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FILM & TELEVISION

Thor Channels His Inner Comedian

Ragnarok finds the right balance of humor and action

Of All The Gin Joints In All The World Every time film fans and critics try to put together a list of the greatest films of all time, one movie invariably makes the list, almost always at or near the very top: 1942’s Casablanca. Set against the backdrop of World War II, Humphrey Bogart stars as Rick Blaine, the owner of a nightclub in Vichy-controlled Casablanca, whose life changes forever when his lost love, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), walks into his club and back into his life. But there is so much more to the film than the (relatively) simple plot. When the film was being made, based off of the unproduced stage play “Everybody Comes to Rick’s”, no one involved with the production thought it was going to be as ground-breaking and beloved as it became. Sure, it had an A-list cast and some first-rate writers, but to Hollywood execs it was just another of several films rushed into production to take advantage of the publicity from the Allied invasion of North Africa a few weeks earlier. And its initial theatrical release was solid but wasn’t exactly setting the box office on fire, ranking seventh for the year. But there was something special about the film. Bogart and Bergmann’s undeniable chemistry, the memorable score, and the whip-smart dialogue have made it the true definition of a classic. Do yourself a favor and head out this Sunday and see for yourself just why Casablanca has justifiably become one of the greatest—if not the greatest—films ever made. — Michael Thomas Casablanca 75th Anniversary Event Sunday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 2, 7 p.m. East Ridge 18 Hamilton Place 8 5080 South Terrace 2000 Hamilton Pl. Blvd. (423) 855-9652 (844) 462-7342 www.fathomevents.com 10 • THE PULSE • NOVEMBER 9, 2017 • CHATTANOOGAPULSE.COM

By John DeVore Pulse Film Editor

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F THE WINNERS AND LOSERS IN the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor has always been towards the bottom. His has a very specific character challenge. It’s easy for Iron Man or Captain America to exist in the more realistic world Marvel has created for its characters (though this realistic world is fast disappearing in favor of flashy comic book fantasy). They are more or less plausible, at least moreso than an immortal Norse god that wields lightning and short silver hammer of varying weight that depends entirely on a dubious understanding of ethics and morality. Thor is, and has always been, a little bit dumb. This isn’t to say he isn’t entertaining, especially as a foil for other, more rational characters within the Avenger’s films. If anything, he feels unde-

rused, much more of an outsider than the other heroes. His previous standalone films always felt like more of necessity, a stepping-stone to the larger flagship films. The directors of these films, Kenneth Branaugh and Alan Taylor respectively, did their best to breathe life into a ridiculous idea, and were somewhat successful. Still, there was simply something off about the tone. Enter Guardians of the Galaxy. Here was another film, with absurd characters, that could have easily come off poorly and underdeveloped. But James Gunn took the film a different way, using vibrant colors, humor, and classic rock to develop a team of misfits far more fun to watch than Marvel’s original team. Suddenly, someone at Marvel remembered that comics books are supposed to be fun. Taking a page from Gunn’s playbook, director Taika Waititi embraces the absurdity of Thor in Thor: Ragnarok and makes a film that is absolutely the best treat-

The Pulse 14.45 » November 9, 2017  
The Pulse 14.45 » November 9, 2017  

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