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: Mission Impossible 3 (2006)

Holy shit, we’re already at the third part in my “Mission Impossible” review series. Time sure flies. Well, I guess we should jump into it like a Tom Cruise stunt.

Ladies and gents… “Mission Impossible 3”.

We once again follow IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) as he gets dragged into another mission. And this time his mission is to find and capture a very elusive and dangerous arms dealer (Philip Seymour Hoffman, R.I.P). So now we have our twisty-turny spy thriller plot. What’s fun is that it takes the MacGuffin, single villain plot of the second movie and mixes it with some of the deeper conspiracy/twist-based stuff of the first. It’s a good, fast-paced, and entertaining spy thriller plot. But there is also where we find the main flaw/draw of the plot: It’s fast-paced. Like, “almost give you whiplash with how fast-paced it is” fast. It’s good because it keeps stuff from getting boring or too slow (a la the first half of “MI2”), but it also makes some scenes feel a bit too rushed. So overall this plot is really good, if a little too fast at times.

The characters in this are flawed, layered, and quite interesting. Tom Cruise of course returns as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, and I really mean it. This is not the wannabe James Bond from “MI2”, this is the Ethan of the first movie, but with some added details. He’s trying to settle down, but he’s also active in operations, trying to keep that side of his life secret. And Cruise is great in the role. Next we have Philip Seymour Hoffman (may he rest in peace) a Davian, the villainous arms dealer antagonist of this film. He’s a sinister, matter-of-fact, menacing motherfucker who proves a truly formidable foe for Ethan and his team. And Hoffman is fantastic in the role, taking lines that would be shit in lesser hands, and turning them into some of the most menacing things I’ve heard in movies. Next we have Michelle Monaghan as Julia, Ethan’s fiancée. Not gonna say too much as her development and such is kind of spoiler territory, but let’s just say that she’s a more interesting character than one would assume at first. And Monaghan is really good in the role. Then we get supporting work from Ving Rhames, Laurence Fishburne, Keri Russell, Jonathan Meyers, Maggie Q, Billy Crudup, Eddie Marsan, Simon Pegg, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Giacchino and it was pretty damn good. What he did here is that he gave us an orchestral score that featured both big, bombastic action tracks and smaller, tension-building tracks for some of the smaller scenes. It’s really a damn solid score that works very well for this movie.

This movie was the feature film debut of J.J. Abrams, and I think he did a really good job with it. As some of you might know, he has a penchant for making his movies very fast-paced, and while that can be a little bit of a detriment to the plot here (as mentioned in a previous section), it does nothing but help the action scenes here. The action here is fucking great, giving us fighting, shooting, swinging, running (so much running), and more, blending it into some damn entertaining stuff.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 70& positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 66/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Mission Impossible 3” is a return to form after the disappointing second installment. It has a really good plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and really good direction. As I mentioned earlier, the relentless pace of this movie makes a few moments throughout feel a little bit rushed (but not enough to ruin the movie). Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mission Impossible 3” is an 8,87/10. So while flawed, it’s still definitely worth buying.

My review of “Mission Impossible 3” is now completed.

Only one more to go.

Movie Review: John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Before we get into the review itself, I have to go into a small rant. After the surprising awesomeness that was “John Wick”, I of course got excited as all hell for the sequel, it was one of my most anticipated movies of 2017. And for the longest time it looked like I would get to see it in the cinema. Then something happened. They took it away from the cinema’s webpage, and they wouldn’t air it. Why? Because the first one “Didn’t make enough money”. What a load of fucking horseshit. Why take away an opportunity to make money, you dumb fucks. Then they chose to show it in theaters… but not in my nearest, which again is fucking horseshit. I was fucking furious when I found out about this shit, and I still kind of am. “Didn’t make enough money”… what kind of fucking numbers were you looking for, you dumb fucks? Not every movie makes as much as fucking “Avengers”. Fuckers. Sorry about that, guys, had to get that shit off my chest before I did anything else. Sometimes assholes need verbal spankings. Now, onto the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “John Wick: Chapter 2”.

John Wick (Keanu Reeves) has to once again come out of retirement, but this time it’s to pay off a debt. And soon he finds himself going on a very dangerous path. And while the plot to “John Wick: Chapter 2” lacks the emotional core of the first movie, it makes up for it by further exploring this assassin underground that was hinted towards in the first movie. And while this plot isn’t exactly award worthy, it still works perfectly for this movie and I never found myself disliking it. I enjoy seeing this underworld, I want to know more about it, and I wanna see John Wick try to survive in this world. So yeah, this is a good plot.

