Review : Ant-Man and the Wasp

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“As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.”

The first Ant-Man, was a movie that almost became a train wreck, but managed to really stick the landing and surprise us all. Ant-Man and the Wasp is a very similar movie, but no pun intended, its a really small one. So this movie picks up before the events of Infinity War, and ends basically right where that movie also ends, which was nice to see. It gives us our first real “couple” team of the MCU, and they are a really good team, with great chemistry, and great interplay between the two. We also get back most of the cast from the first movie, that helped build out that world and make it feel really real and lived in. This movie is also I’d say funnier than the first, and packs just as much heart. That leads us to where it lacks, and thats in a few categories. For one, we get another average villain (gladly at least not one with the same power set as our heroes), we get spots of good action, but this movie is much more geared to the adventure side of things than the action side. Like I said before also, this movie is really small, but in scope and seemingly impact, and that makes the movie feel like it has surprisingly low stakes. That lack of stakes also makes it feel like this movie was almost shoed into this spot on the roster because otherwise it wouldn’t fit anywhere, and I think it suffers a bit for that. All that being said, this movie is pretty funny, and definitely fun an entertaining, and worth seeing especially if you’re taking the entire family, just don’t expect one of the best of the best the MCU has to offer here.

Review Score : 7 out of 10

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Review : Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom

“When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.”

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom in many ways, goes both backward and forward in the stylings of the Jurassic Park and World movies we’ve gotten so far. The first Jurassic World was like the blockbusterfication of the franchise, and Fallen Kingdom takes some of that, but then also tries to take the movie back to its Jurassic Park roots in its philosophy and horror beats. It’s starts off in the future of the end of Jurassic World, but quickly shows that much of the movie will be in a more suspenseful and stripped back styling of the original. A lot more tension, much more of a horror feel to certain events, and less mass dinosaurs, more meaningful dinos. This movie also did well its advertising to mislead where it was really taking the story, so for that I was greatful, as it lead to some nice set pieces I had no idea were coming. I think also the film makers knew creating the same spectacle over and over wasn’t possible, and that they would have to adjust the narrative to fit. The story here is both smaller and yet still broader, as the main narrative is a small self contained story, but it has much larger over arching implications going forward. Those larger story points were also established well, as they didn’t seem just shoe horned in to allow for a third film. Part of the cast is back here, and you do miss some of those who have been left out, but the new additions do a good job also, it just would have been nice to have some of the more memorable characters from the previous film here too, but maybe they will return in the third movie. All in all, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom isn’t any better or worse than the first Jurassic World, it’s just different, and how you feel about it is likely up to which camp you find yourself in more. If you’re spectacle over subtle, you might prefer the former, if you’re suspense over sensation, you might prefer the latter, but if you just like dinosaurs, you likely enjoyed both.

Review Score : 7 out of 10

Review : Solo – A Star Wars Story

“During an adventure into the criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.”

Solo, a Star Wars story, brings us the first of the real plan by Disney to expand the Star Wars universe they acquired not long ago. It tells the backstory of one of the series’s most popular and important characters, Han Solo, and to and extent, his copilot Chewbacca and the millennium falcon. There was a lot of debate before this movie even came out, about wether it should have even been made. To many people, the mechanisms by which Han became who he did by the time we see him in a New Hope, are things that would only be ruined by showing us an exact backstory, while others thought it would be great to see what makes a man shoot first. I’m somewhere in the middle, I don’t mind seeing a well told story in this universe, but if I had to choose whose, I’d have likely chosen a different character first. That left me as going into this movie with reasonable expectations, and they were mostly met, but this movie should be better than that. We kind of have high stakes I guess, we kind of have a villain….I guess, and we definitely see the reasons for Han being Han (wether you wanted to know or not). That kind of leaves this movie in the middle for me, nothing really stands out. It’s all finely done and all that, but nothing really jumps out. There’s maybe one wow moment, but that’s also if you know what you’re looking for, the rest of it really does seem very tame. This of course is exactly the worry fans had after the Disney acquisition, and this movie seems almost as proof of this. This movie could be any space centric sci-fi movie, it just happens to have Star Wars characters in it, and even then, some people will never be satisfied with their portrayal by newer actors. I think Han and Lando come off really well in their respective portrayals, and there are definitely moments when I fully SEE Han in Ehrenreich’s performance, but without the rest of the Star Wars world and knowledge I already know and have, if you swapped these characters out, I don’t think anyone would know this was Star Wars really. All in all, Solo is a fun movie, especially for younger viewers, but I feel like real Star Wars fans will be left wanting after, and I hope that’s not how it’s going to be going forward.

