Ant-Man II

What is the movie about? :: A flashback tells the story of Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) who shrinks between the molecules of a Soviet nuclear missile which was launched during the Cold War, successfully disabling it, but was trapped in the sub-atomic quantum realm with no hope of returning. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) went on believing that Janet is dead until Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) became the new Ant-Man and discovered a way to enter and return from the quantum realm. Hoping that Janet might still be alive, they try to repeat the process of entering and contacting the quantum realm. But things get messed up when Scott joins the team of Captain America and fights against the other Avengers. For violating the Sokovia Accords, he is put under house arrest, while Hank and Hope moves away to avoid arrest.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: Later, when Hank and Hope manages to open a tunnel to the quantum realm, Scott receives a message from Janet with whom he is quantumly entangled. After Scott makes a call to Hank, Hope takes him to their new hideout, where a new laboratory was set up. FBI officer Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) is in charge of checking him, but Hope sets a decoy at this home. As they consider the message as a confirmation that Janet might be alive, there is the plan to create a tunnel through which one of them can enter and bring her back. For the same reason, they are collecting the needed materials from the black market dealer Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) who brings up a new deal to buy their laboratory, which Hope refuses. But he is not the kind of person who takes no for an answer.

And what is follow with the tale? :: But an attack from a masked figure follows, and both Scott and Hope are forced to be in a fight against an unknown force. This figure takes their laboratory which was in a shrunken state, and they are left with no other option to find Janet and bring her back. Hank’s former partner at SHIELD, Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) helps them locate the laboratory, but there is a surprise waiting for them there with the masked figure and a past that he had long forgotten. Their target also seems to be Janet, and now the question remains if they can get to her and bring her back before any harm is done to her. What is this incident of the past that has come back to haunt Hank? Is there an escape from this masked figure which seems to be able to walk through walls? With Thanos searching for infinity stones at another part of the universe and Avengers spread apart, is there hope for mankind at all?

The defence of Ant-Man and the Wasp :: Among all the superheroes, Ant-Man is indeed the hero with a difference. This one might also be the most family friendly superhero above the rest of the team. He has evolved into a big superhero from the shadows of those names which had become part of people, as this one is more or less the everyman character. We all missed him in Avengers: Infinity War, one of the biggest superhero movies of all-time. The quantum realm looks really great in 3D, and the action sequences with shifting size are too good. The battle on road is something special with everything happening so quickly and precisely. The movie is also a lot of fun. The use of humour in this movie is something to be appreciated. The new characters introduced here are also interesting, and this one nicely blends into the Marvel Cinematic Universe according to where Avengers: Infinity War has left us – you will need to wait for a few minutes after the movie finishes to know that.

The claws of flaw :: The superhero stuff has managed to be so big that Ant-Man with its nice little moments might not be that enough. These days, the superheroes are going for something so huge that this movie might feel rather small. It can also feel like a long introduction to the quantum realm, and a reason to introduce more characters. It is more or less about our expectations about superhero movies that define this, but such expectations have been working beyond one cinematic universe, and are those which cannot be avoided. The movie also lacks a strong single villain, as the danger here is related to survival, and therefore the lack of existence of pure evil or just evil can be seen. Maybe this movie could have released before Avengers: Infinity War – placing it after Captain America: Civil War, Thor: Ragnarok or Black Panther would have been perfect, but with avoiding that scene in between the credits.

The performers of the soul :: Paul Rudd is as good as he has been in the form of Ant-Man and Scott Lang, being the likable character for everyone including the families. Evangeline Lilly who is most known in this part of the world for playing Tauriel, a Woodland Elf in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, makes a great team with him, and the two easily holds things together in this movie as a fantastic pair. She is surely proving to be the right choice for action and adventure movies. Michael Pena is a lot of fun in the movie, as he brings the humour with ease. Hannah John-Kamen as a character looking for survival, is a perfect cast, as she seems to reflect the emotions of the same incredibly well. Laurence Fishburne is solid as always, and we are always glad to have him around. Michael Douglas carries on the role without any difficulty. Michelle Pfeiffer also joins in here.

