Christmas Inheritance (2017)

Merry Christmas, my lovelies! Hope you all had a fantastic time with your family and loved ones. 🙂

We have a relaxing Christmas day of just watching fave Christmas movies and gaming. However, its Christmas day and I wasn’t going to let it go to waste without having one final Christmas movie review for the recently released Netflix Original, Christmas Inheritance starring the lovely Eliza Taylor from The 100 which I’m actually starting to get back to catching up. Of course, there is also Jake Lacy who I first saw in Miss Sloane and liked quite a bit in this one as well. Suffice to say that, its been an alright rom com holiday movie marathon for myself with a few that fell flat but pretty good overall. With a cast that I like, I’m going into this one with high hopes for some fun moments.

Let’s check it out!

Christmas Inheritance (2017)

Christmas Inheritance

Director: Ernie Barbarash

Cast: Eliza Taylor, Jake Lacy, Andie MacDowell, Neil Crone, Michael Xavier, Anthony Sherwood, Martin Roach

Before ambitious heiress Ellen Langford can inherit her father’s gift business, she must deliver a special Christmas card to her dad’s former partner in Snow Falls, the hometown she never knew. When a snowstorm strands her at the town inn, she’s forced to work for her keep, and in the process, finds romance and discovers the true gift of Christmas. – IMDB

Christmas Inheritance is quite good for all of the expected fanfare with this genre. However, the cast here with Eliza Taylor, Jake Lacy and Andie MacDowell make its very fun to watch while Snow Falls is set in a picturesque little town full of snow fall and a beautiful little inn. While its set during Christmas and looks at the value of the gift business as well as a learning process for the main character Ellen to learn how to actually care for the people around her without the baggage of others giving her the special treatment as a test from her father who wanted her to shed her party heiress ways. With the help of the town and the heart that everyone has to take care of each other, she of course learns it while also seeing how her current fiancee is not what she wants to be and finding that she can see herself as doing more good despite being in a gift business as she sees where it all starts as she, under he Ellie London disguise, touches the heart of the people around her in a matter of days.

Christmas Inheritance

As I always say in all the past holiday film reviews (as they were all the same genre), what I look for in these are truly the chemistry and the lessons here. As far-fetched and some silliness as it is or as I recently perfectly heard it be phrased by Shannon over at Reads & Reels called, predictably cheesy, these one offers much of that however, perhaps its because of the fact that I already know what Eliza Taylor and Jake Lacy are capable of that I did buy into their chemistry a lot. I do have admit that I like Eliza Taylor as Ellen quite a bit especially as she really showed off in a believable way (to me) the ignorance she has out of her rich life back in New York and slowly accepts the simpler life around her with much more sincere intentions. Its fairly easy to see the surprise reveal at the end because its quite obvious however the relationship she builds with Jake Lacy’s, Jake and Andie MacDowell’s Aunt Debbie is quite fun to watch. As much as I liked Jake Lacy in Miss Sloane and would love to like him here, the role of Jake started off a little awkward for myself however, I grew to like him more as the movie went along. The ending however seems a little forced to wrap up but its still quite decent.

Christmas Inheritance

I’m going to keep this one fairly short since I feel like I say a lot of the same. Christmas Inheritance is a very good holiday romantic comedy. The credit goes entirely to the cast and their outstanding performances as their characters. The heartwarming small town and picturesque backdrop is also very nice. Predictable and cheesy for sure, but I’d have to say that I dig that especially during this time of the year so this one works for me. Netflix Originals usually do pretty good in terms of quality and this one meets my expectations. Does it exceed it? Not really. Romantic comedies in general have had quite a tough few years with nothing in particular that has caught my eye, with the exception of The Big Sick that has caught my eye this year. Chalk it up to these made for TV holiday romantic comedy being just feel-good movies, I know that I’m very forgiving of them and with this being the final review of the winter marathon, I feel that if you aren’t as forgiving as myself in this genre, you probably will probably dislike them. Just like I would never subject my husband to watching these with me.

This wraps up the Holidays Marathon!
A lot of the same this year hopefully next year, I’ll change it up!
However, hope you enjoyed it! 🙂
Merry Christmas and hope you all are having great holidays! 

