Movie Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

And the 2018 catch-up continues. Admittedly I don’t have a super specific series set up, but catching up on the year’s movies is what one have to do when nearing the end of said year. Enough rambling, let’s shrink.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Ant-Man and the Wasp”.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has to once again don the Ant-Man suit, but instead of using it to steal some shit, he has to use his abilities, as well as the assistance of his ally Hope (Evangeline Lilly), to get hold of some tech to try and pull Janet Van Dyne out of the Quantum Realm. But this quest will prove challenging as opposing forces want this technology for their own purposes. So now we have our “Ant-Man” sequel plot. And it’s good, a fun comic book romp. Has a few decent dramatic moments. Not much I can say, it’s just a fun superhero plot. Doesn’t do much, but doesn’t do little either. It’s fast-paced and easy to follow while expanding on a few of the ideas set up in the first movie. It doesn’t do anything special, but it also doesn’t need to. It’s just an easygoing and fun plot.

The characters in this are colorful, interesting, and really entertaining. Paul Rudd of course returns as Scott Lang, the charming ex-con/superhero with a heart of gold. He’s fun, he’s someone I care about, and he is just generally an enjoyable protagonist. And Paul Rudd is great in the role. Next we have Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne/Wasp. She was just sort of a tough sidekick/teacher in the first movie, but here she gets to do a lot more, especially since she now has her own super suit to play with. And she’s quite an enjoyable character to follow. And Lilly is great in the role. Michael Peña returns as Scott’s best friend, Luis, and he’s just as hilarious as he was the first time around. Michael Douglas returns as Dr. Hank Pym, and he’s once again pretty great. Newcomer time! First up, Hannah John-Kamen as “Ghost”, a mysterious new villain with a pretty compelling arc that I won’t say more about here, but I found it to be pretty cool. And John-Kamen is really good in the role. We also get Walton Goggins as some shady black market dealer, and he’s as Goggins-y as ever, and while his character doesn’t have much to actually do, Goggins is really good in the role. We also get supporting performances from people like Judy Greer, Bobby Cannavale, Abby Ryder Fortson, David Dastmalchian, Randall Park, T.I., Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Pfeiffer, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

Like with the first movie, Christophe Beck did the score for this one. And it’s just as fun and enjoyable as the first time around. It’s bouncy, irreverent, and just overall fits the lighthearted tone that the movie generally goes for. The added use of synth and (for lack of a better word) bouncy percussion really helps keep the pace up. It’s just fun. And there are a few licensed tracks used throughout that work well enough in their respective scenes.

As with the first movie, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” was directed by Peyton Reed and I think he did a good job with it. His directing is fun, fast-paced, and just generally has a certain energy that makes it all quite enjoyable to watch. The action scenes too are quite solid, giving us some good close quarters combat, as well as the shrink/grow superhero stuff we came to see. There’s of course also a lot of comedy throughout this movie, and I found most of it to be quite funny. A few jokes weren’t the best, but none of them made me want to tear my brain out. Some mild nose-wrinkling, some chuckles, a few out loud laughs… yeah, it’s funny.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 70/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is a fun movie… not one of the best of the year, but an enjoyable romp nonetheless. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, really good directing, and funny comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is an 8,76/10. So while not perfect, it’s still definitely worth buying.

My review of “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is now completed.

Baba Yaga…

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Movie Review: Ant-Man (2015)

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With “Civil War” just around the corner, and by around the corner I mean that it comes out tomorrow but I might not be able to see it until saturday because of the company I keep, I deemed that it was finally time for me to see the last entry in the MCU that I had not seen yet, please don’t kill me.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Ant-Man”.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) just got released from prison. However his life outside of the bars isn’t going to be the easiest after he ends up taking another job where he steals a special super-suit from scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). So now Scott has to work with Hank and also Hank’s daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) to pull off a big heist to more or less save the world. Basically it is “Iron Man” combined with “Ocean’s Eleven” when it comes to the style of the story. Don’t misinterpret, I am not saying that “Ant-Man” is as good as eitehr of those movies, but that it feels like a mix of the both. And I have to say that I really enjoyed the experience of watching this play out. It’s actually kind of refreshing to have a Marvel movie on such a small scale where the entire planet isn’t TOTALLY at risk. It’s a fun, fast-paced trip and I enjoyed every minute of it.

The characters in this movie are all very entertaining and all work pretty well within the story. Paul Rudd is fantastic as Scott Lang, he is likeable, funny and his performance overall was really good. Michael Douglas, an actor I like but haven’t seen much from recently… holy hell, he was great as Hank Pym. Seriously, I haven’t seen him this great in a lot of (if any) recent stuff. Evangeline Lilly was great as Pym’s daughter and the two had really good chemistry with each other. Michael Peña plays Scott’s buddy who kind of helps him after he’s released from prison… seriously, pretty much every word out of that guy’s mouth is comedic gold. He is so great in the movie, he constantly had me chuckling/laughing. Then we have Bobby Cannavale who plays a police officer who now has a relationship with Scott’s ex-wife… yeah, he’s great. The last one I want to mention is Corey Stoll who plays the main villain, Darren Cross/Yellowjacket… how do I put it… he’s kind of a mixed bag for me. I do think Corey Stoll gives a good performance in the movie and when he puts on the Yellowjacket costume he is absolutely badass… but as a villain he isn’t that compelling, kind of standard stuff here. His motivations aren’t that interesting and I won’t really remember him too well after this I think… at least his acting was good.

