Flash Movie Review: Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania
LIKE MANY, THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS I wish I had more of. I would like more closet space, more hair on my head, more freezer space, more money and more time, just to name a few. None of these seem outrageous to me. Being a bargain shopper, I would love to have a larger sized freezer to store extra frozen food items when they go on sale. I miss my full head of thick curly hair, but I do not miss the work it took to keep it neat and tidy. As for money, I am not looking to become a millionaire per se; I just want to get to a comfortable place where I no longer need to worry whether I can afford to spend the money to buy a certain item. Out of the things I listed above, the most important one to me is time. You can take that to mean anything you want, from more time in a day to get things done to more time on this earth to discover and experience new things. There just does not seem to be enough time for me to get all the things I want to get done. So, you see there are some advantages to getting more of something. ON THE FLIPSIDE OF THAT, THERE are some things I would not want to have more of. More body weight, more debt, more bad teeth; I can go on. It is funny, I have been thinking about how it appears to me society is striving to acquire more stuff. One of my newspaper subscriptions has a weekly supplement section that shows several private listings of super mansions. I am talking about places that have 5-6 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, several bedrooms. I just look at all the photos and ask myself why a person would need so many rooms?!?! Or recently, I was at a restaurant and at the table next to us, a man had ordered one of the restaurant’s known specialty burgers. It came to the table on a platter; I could not help staring at it because it had two hamburger patties, grilled onions, a fried egg, a layer of macaroni and cheese, lettuce, tomato and a layer of some kind of funky spicy sauce. It looked obscene! How I wanted to ask the guy, why would he want to eat that much food; besides asking him how he was planning to eat it. What is this fascination or desire to have more stuff? Even a beloved chocolate sandwich cookie, I see being advertised, now comes in a most stuffed version where the white crème center is huge. It is too much for me and I am sad to say this action, superhero movie suffers from the same syndrome. WHEN AN EXPERIMENT GOES AWRY, THE Lang and Van Dyne families get pulled into the Quantum Realm, where they discover a new reality, and it is a dangerous one. With Paul Rudd (Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Ideal Home) as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly (The Hobbit franchise, South of Heaven) as Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp, Michael Douglas (Animal World, The Kominsky Method-TV) as Dr. Hank Van Dyne, Michelle Pfeiffer (Murder on the Orient Express, The First Lady-TV) as Janet Van Dyne and Jonathan Majors (Devotion, The Harder They Fall) as Kang the Conqueror; this science fiction, adventure comedy was a good example of overindulgence. It was all too much for me; the CGI, the different issues facing the characters and the overabundance of different characters. With a poorly thought out script with a weak story, I was periodically bored. This film lacked the smart humor and tight action drama that many of the previous Marvel Studio movies incorporated into their scripts. Gratefully, Paul Rudd and Michelle Pfeiffer took the brunt of the action/drama in the scenes, and they did a wonderful job. As for Jonathan Majors, who I think is a stellar actor, he was cheated out of showing his full potential until the end. This sequel was a letdown for me. There were two extra scenes in the middle and end of the final credits.
Flash Movie Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp
THERE WAS A REASON WHY I was lingering by the drinking fountain. Next to it was the cycling studio and the door was open during a class. I was a guest at my friend’s health club; we were working out together. Since the door was open I was curious to see how the cycle instructor was instructing her class. In the short time I could stay within earshot, by drinking from the fountain and perusing the bulletin board, all I heard were instructions being given out in a somewhat monotone voice. Now you would think this was the proper thing to do and you would be correct. However, I have a slightly different philosophy when it comes to teaching a fitness class. Just as this instructor gave instructions I do the same thing, giving reminders throughout class about posture and placement of body parts. But then I also keep up a dialog of a variety of topics to, for lack of a better word, entertain the participants. For me, if I have to listen to an instructor who only gives instructions, I could get a similar workout by watching a DVD. I prefer my mind being distracted from the task at hand; so in turn, I share with my classes a variety of news stories and surveys I have read to make the class fun. SPEAKING OF FUN DON’T YOU think life is more enjoyable when you can experience it in a fun way? I certainly feel I have traversed most of life’s pitfalls with the assistance of fun. If I think about it, I cannot off the top of my head think of anytime where having a fun or humorous element does not help soften a situation. One could say a funeral would not be an appropriate place to interject humor; however, I have attended funerals where humor provided a brief oasis of relief from the sadness. Thinking about both college and business lectures I have attended, the ones where I retained more information were the ones where the professor or lecturer made the session fun. The idea of going to an office every day and not hearing or experiencing at least a moment of laughter or joy sounds like torture to me. In my opinion a person would be less productive when there is the absence of a fun element in their daily work day. Think about those people you know who are miserable at work; they are the product of a day void of fun. Humor and fun can be found almost anywhere no matter what task we are performing; even a superhero can find something fun while saving someone. The proof can be found in this action, adventure film. DESPITE THE CHALLENGES OF FATHERHOOD and his court enforced ankle monitor’s restrictions Scott Lang, played by Paul Rudd (This is 40, Our Idiot Brother), was determined to help Dr. Hank Pym, played by Michael Douglas (Wonder Boys, Last Vegas), find his long-lost wife. Paul would discover a fun element in Dr. Pym’s daughter Hope Van Dyne, played by Evangeline Lilly (The Hobbit franchise, The Hurt Locker). This science fiction film was stocked with an abundance of witty humor. It gave this superhero picture a light vibe compared to the other superhero films that have recently come out. Paul was the perfect choice to portray Ant-Man, though I suspect his stunt double did most of the action scenes in this film. With Michael Pena (End of Watch, 12 Strong) as Luis and Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight, Tomb Raider) as Sonny Burch; the script was a bit hokey for me. Though I thought the special effects were outstanding, I felt the story was weak. I understood humor was the focus for this film, especially with Paul receiving part of the writing credits; but I would have preferred a more pronounced villainous element. Despite this I had a fun time watching the action taking place and as I stated earlier, it was all about the fun. There were two extra scenes in the middle and at the end of the credits.
