Tag Archives: Ant-Man

Ant-Man Review

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I’d like to begin this review by saying, perhaps, one of the most clichéd things I can think of: big things come in small packages. Sure, it’s a dopey line, but it certainly describes Marvel’s Ant-Man. We’ve known Ant-Man was on the horizon for perhaps as long as we’ve known of the Iron Man films, and yet now in 2015 the incredible shrinking Ant-Man is finally upon us. I’ll be honest and say that Ant-Man’s productions woes, be it delayed filming windows to multiple directors swapping in and out, had me worrying about the quality of the film. Could something that’s languished so long in development hell and passed through so many hands come out on the other side no worse for wear? The short answer is yes. For the most part Ant-Man succeeds in being funny, heartfelt, action packed and most importantly entertaining.

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As Marvel has done in movies past Ant-Man is a super hero film wrapped in the trappings of another genre. The genre of choice this time is a heist film. We’re introduced to Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a recently released from prison thief, who’s chosen by enigmatic Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his appropriately prickly daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) to steal Pym’s former business partner and protégé’s shrinking suit and formula before it can be used for evil. Sounds pretty par for the course, because it ultimately is. Marvel has never really broken new ground when it comes to its plotting, but it’s never needed to. We’re given familiar story elements with a fresh coat of paint, and what a coat of paint it is. Like Marvel’s previous films this movie is packed with wit. It’s a funny, funny film. At times the humor undercuts the serious elements, or rather the serious elements undercut the humor? It’s difficult to say. We’re told very early on not to take the film and it’s happenings too seriously. Everything is done with a wink and a nudge. That’s both very good for the film as well as a detriment. Whenever the film tries to get weighty and bring us a serious dramatic beat we’re left waiting impatiently for the next one-liner. Still, those moments are few and far between and the film is paced well enough that I was never bored.

Ant-Man has a curious power. The Ant-Man suit, powered by these wacky things called Pym Particles, allows the user to shrink down to the size of an Ant. We’ve never seen anything like this from the likes of a super hero movie and that is such a good thing. The fight scenes are exciting to watch as Ant-Man switches between big and small so effortlessly that you wonder if anyone could stand a chance against such a nimble and difficult to strike target. Spoiler warning: Ant-Man even gets the opportunity to fight an Avenger in this film and the result leaves us with an admiration and respect for what this insect based crime fighter can do. Ultimately Ant-Man is just another way for a character to punch another character, but the way it’s presented is such a breath of fresh air that I can’t wait to see what they do with the character next. If reports are to be believed Ant-Man will be popping up in the next Captain America film, so if you like Scott Lang was much as I do you’ll be very happy.

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Shrinking films give filmmakers and audiences are really exciting and interesting new way to look at the world. What it small and insignificant in ordinary life is rendered with awe when you’re tiny. A shag rug becomes a forest. A toy train becomes a gigantic monolith. The macro photograph used to shown this tiny world is amazing as well. It’s a joy to see what the director, Peyton Reed, does with all this. He seamlessly switches between showing us the tiny world of Ant-Man and the mundane view of the normal sized world for comedic effect. As you’ve no doubt seen in the trailer a fight takes place on a toy train and this is one of the more exciting moments I’ve seen in recent films. It’s funny, exhilarating and had me captivated. At the end of the day this is a Marvel film. We’ve come to expect quality with Marvel and Ant-Man is right in that swing zone. It’s not the best film Marvel has produced, but it’s still a wild ride and should not be missed. See it on the big screen. You won’t regret it!

Marvel vs. DC: Where’s the Justice?

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Comic books movies are big business.

Like the Hulk smashing through downtown New York comic book movies these days are breaking box office records with reckless abandon. Disney’s Avengers: Age of Ultron opened with the second highest box office weekend ever of $191,121,109, behind only it’s predecessor Marvel’s The Avengers which brought in $207,438,708 and slightly ahead of Iron Man 3 at $174,144,585. Just three years ago that record for 2nd biggest opening ever was held by another comic book movie, Warner Brother’s The Dark Knight Rises which brought in a then record haul of $160,887,295 in 2012. With these numbers why would super villains even need to rob a bank anymore? The real money these days is in the theaters not in a safe.

But not all superhero properties are created equal.

Right now there is no dispute that Marvel Studios is killing it when it comes to the development of their cinematic universe (the Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU) Last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy was, for a time, the highest grossing film of 2014. Not an easy feat for a 3rd tier property centered around a talking tree and space raccoon. After Age of Ultron Marvel has another risky film nearing release with “little” known Ant-Man starring Paul Rudd. However, with Marvel’s recent trend of hits on it’s hand the only unknown risk from Ant-Man it seems would be how many times it makes it’s budget back.

If you want to talk about risk then look no further than the DCU (DC Cinematic Universe). Technically with only one movie within the the universe, 2013′ Man of Steel, the DCU is still in it’s infancy. In an attempt to catch up to Marvel’s huge lead and head start executives over at Warner Brothers (owner of DC comics) announced a full slate of 10 movies to spin out of Man of Steel. Batman v Superman will be their next release in 2016 with a Suicide Squad film to release later in the year.

But with the Batman v Superman trailer earning mixed fan reaction and a recent release of the full cast photo from “Suicide Squad” causing some concern, it seems like the perfect time to examine why DC and their effort to create an epic cinematic universe, is already on extremely shaky ground. What follows are five huge disappointing mistakes that DC has already made in regards to their films as opposed to Disney’s Marvel.

