and applauses)

Chucky is back in the 7th installment in the popular franchise about a serial killer’s soul in the body of a Good Guy Doll to seek revenge on those who have wronged him and kill as many people as he can along the way. This latest horror flick picks up where it left off in Curse of Chucky. Nica, played by Fiona Dourif, is sent to a mental hospital for the murders committed to her home and blaming Chucky the Doll as the killer. Through group therapy it seems that the psychiatrist decides to use a Good Guy Doll in their sessions to help Nica come to the conclusion that the doll isn’t alive. Shortly after, bodies start piling up and it’s up to Nica to prove to everyone that Chucky is back before it’s too late.

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