The “Marvel Formula” Strikes Again with Ant-Man

It’s safe to say that Marvel’s got this blockbuster movie thing down to a science. They have figured out how to take source material that most people wouldn’t raise an eyebrow at – the stuff that has had a “geek” stigma associated with it for decades – and turn it into a film that has the masses scrambling to the theater on release night. It began with Iron Man in 2008 and, well, you know the rest.

Most notably, Marvel took a series that the general population hadn’t even HEARD of and that most comic fans didn’t give a rat’s ass about and turned it into a record-breaking box office smash. Guardians of the Galaxy was probably the biggest cinematic surprise of my entire lifetime, and when the Ant-Man trailers rolled out, I wondered if Marvel could REALLY do it again. The short answer? No. But almost.

It may seem unfair to compare Ant-Man with Guardians, but to me it’s the most logical comparison. Aside from the fact that one is an ensemble cast and the other is a “solo” superhero movie, they are both the kind of stories that came out of left field and made everybody go “What? Really? They’re making that a movie? Ok, Marvel…You do you.” And Marvel does. And we are grateful.

LOOOK AT THAT SCRUFF

As far as casting, Paul Rudd was about as obvious a choice for Scott Lang as Chris Pratt was for Peter Quill – I was equal parts excited and confused when the casting announcements popped up on the internet for this film. The more footage I saw, though, the more convinced I was that Paul Rudd has always been an action hero, he’s just never played one in a movie. Because he’s FUNNY, and people like comedies. So that’s what he does. The great thing about the “Marvel Formula”, though, is that they incorporate so much humor into their films and almost exclusively cast known comedians as their leads (or at least people who are known to have a pretty strong funny bone).

Paul Rudd knocks Scott Lang out of the park, in my opinion. Now, let’s just get out into the open that I have never read a single Ant-Man comic (I mean, we know my comic knowledge is extremely minimal, but growing every day). I do not pretend to know these character histories or previous story arcs (or even if Scott Lang EXISTS in the comics, because I only ever knew that Hank Pym was Ant-Man?). Ok. So we’ve got that? Good. I loved Paul Rudd as Scott Lang. He’s a hacker/ burglar who actually has a kind of Robin Hood complex & got busted for stealing money from his former employer & returning it to the people they had swindled it from in the first place. He wants to make something better of himself so he can be there for his daughter, as any good father would. That’s when he’s approached by Hank Pym, who has been forced out of his own company by his 2nd-in-command.

I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot line here, because part of the fun is not knowing what you’re in for. This 10-second clip from the trailer really says it all:

All-in-all, this movie was a near-perfect blend of humor and action, just like we like our Marvel movies. The one thing they did better this time than in other recent superhero flicks *cough* Age of Ultron *cough* is that the action sequences were NOT long & drawn out. They are entertaining & visually stunning, but not excessive. I was very pleased.

As for supporting characters, Evangeline Lilly is great as Pym’s daughter, Hope. Although I could have done without the supposed “sexual tension” between her & Lang. The chemistry between Rudd & Lilly was severely lacking, which is crazy weird. Both are attractive human specimens (seriously, Rudd got pretty jacked for this role…it’s very nice – see below) and both play romantic leads very well. It just fell flat with the two of them & I was rather disappointed in that aspect of the film.

You're Welcome

Michael Douglas as an aging Hank Pym was probably the only casting where I thought to myself “duh, of COURSE Michael Douglas is Hank Pym. Michael Douglas IS Hank Pym… you know, once he’s old…er”. He plays the role with a signature pinch of snark & dry humor that I would associate with Pym just based on my minimal knowledge of the character.

Of course, let’s not forget the trademark Marvel cameos. Fans of the franchise will love mini glimpses at some of their favorite characters to tide them over until the next big release. Oh, and of course there’s the mid- and post-credits scenes (yes, this one actually has two additional scenes). They are worth sticking around for. Especially the 2nd one.

