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: Mute (2018)

I’ve been looking forward to this movie for quite a long time. The director is one whose movies I’ve enjoyed quite a bit, so a new movie from him is something I of course was hyped about. And now it’s finally out, and I have now seen it. So let’s talk about it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mute”.

Berlin, 40 years from now. Leo (Alexander Skarsgård) is a mute bartender living a seemingly happy life. But after his girlfriend disappears, he goes on a mission to find out what happened to her, which leads him down the seedy Berlin underground. So is this plot any good? Parts of it are. The problem(s) with this plot is how tonally inconsistent it is. Because at first it seems like it’s just gonna be an emotional and gritty character drama, but then it throws in  bunch of more lighthearted and almost silly scenes featuring a pair of surgeons (Paul Rudd & Justin Theroux) as they go about their lives. Yes, the surgeon stuff is important to the plot, but it’s so tonally different to Leo’s quest. The pacing is also inconsistent. At times it moves at an acceptably slow-ish pace, but then there are times where some unnecessary stuff happens that pulls the pace to a bit of a crawl. Really, the best word I can use to describe the plot of “Mute” is inconsistent. Not necessarily bad (though some bits aren’t that great), just very inconsistent.

The characters in this are (you guessed it) inconsistent. Alexander Skarsgård plays Leo, the mute bartender at the center of this story. He’s clearly a damaged person, and seeing him go through his journey is compelling as he’s a fairly interesting character. I’m also really impressed by Skarsgård’s performance, because he has to convey so much emotion without being able to utter a single word… and the dude kills it in the role. Paul Rudd plays Cactus Bill, one of the two surgeons that are a large part of this story. He’s a dickhead, but he also seem to have some morals (mainly relating to his daughter), so he’s somewhat grounded (even if I don’t always like the character). And Rudd is good in the role. Then we have Justin Theroux as Duck Teddington (best name ever?), the other surgeon. He’s a bit of a hippie that we learn some interesting stuff about through the movie. And he’s one of the reasons for the “tonally inconsistent” things I mentioned before. Theroux is good in the role. Then we get supporting performances in the movie from people like Noel Clarke, Rob Kazinsky, Dominic Monaghan, Seyneb Saleh, Florence Kasumba, and more, most doing a good job (though the characters could use some more work).

The score for the movie was composed by Clint Mansell, and now we finally have something that I can give some high praise to! His score here does take some cues from “Blade Runer” (and a few from “Moon”), but it does enough unique stuff to stand out in a crowd, and ends up being a fucking great score that elevates a lot of scenes in the movie. There are also a few licensed tracks used throughout, and they work decently in their respective scenes.

This movie was written and directed by Duncan Jones, and this is very clearly a passion project of his. But did he do well? For the most part, sure. The direction here has a nice flow to it, and I was fairly sucked into it. It also helps that Gary Shaw’s cinematography is really fucking gorgeous, this movie has some really great eye candy in it. And any and all visual effects in this look really good.

This movie just came out, but it has already received some less than stellar reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 6% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 36/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Mute” is a mixed bag. It has a tonally inconsistent plot with some pacing issues and some lackluster character work. But it does also have some good ideas, a few okay characters, great performances, fantastic music, and good direction/cinematography/effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mute” is a 6,31/10. While very flawed, it could still be worth a watch.

My review of “Mute” is now completed.

At least this movie has a really cool easter egg in it…

Movie Review: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

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While I am typically a guy who likes to play nice and not antagonize anyone I still feel like I have to gloat over the fact that I got to see this movie one week before the people in the US(C)A. BAHAHAHAHA!!! I win, rednecks!!!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Captain America: Civil War”.

After everything that happened by the end of “Age of Ultron”, “The Winter Soldier” and “The Avengers” (also because of something that happened early in this film), the team has been presented with something. This certain something is a sort of contract that will be signed by the U.N. (and “hopefully” by the heroes) that would prevent from taking on superhero jobs on their own. They would basically be under the control of governments and would only be used if deemed necessary. This creates a bit of a divide between the teammates with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) being very positive to this, thinking it’s a great idea because of all the damage they have done. But on the other end of the spectrum we have Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) who’s all like “Hell no, that’s a bad idea”. And while this political (and evnetually physical) confrontation goes on, there are also some more personal problems going on for Cap when his old friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is seemingly framed for committing one of the biggest acts of terrorism in recent (MCU) history. So there are a bunch of stories going on, even a good amount more than I mentioned, but most of them are so small that I don’t deem the worthy of a mention. With so many stories at play, with so many characters being part of it, one would assume that it would just turn out messy and pretty terrible. But guys… you can’t believe how happy I am to say that it all turned out pretty well. And by pretty well I mean FUCKING AWESOME! There are a lot of things at play here, yes, but none of it feels shoehorned in but instead works perfectly. In lesser hands this plot would not have worked AT ALL, but thanks to the directors at hand and the writers we got a surprisingly dramatic and well written story that both entertained and intrigued me from start to finish. It’s both an action movie and a bit of a tought provoking political drama where you see both sides of the argument to a level of understanding they both come from. Yeah… it was a pretty great story in both idea and execution.

