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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Douglas’

Ant-Man  —  movie review
Today’s review is for another super-hero movie: Ant-Man (2015) which stars Paul Rudd in the title role (Scott Lang), Evangeline Lilly as the love interest (Hope Van Dyne) and Michael Douglas as Henry Pym – the original Ant-Man.  Ant-Man’s power is the ability to shrink to insect size and to “command” ants.  Pym invented a particle which can reduce the relative space between atoms in any molecule.  He uses the suit to fight plots to conquer the world.  When the government tries to get him to turn over his invention, he quits being Ant-Man and goes into private enterprise, where he becomes wealthy – as demonstrated by his owning an Addams Family house in San Francisco.  Blah, blah, blah, Pym convinces Lang he (Lang) has to become the new Ant-Man to save the world and protect his (Lang’s) little daughter.  Pym does and, ultimately, Lang does.
Is this move any good?  Heck yes!!!  This is both a very good comic-book adaptation and a very good movie.  It has good special effects, a believable villain (Yellowjacket, played by Corey Stoll), a tie-in / love interest – Lilly as the Wasp, a good story with lots of humor (lines and scenes) thrown in, and the (required) tie-in to the Avengers and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  I hate to admit this but I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Rudd in anything else.  I recognize his face, but I reviewed his filmography and I don’t believe I’ve seen a single one of them.  I kind of recognized Lilly from somewhere, but again I had to look her up.  I only watched the first season of “Lost“, so I guess that’s why she seemed familiar (but older).  Michael Douglas is, of course, “Michael Douglas” and he is pretty good in the role of the aging, scientific, father figure (even if a bit long-of-tooth for this role).
The interesting thing to me is that Marvel continues to make better than average (expected) movies about their second and third tier comic book heroes.  In fact, it makes me wonder why “The Fantastic Four”, “Spider-Man” and the “X-men” haven’t been better movies.  I know the answer is they are not Disney / Marvel.  But it begs the question why Marvel isn’t able to insert more creative / editorial control to improve the movies about their biggest comics.
Final recommendation:  highly recommended movie!  I wish I had seen this at the theater on original release.  I didn’t, but having the DVD on loan from my son is almost as good.  As a matter of fact, having enjoyed it so much, I can see myself picking up my own copy.  If you are into comic-book movie adaptations, you’ll almost certainly want to add this to your library, too.
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On This Day In:
2015 Seeking Cultured Leadership
2014 Examining Failure
2013 Driving Passion
2012 Cannibal, n.
2011 Moments Of Truth

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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)  —  movie review
I must admit I’ve really been looking forward to the release of this sequel.  I’ve only seen the original (maybe) three times in full, but everyone has seen Mike do Gekko, “Greed is good!” a million times.
I took along my youngest (Sarah), unfortunately – for her.
Visually, the movie was appealing to me in a TRON/PowerPoint kind of way.  Using the NY skyline as a backdrop for stock market ups and downs, and the roads as ticker runs was good.
Greed and excessive wealth were on display – but both lacked emotional appeal.  The characters kept saying “It’s not about the money”, when clearly, it was all about the money.  There were long, slow pans of skinny, tanned, bejeweled ladies and fat, mostly older, white guys.  …And lots of stiffs in suits.
I did enjoy the “finding family” aspects of the film even though they were not particularly believable, but then it’s entertainment not real life!!  I’ve not followed Shia LaBeouf before (other than Transformers), but I now think he can act.
I think the movie will reach a certain crowd – those who saw and understood the first movie and those who have followed (and understand) the economic problems of the last decade.  Unfortunately, I don’t believe there are very many folks in either group.
I think the liberals will vilify Stone (again) for not explaining the problems government (Bush and Obama) had or at least offering any evidence there were viable options.  Nothing but the bailout or economic collapse are given as options – black and white (binary) in a world of nuance.  I think the conservatives (and Tea Baggers) will vilify Stone (again) because he presents a harsh look at the new corporate greed – which is offered as FAR worse than individual greed (but doesn’t explain why).
The film is a lot of investment banking and Wall Street bashing, pure and simple.  I don’t have a big problem with that, per se, they are big boys who can take it, and they did screw up (and are continuing to do so).  The shortfall of the movie is it was a missed opportunity to be a learning moment: it could have said more about what happened, why it happened, why it was allowed to happen, and what were some of the other options (for future reference).
Sarah’s review – if the chairs were more comfortable, she’d have fallen asleep after about 20 minutes.  (From the mouths of babes…)
My recommendation: if you are one of those two groups mentioned above, or if you love Oliver Stone (hate the government, hate the rich, hate the corporations), you’ll probably enjoy this film.  As a film buff, I’ll wait for the X-mas twin pack to come out and re-watch them both.  (Life is hard for film nerds!)
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