Review Score: 6 out of 10

Review : Deadpool 2

“Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA. Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy of supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling mutant, Cable.”

The original Deadpool movie was real game changer. For the first time we got a hard R, 4th wall breaking, violent, funny, pop culture referencing, totally unapologetic movie, the likes of which we hadn’t seen before. The problem with being a game changer, is it is really hard to do that twice, and that the real story of Deadpool 2. This movie is every bit as bloody, full of swears, action packed, and somehow maybe even funnier than the first, but it can’t recreate than never been done kind of feel the first had. It seems almost like a harsh criticism, but this movie would be a better than the first, if the first didn’t exist. Everything here is done up, there’s s bigger budget, they’re more characters, more of just about everything, plus some unexpected heart. The only thing this movie doesn’t have is that now we’ve seen it before. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this isn’t a good movie, or that it isn’t super enjoyable and entertaining and all that, I’m just saying that it sits a bit below the first one, but only for those reasons. We get a bigger plot this time, and with the origin out of the way, we get to spend an entire movie basically, with the merc with a mouth. This movie is also really surprisingly good at hitting you in the feels, and really not under cutting the emotional moments with needless humor, especially as there is already so much of that humor through out, those touching moments can really breathe and they come off super sincere. In many ways, Deadpool 2 is more commercial than the first, and that might not be hardcore fans biggest wish, but it makes this movie much more accessible, and while I won’t go so far as to say it dumbs down the material, there is just that bit of the shock and flair of the original, that’s not here.

Review Score : 8 out of 10

Review : Avengers – Infinity War

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“The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.”

To start with, straight off the top, this isn’t going to be full of spoilers or anything, so feel free to read this before you go if you like. That being said, WOW. You know I’m still trying to decide as I write this, if I think this is the best of the MCU movies, but I do know for sure it’s the most important. This movie shows what can be done, when you have something as vast and well done as the MCU, because thats the only way a movie like this could have ever been done. Without 10 years of build up, and brick laying, this movie could literally not exist, and that in itself I think is what makes this movie the most important. I think also maybe for that fact alone, anyone and everyone who’s a fan of this universe, should see this movie, just to see what can be done when a universe like this is allowed to build up the way the MCU has been allowed to for literally 10 years now. To the actual review now though. This movie is a lot, and I mean that in many ways. There’s so much to this story, that it literally doesn’t all, and couldn’t all, come from this movie, and in many ways that a strength and weakness of this movie. On one hand, it makes it less accessible for more casual fans, but it also shows like I said before, of how much of a win just being able to make a movie like this is. This movie also has so many characters, that it is literally impossible, for all of them to get enough screen time, and you could see that in the writing, because they really had to saddle a lot of storylines together, and characters together. This means that for a lot fo this movie, we get pockets of teams working towards the end of the narrative. It has to be said though, this genuinely is Thanos’s movie. He is the main character, and he gets the most time and development, but if we’re being honest, he needed it the most, if we were going to get what truly should have been the greatest villain the MCU has ever seen. And I do think he is the best villain thus far. We get all of his motivation, we see where he came from and how he became the mad titan, and we truly get the sense of almost impending fate that his will not only would be done, but had to be done. This movie though is also a perfect example of why so many of the MCU villains before to date haven’t been able to impress as much, as you can see just how much time and development a character like that really needs to be so effective. This movie is also a little light on story if I’m being honest, but its a two edged sword. On the one hand, it allows for the movie to keep its pace up, add a lot of great action, and be as simple and easy to get into as it could possibly be. If I had to describe this movie in one word, it would be “Spectacle”. This is such a grand movie, on all scales, and it really does, at least broadly, hit all the nails on their heads. I’ve written all this, and I’m still not sure if this is or isn’t the best the MCU has to offer. On one hand, it definitely is because of what this movie is actually able to accomplish, but on the other hand, being such a massive spectacle does mean this movie has to sacrifice some things in other to keep this giant ball rolling. All in all, so much can be said about this movie, but the most important of them might be, that this movie was more or less everything I wanted it from it, and baring some small caveats, there really isn’t much missing from this.