The characters here range from “yeah, that one is pretty interesting” to “meh”. I didn’t exactly think any of them felt out of place, but almost none of them truly interested me. Keanu “Whoa” Reeves returns as John Wick, the semi-retired hitman with a mysterious past. While not the deepest of heroes, you can still relate to him on some level due to the tragic parts that we know of his past. And he’s a gentlemanly badass that will fucking destroy you if you get in his way. And Keanu Reeves is great in the role. Riccardo Scamarcio plays Santino D’Antonio, the antagonist of the movie. He’s a bit a cowardly asshole. And while not the best villain in the world, he works fine for this movie I guess. And Scamarcio gives a good performance. Ian McShane returns as Winston, the owner of the hotel from the first (and this) movie. Here he gets a somewhat meatier role, and in it he is quite entertaining (because that’s how McShane works). And McShane is great in the role. Common plays Cassian a bodyguard/hitman that John seems to have a bit of a past with. He’s cool, charming, and badass. And Common is great in the role. And the role is filled with even more great supporting roles from people like Ruby Rose, Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick, Peter Stormare, John Leguizamo, and more. It’s a well acted movie.

The score was composed by Tyler Bates & Joel J. Richard and it’s just awesome. Guitars, heavy beats, some droning stuff… it’s really all just perfect. At times it almost even reminds me of a western, with some guitar licks that could fit right in those types of movies. And all the music in this complements the movie perfectly, often elevating certain scenes. There even are a couple of tracks done by other artists for the movie that work well in their scenes.

This movie was directed by Chad Stahelski, one of the two who did the first movie. And his directing here is just fucking magnificent. There’s a lot of energy to his directing, which gives the movie and fast and frantic feel, which I think is how John Wick felt in those action scenes. Speaking of which, holy fuck the action here is amazing. No shaky-cam, no CGI, no quick cuts… just excellent work from the stunt team and everyone involved with the action. From vehicles, to fisticuffs, the shooty-bang-bangs, to knives… the action here is absolutely amazing. What this movie somewhat lacks in story and characters, it makes up for in action. Can we also talk about Dan Laustsen’s cinematography? Because it’s stunning. The use of light, darkness, and colors here is magnificent and makes for some amazing eye candy.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 75/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“John Wick: Chapter 2” is a pretty damn awesome action-thriller. It has a good plot, pretty good characters, great performances, great music, and fantastic directing/action/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Whoa*. My final score for “John Wick: Chapter 2” is a 9,89/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “John Wick: Chapter 2” is completed.

The amount of “OUCH” in this movie is crazy.

Movie Review: Rudderless (2014)

Grief. Something we all have to deal with at some point in our lives. Whether it’s for something as small as a great TV show ending or something as big as someone you love passing away. There’s no avoiding it, we all experience it at some point. And we all deal with it in different ways.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Rudderless”.

While going through a downward spiral, grieving father Sam (Billy Crudup) finds a box of songs that his son had recorded before his death. So with the help of these songs and a young man named Quentin (Anton Yelchin, R.I.P), Sam starts a band to try perhaps find some catharsis in his life. And from this we a plot that really got to me. While one of the central themes of this movie is grief, it doesn’t have a somber and depressing feel. It moves between the heavier and the lighter moments very well, never lingering too long on one or the other. There are ups and there are downs, just like in real life. And I think that this plot was overall very well handled.

The characters in this movie are interesting, entertaining, and feel very real. Billy Crudup is great as Sam. He’s a very damaged individual who’s starting to maybe find a purpose in life again, and Crudup plays that so fucking well! Anton Yelchin (may he rest in peace) plays the young man that Sam befriends early on in the movie, and he is great in the role. Laurence Fishburne plays the owner of a music store and he is really good in the role. Felicity Huffman plays Sam’s ex-wife, Emily, and she’s great. We also get Selena Gomez popping up at a few points in the movie and she actually did a really good job. All actors were really solid in this movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Eef Barzelay and it was really good. However, while the score he composed (the background music to be more precise) is really good, I want to talk about the music that’s sung/performed in the movie. The songs overall are fucking great! What’s even cooler is that they were actually performed by the cast. When you see Billy Crudup on stage with a microphone and a guitar, he is actually performing it. And you can tell that with every person performing a song in the movie. And it all sounds great. So yeah… this movie has some great fucking music!

This movie was directed by William H. Macy, And for a first time director, he did a really good job. The shots look really good and the scenes in the movie flow really well. Macy really had a lot of energy in his directing. Not energy like when you direct a snappy and cool action movie, but energy as in the movie never grinding to a halt or getting boring. He really did a solid job!

This movie has gotten some slightly mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 62% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 52/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“Rudderless” perfectly balances the line between drama and comedy, making for a pretty great movie. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and really good directing. Time for my final score. *Sing along*. My final score for “Rudderless” is a 9,67/10. So it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Rudderless” is now completed.

Billy Crudup can play music and William H. Macy can direct a movie… The world’s full of surprises.

We now have a trailer for “John Wick: Chapter 2”

I know, I know, two trailer posts in such rapid succession, but I’m sorry. New York Comic Con is at large and seems to be putting out some pretty cool stuff for us folks who couldn’t attend. So let’s talk about this.