How it finishes :: We are never really tired of having more and more superhero movies. Avengers: Infinity War was such a big hit with records being set all around the world, and coming a long way up the list of highest grossing movies of all-time, following the box-office and critical success of Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok. Justice League might not have managed to be that big as Avengers, but DC Universe will also catch up very fast with Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman being all-time favourites in many lists. It is during these times of the big superheroes that the smallest of them all, Ant-Man and Wasp getting all the attention. Well, we wish for more superheroes, and having more of them on the list will only help the cause. This one is another entertaining entry in that list of memorable superhero movies, and if Ant-Man becomes a family favourite fun superhero above the rest, I wouldn’t be surprised either – it is anti-Deadpool and all that Deadpool will never be!

Release date: 6th July 2018 (USA); 13th July 2018 (India)
Running time: 118 minutes
Directed by: Peyton Reed
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Hannah John-Kamen, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip Harris, David Dastmalchian, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Belko Experiment

Vampire Owl: I hope this doesn’t turn out to be something like those experiments from Doctor Frankenstein.

Vampire Bat: Well, Mr. Frankenstein has not equal, and so, there is no relevance for such a question.

Vampire Owl: I have never really liked him. You know how much blood the vampire community has to donate for his cause. A number of blood banks have been left with minimum resources.

Vampire Bat: But, it is for building a better future, of the vampire community.

Vampire Owl: Why would he even try to do that? He is no vampire, and he is not even distantly related to our community.

Vampire Bat: He is a good scientist. He made a monster, and now he wants to make something good.

Vampire Owl: He experimented on himself to keep staying alive for this long!

Vampire Bat: Yes, which is how he became very useful to us.

Vampire Owl: But I doubt his inner motives, which he isn’t showing to us.

Vampire Bat: Even if there is something, it is going to be nothing in front of the Belko Experiment. I am sure about that.

[Gets three cups of Vagamon tea with a piece of green apple cake].

What is the movie about? :: Belko Industries a vey famous American-based non-profit organisation which has branches all over the world, and facilitates American companies in South America in hiring American workers. It is a popular choice among freshers when looking for jobs, and has a high reputation everywhere. It is at one of its lesser known branches, the office building in Bogota, Colombia, which is located at a rural or rather remote setting that Mike Milch (John Gallagher Jr) and his girlfriend Leandra Florez (Adria Arjona) works. They find it strange tha there is a long queue in front of the office with the Colombian local workers being sent back, and new people being in charge of security. The two, along with the other employees including the newest employee Dany (Melonie Diaz) are all there, and when the last of the employees get into the office, things change.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: After the final employee is inside the office, a voice asks everyone to kill two of the co-workers in half an hour of time, or they will randomly chosen and killed. The building is covered by steel shutters from all sides, and all phones including the mobiles stop working – everything is cut off, including the air conditioning. The company’s chief operating officer Barry Norris (Tony Goldwyn) try to tell everyone that there is nothing to panic. But it is him who panics first as the head of four employees are blown, and he, along with two other workers, Wendell Dukes (John C. McGinley) and Terry Winters (Owain Yeoman) decide that it is only fair that they kill a few people if it is all that takes to make sure that they keep living for a longer period of time. Mike tries to take the tracer off with a knife, but the people in control finds out what is being done to the tag, and warns him against doing the same.