Look forward to some 2017 movies in the coming week as I try to wrap up the Goodreads Challenge as well as try to wrap up the watched but not yet reviewed films.

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Christmas Belle (2013)

Next up in the holidays movie marathon is Christmas Belle. Its something of a modernized holiday spinoff of Beauty and the Beast which as some of you know, I’m a huge fan of twisting fairy tales. Cinderella and Snow White are two very popular properties that get the spinoff treatment but I have yet to see Beauty and the Beast (except for Beastly which was okay…I think). With that said, Christmas Belle falls into my soft spot so it already has some points before we start.

Let’s check it out!

Christmas Belle (2013)

Christmas Belle

Director: Alex Wright

Cast: Haylie Duff, Nicholas Gonzalez, Mark Famiglietti, C. Thomas Howell, Sheree J. Wilson, Jerry Hauck

IMDB didn’t really have a decent synopsis so here’s my version: Isabella Everhart is sent by her father to document the Lowell estate passed down to Hunter Lowell. Hunter Lowell is a grumpy guy with a lot on his mind and rudely rejects Belle’s appearance however due to his urgency to get everything done before Christmas, reluctantly accepts the arrangement. He is hard to approach and while Belle enjoys this job and the library full of rare books and gets to know the housekeeper Angie very well, her eagerness to prepare the house for the estate sale gets her in trouble when she rearranges a room she isn’t allowed into. However, this breaks the ice a little between her and Hunter as he tries to make amends to her for his behavior. As they know each other more, they become closer and its here that long time friend Tony enters the town with her father to show his love for her with big gestures and a few lies.

Christmas Belle

Christmas Belle plays along with the Beauty and the Beast plot line quite closely. Of course, while Hunter is not called The Beast and his dog is, it somehow hints that Beast growing a fondness for Belle is an overshadow of what is to happen, which to be honest, we all already know the ending. However, regardless of that, Hayliee Duff and Nicholas Gonzalez has a lot of chemistry as their relationship gets closer. It still lacks some depth and feels a little disjointed but they are incredibly charming together and its hard to not fall in love with the genuine feelings between them. Of course, Tony (played by Mark Famiglietti) shows up and tries to break them apart and its here that my frustration for Hunter shows that I have bonded with him because his easiness to believe lies becomes quite irritating as many male romance films tend to build them that way where they falter when doubted and stop believing the girl that they know more and not this bozo that shows up claiming things. Who do you trust, right? Its pretty obvious but it never happens that way. Of course, its the conflict that they need to resolve to get their happy ending. To be fair, its expected and I did enjoy a lot of this whole going on because bonding with Belle and Hunter was part of the deal to hoping they will get together (even if this is one of those movies that it will happen).

Christmas Belle

With that said, Christmas Belle does have some issues. Lets start with something good that leads to something bad. The good part is that the setting of the estate is absolutely beautiful. Its a mansion with a beautiful interior decorating and the land around it is a vineyard with a lovely barn and a covered bridge. Its picturesque. The town itself is wonderful as well being homey and charming. However, the direction of the film wants to make it more dramatic than it is or just that they had an obsession with the score. With that came segments of showing a shirtless Nicholas Gonzalez doing his morning run two or three times to some orchestral music which was slightly unnecessary and over the top. There were other scenes that were more fitting like lens flares on Christmas lights in a decorating scene with some nice orchestral music as well that worked better. However, the score was so loved that in one part it actually overpowered the dialogue between Belle and Hunter.

Overall, Christmas Belle had a little bit of good and bad. It could have used with a less of flaunting the score and overdoing it. Some scenes felt downright unnecessary. At the same time, the source material works for a Christmas theme. Haylie Duff and Nicholas Gonzalez both do a great job as Belle and Hunter and are completely believable as the leading couple here to root for. There are some over the top sappy dialogue but it stay nice and fluffy and the feel good factor here is pretty decent. Although there’s one part that Belle threatens to punch Tony and I wish she did but I think these movies have something about not having violence and foul language so probably thats why it didn’t happen. Still, its a little average but relatively enjoyable.