So we now have a trailer for “John Wick: Chapter 2”, a sequel to the surprisingly awesome 2014 action movie “John Wick”. Once again we have Keanu Reeves in a fancy suit, kicking some ass. We see practical stunts and badass shooty-bang-bang stuff and Laurence Fishburne is petting a pigeon for some reason. Long story short, this looks awesome and I can’t wait to see it. I mean, the first movie was such a surprise. It had great action, a surprisingly engaging story, cool cinematography, and the best performance that I have ever seen from Keanu Reeves. And this movie is done by pretty much the same crew, with a few added cast members. So yeah, this looks great and I highly anticipating it! “John Wick: Chapter 2” is set to be released in February of 2017.

So what are you thoughts on this? Are you looking forward to “John Wick: Chapter 2”? And what do you think of the first movie? Leave any and all answers in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

Movie Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

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In the world of movies, there is a common trend of setting up cinematic universes that cross over several different films. Most noticeably we have Marvel who, let’s face it, fucking nailed it with their cinematic universe. Well, let’s see how DC handles the start of their universe with this thing.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”!

So after the events in “Man of of Steel”, Superman (Henry Cavill) is in a lot of hot water. Is he a hero, is he a dangerous alien, is he good, is he bad? These questions are constantly asked by people. Well after all of that trouble, the eyes of one Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) are on Superman. So Wayne decides to suit up again to try to stop Superman, while Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) hatches his very convoluted plot in the background. Meanwhile, we also have Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) being up to her own little thing too in the middle of all of this. Also, the plot of this movie is trying to set up the rest of the Justice League and WHY ARE THERE SO MANY THINGS GOING ON!? *Deep breath*. Okay, this isn’t a good sign. There is a bit too much stuff going on for me to fully enjoy the plot. The Batman going after Superman stuff, that’s good. Lex Luthor’s plan, very convoluted and actually kinda dumb. The plot of this movie is a fucking mess! Did I enjoy it? I guess. But it’s so messy, I can’t appreciate it. Too much stuff going on in this movie.

Okay, the plot is a mess. But how are the characters? Well, they’re not bad. Henry Cavill plays Superman, just like in “Man of Steel”. And he’s not bad. A bit too brooding and dark for the character, but his performance overall is pretty good. Amy Adams returns as Lois Lane and she was really good. Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman… absolutely fantastic. I cared about Bruce Wayne, I cared about Batman, Affleck perfectly captured the feel of the character. Sure, he kills people and I don’t know why, but overall his performance is fantastic. Jeremy Irons as Alfred, he’s great. Then we also have Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor… oh boy. I don’t know what to say. There were parts where he was somewhat interesting and he did a decent job, but most of the time he was twitchy and eccentric and crazy and not Lex Luthor. And finally, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. While her character was very tacked on, she was still very awesome. Seriously, her performance was good and her action-based entrance is so amazingly badass. So the acting overall in this movie is good and I find the characters interesting and entertaining.

The original score was composed by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL and it’s fine. Not great, but fine. It’s not a soundtrack that I’m gonna go out of my way to listen to. But it worked for the movie and it sounds overall fine. Not bad, not great.

This movie was directed by Zack Snyder and let’s face it, he has trouble balancing story… but holy shit, this movie looks amazing! The visuals are terrific, I could look at shots from this movie all day and be happy with that. And that is something Zack Snyder does well, he knows how to make a really good looking movie. It’s a wonderfully directed movie. The action scenes are brilliantly handled. Sure, a lot of them are very big and bloated, but I can also say that they were a lot of fun. Out of all the action scenes in the movie, my favorite might be the warehouse scene that everybody knows about. Seriously, it’s like something right out of one of the “Arkham” games. And the main one between Bats and Supes… it’s good. It’s brutal, it’s badass, and it’s only like 8 minutes long. In a 2,5 hour movie, you’d think that the scene the movie is named after would be a bit longer. But what you see in it is pretty great. The reason why they stop fighting, pretty bullshit… but the fight before that end is really good. There are a ton of CGI in this movie, and at one point I felt like there might’ve been a little too much, but I guess that’s jsut what I have to handle when they decide to put *SPOILER* in the movie even though it made little to no sense. At least the visual effects in the movie are very well done.
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This movie has not been too well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 27% positive rating (ouch). On Metacritic it has a score of 44/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is a really mixeed bag for me. The plot is convoluted and filled with too many things and Jesse Eisenberg is a little too over-the-top as Lex Luthor. But then we also have a whole bunch of other great performances/characters, pretty good music, beautiful camera work, and terrific action scenes. Time for my final score. Tell me… do you review? You will. My final score for “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is a 7,03/10. While not as great as one could hope for, it’s still worth a rental.
Rent it

My review of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is now completed.

Hey, at least Batfleck proved all the naysayers wrong!