And what is to follow with a twist of events? :: They realise that the Colombian workers were sent back home, because only the American employees had the tracer put in them to find them in case they were kidnapped in another nation, and so only they could be manipulated here. The announcement is no longer considered a prank, as things turn too serious – thirty of them are to be dead within two hours in one way or the other, or sixty people will be killed, according to the voice. Barry, along with this newfound friends tries to get the weapons stored within, so that they can kill according to the demands of the voice, while Mike who is against it, along with his girlfriend, and the only remaining security guard Evan Smith (James Earl), as well as the tech worker Keith McLure (Josh Brener), tries to hang banners from the top of the building, only to get shot at, by the special guards outside. With people losing patience as well as hope, how many will be dead, and who all will survive?

The defence of The Belko Experiment :: This is one movie that begins the adventure right from the initial stages itself, and goes on to continue well right into the experiment within the building. There are so many thrilling moments in this movie, and it has us guessing what is to happen next for most of the time – as we know that there is no escape, and with a short run-time, things are surely progressing rather quickly. There is a fine concept at work here, and we once again get to see how much each person wishes to live, at the cost of the lives of others around. It is quite thought-provoking without doubt, and we keep wondering about our situation. Maybe this movie is more human than the rest of the movies, with people looking to earn money, and survive, with that survival getting a new meaning here – some of them just live up-to that too. The cast, as a whole works pretty good for this one, even though there is nothing big.

The claws of flaw :: There is a certain kind of predictability that comes in through the middle, going on, and there is also the limitation coming in, with not that much tried with its setting right inside a building. With people caught inside a huge building without any option to escape, and having chips inside their heads ready to be blasted, there was not that much of an option left – if there was at least one path left free, it would have been more interesting; without escape routes, this is rather one-sided, thus the movie removing its own options. There is a certain amount of sadism in this movie, which puts people against one another, and in the situation which make them kill or be killed, we feel the survival of the fittest in an office. The inherent evil in man comes out with a number of people here too. In this movie, we are without hope, and its sadistic experiment on human nature is something that not many people can stand. Better execution to keep the balance, maybe?

How it finishes :: The Belko Experiment is another one of those movies involving experiments, but not on the lines of Morgan or Ex Machina, as this one looks out for social behaviour rather than anything else. But in the end, we humans just got to give in to one thing or the other, whether it is is science, politics, religion or whatever else. There is all the action that happens in a building, the thrills, and along the violence, this movie leaves you with something to think about. Those people who are looking for some different horror or more of thrillers, are surely going to love this one. Among those movies which seem to go rather the same way, there is The Belko Experiment which travels a strange and depressing path, which is is more or less a reflection of human nature – darkness falls into humanity too easily when facing terror, doesn’t it? You don’t need much of an experiment to prove the same on most occasions.

Release date: 17th March 2017
Running time: 88 minutes
Directed by: Greg McLean
Starring: John Gallagher Jr, Adria Arjona, Melonie Diaz, Tony Goldwyn, John C. McGinley, Josh Brener, Michael Rooker, David Del Rio, Stephen Blackehart, Rusty Schwimmer, Owain Yeoman, Sean Gunn, Abraham Benrubi, David Dastmalchian, Gail Bean, Valentine Miele, Joe Fria, Benjamin Byron Davis, James Earl. Cindy Better, Kristina Lilley, Maruia Shelton, Brent Sexton, Mikaela Hoover, Lorena Tobar, Gamal Dillard, Gregg Henry

PS: The best of lesser known horror is at The Autopsy of Jane Doe.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Ant-Man

ant-man!

Vampire Owl :: Are you sure that there is no Vampire Ant?

Vampire Bat :: Yes, it says in all vampire books, that due to the complete absence of alienation, an ant cannot be a vampire. Neither can the bees, wasps and termites. Alienation is the first step to becoming a vampire. The idea of eusociality doesn’t work with vampires at all.

Vampire Owl :: It is good. In the presence of a Vampire Ant, we would have had to sponsor his ticket according to the new Vampire Brotherhood rules and regulations.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, a Vampire Ant seems like an impossible thing, as of now.

[Gets the tickets].

