Movie Review: Ant-Man – It’s Stupid In The Right Way

Ant-Man-Movie-Image-Gallery-Photos - 29JUL2015

Ant-Man is the newest super hero release with a comedic twist, and it’s pleasing critics and audiences alike. This snarky sci-fi flick, with an unlikely hero, it’s one to watch this summer. Here’s why.

Our hero is Scott, a thief with a master’s in engineering. When he runs into a reclusive scientist with a special suit, he’s more than happy to try it on. With the push of a button, he’s the size of a dime. What follows is an interesting scene involving Scott getting sucked into vacuums and such. Realizing his new power, Scott does the whole becoming a super hero thing and even finds an arch nemesis. He’s a dude that can turn into a yellow jacket.

While it sounds stupid, it’s stupid in the right way. It’s stupid in the way that Shaun of the Dead was stupid. It’s also hilarious, interesting and even kind of visually stunning. Of course, a lot of the visuals are recycled. Take the Ant-Man suit for example. It’s pretty much an Iron Man Suit. They didn’t even change the color scheme that much.

Ant-Man-Movie-Ant-Man-Gets-Stuck - 29JUL2015

However, for a movie that does such a good job on using the standard super hero tropes, with some self-aware tongue in cheek humor, recycled visuals can be ok. Especially with such a unique storyline. Edgar Wight is credited with some of the story line creation, which explains the similar feel to movies like “Shaun of the Dead”.

Paul Rudd was a fantastic choice for the lead. He’s unheroic enough to give the character a certain lack of grace and gritty realness, but he also has awesome comedic timing, which this movie relied on. The great thing about the movie is that the same thing that makes Ant-Man heroic is what makes him vulnerable. The danger of being squashed while in insect form would have been hard to pull off if not for Rudd’s performance.

ant-man-movie-image-13-600x327 29JUL2015

It’s a fresh take for a summer filled with big budget blockbuster action movies. Not that it isn’t well done. It’s just a bit lower key and a more slapstick and funny than other movies in the sci-fi genre. The movie knows how to laugh at itself, while keeping viewers entertained.

I have to say, I was a bit disappointed with the main female character Hope (Evangeline Lilly). In a way I was kind of expecting her to emerge as some sort of femme fatale, but instead, her character stays pretty flat and sees no growth at all. So in that, I was disappointed. The two father-daughter stories were sweet, but not overtly so, and they managed to put a bit emotion into the script, in a way that doesn’t feel too over the top for this movie.

But all in all, I have to say Ant-Man was pretty well done and very enjoyable. It was a bit long in the run time, nearly 2 hours, but at least they used their time wisely. If you’re looking for a great action movie, with some good humor, then Ant Man could be one to watch this summer.

WE GAVE IT: 4 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

4 stars

[youtube id=”pWdKf3MneyI” width=”680″ height=”383″]

Ant-Man-Poster1 - 29JUL2015

Movie Review: Spy (2015) – McCarthy Is No Longer A Sidekick. She’s A Leading Lady In Her Own Right.

spy-image-melissa-mccarthy1 - 14JUN2015

 

There is something so refreshing about Melissa McCarthy and the characters she plays. She doesn’t rely on sex appeal, but she doesn’t stay in the background either. She’s not an object of pity. She’s just a funny lady with some great comedic timing. That’s why is decided to check out Spy.

In it, we meet Susan Cooper (McCarthy) a desk bound CIA agent who spends most of her time shut up in the agency’s basement, crushing on the debonair Bradley Fine (Jude Law). Then, when her unrequited crush is taken by the evil Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne), Cooper is sent into the field to retrieve him. Once Boyanov and Cooper meet, that’s where the film really gets going. These two had some amazing chemistry that really made the film shine.

The movie is a bit similar to the first movie that rocketed McCarthy into the limelight, The Heat. This one is something more, because we don’t have to deal with Sandra Bullock’s nails on a chalkboard approach to comedy. There’s just something about Bullock that’s inherently unlikeable and I’ve always found her less than stellar in comedic performances.

Melissa-Mccarthy-Spy-Wallpapers - 14JUN2015

spy-4-gallery-image 14JUN2015

 Teaming McCarthy with Byrne was the best choice. These two have strong chemistry and work together well, neither overshadowing the other. Byrne’s snark and McCarthy’s clueless comebacks are worth a laugh every single time.