Naughty & Nice (2014)

Moving on with the Christmas movie marathon, we hop into another TV movie of the romantic comedy variety. It seems like this is most likely the theme of this year. Hopefully as Christmas approaches we’ll be checking out a few. 2017 has been a bit of a tough year personally and even if you look at the world that these movies come incredibly needed to just be in a positive story even if its slightly predictable and formulaic. However, as I always start these movie reviews, romantic comedy TV movies of this variety are really for those who appreciate it for it sfeel good value and I am one of those people who do.

Next up is Naughty & Nice! Let’s check it out!

Naughty & Nice (2014)

Naughty & Nice

Director: Sam Irvin

Cast: Haylie Duff, Tilky Jones, Maureen McCormick, Eric Petersen, Tyler Jacob Moore, Terrence Carson, Catriona Toop

A cynical radio host is banished to Colorado, where he has an on-air spat with a hopeless romantic. Soon, their antagonistic relationship sparks the interest of the whole town. – IMDB

Haylie Duff, Tilky Jones and the rest of the cast here are completely new to me. Naughty & Nice is one of the TV movies that seem to betray its title a little early. The bad boy gets sent to a small town and its wildly predictable in the sea of movies in this genre that already are in that category. This one is definitely a little lower on my list. The dialogue feels a little forced and the chemistry between them also leave more to be desired. Its a great start but tries to wrap things up before they actually do pad out these characters too much.

naughty and nice

Naughty & Nice doesn’t sit too well with me mostly because of its writing. There are some rather cringey moments and some moments that it was hard to truly feel that these two did need to be together. In normal circumstances, would the situation have progressed like this? I honestly don’t think so. Of course, this is my personal feeling about it. The crowd here doesn’t seem really into their roles as well and other than Haylie Duff, who plays small town radio host Dr. Sandra Love, who did a pretty good job at delivering her role, although you will see that I preferred her in the Christmas Belle (upcoming review). I couldn’t quite place where I stood for Tilky Jones who plays the LA host Pepper who gets banished for going over the line. He definitely has the appealing bad boy look but something about him doesn’t quite convince me and it doesn’t help that his role turns nice really fast. But, to be fair, some of the moments here were quite nice, particularly the chopping the tree and decorating the tree moment. Yet again, he somehow finds a mistletoe to chop down so that he can get a kiss with the girl he likes. A bit forced but they deliver a good kiss.

Of course, there are other cast here. The station manager is played by Tyler Jacob Moore who I can’t say I’m particularly fond of, mostly because his role felt disposable. While Eric Petersen is the station engineer Jonah and stands in as the comic relief in this. It did bring in a few laughs. Maureen McCormick plays as Sandy’s mother, Kate who is the wise person to help bring them together and help guide Sandra and Pepper a little. She was alright especially as the final scene to the big finale turned out to be somewhat funny as you see Pepper struggle a little and get discouraged easily.

Naughty & Nice is pretty average. There are some good and some bad here. Its very predictable and lacks the chemistry that I’d like for Sandra and Pepper to have although they are good looking people and very good kissers so those moments worked well. A few laughs to be had but the ending also felt a little weird. But then, it always goes back to how 2 weeks makes you want to propose to someone right away. That is movie magic that you just have to suspend your belief every once in a while. Some decent performances here and more of a script problem for myself as I liked Haylie Duff and Tilky Jones and their performances.

A Christmas Kiss II (2014)

Continuing with the Christmas movie watching on Netflix, I head onto watching A Christmas Kiss II. I’ve never seen A Christmas Kiss but I took the bet that it wasn’t going to be a continuation and it turns out that I was right. At this point, I’m just looking through the Holiday Favorites on Netflix and what they recommend that I’d like, so no idea what I’m getting in except its probably going to have a happy ending. Lets check it out.

