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Blu-Ray Review: ‘CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR’

Synopsis: “Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The new status quo deeply divides members of the team. Captain America (Chris Evans) believes superheroes should remain free to defend humanity without government interference. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) sharply disagrees and supports oversight. As the debate escalates into an all-out feud, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Vision (Paul Bettany), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Winter Solider (Sebastian Stan), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) all must pick a side.” Read More

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Out in Theaters: ‘CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR’

Ever since Samuel L. Jackson cropped up in an eye patch in Iron Man’s post-credits, Marvel films have had their eye firmly planted on the future. Setting up incoming installments has been a precarious process, resulting in such face-palmingly clunky sequences as the infamous “Thor in a Bath Tub” scene and the entirety of Iron Man 2. When not preoccupied with teasing the oncoming comic strata or hogtying in easter eggs for uber-nerds to dissect and debate, Marvel has admittedly done fine work developing their roster of heroes, taking careful stock in ensuring that its non-comic reading audience has at the bare minimum a working sense of what drives these supers to strap into spandex and save the world. With Captain America: Civil War, a direct sequel to the events of Captain America: Winter Solider that employs nearly the entirety of The Avengers, those characters turn to the rear view to take stock of what has been lost along the way. Read More

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Blu-Ray Review: ‘ANT-MAN’

Synopsis: “Forced out of his own company by former protégé Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits the talents of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a master thief just released from prison. Lang becomes Ant-Man, trained by Pym and armed with a suit that allows him to shrink in size, possess superhuman strength and control an army of ants. The miniature hero must use his new skills to prevent Cross, also known as Yellowjacket, from perfecting the same technology and using it as a weapon for evil.” Read More

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Out in Theaters: ANT-MAN

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I’ve always wondered where our preoccupation with size came from. Maybe cause I’ve never been the biggest, or because I’ve always been more taken by the diminutive: as a self-entitled critic, attention to detail is my craft. Fortunately for movie-goers, so it goes for the folks at Marvel and Ant-Man director Peyton Reed. This edition’s got a new musk, and underneath that an exoskeletal husk of comedic explosion and graphic excitement that rivals its full-sized super-compatriots. With Ant-Man, the folks at Marvel forgot how to make a superhero movie as usual, and pumped out one of the best Marvel adaptations yet. Read More

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ANT-MAN Finds Another Ant-Man in Michael Douglas

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After Marvel’s Phase Two, which started with Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World and will continue with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, concludes with Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers 2, the next comic book movie from Marvel universe is Edgar Wright‘s long gestated Ant-Man, a tale about a scientist who creates a suit that allows him to shrink down and communicate with, and subsequently control, ants. Silly though it may seem, with these ant-like powers, Ant-man fights crime on a big scale. Funnyman Paul Rudd was cast as Ant-Man last month and many assumed that Rudd would play the original version of the superhero, Hank Pym. Those assumptions were incorrect.

As it turns out, Rudd was actually cast as the second generation Ant-Man, a Marvel mainstay by the name of Scott Lang. According to Marvel lore, Lang is a thief who steals the original Ant-Man’s technology from Pym, unintentionally burdening himself with the power and responsibility of a super. Today brought news that while Rudd would not play the original version of the character, Michael Douglas would. Obviously, this timeline will see Douglas stepping in as a more veteran version of Pym. This shift makes sense considering Rudd fits the description of a jovial thief more so than he does a serious scientist like the Hank Pym of the comics.

In the comic series, Pym plays an important and essential role in creation of The Avengers. While he was obviously omitted from the creation mythology in the Marvel Movie Universe, Pym will now get to at least have some place in the MMU Marvel films have created. Also notable, Pym was responsible for the creation of Ultron, the bio-mechanical villain from which the second Avengers movie takes its name. Whether or not Douglas will play any role in The Avengers 2 is unknown but somewhat unlikely.

By casting the venerable, well regarded, and, not to mention expensive, Douglas as Pym alongside Rudd as Lang, Marvel has proved that they are willing to continue to shell out for top-shelf talent that comes with name-brand recognition. But even more interesting than Douglas or Rudd is director Edgar Wright‘s involvement, who will likely bring his high-art blend of comedy and action, a common ingredient to the Marvel world. As far as expectations, juxtaposing the snarky Rudd with the gravitas of Douglas could create a potentially excellent repartee and sets this one up to be one of the most interesting combinations out of Marvel’s gates.

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Paul Rudd Is ANT-MAN

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One of the lesser known Marvel heroes is shaping up to have the most exciting movie, with Edgar Wright directing and Joe Cornish writing Ant-Man. These two’s already incredible chemistry will now be enhanced by Paul Rudd, who has reportedly taken up the title role. The distinction between good and bad superhero movies tends to be what happens when action is not on the screen. This is why Iron Man was so successful. Everyone involved in Ant-Man are people that understand this, so some optimism for this project is definitely warranted.

 

Marvel is aiming for a July 31, 2015 release, pitting it against Marvel’s own The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman. Since they are not aiming to rush it out, so Ant-Man can appear in the new Avengers, we will probably have to wait a few more years to see Rudd appear alongside Robert Downy Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, and friends, in an inevitable third Avengers installment. Either way, the summer of 2015 is looking to be pretty stacked, when it comes to superhero blockbusters, but Ant-Man certainly has all the ingredients (besides a more popular superhero) to lead the pack.