Ant-Man, Gambit, Wicked, and the Lego Movie 2 News.

First Ant-Man Trailer Released

During the premiere of ABC’s Agent Carter TV show Marvel released the first full trailer for their upcoming Ant-Man movie. Long in development, Ant-Man stars funnyman Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, a man with a criminal past who, according to the trailer, must “become the Ant-Man” to……. save the world? Who is Ant-Man? He’s a guy who can shrink down to the size of an ant while still retaining all his normal strength. Not the greatest or flashiest super power in the world but it can come in handy when used to spy on women in the shower.

But ugh. The trailer was not at all what I was expecting. From all the rumors surrounding the film’s long road to production Ant-Man was supposed to be a quirky, fun, tongue in cheek movie about a B-list superhero. And instead Marvel gave us a formulaic and heavy handed trailer. Instead of some funny jokes or cool special effect shots the trailer instead chose to highlight that Lang is a deadbeat dad, down to his last chance, up against a faceless corporation with plans on world domination. Yawn.

Either Marvel is supremely confident after the success of the quirky Guardians of the Galaxy that they can do no wrong, and have stopped caring about building up buzz for their movies or Ant-Man is in trouble and could be Marvel’s first flop. The studio is on an extremely profitable roll right now which can’t be denied. Guardians and Captain America: The Winter Soldier  were the number 1 and 3 top grossing movies of last year and the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron is sure to be number 1 this year. Critics have been waiting for Marvel to release their first real dud and it looks like Ant-Man might have a good chance of being that if the initial trailer is any indication.

Gambit Movie Release Date

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In my favorite news of the week Variety reported that my favorite superhero Gambit will finally be getting his own big screen adventure to be released on October 7, 2016 from Fox. I can’t tell you how excited I am to hear this as I’ve been wanting a Gambit movie ever since I was 12 years old.

Who is Gambit? Remy LeBeau is a member of the X-men who has the power to charge objects with kinetic energy. Basically he can turn anything into a bomb just by touching it. He usually like to throw charged playing cards at opponents but even a wad of chewing gum can be deadly in Gambit’s hands, er mouth. On top of that the Gambit is a master thief and one suave heartbreaker.

Gambit had a small vapid role as a sidekick in Wolverine Origins as played by Taylor Kitsch but it was all wrong. In that movie he was more like a bad magician than a master thief. Also, Taylor Kitsch. But with news that Channing Tatum will play the Ragin Cajun first in the new X-Men: Apocalypse movie before his solo outing, things are looking up. First of all Gambit happens to be one of Channing Tautm’s favorite characters so he is familiar with him and wants to do him justice. Two, he has the looks and build to bring the ladies in and swoon which is a big part of Gambit’s character. Third, Tatum was born in the South and according to reports has been working on his cajun accent in preparation for the role.

The Lego Movie 2 in the Works

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I don’t know about you, but The Lego Movie has been running non-stop at my house the last two weeks since Christmas. My two year old can’t get enough Lego Movie and has begun quoting scenes verbatim. Not that I’m complaining.

Everything about the Lego Movie is awesome!

No seriously. It’s awesome. Which is why I was excited to hear that the Lego Movie is in full development. Not much is known right now about the film except that it will take place 4 years after the first and focus on a 12 1/2 year old Finn, the boy who’s imagination the first film was taking place in. Screenwriters Chris Miller and Phil Lord have recently spoke about the sequel and said.

“Well I don’t want to give you spoilers but we were really interested in what happens to that boy who’s in the meta story in the first movie when he’s four years older”, said Miller. “When he’s an adolescent how does that change his point of view?

What kind of things does a 12 year old boy think about? Sports? Video games? Girls?

I loved the first movie because not only is it gut busting funny but the detail and imagination that went into all the sets blows my mind. See thousands of Lego cars driving down the highway in a city made completely of Lego would have exploded my 8 year old mind back in the day. Hell, it still blows my 34 year old mind today.

That said here’s a list of things I’d love to see in The Lego Movie 2

1. An ongoing war in the background between the Lego minifigs and the alien invaders from the planet Duplo.

2. More Benny and MORE SPACESHIPS!

3. More Star Wars Lego characters. They made an appearance in the first film and it was one of the funniest parts.

4. Lego Marvel characters. The Lego Movies might be the closest thing ever get to a crossover onscreen between Marvel and DC characters. DC is owned by Warner Brothers whose animation department made the Lego movie in the first place. But Lego creates Marvel sets so they have the license for those toys. How great would it be for example to see Lego Batman and Lego Iron Man duke it out with each other?  However Lego also makes The Hobbit toys but was seemingly unable to include the property in the first film, instead referring to the Hobbit toys as being from Middle Zealand,

5. And finally, more double decker couches!

Wicked Coming in 2016?

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And finally there is recent news on the on again, off again Wicked movie. Wicked is a hit Broadway musical based off of the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. Screenwriter Marc Platt (Into the Woods, Wanted) recently spoke about his project.

“2016 is the goal, but I don’t know whether we’ll make that goal or not. We will make the movie, but like I said, the bar is really high. We’re going to scrutinise our work on the screenplay and our prep on the movie, and when we feel like it’s ready, okay. We’re not going to shoot a release date is what I’m saying. It’s in the works, it’s not in a rush.”

My wife LOVES this musical. No doubt I’ll be in line for the inevitable midnight release in the near future.