Ant-Man and the Wasp

I loved Ant-Man and the Wasp. I think it is better than the original – especially villain-wise. Ghost turns out to be a somewhat sympathetic villain. I like sympathetic villains. Villains that have more depth than a cookie-cutter villain.

Like Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp brings some laughs and fun back into the MCU.

We see Scott Lang almost finished with his house arrest he has been under for 2 years since Cap: Civil War. (This movie does take place right before the end of Avengers 3.) He’s playing with his daughter, doing work with his friends from the first movie. They have built a security company named X-Cons. Then he gets a weird dream/vision of Janet van Dyne playing hide and seek with a young Hope. He gives them a call and it becomes a race to rescue Janet.

This is where Ghost comes in. She needs the tech the Pyms are using for the Quantum Realm for her own ends. We also have a shady tech/arms dealer in the mix as well.

You do need the mid credits sequence. But the after credits sequence has no narrative impact – and it is in the trailers.

Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Hannah John-Kamen, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Abby Ryder Fortson, Tip TI Harris, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas, David Dastmalchian

Vía Letterboxd – AngryTownsman

Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War brings together the world we were introduced to in 2008 with Iron Man.

Characters from all but one movie are weaved in and out of the story. We get some funny. Some sad. Some angering. Some real sad.

If you have read the Infinity Gauntlet story, you have an idea where this story is headed.

I cannot stress enough that you should watch this in the theater.

I have watched this two times so far and the emotional beats hit me both times.

Watching Dr. Strange interact with Iron Man and Spider-Manwas a high light. But the true team-up to end all team-ups: Thor, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot (teenage version).

Avengers: Infinity War is a long movie. And it is weaving several simultaneous story beats. From a fight in Wakanda to one on Titan to Knowhere. But none of the story elements drag on or are shorted. And all are needed for plot.

There is only one post-credit scene at the end of a very long list of contributors. It is not essential, but a nice easter egg for a future movie.

I am amazed that Marvel Studios has been able to create a series of movies tied to each other with various themes that work together as well as they do. Not all of their movies have been huge hits (Iron Man 2, Thor 2 – imo) But they have all had a certain level of quality. This may have come at the expense of some directors’ creativity, but Marvel Studios has not let me down yet.

Starring: … Practically everyone from previous MCU movies. Check out IMDB for the full list.

Vía Letterboxd – AngryTownsman

Black Panther

Like most initial solo Marvel hero movies, Black Panther gives us a nice introduction to the character and his motivations above and beyond his introduction in Civil War.

Black Panther introduces us to the MCU version of Wakanda, his family, love interest, and traditions. Also, where those same traditions can fail.

Wakanda as a society has always hidden who and what they are. The world at large sees Wakanda as a third world farming country. Not the technologically advanced, rich country they are. Some Wakandans believe they should go out into the world with their technology and help people while others wish to stick with tradition.

Claw returns and has a sonic hand cannon and is working with War Monger. They show little regard for human life while stealing a Wakandan artifact from a museum. Their attempt to sell it in South Korea to the CIA brings them in direct conflict with the Black Panther.

War Monger takes extraordinary steps (many evil steps) to get into Wakanda. You want to completely dislike the character. But. His backstory makes him a sympathetic character. Up to a point. War Monger’s ideals to spread Wakandan weaponry and begin an Empire are in direct conflict with the Black Panther and Wakandan tradition.

The fight between War Monger and Black Panther ultimately splits the Wakandan people over tradition and new ideals. There will be a lot of healing needed for the Wakandan people. And a change in tradition.

The mid credits scene lets us see how Wakanda will be interacting with the world at large now. The post credits scene gives us a nice update on characters last seen in Civil War.

My favorite character introduced by far is Shuri, T’Challa’s sister. She brought a fun lightheartedness take on the role. Okoye was just plain badass.

There were a lot of kids at the theater when I saw this movie. They all had a blast. This one group sitting near me had all of them picking which Marvel hero they were going to be. From Black Panther to Iron Man. Then the movie started….and all the kids were so engrossed in the movie. I have never seen a movie where kids were so behaved and engrossed in a movie.

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Sterling K. Brown, Angela Bassett, Andy Serkis, Forest Whitaker, John Kani
Vía Letterboxd – AngryTownsman

Spider-Man: Homecoming

I love this third iteration of Spider-Man. It had the right amount of humor and action. We get to see the beginnings of the Parker Luck as Peter has to make choices about doing things with his friends or patrolling as Spider-Man. The Vulture is way more sympathetic than I thought he would be.

I tried to go into this with my expectations lowered, but recently re-watching Civil War took that notion away. Thankfully my high expectations were met and exceeded.

Plus – no origin story! We do not have to live through Uncle Ben dying and imparting the life lesson on Peter. At most, we get Peter telling someone that he was bit by a spider. That’s it.

Mid-Credits scene was good. But the after credits scene is a game changer for the MCU.

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Bokeem Woodbine, Kenneth Choi

Vía Letterboxd – AngryTownsman

Captain America: Civil War

Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Tom Holland, Daniel Brühl

Blu-ray


DVD


After a terrible accident in Lagos with civilian casualties (on top of the events in Age of Ultron), Tony Stark and the UN come up with a charter for the Avengers. A charter that would make them answer to the UN and only be deployed where the UN deems necessary. Most of the members sign the form, except Cap, Falcon and Scarlet Witch. When there is a bombing at a UN meeting, the world begins a massive manhunt for the Winter Soldier. We get to see a bit of Winter Soldier’s 90s career with Hydra when he goes after a couple in a car and retrieves something that looks like the Super Soldier formula.

The military going after Bucky are given the orders to shoot to kill. Cap is most definitely against this and attempts to bring him in alive. Firmly putting him against the world governments, Tony Stark, and the other Avengers. Plus Black Panther. Unfortunately, T’Chala’s father was killed in the UN bombing. With this, we get Black Panther also going after Bucky.

We get a nice little chase sequence that ends with Bucky, Cap, Falcon and Black Panther being brought into custody. Zemo makes his way in and activates some Hydra programming left in Bucky. Zemo slips out and Bucky escapes after giving Zemo a debriefing. Cap and Falcon also make it out in pursuit of Bucky.

As a result of this, Iron Man and Cap begin recruiting among their friends for a showdown. Giving us the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduction of Spider-Man.

TL;DR Go see it. This is how you do a superhero movie with a lot of characters in it.

(more…)