Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok, Harry Potter, and More: November Mini Reviews

November has been an interesting month for movies. I saw a couple mediocre flicks and a couple gems. Here are some of them.

Thor: Ragnarok

Ragnarok revamps everything fans have come to associate with Thor. Thor's long blond hair and beard? The Natalie Portman romantic interest? Dark and somber tone? All gone.

On the one hand, the franchise needed a facelift. The last movie(Thor: Dark World) probably places in Marvel’s “5 Worst Movies” and the movie before that was received luke-warmly. On the other hand, there ought to have been a level of respect for what the MCU had been establishing about this character for the last six years. 

Sure, Thor’s 180° tonal turn was more fun and entertaining, but at the high price of Thor's past legacy. As Taika Waititi has himself admitted, this is a comedy.

Despite that, Ragnarok offers a load of fun and laughs, with great visuals and the best Thor-Loki interactions yet. I had a lot of fun. 2.5 out of 5 stars

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

It’s impossible to separate The Sorcerer’s Stone from a thick shroud of happy nostalgia. But I think it’s safe to say it's pretty solid.

The special effects less than mind-blowing to this Marvel-spoiled viewer and the middle portions could be said to sag. The plot-twist is well executed, but maybe not Agatha Christie-level mind blowing.

However, the set and music are nuanced and beautiful. The child actors are adorable yet convincing in the emotionally heavy points of the story. The humor is fun, and unlike Thor: Ragnarok, doesn’t undercut the authenticity of the story. The run time is well distributed between plot development, world-building, and character development-- often all three simultaneously.
4 out of 5 stars

Doctor Strange

Not necessarily one of the more memorable movies of the MCU. Stephen Strange’s character arc feels a little rushed. The green screen shots are a little heavy and the possibilities inherent in Doctor Strange’s powers are left under-explored.

The conclusion offers inventive, fresh material-- breaking the mold of the infamous “superhero battles big monster” cliche. Benedict Cumberbatch as Strange lives up to his impeccable reputation and Tilda Swinton offers an intriguing mentor figure.
3 out of 5 stars


One of the best movies I’ve seen in awhile. Leonardo DiCaprio nails his role as Cobb, along with the talented supporting cast. Christopher Nolan builds Cobb’s emotionally involving backstory in a way that drives the plot and introduces probing philosophical questions. The plot is deliciously complex and mind-boggling without being impossible to follow.

The stunning visuals and special effects created an immersive dream-like feel. No pun intended, but Inception is good on almost every level.

4.5 out of 5 stars


  1. Haha! "...but maybe not Agatha Christie-level mind blowing." I defintely agree with you there! Have you seen Murder on the Orient Express yet? I saw it Monday and it is sooo good!!!

    1. Thanks! She's pretty clever. ;) I haven't seen it yet but I did read the book about a year ago. Interestingly, it wasn't my favorite of her works(maybe because I sort of guessed the result?). I might watch the movie when it comes out on DVD.