Monday, November 27, 2017

Thor RagnaROCKS, Coco and Stranger Things 2

Another quick roundup of the fantastic movies and TV shows I've seen lately.

Thor: Ragnarock - I have a soft spot for the Thor movies despite their flaws, mainly because of how delightful Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston are together, and Ragnarok may be the best one yet, since it dispenses with any attempt at serious drama in favour of going more colourful and comedic than even the typical Marvel movie. The new cast is divine, especially Cate Blanchett as villainous goth goddess Hela, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Jeff Goldblum as Jeff Goldblum. Oh wait, his character is Grandmaster but he's hillarious. There are also some surprise cameos which are best if you don't have them spoiled.
The plot is mostly unimportant since this is really an excuse to team up Thor and Hulk for some gladiatorial combat followed by one of those big sky battles that all these movies have. Taika Waititi was an inspired choice to direct and brings his own peculiar humour that is different but equally funny compared to the Whedons and Gunns that have directed previous laugh-a-minute MCU movies. The movie does get in a nice dig at colonialism, but mostly it's just spectacular, daft fun. And Hulk finally says more than two words, so that's nice.

Equally delightful was Pixar's new movie, Coco. Although the trailers made it seem too similar to The Book of Life, Coco tells a very different Día de Muertos story. Basically it's about a boy's dream to be a musician (a career his family hates) that leads him on a journey to find his great-great grandfather in the Land of the Dead. Charming, funny and with wonderful visuals (check out those Alebrijes!) this one is fun for everyone and you may have something in your eye by the end.

Finally, I caught up with Stranger Things season 2. Like the first, the nostalgia is strong with this one. Some might find it a little slow-paced but I was gripped from start to finish. Winona Ryder, Millie Bobby Brown and Finn Wolfhard continue to be standouts among the cast and of the new characters I especially liked Sadie Sink as "Mad" Max and Sean Astin as Bob. A few illogical parts (Dustin befriending a clearly dangerous, cat-eating beastie) can be forgiven and I even liked the episode where Eleven goes off to hang out with a gang that seems to have wandered in from Repo Man or Return of the Living Dead. And by the end you'll forget you ever hated Steve.


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