A Christmas Kiss II (2014)

a christmas kiss 2

Director: Kevin Connor

Cast: Elisabeth Harnois, Adam Mayfield, Jonathan Bennett, Lola Glaudini, Celesta Hodge, Steven Schub, Elisabeth Rohm

At a Christmastime event, Jenna shares an impromptu, unforgettable kiss with the dashing billionaire, Cooper Montgomery. Unaware of his intentions and fearful of getting hurt in another relationship, Jenna vows to resist his charms, but begins to realize his affection is real as the two spend more time together. – IMDB

A Christmas Kiss II is one of those romantic comedy TV movies that has me slightly on the fence. There are aspects of it that I enjoyed but at the same time, as I get older, perhaps the romance magic of instantly falling in love isn’t quite there anymore. Does that make me bitter? I don’t think so but I also don’t think that its necessary to end it with an engagement after knowing someone for a week (or something like that) even if you think they are the love of your life. That is the infatuation of being in love at the beginning of a relationship and doesn’t make for anything lasting until that feeling is gone and other things sink in. Of course, that is a very realistic way of looking at things and its one of reasons why I can’t seem to get behind A Christmas Kiss II. However, that is a happy ending nonetheless so in the feel-good aspect, it hits its goal. But, I’m not one to bash this movie completely because before the ending, it did have an okay run.

a CHRISTMAS KISS 2

For one, it follows the rule of being set during Christmas and not really stuffing the Christmas stuff down your throats. There are Christmas jewellery photo shoots and costumes as well as like a ton of poinsettias and of course, everyone’s favorite mistletoe in the elevator bit. Like I said in Merry Kissmas review, mistletoe in elevators is apparently a thing that I didn’t know about. It fits into the Christmas theme, so I’m alright with it now. Who doesn’t love a playboy being changed by a girl that he sees and does everything to try to get on her good side and prove that he is for real and even be a better him? I sure do. This is one of those romantic comedy plots that work because its probably not going to happen in real life (Man, its a really bitter review going on here..I blame today). A Christmas Kiss II does have this really deliberate and some forced dialogue between the two. And I can’t say that I’m really into the main couple, Jenna (Elisabeth Harnois) and Cooper (Adam Mayfield). They lack a bit of the usual chemistry that I’d see in these movies however, they are quite pretty to look at and there are a few laughs here and there.

A Christmas Kiss 2

Talking about the cast, there are some redeeming points here. I do like the last gesture that Cooper does here for Jenna. Its really heartwarming and awesome. Its believable and romantic that he would do that and have it set up to make her dreams come true and fight for her goals. The cast also includes some cool supporting roles. Lola Glaudini plays Mia, the boss at the company, but I remember her from Criminal Minds and while its odd seeing her in this role, I enjoyed her performance here. Jonathan Bennett also was in this one as Sebastian, Jenna’s neighbor and best friend who also happens to pose as her boyfriend when she’s trying to push away Cooper. There are some funny moments there as well. I like Jonathan Bennett quite a bit and its a nice twist to make him the make believe boyfriend but never toss them into a love triangle and the obstacle of Cooper and Jenna being solely their own trust in each other to determine whether they would get together in the end.

a christmas kiss 2

Overall, A Christmas Kiss 2 is alright. There are some things I can’t get behind but there are some redeeming points to it. Would I rewatch it? Probably not. In this category of films, there are a few others I’d prefer.

Merry Kissmas (2015)

It took a few days to get here but the first holiday movie is here! As mentioned in the marathon announcement, we’re looking at a few Hallmark movies. Why did I start with Merry Kissmas? Frankly, its because there’s Brant Daugherty and I’m still missing Pretty Little Liars and thinking of rewatching the series. Like many romantic comedies, a lot of these types of stories are quite predictable however the winning point is in their believable and feel good factor. While that might sound like I don’t really care about these movies, I actually do like the entire feel-good happy endings especially during the holidays. So let’s see how this one is.

