Have you heard of me? You probably haven’t heard of me

Ant Man

OK.

I can admit when I’m wrong.

I can admit when it’s time to let go of my preconceived notions and think something that I previously thought wasn’t going to work is actually really really freaking great!

And Ant-Man, is really, really freaking great.

OK, from here on in we’re into spoiler land.

You have been warned.

Ant-Man opens with a CGI younged up Michael Douglas as Hank Pym walking into a half built Triscallion in 1989 to tell Howard Stark, Peggy Carter and some other guy that they can’t have his tech.

Oh, and John Slattery is back as Howard.

And Hayley Atwell in old makeup.

Right, so, if you were worried, at all, Peggy Carter is in this movie.

We jump forward in time and see Scott Lang getting out of prison. Scott’s an expert cat burglar, but he’s planning on going straight for the sake of his young daughter Cassie. He gets sucked into one last score by his old cell mate, but it turns out to be a set up by Pym and his daughter Hope, who want Scott to stop Pym’s former protege from creating weapons tech from the shrinking technology Hank created back in the day.

Paul Rudd is great, Evangeline Lilly is great, Michael Douglas is great. The guys on Scott’s crew are amazing. A fight sequence between Scott and Falcon (yup!) is stellar. All of the ant stuff is awesome.

The movie is great in a way that we haven’t seen from Marvel in a while. It’s fun the way Iron Man was fun, but is also not at all like Iron Man, if that makes any sense?

Go see the movie!

Rankings

  1. Ant-Man
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road (You had a good run, may you ride shiny and chrome, you live, you die, you live again.)
  3. Inside Out
  4. Tomorrowland
  5. Jurassic World
  6. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  7. Minions
  8. Terminator: Genisys
  9. Entourage
  10. Pitch Perfect: 2

Trailers

The Walk: I look forward to watching this on HBO some day. Aless is annoyed because the documentary about this was already great. I’m inclined to agree.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Alright, ok, I’ll go.

POST CREDITSSSSSSSSSSSS

Seriously, I don’t want these spoiled for anyone at all. They’re that good. In the “mid-credits” as it’s been called, we see Hope and Hank, a large bit of the tension in the movie comes from the fact that Hank doesn’t want Hope shrinking, as her mother, Janet VanDyne was lost in the micro world. But he finally understands that he needs to let her go, and shows her the Wasp Suit. Hope smiles and says, “Well, it’s about damn time!” To which Aless and I shouted, “HELL YEAH IT IS!” About damn time for The Wasp, about damn time for another female super hero in the MCU, about damn time for all of this shit. 

And then it got even better as the credits faded out, we see Sam walking down a dark hallway and greeting Steve, they walk over to another space and there’s Bucky, glaring at them and breathing heavily, you know, like you do when your best friend and his new best friend have you chained to a thing, probably because you were brainwashed to kill them, or whatever. So BUCKY ALIVE AND FOUND, and then Steve says, “We can’t tell Tony, we don’t know what he can even do because of The Accords.” Sam looks at Steve and says, “I might know a guy.”

WE SEE YOU ALL AT CIVIL WAR! (I’m freaking out. Seriously, we were squeeing all over the place.)

Rewatching The MCU: Not the Center Of My Universe: Iron Man 2 & Thor 

We’re smack dab in the middle of Phase 1 now, and there are lots of things about this period that are messy from a story telling perspective. It’s the problems that the MCU has in general, and they’re perfectly encapsualted in…

Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2

I’ve said to a lot of people that Iron Man 2 is the weakest link in the MCU and I stand by that. It’s saying something because it’s still a really fun, incredibly watchable movie.

But, to me it’s the only one that feels like pure filler, just set up. The storyline of Tony dying would be fine on it’s own, as would the conflict with Vanko/Whiplash and Hammer, but combined it feels like a too much is happening at once. The introduction of Black Widow is sort of perfect, but again feels a little bit off.

Every MCU movie has moving pieces that sometimes feel a little bit clunky, but Iron Man 2 has always, and still does, feels to me like nothing but moving pieces. They’re good pieces but they don’t do much.

That said the final battle is a thing of beauty even by Marvel standards. The drones, taking over the Stark Expo, Tony and Rhodey’s fight (against Rhodey’s will) and Nat’s infiltration of Hammer’s facility is really amazing.

Gwyneth Paltrow really is so so good as Pepper, and I feel like it’s one of the most underrated things in this movie specifically she’s fantastic. Replacing Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle remains one of the best decisions made in any sequel ever, he’s such a better fit for Rhodey and a much better match for RDJ, who is, of course flawless.

John Slattery popping up as Roger Sterling…I mean Howard Stark is also a great touch, and as I said back when Captain America: The First Avenger came out, any universe where Dominic Cooper grows up to be John Slattery and spawns Robert Downey Jr. is a universe I would like to live in. (So many hot men….)

MCU bits that fall into place:

  • SHIELD, and Howard Stark’s founding of it are linked for the first time here. Oh, right #SaveAgentCarter guys.
  • Coulson, Coulson, Coulson. I miss funny dry sarcastic Coulson. We saw him a little bit this week on Agents of SHIELD, but still. Also, he’s off to New Mexico…you know to see Thor. Or whatever. Seriously, it’s my second favorite post credit, with Coulson finding the hammer. (My favorite is Iron Man 3) Also when Tony uses that Cap shield thing.
  • How they didn’t immediately green light a Black Widow movie after this is still beyond me. She’s amazing. Scarlet’s immediate command of the character is also amazing.
  • Also Senator Gary Shandling, who I hissed “HYDRA!” at when he started questioning Tony.

Thor

Thor

Sometimes things happen that change the entire course of your life, without you even realizing it. Sometimes, you’re a few weeks from graduating from college, and you go on a bar crawl, and then a guy picks you up in a van, saying that he’s going to take you for pizza and you wind up at a midnight showing of a superhero movie instead.

That story sounds sketchier than it should.

The guy is Glenn, he drove a mini van while we were in college. Chrissy and I were on a bar crawl and I think he knew it was time for us to not be drinking anymore. So he promised us pizza because that was pretty much the only way to get us out of a bar back then. (Not going to lie, still not a bad strategy.) Then he mentioned that he was going to see Thor.

This extremely hilarious and enjoyable experience of the movie for the first time has always colored my feelings about the movie. I really like it. I like a lot. And everytime I watch it, my affection only grows, whether it’s through nostalgia or because it’s great, I don’t know but I love it a lot. And I loved it this time.

I loved Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, so much focus gets shifted onto Loki with Avengers that it’s easy to forget that there was an incredible ground laid for him here. He does remarkable work, and it doesn’t hurt the movie that Kenneth Branagh can really spin just about anything into Gold. I mentioned the final fight here last week, and I forgot how moving it is to see Thor refusing to fight his brother. It’s very cool. MCU pieces that fell into place.

  • Funny! There’s a lot of comedy in this one, more than I remembered. But it’s a very funny movie.A
  • SHIELD as a larger organization.They go after Thor’s hammer, which I assume is a 084.
  • Hawk-guy! Renner’s cameo is a lot more than I remembered and he’s actually pretty, pretty darn great here.
  • Jane Foster, particularly Natalie Portman’s performance, has grown on my, but still #TeamSif
  • Hey, before they recast him with Zachary Levi, Fandral was played by Charming from Once Upon a Time. FUNSIES!

22 Days Until Ultron!