Is the third time the charm for “Thor?” The latest installment in the Marvel Universe to have the God of Thunder front and center is indeed the best of the three. A goofy, tongue-in-cheek action adventure that relies a lot on quirky comedy, “Thor: Ragnarok” is an eye-popping extravaganza that should please most fans, even though it’s a notch below many other Marvel entries.
Chris Hemsworth returns as the Asgardian price who finds himself exiled on the other side of the universe without his hammer. Meanwhile, his evil sister Hela, played with wicked relish by Cate Blanchett, is intent on destroying Asgard.
While it’s predictable and offers nothing new, “Thor: Ragnarok” has all of the elements in place for a lightening strike at the box office.
So, how do you follow up the raunchy 2016 comedy hit “Bad Moms?” With “A Bad Mom’s Christmas” of course. Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn reunite for another look at contemporary parental challenges, this time with meddling grandmothers to contend with. The stars are fine, but they deserve better material than the simple, foul-mouthed script provided by the writing/directing team behind “The Hangover.” The cast seems to be having a ball, and they give this silly opus a big boost.
Although she had no formal training, young Jane Goodall went into the African jungle in the 1960s, lived with the chimpanzees and became one of the foremost experts on simian behavior. The documentary “Jane” chronicles her life’s work mostly through the lens of her former husband, famed nature cinematographer Hugo van Lawick. If you can get past the intrusive score by Phillip Glass, “Jane” is an agreeable look at a fascinating individual.
Also opening this week, “Blade of the Immortal” is a violent Japanese martial arts action adventure, about a man cursed with immortality until he kills a sufficient number of bad guys.
The 17th annual Kansas International Film Festival takes place Nov. 3rd through the 9th at the Glenwood Arts Theater in Overland Park. More information is available at kansasfilm.com.