Of course, we see some character growth in this film. McCarthy’s character goes from wearing crochet tops and using “Jesus Christmas” as her favorite swear word, to wearing leather and swearing like a trucker.

One thing that confused me about this film. Why are there so many British people in the CIA? This includes one character the film could have done without, Nancy (Miranda Hart). She’s sent to be Susan’s sidekick, but really just manages to be incredibly irritating. The main characters are already the comedic relief in this story. There was no need to add more.

The ending ties up loose ends nicely, while leaving plenty of room for a sequel. They don’t kill off anyone important, so most of the characters will come back to play. While I was initially dreading them making more Heat movies, I have to say, I’d be happy to watch a sequel of Spy. There’s just something about McCarthy and America’s attitude towards her that’s grown in that time. McCarthy is no longer a sidekick. She’s a leading lady in her own right.

Though I do hope that she doesn’t get stuck playing one kind of character all the time. She has range and talent, and it would be a shame if she was turned into the chubby funny girl permanently. While I do enjoy a story about a bumbling cop, there’s only so many anyone can make without people getting sick of them.

Just ask Paul Blart.

Spy is an enjoyable effort that will keep audience members laughing. There’s the occasional spy movie cliché, but for the most part, the gags are gags that haven’t been done before. This is easily worth the watch and worth the sequel.
WE GAVE IT: 4 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

4 stars

[youtube id=”ltijEmlyqlg” width=”680″ height=”383″]

SPY-movie-poster - 14JUN2015

 

Movie Review: Annie (2014) – An auto-tuned, outdated remake.

annie-jamie-foxx-quvenzhane-wallis-cameron-diaz-rose-adewale

Right in time for the holidays, Columbia pictures released the heartwarming story of a single man who adopts a young orphan girl, with little to no government oversight, simply because he’s rich.

Wait, is that seriously the plot to Annie? Wow, that’s just wrong.

In this modernized rendition, Quvenzhané Wallis stars as Annie, a young, tough as nails orphan who was abandoned by her parents, with a promise they’d be back for her someday. Of course, they cared so much that they dumped her off with an incredibly cruel foster mom, Mrs. Hannigan, played by an evil Cameron Diaz. Then, she gets pulled from that life when Will Staxx (Jamie Fox) a wealthy New Yorker and mayoral candidate does the rent-a-orphan thing as a campaign ploy.

I’m going to say it. Annie is from a time when the world was a bit more innocent and people didn’t go on sex tours of Thailand. So regardless of how handsome or rich, there’s just something about a single man adopting a little girl that bothers me. I know it’s wrong and I know my mind is in the gutter, but the original movie had its roots in depression era America. Child sex trafficking was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind. Today, that’s no longer the case.

annie-cameron-diaz-quvenzhane-wallis

I have to say that I like the understated acting in this movie. In the past, Annie tended to be a bit too over the top and made of so much sugar, she could give you cavities. Quvenzhané Wallis had the ability to give enough edge to the roll to not make Annie unbearably sweet this time. Her singing was a bit more low key as well and anyone could tell they auto tuned the crap out of her performance of “Tomorrow”. But it was her acting, and her ability to play the role with grace that really did it for me.

But that’s all it did because the rest of the movie was just plain Bad, and that is with a capital B. Jamie Foxx has all the range of a stationary bicycle and Cameron Diaz seemed to think she was on a Saturday night live skit, with her completely unfunny comedic overacting. It was like Diaz was afraid to be mean to children, which is ridiculous because she rocked that role in Bad Teacher.

annie-quvenzhane-wallis

But it was Foxx who really chewed the scenery with his ‘overacting by under acting’ rendition of Daddy Warbucks. Honestly, if I had the choice of being an orphan or living with the robotic Foxx, I’d pack my bags for the orphanage. I don’t think his facial expression changed once during the film.

Finally, who told the lead character that the ideal way to gain votes would be for a single man to adopt a small girl? Was it the same person who wrote the script?

Let be honest. The original Annie wasn’t that convincing, the acting was over the top and the characters were caricatures. But it had some catchy tunes. The first time I heard “Tomorrow” I knew that I’d be forced to listen a rendition from every single little girl with musical aspirations until the end of time. But this movie is missing what the original Annie had; music that is a virtual earworm.

WE GAVE IT : 3 STARS!  Watch the Official Trailer and See the Official Movie Poster below

stars

 

[youtube id=”F6lNi7cZ-Ho” width=”633″ height=”356″]

url19