Ant-Man – Review

Screenshot 2015-07-17 12.07.26

“Ant-Man Shows That Great Things Come In Small Packages.”

Considering how well put together Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man is, it’s a shock that just a few months ago a lot of people were talking about how it would be Marvel Studios’ first misstep.

And I can understand–prior to having seen the movie– how one could come to such a conclusion. The character was virtually unknown to the general public–then again, so was Iron Man and the Guardians Of The Galaxy–and the production was thrown into doubt when Edgar Wright, who was originally chosen to direct, abandoned the production due to “creative differences.”

The writing was on the wall, so Marvel brought in Payton Reed (Bring It On) to replace Wright. Along the way they also hired Adam McKay and Paul Rudd to build on the original screenplay by Wright and Joe Cornish.

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A Single Man – Review

A Single Man movie poster

“Shiny, happy plastic people in tragic circumstances.”

Tom Ford’s A Single Man isn’t a horror or fantasy film, but it might as well be, as far as depicting relationships between humans goes.  George (Peter Firth) is a British expatriate, teaching at a college in California.  His world is seemingly perfect till the death of his lover, Jim (Matthew Goode) in an auto accident changes everything.

For a movie about a man who’s love is torn from him so suddenly, this is a remarkably chaste movie, which is important to note because there’s barely anything even remotely passionate about their relationship, which is a problem when that’s what underlies everything that happens in the movie.

I can understand why two actors might not want to give a more nuanced portrayal of two people in love, but British films (such as the far superior Weekend, also on Netflix) typically aren’t afraid to depict people being intimate–and I don’t necessarily mean in a sexual context.  George and Jim may occupy the same space at any given time, but they never feel as if they’re together.

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Tom Cruise: Going Boldly

You know what?  I honestly think that Tom Cruise is a bit of a nut, and the feeling of well-being he often attributes to his faith are more than likely the insulating effects of money and influence.

That been said, you have to give the guy credit because most any other actor–with the possible exception of Jason Statham–would have either let the stuntman handle the dangerous stuff, or rely on CGI to get the job done.

And in some instances I am reasonably safe in saying that he does just that.  Yet, as the video shows, Cruise is hanging from the door of an airplane that’s in the process of taking off.  Now keep in mind that he’s tethered to a safety line, which will be digitally removed–but it’s an awfully thin one–and that if the stunt were to go in any way pear-shaped the likelihood is high he would be killed.

Though the likelihood that he would fall was probably pretty remote, but doesn’t change how absolutely terrifying what he’s doing feels for me watching it, never mind having to do it.

Why You Should Be Watching “United States Of Tara” On Netflix

Part of what makes Netflix (and services like Hulu) so awesome is that whenever you see a series, no matter when it was actually released, it’s new to you.

Having recently watched Keir Gilchrist in Dark Summer I was impressed enough with his performance to seek out more of his work, so when I learned that he also starred in Showtime’s United States of Tara I decided to give it a watch.

And it’s a surprisingly entertaining show–though that may have a little to with me binging on it.

And the first thing that came to mind is that United States of Tara initially feels like a Weeds clone (which aired on HBO), down to the opening and theme song, while different, plays visually and aurally similar to Little Boxes.

Little Boxes

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Resolution – Review

Resolution movie poster

Resolution Is The Best Mumblecore Horror Movie Ever Made”

Resolution was the movie that introduced me to Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Spring), so to speak.  I’ve re-watched it recently, and have been looking for a way to describe it as briefly as possible.

And I think I have it: Resolution is the best mumblecore horror movie ever made (and I mean that–mostly–as a complement).

Typically ‘mumblecore’ referes to music that has almost ambient qualities, accompanied by vocals that tend to lack clarity.

That’s an apt description as any because the movie doesn’t spoon-feed you anything.  It gives you a few options to explain why events are unfolding, though it doesn’t hew too closely to any particular explanation, leaving the viewer to decide if any–or none–are the least bit accurate.

Clearly something is spoon-feeding Michael Danube (Chris Cilella) clues to events that happened in the past of the house where he and Chris Daniels (Vinny Curran) are squatting, but what’s the movie never tells you is why (My money is on the Wendigo).

Personally I don’t mind the speculative quality of the movie, though it does take a bit of getting used to.

One of the many things the movie deserves kudos for is its atmosphere.  Things feel almost claustrophobic (which probably has lot to do with it taking place in a single room), and the sense that things are moving quickly toward a very bad place is very apparent, though the question is whether it actually arrives, and you haven’t wasted your time waiting for a train that just isn’t coming.

Resolution is currently on Netflix, so be careful during your next intervention because It knows you better than you know you.

Steve Jobs – Official Trailer 1

Michael Fassbender appears to be an excellent Steve Jobs in Steve Jobs.  That being said, the trailer seems to spend a bit of time focusing on some of his more…unsavory behaviors, such has the way he was a dick toward his ex.  It comes off a bit unseemly, though I guess as long as it’s balanced by him not acting like a total ass–or being innovative–it’s all buena.

Besides, if you don’t include instances of his ego running rampant then the movie would play like a Hallmark card, which anyone at all familiar with the mercurial former head of Apple Computer would tell you isn’t quite true.

What I am certain about is that Danny Boyle is a great director, and the fact that he’s helming it should result on a pretty intense journey into the heart of the Apple.

Secret In Their Eyes – Trailer

Chiwetel Ejiofor (a name that is much easier to type than it is to say) MUST become a huge star one of these days, and if Secret In Their Eyes doesn’t do it, then my money is on Marvel Studios’ upcoming Benedict Cumberbatch starrer, Doctor Strange.

I think that I first saw him in Joss Whedon’s Serenity, and he was pretty good there; though if the trailer is any indication this guy is primed to explode any movie now.

That is, if there’s any justice in the universe–which I guess depends upon where you stand.