Ant-Man and the Wasp

With Ant-Man and the Wasp, the MCU hits 20 films, with no real signs of slowing down.

I have at least one friend who thinks this a terrible, with superhero films being a dark blight on the landscape.  And we’ve also read interviews with Hollywood bigwigs about  “superhero fatigue”, as if the popularity of the genre were crushing all creativity out of movies.  This is an overreaction, of course–it seems asilly to not recognize that the whole idea of “summer blockbusters” and “tentpole franchises” have been threatening the same thing for decades. But somehow, cinema survives.

For me, I like superheroes, of course, and as long as a company like Marvel can continue to produce palatable material, then I say it’s fine, go for your life.  And Ant-Man and the Wasp is at least palatable, if not a fully enjoyable summer snack.

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Ant-Man (including Spoilers)

Well, I’ve seen Ant-Man! That seems like it took a while, but I guess it’s only been out a few weeks. Movies are a bit pricey in Australia so all I had to do was fly to Thailand and then it became easy to afford (even as I write this, I am waiting for my showing of Mission Impossible Rogue Nation. Thanks, Thailand!)

Anyway…Ant-Man. Could it possibly be any good? Well, you already know. It’s been out for a while and you’ve already read reviews and blog posts, if you haven’t actually gone out and seen it yourself. And the answer is yes, it is. It’s pretty good. Which just goes to affirm the fact that you can skillfully tell a story about just about anything if you’re canny enough. Of course, Ant-Man is a bit silly, but thank goodness for that, right?

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Why is He Lying on a Pillow of Walnuts? – Thoughts from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Ah, The Hobbit – the Desolation of Smaug:  a timeless love story of an Elf Prince chafing under his father’s autocratic rule, who secretly loves a beautiful soldier under his command, and the tension that arises when a roguish dwarf suddenly appears in their threatens to steal her affections.  In particular, I appreciated the thoughtful way director Peter Jackson has lovingly and faithfully recreated the most beloved moments from J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic work of literature, such as the one when Elven beauty Tauriel heals the Dwarf Kili of the Orc poison coursing through his veins….  Continue reading Why is He Lying on a Pillow of Walnuts? – Thoughts from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Real Steel

When I was watching the original advanced press for Real Steel in 2011, it was impossible not to think thoughts like, “This has got to be the worst movie ever made.”  Of course, this was before I’d seen either Battleship or Step Up Revolution, and found out what a bad movie really was.  Still, one does not go into a feel-good movie about robots boxing without a certain amount of disdain.  As the film got closer, though, I began to get that sinking feeling you get when you realize that something you’ve been very publicly dismissive of might turn out to be not that bad after all. Continue reading Real Steel