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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Marvel Studios One-Ups DC Entertainment (Again) With Upcoming Infinity War

I admit, after learning that Marvel Studios isn’t coming to Comic-Con this year, that I was a mite concerned (though Marvel Television and Cartoons are attending) because that meant that DC Entertainment would dominate the convention with news and clips from Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (still hate that title) and Suicide Squad.

Though based on some new news from Complex, they’ll need it because it’s rumored that the villains for the upcoming Avengers two-parter, Infinity War, will not only be Thanos, but the Magus!

And seeing that the Magus will possibly make an appearance, it goes without saying that his alter-ego, Adam Warlock, can’t be very far behind.

The Magus

It only a coincidence that I look vaguely like Shazam.

This is the Magus.  He’s an future version of Adam Warlock who’s working to ensure that he comes to be, which means driving Warlock to embrace the darker, more ruthless parts of his nature.

Warlock has been inextricably tied to the Infinity Gems (known as ‘Infinity Stones’ in the movies), so that the Magus (and Adam Warlock) are making an appearance makes perfect sense.

Another benefit is that the two movies are being helmed by the Russo brothers, which if Captain America: The Winter Soldier is any indicator, means that it will probably to be a bit darker, more serious tonally and less humorous than the Joss Whedon-helmed Avengers movies.

Batman Needs To Shed The Cape

ComicbookmovieRecently DC revealed the latest costume for Batman, via Comicbookresources.  Despite not being a huge fan of either DC Comics or the character, I really like it.  The current iteration of Batman is caped, and while it sticks with tradition, these days it doesn’t quite make sense.

The character was originally created in the 1940’s with a design intended to strike fear into the hearts of criminals, with his cape being evocative of a bat’s wings.

In movies the most recent version of the character continues that tradition, and that’s the problem.  When Zach Snyder–director of Man of Steel as well as the upcoming Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice rebooted Superman he removed his shorts (so to speak), which were originally inspired by circus strongmen.

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DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – Trailer

I haven’t been a fan of DC Comics-based series like Arrow (too soapy) or Gotham (too pre-Batman) but I have to admit that I like this trailer for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

It’s the adventures of the Atom, Rip Hunter, HawkwomanFlash, Captain Cold and Heatwave though what I like most is that it feels like it’s fully buying into the fantastical, comic book  origins of the characters, which is cool–and since The Flash, it seems that DC is bucking that trend toward “realism,” on television at any rate.

Crossbones From Captain America: Civil War!

CrossbonesVarious movie sites have posted an image of Crossbones from the upcoming Captain America: Civil War and unlike most of the cast of Suicide Squad, he looks pretty awesome.

For those of you that don’t recall, at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier you see Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) in a hospital bed after almost being killed by the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier that crashed into the Triskelion.

He’s clearly much, much better.

(And can someone tell Chris Evans to take a break already!  He’s just finished Age of Ultron a few months ago, and he’s already segueing into another major production).

Deadshot

And here’s Will Smith from the upcoming Suicide Squad.  Crossbones looks like he’d eat his lunch.

Will Smith And The Suicide Squad!

David Ayer, director of the upcoming Suicide Squad, has released a photos of the entire cast via Twitter yesterday.

Suicide Squad photoAnd it looks as if it’s following Man of Steel’s lead, by which I mean it’s going to take itself way too seriously.  As a director, Ayer is talented (I haven’t seen a lot of his work, though I enjoyed End Of Watch and–to a lesser degree, Sabotage) but I am not at all crazy about this picture.  Everything looks dirty and somewhat grimy and it feels as if DC Entertainment is saying that even the idea of bright colors and just a hint of joy is anathema.

So it looks like I will continue to wait for the day till DC Entertainment realizes that you can take something seriously, without it being so deadly serious.

Deadshot

A picture was released of Will Smith as Deadshot is a bit more successful, though on top of the release of Jared Leto’s Joker last week I am feeling a bit underwhelmed about this latest entry into the DC Cinematic Universe.

And it’s not that the movie, in and of itself, appears to be a bit dark; it’s that everything they touch seems to turn murky and by extension there’s a pall of sameness that washes over properties that shouldn’t look anything alike.

And I understand that I’m not being paid the big bucks–or even small ones!–to comment on these issues, but it seems the brains trust over at Warner Bros. can’t see the forest for the trees.

Avengers: Age of Ultron – Review

The Avengers: Age Of Ultron International poster

“For me, one of the signs of a good movie is that it rewards repeat viewing.  Avengers: Age of Ulton fits the bill.”  

I’ve already reviewed Avengers: Age of Ultron here for Moviepilot, though I tend to be easily overwhelmed by spectacle–which this movie has in spades–so I saw it a second time, to better digest what was going on.

This time I saw the 2D version at the legendary Uptown theater in Washington, DC (quite possibly the best movie house in the city).

What I noticed is that Avengers: Age of Ultron, on the surface, is a battle between the Avengers and Ultron (motion-captured and voiced by James Spader), a homicidal robot who believes that the only way to save the human race is to force it to evolve, which sounds interesting, till you figure out he intends to kill the bulk of us to bring it about.

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