Review Score : 9 out of 10

PS – There is definitely an after credit scene here, but like a legit one, not the mid credit ones we get also, so stay back for that, and its one of the best end credits yet.

Review : Rampage

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“When three different animals become infected with a dangerous pathogen, a primatologist and a geneticist team up to stop them from destroying Chicago.”

When I first heard they were going to make this movie, my first thought was, but why? And now that I’ve seen it, I still don’t know. This movie, for those who don’t know, is based on a classic arcade game of the same title, involving some giant animals and a lot of destruction. If we’re being honest though, this movie was really made on the large shoulders of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and made for him. The real point of this movie is to use him, as a tool to make some bank, and its honestly pretty apparent, because this movie is absolutely ridiculous. Like, as ridiculous as it gets really. Every time something happens, every time a decision is made, anything a plot point is moved forward, there is almost no reasonable explanation for why anything goes the way it does, and how, but, what did I really expect. This is really the definition of a “popcorn” movie. One of those movies where you’re meant to just turn off your brain, eat all the snacks, and laugh at the jokes. And honestly, you could do that, but if thats not who you are, or not what you want to be about, you’re going to be sitting in this movie thinking to yourself, who made this, why they made it, and how they convinced some of the actors in it, to be in it. All in all, Rampage is just an over the top, balls out, brain off kind of movie that can only I think really be enjoyed by certain kinds of people.

Review Score : 4 out of 10

Review : Ready Player One

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“When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune.”

Spielberg is back! Kind of…. Ready Player One is a really interesting movie, and it is for a few different reasons. This movie operates and exists on a few different levels, and how each of those affects you, is going to be really specific and personal to each person, and thats means things can get a little weird. So to start, this movie is an adaptation of a very popular book, using the same story about an open online world of virtual reality that has pretty much taken over life for most people, and that of course, makes it a very important and wanted commodity. Now, the narrative aside, thats where this movie no longer leans on the workings of a regular film, in order to go from start to finish. This movie relies so heavily on nostalgia, and easter eggs, and just everything pop culture in general, that for much of the movie, its more about that, than it is about coherent story telling. Now, I’m not saying that I didn’t get goose bumps now and then, and I’m also not saying I didn’t have my own little pop culture fandom jollies, but when I wasn’t having those moments, I wasn’t having that much fun. And thats why I said this movie is going to be so personal to people. If you were born in the 2000s, and you’re not a real fan of things from before that, I feel like literally 90% of this movie could fly straight over your head, and if that happens, then all you have to rely on is the actual narrative, and thats legitimately the weakest part of this movie. Even then, this movie makes another weird division of itself by having seemingly one story line set in the real world, and the other in the virtual world, and there is a lot to wow you in the virtual world, but we know its that world and that makes it lose it awe, theres nostalgiAWE, but there isn’t that actual typical Spielberg awe that we have grown to know and love. So what is this movie exactly? Its a piece of entertainment whose specific level of entertainment to each person will be drastically different, and that makes this movie really hard to quantify like I usually do. All in all, I have to judge it based on its merits and how it affected ME most of all, but this is definitely one of those reviews where I think the actual body of this review is more important than the actual score at the bottom, but take them each for what they’re worth.

Review Score : 6.5 out of 10