Merry Kissmas (2015)

Merry Kissmas

Director: Michael Feifer

Cast: Karissa Lee Staples, Brant Daugherty, David O’Donnell, Brittany Underwood, Ion Overman, Roxanne Hart, Doris Roberts, Ben Levin, Keith Dobbins

A woman engaged to marry a self-centered film and stage director/choreographer falls for a caterer whom she kisses, as does he for her. – IMDB

Merry Kissmas is an entertaining title of these feel-good films. The story is quite simple. Kayla (Karissa Lee Staples) comes back to her hometown for her engagement party while her fiance Carlton (David O’Donnell) coincidentally is there to work on The Nutcracker ballet choreography and rehearsal for Christmas. Being the manager for Carlton also, she sees that her relationship is falling apart mostly because Carlton’s fame has pulled his attention away from her, leaving her with doubts about their future. At the same time, coming home warrants her a lot of unwanted attention from old neighbors. It is in one of these escapes that she meets Dustin (Brant Daugherty), a caterer who she kisses in the elevator spontaneously and have an instant connection with and soon realizes that he’s actually the caterer for her engagement party. To be fair, other than being set during Christmas and Kayla being a Nutcracker figurine collector (unique hobby might I say) and the Christmas decorations (mistletoe in the elevator) and of course, Santa (which I have some thoughts on), this movie is really just a romantic comedy. That isn’t a criticism, just an observation. While it had some clunky dialogue here and there (as I’ve come to expect from these films), it was pretty fun to watch and an all around good time.

Merry Kissmas

Starting from the basics, Merry Kissmas does have some funny moments. For one, we do have Doris Roberts here as the elderly neighbor that keeps wanting to kiss Dustin under the mistletoe. Its a little weird but also pretty funny also. There’s also Roxanne Hart who plays Mrs. Joyner who ends up with some funny moments running down the road. Carlton and Kayla make for some laughable moments in the beginning although the film does a great job and showing how Carlton is really not for her in extreme ways and sticks in our face that he is a jerk. Some of the best parts do go to the banter between Dustin and his cousin Kim which leads to a hilarious scene with Dustin in the elevator.

merry kissmas

Talking about Carlton and Kayla, we need to take a look at the romance here. It is quite obvious that Carlton and Kayla are not for each other right from the beginning. And David O’ Donnell and Karissa Lee Staples has a lot to do with them throwing in decent performances and making some parts properly cringeworthy as well. However, romcom is all about the featured couple and their chemistry and whether it feels like it is natural. Karissa Lee Staples and Brant Daugherty makes Kayla and Dustin believably perfect for each other. Sure, they have the usual hesitation trope and being sidetracked but they are one of the better and natural romances I’ve seen in these types of movies. Right from the start with their first spontaneous kiss, it feels really great to watch them together.

merry kissmas

If I were to get a little weirded out about something here, it might be that Santa is everywhere. He is always around when Kayla is in town. I’m not sure if thats an emphasis at how small the town is or there is weird fairy godmother sort of thing to offer support and guidance but matches up with the Christmas theme. Second thing which I am starting to be okay with is the whole hanging a mistletoe on the elevator. At this point I have 3 of these TV movies to review (reviews coming soon) and there is an odd infatuation with mistletoe. Maybe its because I’ve always around people who don’t use mistletoe as decoration thats why it seems odd to me but to be fair, the first kiss for the lovebirds here are under a mistletoe but the mistletoe had nothing to do with it, the elevator did (apparently). Still, the justification is that its Christmas time. Why not, right? I’m really not that picky about Christmas TV movies.

The more I talk about this, its going to sound weird. Overall, Merry Kissmas is one of the better TV movies I’ve seen to date. Its fun, packs a nice dose of laughs and heartwarming plus Brant Daugherty and Karissa Lee Staples have great chemistry making it romantic and heartwarming. It delivers on being very feel-good and (if you are into this genre) a great choice to check out.

Double Feature: #RealityHigh (2017) & Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond… (2017)

Welcome back to another double feature!

Today’s two films have only two things in common: Netflix Originals and 2017 releases. The first is the teen coming of age romantic comedy movie called #RealityHigh. To be honest, I only put this on because I wanted to have something simple to watch in the background. The second is the new documentary that recently landed on Netflix called Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton. The title is so freaking long! Aside from that, the only reason for this was because I like Jim Carrey and this is based on his behind the scenes process and persona he took when he was filming Man on the Moon (which I haven’t seen). We’ll see if that affected my experience of it.