✠ This was recently posted by me at Kiagia.com: http://www.kiagia.com/index.php/current-film-releases-movie/917-ant-man-movie-review.html

When we consider the superhero movies, Marvel is a name which has proved to be the most trustworthy one in the last few years. All the movies from Marvel Studios have kept a certain standard. Even though Ant-Man is a name which is rather unheard among the common audience outside the English-speaking world, the superhero character has been there for very long. With the reception that this movie has received, we can be certain that it can have a good position among the other movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even though the same can’t be said about how it has managed in this part of the world.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has just been released from prison and is hoping to lead a life away from crime for the sake of his daughter. As he is a post-graduate in electrical engineering, he hopes that he can find a job easily, but things are not easy as his criminal record keeps him away from settling down. A police officer named Paxton (Bobby Cannavale) is engaged to his former wife, which just makes things worse. So, he decides to go on a heist with his former cellmate Luis (Michael Peña) and his friends. They choose the house of a rich old man who is known to have a vault and as Scott has done this before with perfection, they depend on him.

Meanwhile, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) was part of the S.H.I.E.L.D. and had been responsible for the technology of shrinking sub-atomic particles and making Ant-Man possible. But he had quit because he understood that people were trying to copy and recreate the technology. He knew that such an invention will be incredibly dangerous if gone into the wrong hands. As his daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), and his former assistant and student, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) did come so close to duplicating the same technology, he is alarmed again, and hopes to make sure that it never happens. For the same, Hope helps him, and he needs a volunteer to wear the Ant-Man suit.

At a point, the lives of these two people come together, and the story of another superhero officially begins. Actually, the movie takes too much time to get to that new tale. The real Ant-Man is not even there until the second half of the movie – there are just people and two suits. There is too much of a delay here, and it can happen with origin movies, but this one has too much of time without interesting things happening. But things get a lot better in the second half, which is full of action, and there are some very nice sequences in the smaller world involving the ants and the hero himself. Things do get to have a better direction after that.

The final action sequences are very interesting, and the ending is nice. If the theatre won’t stop with the credits, you will surely want to see the scenes which come with the final credits. Even though Marvel has indeed brought us a smaller superhero and destruction is also lesser, the scope of this one is reduced for the same reason. The superhero power itself is weird, and the action makes too much way for drama, as the dialogues are rather a lot. The movie is rather too goofy, and celebrates its inability to provide more to ponder about or even to leave a message. The seriousness never really coming to the front and the absence of a menacing villain may be some of the major reasons for the same.

You can choose to enjoy the humour though, even as it is only partially working. This movie surely needed to be more serious. The ants should not have been portrayed as random cute creatures even when made bigger. This universe of Marvel works better with its chaos and destruction, as it is where the strength should have been derived from. Yes, there are talks about the chaos happening in the world, but that goes on with the light tone of the movie, and we are not really bothered if it happens or not, as there is nothing to make us feel it the same way. Paul Rudd is perfectly suited for the role though, and Evangeline Lilly plays the second biggest character on the good side well.

Ant-Man still continues to keep the Marvel Cinematic Universe going. It just can’t go on without the regular problems of an origin story, and is not without repetitions. The basic formula remains the same, and the differences are made only according to the character of the new superhero. But still, it should interest the regular viewer of superhero movies. It does seem a little overrated right now, as it is nowhere close to being the best from Marvel. Captain America: The Winter Soldier remains the most seriously awesome movie of the universe, and Ant-Man is just some good entertainment without many thrills and no twists. I watched this movie as one of the seven people in the theatre, out of which four came only later. The multiplexes do have been attendance though – still not that much as a usual Marvel movie.

Release date: 24th July 2015 (India); 17th July 2015 (USA)
Running time: 117 minutes
Directed by: Peyton Reed
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Tip Harris, Anthony Mackie, Wood Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Michael Douglas, John Slattery, Hayley Atwell, Abby Ryder Fortson, Gregg Turkington, Martin Donovan

ant-man

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.