The Marvel Cinematic Universe began in earnest when Tony Stark proclaimed, “I am Iron Man.” Then Nick Fury stepped out of the shadows and assembled a team. The movie industry shook. It was the beginning of something new; an unchartered holistic approach to franchise filmmaking and the genesis of a box office monolith unlike any to have ever proceeded it. Over the course of 21 films, the MCU has become the equivalent of global Saturday morning cartoons; serialized superhero adventure stories that somehow most of the world has bought into. And all that comes to a head in Avengers: Endgame, a movie that is so momentous, it’s difficult to classify in and amongst other general releases. Empty out your pockets now folks, cuz you’re gonna need to strap into this ride a few times. Read More
Bigger seems to always be better in the eyes of many studio executives but Ant-Man knows better. Marvel quite literally blew up their world in this summer’s Infinity War, a massive cross-over event starring most of the biggest names in Hollywood and three of its favorite Chrises. If only by contrast, Ant-Man and the Wasp’s shrunken stakes and narrower focus on character gives it that much more super-powered punch. Threats of world domination, universe destruction or the untethering of reality itself only carry so much weight, particularly when they’re doled out as often as an E. Coli outbreak, so making this movie more a rescue mission than another save the world ordeal works to its favor. Shrinking everything down to a nice self-contained chapter allows director Peyton Reed to hone in on what really makes these characters work, and where they come up short. Read More
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
Directed by Adam McKay
Starring Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell, Christina Applegate, Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, David Koechner, Greg Kinnear
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
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.”
Paul Rudd as Brian Fantana
Steve Carrell as Brick Tamland
David Koechner as Champ Kind
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.