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Thor: Love and Thunder
* * * ½ (Joyce) * * * * (Don)
A classic joy ride

Though Joyce isn’t a huge fan of Marvel Comics movies, she has enjoyed the antics of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in his latest adventures.

The action-packed film comes with a few backstories to get you up to speed; The big one is the relationship and breakup between Thor and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman).

The film is packed with one-liners, jokes, and physical humor that some non-fans might go over their heads with.

Hemsworth is great, especially when he’s trying to decide what the love of his life is: his hammer or Jane.

The film begins on a dark note as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) denies and turns against the gods after losing his beloved daughter.

The scene switches, as so often in the film, to Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy crew as our hero breaks up with them to take on Gore, who has gone over the deep end.

Jane turns up in one of the many fights with Thor’s old hammer, which causes him a big problem. He longs for his old hammer but doesn’t want to hurt the feelings of his new axe.

Stupid? Yes, but there is a love spat between Thor, Jane, the hammer and the axe, which take on a life of their own. (Hard to explain, but you’ll understand when you see it.)

Beneath all the humor and action, there are some strong references to life, death, God and eternity.

Add in a savage scene starring Russell Crowe as evil Zeus and you’ve got your hands full keeping up with whatever’s going on.

Thor is on his way to save the children of a small village and Jane joins him despite a serious illness, all leading to the patented final battle.

Stay close for the credits as Zeus gives us a hint of what’s coming.

More importantly, you’re going through those endless credits that list the hundreds of people involved in the production of one of the best postludes we’ve seen.

Rated PG, with a discreet but long look at a naked Hemsworth – Joyce added a star for that.

Note: We watched the film in 3D and enjoyed the extra depth the glasses add to the landscape.

Don’t expect flying objects to shoot out of the screen above your head. The glasses are comfortable to wear and the 3D effects are good but not essential to enjoy the film.

AVON

LOST ILLUSIONS
* * * (Joyce) * * * ½ (Don)
French History of Early Journalism

Lucien is a young aspiring poet who leaves his village to find success in 19th-century Paris.

He gets a job at a radical newspaper, where he is taught what we would now call “yellow journalism”.

Journalists are taught to write bad or good art reviews depending on who pays them the most. The careers of writers and actors are in the hands of newspapers interested only in making money.

Lucien gets involved with an actress and a woman who belongs to the upper class. He also writes for both political sides, depending on who pays the most.

The film is a little dragging, but the exposure of yellow journalism in the past will resonate to this day.

English subtitles. Based on Balzac’s novel.

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