I guess the third common factor here is that they are both impulse viewings off the whole new system I had set to catch up on the Netflix List.  Let’s check these out!

#RealityHigh (2017)

Director: Fernando Lebrija

Cast: Nesta Cooper, Keith Powers, Alicia Sanz, Jake Borelli, Anne Winters, Patrick Davis, Michael Provost, Ryan Malaty, Kate Walsh, John Michael Higgins

High-achieving high-school senior Dani Barnes dreams of getting into UC Davis, the world’s top veterinary school. Then a glamorous new friend draws her into a Southern California scene that threatens everything she’s worked for. – IMDB

A lot of you who stop by here know that I’m a huge fan of these kinds of teenage movies. In fact, I’m downright forgiving of them. I’ve liked and loved a lot of them spanning from the 80s John Hughes to the recent The DUFF or Edge of Seventeen and the likes. #RealityHigh should be right up my alley. Except, even in my most forgiving mindset, it wasn’t. The story itself was generic and offered nothing new. The characters themselves seemed wooden as they acted out their roles. Maybe you can argue with me that its them having the teenage awkwardness but it felt so scripted and so unenthusiastic that it just was uninspiring to watch.

However, there are some high points here and there. One of the big ones is having Kate Walsh here. She’s fantastic as always. I’ve loved her since Grey’s Anatomy and in her veterinarian role here, she plays the guidance for our main character really well. It was always fun to see her on screen. Second, there was John Michael Higgins. He was doing a little of the same silly stuff just like the random bits he had in Pitch Perfect however, he somehow did become the highlight here. Another point here does go that one of the characters here called Shannon who is the main guy’s friend breaks out of the norm a little from the typical role and actually takes on the non-cliche path where he seems like he’s much deeper than he appears to be and gives insightful advice.

#RealityHigh is pretty dull. It follows the motion and lacks originality and engaging characters for us to actually care for remotely. While there are some flashes of okay moments, its one that I honestly can’t recommend.

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond –
Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton (2017)

Jim & Andy

Director: Chris Smith

A behind-the-scenes look at how Jim Carrey adopted the persona of idiosyncratic comedian Andy Kaufman on the set of Man on the Moon (1999). –IMDB

Documentaries aren’t exactly my favorite genre to jump into. I like to watch this to escape from the realities of life but every once in a while, something clicks and the topic interests me. In this case, its Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond. The main reason is that (other than Stephen Chow and Robin Williams), I grew up with a lot of comedy of Jim Carrey. The Mask was the first movie I watched of his then Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, both of which I’d like to visit soon. Unfortunately, as mentioned before, I’ve never seen Man on the Moon and I don’t know much about Andy Kaufman other than from this documentary. As much as its about Andy Kaufman, this documentary is truly about Jim Carrey and the process he went through or even struggled through as he took the persona almost completely of Andy Kaufman. Why almost? Because sometimes he’d take on the persona of Tony Clifton and that was Andy Kaufman’s other persona. And when he was particularly in those Tony Clifton moments, he was pretty much absolutely ridiculously annoying and hard to handle. The documentary took a good angle of taking only Jim Carrey sharing his thoughts between the behind the scene footage that followed him around while shooting Man on the Moon. The hook of this was seeing how falling into the persona of Andy Kaufman in some ways changed the way of how he viewed his career and the path he chooses afterwards plus the struggle of whether he had gone too far and simply making peace with the choices he made.

Even without having seen Man on the Moon (and I’m sure it means even more if you had seen it), the journey that Jim Carrey takes for this role is an intriguing topic to dive into. Its a little controversial because he does show a very unlikable side of him in many extreme ways however it is also these type of conflicts that warrant a documentary and makes what he says make sense and pulls it all together. Well-executed and a nice look into what acting and taking on a role is all about, albeit its extreme choices, Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond has some deep thoughts and a lot of entertaining behind the scene moments. It also gives you the benefit of the doubt of knowing who Andy Kaufman is by explaining the type of comedian he is and comparing to his works.

This wraps up the double feature! One meh and one really good one. Call this the unexpected turnout, right?
I ended not liking the genre I normally would like and loving the one that I normally don’t. 