Flash Movie Review: Ant-Man
There is one kind of hero that resides in a make-believe world. They could have an extraordinary power because of the planet they came from or due to an earth shattering accident that changed them on the molecular level. I enjoy and look forward to seeing these types of superheroes on the big screen. However, there is a different type of hero that is just as strong and important; who was born here on earth, did not experience a life transforming accident and for the most part is unrecognizable. They do not have some special type of clothing that can block bullets or allow them to fly; instead they may be wearing a white apron and hairnet as they stand behind the counter of a school’s cafeteria. Or they may be on disability as a life threatening disease slowly spreads across their body. I see these type of heroes all around me. There is the single mother who has to pull double shifts so her child can afford school supplies and lunches. Another hero I have seen is the volunteer who devotes time everyday to bring food and check-in on a stranger who is housebound. For me these are some of the true heroes around us. I am so impressed by the individuals who do not wear their heroism like a badge of honor; they simply do what they do because they have to or want to do it. This is why I was impressed with the unlikely hero in this action film. WHAT started out as a way for con man Scott Lang, played by Paul Rudd (Role Models, This is 40), to see his daughter turned into a crisis that would have worldwide consequences. This science fiction adventure film did not fit into the typical superhero genre. Here was a human with no special powers who was not an ideal citizen; yet he overcame himself to become the Ant-Man. Paul was perfectly cast for this role and he even helped with the screenplay. Michael Douglas (Falling Down, Wonder Boys) as Dr. Hank Pym and Evangeline Lilly (Real Steal, The Hurt Locker) as his daughter Hope van Dyne were an excellent fit. Now I understood there was a change of directors and writers for this film and I am not sure if that is the reason why I found the 2nd half of the film to be stronger. I really had to give thought to the idea I was reacting to the movie having a long intro arc without many special effects. However, Paul along with the fun sight gags in the film made this a worthy picture, besides a mini history lesson (at least for me) into the Avengers World. Pulling off this type of movie was no small feat and the studio succeeded. Two extra scenes in the middle and end of the closing credits.
Flash Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Some of the things home means to me are comfort, peacefulness, safety and refuge. This pertains to my present location. Home also has a special meaning when I think of the place where I grew up. There were neighbors who lived across, below and around the corner from our apartment. If I wanted to talk to my cousins who lived on the other side of the building all I had to do was open the bathroom window and call out their names. The other neighbors in the building were just like family to me. It meant nothing to go pick up something at the grocery store for a neighbor, especially since they would give me extra money to buy myself some candy. Years later when I found out our old apartment building was going from rentals to condominiums I was heartbroken. How could the apartment I was born in now be owned by someone? As long as it was a rental I could still imagine each person living there was only temporarily residing in my childhood apartment. Home can be a powerful connection which explains the motivation that drove the dwarves of Erebor to reclaim their land taken away by the greedy dragon Smaug. Led by Thorin, played by Richard Armitage (Captain America: The First Avenger, Robin Hood-TV), the dwarves were helped on their perilous journey by the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, played by Martin Freeman (Love Actually, The World’s End) and Gandalf the Grey, played by Ian McKellen (X-Men franchise, Gods and Monsters). The landscape that director Peter Jackson (King Kong, The Lovely Bones) laid out in this fantasy film was exquisite. It looked as real and amazing as any of the incredible landscapes that would be considered a wonder of the world. The action was close to nonstop as possible to the point where I felt it was overkill. For me this was the movie’s downfall. There were so many action scenes that the story never developed fully. For the life of me I have no idea what was the reason for the secondary story line regarding the elf Tauriel, played by Evangeline Lilly (Real Steel, Afterwards); it came out of the blue and made no sense to me. Due to the excess of fight scenes in this adventure film, their repetitiveness only added to the times where I was getting bored. Clocking in at 2 hours and 41 minutes, this was a movie that felt longer because it did not have the magic that was present in the The Lord of the Rings franchise. To end on an up note I thought the dragon Smaug was a technical achievement. It was a shame the dwarves not only had to fight evil forces if they wanted to get back their homeland, they had to battle a bad script.
2 3/4 stars