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Out in Theaters: ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

“Anchorman 2”
Directed by Adam McKay
Starring Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell, Christina Applegate, Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, David Koechner, Greg Kinnear
Comedy
119 Mins
PG-13

Following up a comedy classic like Anchorman is no easy task. In order to achieve a modicum of success, this sequel was already tasked with paying tribute to its predecessor while also setting itself far enough away so that it doesn’t seem like a play-by-play rehashing of the original. In this pursuit, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is a success. But while the first film had me in a constant state of stitches and continues to be a go-to favorite in the comedy stable, Anchorman 2 is far more spotted. Attempts to capture the comic vibrancy of men let off the leash fizzles with some performers more than others, revealing gags sautéed in randomness that come across as definitively hit-or-miss. And while more jokes land with a thud than you’d hope for, when it shines, it shines like the sweet diamond-crusted grills of Flava Flav. Read More

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Character Posters for ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

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Playing up the epic element and riffing on monster movie posters, the cast of Anchorman: The Legend Continues takes over New York City in the macro. Towering above skyscrapers, stomping on cars, and lounging on buildings Ron Burgandy is joined by his faithful news crew as they trudge closer to their Christmas Day release.

“With the 70’s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), returns to the news desk in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Also back for more are Ron’s co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), weather man Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), man on the street Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner) – All of whom won’t make it easy to stay classy…while taking the country’s first 24-hour news channel by storm.”

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Paul Rudd as Brian Fantana

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Steve Carrell as Brick Tamland

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David Koechner as Champ Kind

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Will Ferrell as Ron Burgandy

Anchorman: The Legend Continues is directed by Adam McKay and stars Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Kristen Wiig, Sacha Baron Cohen, Tina Fey, Greg Kinnear, Kayne West, James Marsden, Nicole Kidman, Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Amy Poehler, Jim Carrey. It hits theaters on December 20, 2013.

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ANCHORMAN 2 Markets By Ice Cream and Trucks

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A new trailer for the much anticipated sequel to the modern comedy classic Anchorman was released today. Perhaps my youthful impressions of the film are clouding my judgement, but this one seems to ramp the stupidity to new heights, which I couldn’t be more excited about.

The trailer shows Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and friends working for a news station called GNN, in an effort to make the news more fun. Obviously a stab at the state of the sensationalist, entertainment first, state of modern cable news, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues might actually provide a valuable social critique, amongst its many, many, tasteless jokes. It will probably be mostly tasteless jokes though. Anything else would be a colossal disappointment.

Advertising for the film has been bordering on ridiculous, though, possibly threatening to wear out Ron Burgundy’s welcome before the film is even out. Besides the fact that you can’t turn on the TV, without being sold a Dodge Durango by Burgundy, you can now cry over your lost Border Terrier with a carton of Ben and Jerry’s “Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch” flavored ice-cream.

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Here’s to hoping a fraction of Anchorman 2’s advertising budget went into the film. If the trailers and talk of copious celebrity cameos are any indication, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues should give its target audience a massive laugh, when it comes out December 20th, 2013.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is directed by Adam McKay and stars Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Harrison Ford and Christina Applegate. It opens on December 20th, 2013

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt Denies ANT-MAN Rumors, Paul Rudd Now Uncontested

Despite many internet rumors that the contenders for the titular role in Edgar Wright’s Marvel picture Ant-Man were Paul Rudd and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, JGL has decried the news as “internet rumors” and although not directly denying the possibility, interviews at NY Comic-Con and for his recent movie Don Jon have him effectively denying his involvement in any way. This goes against Variety’s reporting that both actors had met with Marvel execs about the role, and although his de facto withdrawal seems to indicate that Rudd will take the role, the casting hasn’t yet occurred and some sources say other actors are in consideration for the role.

One of the least popularly followed Marvel superheroes, Ant-Man follows biochemist Dr. Hank Pym as he discovers a size-altering formula and the subsequent troubles and action when testing the formula on himself goes awry. Wright, who previously directed the Shaun of the Dead trilogy of films along with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, is working with former collaborator Joe Cornish to adapt the comics originally penned by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and Larry Lieber into a Marvel origin story in typical super-hero movie fashion.

Given Wright’s predilection for comedy in filmmaking, it will be interesting to see if this super hero film incorporates that sensibility without loosing the comic book tradition and aesthetic that most super hero films depend on. Kevin Feige of Iron Man, X-Men, and The Avengers, will also produce, which bodes well for the film’s look and feel.

Although many online pundits and comic book aficionados openly preferred Rudd from the start for the role, others put enough weight behind JGL for this dropout to be somewhat of a disappointment. The release date is set to be July 31st, 2015, so very few details are available on what to expect from the film and its casting in general. It lands among a list of dozens of superhero films and TV projects planned for the next couple years for Marvel and DC both, meaning that comic book fans will get to see most if not all their favorite comic book heroes turned into movies before Marvel and DC have to start either making more original comics or start making remakes.

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