Have you seen either of these Netflix Originals?

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Aren’t we feeling like the youngsters? Haha! It seems Jigsaw was given up and Les Affames was also given up for this month’s movie at the theatres and I ended up heading out to see Thor: Ragnarok with my friend. I’ve mostly been on track with the MCU films with a few exceptions like Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Let’s check it out!

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

thor ragnarok

Director: Taika Waititi

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins

Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization. – IMDB

The MCU timeline has only gone through 2 years since the last we’ve seen Thor however, the previous movie, Thor: The Dark World has been four years. It is perhaps one of the first Marvel movies that I’ve gone in very blind. While Thor movies aren’t exactly very strong to the Marvel films, its always a fun time and its a very important factor of why I feel Marvel has been successful. Finding humor and blending it with a right amount of action helps form these characters and in Thor: Ragnarok, it is no different. The humor is fantastic especially with a lot of familiar faces and a few new ones. These blockbuster superhero movies have grown to be a norm to have incredibly long run times and it still is one of the criticisms I tend to have because it drags on in some parts however, Thor is also full of laugh out loud moments that it never falls flat for too long before it gets you immersed or simply having fun again.

Thor: Ragnarok

One of the best things about Marvel is that it knows that the fun in the movie, particularly in a blockbuster superhero film is simplicity. Sure, it takes a few turns here and there but everything works when its straightforward. There’s an issue then a dilemma then the superhero hits a snag that he or she needs to come back from and figure out a saving the planet or world or city solution. Nothing wrong with a little formula when you can get the tone right and the characters to be charming and engaging to watch. Thor: Ragnarok does all of that right and part it goes to having those engaging characters. Thor is always a joy to watch and with Loki being there as well, its always a fun time to watch their brotherly bickering even as they mock each other on their predictable characters. Being self aware is so important sometimes and that is the charm of it all.

Thor: Ragnarok

With that said, aside from Thor and Loki that Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston are so fantastic as, the other characters all have their parts. Familiar faces go to Anthony Hopkins as Odin and Idris Elba as Heimdall. Making an appearance here and some very odd funny moments is The Hulk and of course, his human counterpart, Mark Ruffalo. All delivering on their roles very well. However, its great to see some other faces here as we learn a little more about Thor and Asgard’s history and of course the little sidetrack they make into The Grandmaster’s wastelands. The Grandmaster is played by Jeff Goldblum. Its been so long since I’ve seen Goldblum in anything but he takes on The Grandmaster with so much character in the most eccentric way. The awkward moments were the centre of a lot of the comedy here. A little younger in the cast was Tessa Thompson joining into the cast as Valkyrie who was a very different type of role than what she’s done in the past and I mean it in the best way. She’s a bad-ass lady and can definitely carry her own.

Thor Ragnarok

Its impossible to get through superhero movies without a mention of the villain. Except, Marvel movies have the fault of making incompetent villains who lack depth. Point exactly is that I can’t remember for the life of me what the name of the villain in The Dark World is. I think it starts with a “M” but all I remember was that he wasn’t really key to anything. Thor: Ragnarok is a little better mostly because Hella is the sister of Thor. She’s the secret of Asgard when Odin was much more ruthless. Nothing like sibling rivalry to get things heated up. Hella is played by Cate Blanchett and while a lot of her scenes were truly just amplifying how incredibly powerful she is, leaving it a little empty, its still Cate Blanchett and she is a fantastic actress that adds a little something to the role. Now, I’d be lying if her get-up didn’t remind me a little of Maleficent however, Hella is a dangerous villain all on her own, especially with a right hand man played by Karl Urban who never quite gets the depth in his character.

Overall, I have my criticisms about this movie but they feel a little like I’m nitpicking because Thor: Ragnarok is downright fun and packed with some cool action and awkward humor. Its villain is more competent and its humor is spot on and the characters are versatile and awesome. Thor: Ragnarok has its little issues and a lengthy runtime but it is my favorite Thor movie so far.

Have you seen Thor: Ragnarok?
Talking about lists, I’m definitely thinking of putting together a list of best to worst for the Marvel movies. Good idea?