Friday, February 17, 2023

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

My View: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) PG-13  Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is adjusting to being a recognized superhero and is still figuring out where he stands with Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and his daughter, Cassie (Kathryn Newton). When Cassie investigates Hank Pym’s (Michael Douglas) work with the Quantum Realm, she inadvertently opens a door into that multiverse. Now, Scott and the gang face an unknown threat, Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), who will do anything to get out of the Realm. I have liked all three Ant-Man films, mainly because Scott knows he isn’t your typical superhero, but someone who got lucky getting these powers and knows he doesn’t fit the superhero mold. The problem with this film is that it is the start of the next wave of Marvel stories, and it buckles a bit at trying to give us insight into where the story will go from now on. I am a huge fan of comic book artist legend Jack Kirby, who created a ton of Marvel characters. Kirby had a unique look to his artistry, one which, up to now, Marvel films haven’t been able or maybe even tried to capture. This is the first Marvel film where I felt some of Kirby’s influence is shown on the screen, especially in a character named MODOK, and that thrilled me. While Jonathan Majors is absolutely brilliant in the role of bad guy Kang the Conqueror, the film seems in a hurry to get to the end and let us know more of this world is coming. So much so, that Evangeline Lilly’s character, whose name is in the title, seems like she is barely in the picture. Overall, this is the weakest of the three Ant-Man films, which doesn’t bode well for the future of Marvel films. Still, it is a beautiful-looking film with some fantastic action scenes and a very complex villain. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania needed more story and less talking.  And yes, as usual, stay through all the credits for a bonus scene.  My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Website  Now playing in theatres nationwide.

Indiefest: Of an Age (2022) R   Set in the Australian summer of 1999, 17-year-old Kol (Elias Anton) moved with his family from Serbia when he was a kid. Kol dreams of leaving it all behind, and his only escape is attending a dance school with his best friend, Ebony (Hattie Hook). When Ebony gets stranded in a nearby town, Kol enlists Ebony’s older brother Adam (Thom Green), to help him get Ebony in time for a dance recital. Thus starts a relationship that the two men won’t ever forget. This film is about first love and how that first love can hit you at your core. This film has two charismatic leads that allow this relationship to slowly develop with a bit of a sizzle underneath. Of an Age is a romantic tale about love found and lost on a day that the two don’t want to end. I wanted the film to end at a certain point, but it continues on a little too long, making the film give us too much information about the characters and where they end up in life. I would have preferred to make up my own ending about the two.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Of an Age Website  Now playing in select theatres. 

My View: Marlowe (2022) R Set in the 1930s, private detective Philip Marlowe (Liam Neeson) is hired by a glamorous heiress (Diane Kruger) to find her ex-lover. It’s a job that is guaranteed to get messy. I would try to explain the plot in more detail, but that would take a book. Oh wait, this film is based on a book, and it feels like we see every chapter on screen. There are so many twists to the plot that I didn’t care what happened to the ex-lover and all the other characters that pop up in this attempt to bring back the Philip Marlowe character. With a cast that includes Jessica Lange, Alan Cumming, Danny Huston, and Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje, along with the usually reliable Liam Neeson, I was hoping for more but got a mess of a plot and a Philip Marlowe character without any charisma.   My Rating: Cable    Marlowe Website  Now playing in theatres nationwide.

Indiefest: Winnie the Pooh: Blood & Honey (2023)  After being abandoned by Christopher Robin, Pooh and Piglet go rogue and start a killing rampage, seeking revenge on someone they thought was their everlasting friend.  I will not spend too much time writing about this mess of a bad horror film. Needless to say, the low-budget shows on the screen with the bad guys in horrible Pooh and Piglet masks, along with a cast that has trouble reciting the insipid dialogue. I’ve seen better horror films on student night at a local film festival than this mess of a movie that even fails to gross out the audience with very unimaginative killings. The sad thing is that this film has become big enough to warrant a sequel, one I won’t be looking forward to.  My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again  Winnie the Pooh: Blood & Honey Website  Now playing in Fanthom Events theatres

Indiefest: The Other Fellow (2022)   Author Ian Fleming created the ultimate alpha male in 007, James Bond. What people don’t know is that he took that name from a real person, a British Ornithologist named James Bond. This documentary explores the impact on men who, throughout the world, share the same name with the world’s most famous secret agent. From a Swedish 007 super-fan to a New York theatre director, the film explores and examines the role of masculinity, gender, and race in living in the shadow of such a famous name. The Other Fellow is a fascinating and enjoyable movie about people living with this famous name. Some accept it, some hated it so much that they have changed it, and others love it so much that they have continued the family tradition of naming their sons James Bond. I enjoyed the stories they tell, some of which are kind of horrifying (don’t tell a cop your name is James Bond if you can’t prove it), and there is a brilliant story near the end of the film that makes this documentary worth watching.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   The Other Fellow Website  Now playing in select theatres and available On Demand.

Forgotten Film: Queen of Hearts (1989) PG  Eddie (Ian Hawkes) is the youngest son of a family of Italian immigrants who moved to London. Eddie’s parents left Italy to run away together and now, through some luck and determination, own a small cafe. Their life is threatened when an old enemy comes into their neighborhood, bent on getting revenge on Eddie’s family. I love this film as it is told from the viewpoint of Eddie, an eleven-year-old boy with a vivid imagination. He loves his family and believes the stories that they tell (no matter how impossible). Eddie is convinced that he can save the day when his family is in trouble. And maybe, just maybe, he can.   My Rating: Full Price  Queen of Hearts Info  The film is available on several online platforms including TUBI.

Weird Credits: From the credits of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania: Physical Assets Assistant

Coming Soon to a Screen Near You: John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023)  Your favorite butt kicker, John Wick (Keanu Reeves), is back, and he has uncovered a path to defeating The High Table. However, before he can get back to earning his freedom, there is a new enemy that Wick must defeat. An enemy with powerful alliances across the globe and has ways to make old friends into foes. I love the John Wick series, but the running time of over two and a half hours scares me.  John Wick: Chapter 4 Website In theatres mid-March.

Until Next Time!

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