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Friday, April 06, 2018

Two movies

Rented two movies this week to which I had been really looking forward ...

- First was Star Wars: The Last Jedi ...

a 2017 American epic space opera film written and directed by Rian Johnson. It is the second installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the eighth main installment of the Star Wars franchise, following Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) .... The ensemble cast includes Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels and Gwendoline Christie in returning roles, with Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro joining the cast.

Before I saw the movie I had heard that Mark Hamill, who plays Jedi Luke Skywalker, wasn't happy with the script, especially the his character was written ...



After seeing the movie, I agree with Hamill. The scripts for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi have Han Solo and Princess Leia as estranged from each other and embittered, their son as a homicidal maniac, and they show Luke as an angry and defeated hermit who has turned his back on his family and his calling. That's not who those people are. It seems that the creators of the new trilogy are willing to use the old characters as plot devises and object lessons in order to give the newer story some drama. I don't think it works.

Having said that, I still found the movie worth watching. There were lots of neat special effects and I really liked the critters they invented for this film, like the crystal foxes ...



There were also some nice references to the original trilogy, like the one near the end when Luke says with some irony to Kylo Ren, Han's killer, what Han Solo had once said to him ....



Here's a trailer ...



The other movie I saw was Thor: Ragnarok ...

a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Thor .... It is the sequel to 2011's Thor and 2013's Thor: The Dark World .... directed by Taika Waititi .... stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor alongside Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Hopkins. In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor must escape the alien planet Sakaar in time to save Asgard from Hela and the impending Ragnarök.

I've seen all the Thor movies, of course - I used to read Thor comics when I was a kid - so I was looking forward to this latest installment. The plot is pretty complicated (read the Wikipedia version) but here are the basics ...

The last time we saw Thor was a few years ago in Avengers: Age of Ultron and he didn't show up in the next Marvel film, Captain America: Civil War, because he was on vacation ;) ...



At that time he believed his adopted brother, Loki, was dead and that his father, Odin, reigned in Asgard, his home. In this film he returns to Asgard to find that Loki is alive and impersonating Odin, whose memory he has messed with and whom he has sent to Earth. With some help from Doctor Strange they find Odin in Denmark ...



Hela makes it to Asgard and wreaks havoc there after sending Thor and Loki through a wormhole to a remote garbage planet. Loki makes friends with the ruler but Thor ends up as gladiator/slave who must face the local champion, the Hulk/Bruce Banner ...



Eventually Thor and the Hulk (who's turned back into Banner) escape the planet with some help from an ex-pat valkyrie. Everyone ends up back on Asgard, including Loki, and they all join up to try to defeat Hela, but things don't go as planned.

I really liked the movie - there was a lot of humor, but also some emotionally moving scenes as well. Here's a trailer ...


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