I think we can all agree that we know how great the main cast are in their respective roles considering we’ve seen ’em all so many times. I will jsut say however though that they are running on all cylinders here and have never been better. So let’s talk about the newever ones who haven’t really had interplay with the old characters. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) had a seamless transition from solo to team player and was as hilarious (if not even more so) than in his own movie. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) was a pretty good character who got a good introduction into the universe, with Boseman giving a great performance as him. But guys… the best has been (pretty much) saved for last… Tom Holland as Spider-Man. Mother of god, he is absolutely amazing! I am honestly not lying when saying that I think he might be the best Spider-Man/Peter Parker ever put to screen. He is funny, he is geeky, he is clever… HE’S SPIDER-MAN!!! I also wanna say that even though the main villain (not revealing who it is in case ya don’t know) isn’t that great, he still works for the story, at least I thought so by the end of it all. Yeah… we got a pretty great ensemble here. Oh yeah, we also got Mustach- I mean William Hurt back, making “The Incredible Hulk” canon again.

Like in the previous “Cap” film, the music was composed by Henry Jackman (No relation to Wolverine, I swear). And it was really good. The big, orchestral pieces for the big action scenes were there (and were great). The smaller, more dramatic tunes were there (and were great). And then there were other tracks I can’t pinpoint what they could be called (but was still great).

Like with “The Winter Soldier”, this movie was directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. And once again they did a fantastic job directing it. Shots look great and they seem to have perfect control over the entire situation. The action is just like in “Winter Soldier” really great, with there being a lot of gritty and honestly, brutal, CQC fights. Sure, there is a bit of cmaera shake in there, but I see this more as Paul Greengrass shake rather than Rob Cohen *Deep sigh* shake. And that big airport fight that has been teased in trailers and otehr types of advertisements? Yeah, I loved it and think it is one of the absolute best action scenes in any superhero movie EVER. It’s tense, exciting, badass and even funny. Seriously, there is some pretty hilarious stuff in that fight. And I mean GENUINELY hilarious, not “That was shit, let’s laugh at it” hilarious. Speaking of which, for such a dramatic movie there is a surprising amount of humor… all of it actually landing very well for me. Plenty of snappy/funny dialogue, gags and overall lines that are all just great. Also, stay in your seats, people… there are two things after the film’s finished; one mid-credits and one after-credits scene.

Keep in mind that these scores may alter a lot considering it hasn’t come out everywhere yet, this is just as it is right now (as of this review). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,7/10 and is ranked #86 on the “Top 250” list.

“Captain America: Civil War” is the latest MCU movie and I honestly might think it’s one of the absolute best. Like… Top 2 or 3 best. IT has a really great story, great characters/acting, great music, great directing, great action and great humor. Time for my final score. UNDEROOS!!! *Spider-Man tosses envelope to Markus*. My final score for “Captain America: Civil War” is a 9,90/10. It does get the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Captain America: Civil War” is now completed.

I can’t take my mind off of how great this Spider-Man was…

 

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. 

We got another “Captain America: Civil War” Trailer

Good evening there, my friends. Once again it is time for me to talk about a new movie trailer that has come out. And for the second time it is a trailer for “Captain America: Civil War” that I am talking about. Oooo boy, this is a doozy. Let’s get into it.

Starting off, it is another dramatic and intense look at the movie. We get explosions and badassery and dramatic shots of Cap (Chris Evans) and everyone else. Okay, let’s talk about what I liked about this trailer.
I like that they are acknowledging that “Incredible Hulk” happened by having “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt) in it because I am one of the few that actually liked that movie. I also love some of the drama that this movie seems to set up, a lot of it looks prety interesting and for a lack of a better word, dramatic. We also get some new shots of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) which look badass, can’t wait to see what they’ll do with him in the movie. We also get a pretty good shot of Crossbones (Frank Grillo) punching someone’s fucking face really hard. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) also gets a really cool shot.
*Sigh*. Now to the one thing about it that I didn’t like… and it’s something I’m gonna get major flak for. *Deep breath*. Here we go.
I don’t like that they showed Spider-Man (Tom Holland) in the trailer. I love the design they went with for the suit, but the fact that the studio sucked up to the masses and showed him in the trailer actually makes me a bit sad. Why couldn’t they wait with showing him until the movie came out? *Sniff*.

So what did you think of the new “Civil War” trailer? Overall I personally liked it except for the whole Spidey thing. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one.