The score for the movie was composed by Christophe Beck and it was actually really good. Sure, some of the tracks sound like your typical superhero stuff that doesn’t sound bad but you’ve heard it a billion times. But then there are tracks very reminiscent of tracks for a whole bunch of different heist films and I thought that was really cool and that it really worked for the movie.

This movie went through some problems as it was getting made. Originally it was supposed to be directed by Edgar Wright (which would have been amazing), but then he dropped out due to creative differences between him and Marvel. Then it went through some different hands until finally landing in the hands of Peyton Reed (oh boy). And while I think that whatever Edgar Wright would’ve conjured up would have been much more interesting/better, I have to say that I am happily surprised with how Reed handled the direction of this movie. It is quick, it is smooth and it’s overall very well done (Still wanna see Wright’s version). The action scenes too, holy shit, they exhilarating and really entertaining. The way they use Ant-Man’s shrinking technology for the action scenes is very creative and makes for some very fun and awesome scenes. I will also say that the visual effects are overall really great. The writing is also really good, with a lot of clever and funny dialogue that kept me entertained/laughing. Also, like with every Marvel movie I recommend that you stay through the entire credits for some pretty sweet stuff. Also look out for some pretty cool cameos throughout the movie.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“Ant-Man” is one of those strange supereroes that I’ve for a long time wondered how he would make it on the silver screen. Well I can safely say that his first outing is a good start. The movie is fun, fast-paced, heartfelt, well acted, well directed, well written, funny, has great action and is just pretty damn great. Yes, the villain isn’t very compelling, but I guess he’s servicable. Time for my final score. *Shrinks* Damn it… My final score for “Ant-Man” is a 9,76/10. While flawed, I think it deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Ant-Man” is finally completed.

*Grows to normal size* Gotta stop leaving the buttons so easily accessible. 

Movie Review: Danny Collins (2015)

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It’s interesting how there are so many ways musicians can become. Will they become the typical coked out and washed up piece of shit we see in a lot of cases or will they actually have a great career and never succumb to the drugs, alcohol, sex and other stupid bullshit? It’s always interesting to see that, at least in my opinion.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Danny Collins”.

In this movie we follow aging rock star Danny Collins (Al pacino, also roll credits). On his birthday, his manager Frank (Christopher Plummer) gives him a 40 year old letter from John Lennon that had suddenly popped up. So now Danny sets out to change his life thanks to the letter. And while it is interesting to see, I had one problem with the plot. And by that I don’t mean I had a problem with the plot itself, but I was taken out of it because of it being a little too predictable. I could figure out pretty well what was gonna happen next which is a little sad because I never like that to happen. Fortunately I still enjoyed it thanks to good execution and good writing.

While this movie lacks is original and unpredictable plot, it made up for in characters. They are all consistently well-written and entertaining as hell. I gotta say, this is the best performance Pacino has given us in recent years. I don’t think he has been this great since “Insomnia” in 2002. He is also the most charming I have ever seen him. Christopher Plummer is also great as his manager. Annette Bening plays his love interest in the movie and I think she did a great job. I also think she didn’t feel forced like almost every love interest does. Bobby Cannavale played Pacino’s son in the movie and he was great too. Everybody was great, even the annoying little kid who actually kind of had a reason to be annoying.

The soundtrack to this movie is one of the best I’ve heard in a while. Let’s start with the original tracks… there are two of them. One is supposed to be the main character’s “big hit” song that he plays at every concert, the song that he never gets away from. The second one is a song he writes over the course of the movie and that tracks is beautiful and awesome. The rest of the soundtrack are licensed tracks, but in a good way. What do I mean by that? It’s fucking John Lennon, how could it not be good? That’s right, they paid a lot of money for John Lennon songs and they used them perfectly.

Let’s see here, this movie was directed by… Dan Fogelman. And before this he had directed… nothing. Yeah, that’s the truth, this guy had not directed anything prior to this movie and yet he did it perfectly. The shots look great and everything is very well-done. Also, I don’t think I mentioned that this movie is really funny… because it is. The jokes in it are really good and I think Pacino delivered them perfectly.

This movie has been pretty-well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 77% positive rating and a “Fresh” ceritification. On Metacritic it has a score of 58/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10.

“Danny Collins” is a pretty good movie. It has a good (but predictable) story, great characters/performances, an awesome soundtrack, really good directing and great writing. Time for my final score. *Pacino Growl*. My final score for “Danny Collins” is a 9,12/10. I think it’s worth buying.
Worth buying

“Danny Collins” is now reviewed.

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