Even with the PG-13 rating on this, I would call it a family-friendly film for those of us with children above the 7-year-ish mark. Heck, I’d probably let my 5-year-old watch it, were she to show any interest.

Final verdict:
Ant-Man does not disappoint, nor does it thrill. 7.5/10 IMDB stars.

And now we just sit back and wait for The Force Awakens (because Fantastic Four is not something I’m eager to count down to)…149 days to go!

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Until Next Time ❤

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[3] Obsessive Wednesdays: Re-re-replay

Hey, y’all! It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for me to geek out a little for you & share some of the stuff I’m obsessing over riiiiiiiight now! And, go:

BOOKS

Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs

Bought this for myself since a certain hubby of mine dropped the ball on Mother’s Day *cough, cough*. It turned out just fine, though, because not only did I end up getting new books guilt-free, but I also got the experience of browsing all the glorious shelves at the bookstore – so maybe he didn’t fail so much as really, really win?

ANYWAY. I knew I needed this book from the moment I first heard about it, so I picked it up last Thursday at Barnes & Noble since it just came out Tuesday. I’ve only read a couple chapters, but I’m LITERALLY (not using this ironically…this is NOT a drill…this is LITERAL) squealing for joy every 5 minutes & I can’t stop reading passages to my husband. I feel as though this book was written just for me and it speaks to my soul on a level no non-fiction book has ever reached. Reading Fangirl’s Guide has been one of the most exciting experiences of this year, because it just feels SO. GOOD. to feel understood. ❤ ❤ ❤ *squees for days*

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Since I finished Ready Player One last week, it was time to move on to the next book on my TBR pile. I picked this up last night & blasted through the first 50 pages before I became incoherent & fell asleep with it open on my chest. I love books that just dive right into the story – it’s always a little disorienting to try and world-build when you’re not getting the setting & character development up front, but it’s so much fun when those gaps start to fill in as little pieces are revealed through an action-packed narrative.  I’m dying to get out of work today so I can go home & keep going. This book is rad as hell so far.

INTERNET

Bad Blood Music VIdeo

Who isn’t freaking out about this? It’s full of SO. MUCH. AWESOME. I can’t stand it. I’ve been humming Bad Blood for days, now, and I’m still not sick of it.  T.Swift’s life game is so on-point it’s ridiculous. Every time she puts out a new music video, my love for 1989 is renewed & I listen to it on repeat for weeks. Can’t wait for September, when I get to see her in Minneapolis!

Anna Kendrick: Indiana Jones??

Wait. Why isn’t this real? Can studio execs please watch this & realize that the world NEEDS Anna Kendrick to be the next Indiana Jones? Supposedly the next installment has been “in the works” since early last year, but it doesn’t seem to be gaining much traction with production. Maybe what they need is not just a “reboot”, but a complete makeover? The kind that comes with a little more estrogen & snark? Either that, or just scrap the project all together because I’m not exactly interested in regurgitated story lines with younger versions of the original cast.  Give me Anna Kendrick as Indiana Jones & then maybe, idk,  throw Chris Pratt in there for good measure? Cuz who wouldn’t want to see that? I’ll stop now. Just watch the video. Because it’s glorious.

Movies

Avengers: Age of Ultron [Scarlet Witch]

Finally went back & saw this for a second time on Saturday (the first time was opening night & I missed a good chunk of the movie from being sleepy/tipsy on my birthday). Now, I’m not exactly obsessing over the movie as a whole, but I can.not. stop thinking about every major Wanda moment in the film. I missed them ALL the first time around, so when she started doing real magic – I got GOOSEBUMPS, guys. Legit, shivery goosebumps. I’m such a huge fan of Scarlet Witch – it started when I dressed as her for Halloween last year – and I was SO excited to see her come to life on screen. I know there has been a lot of controversy regarding the casting of Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda, since she is neither Romani nor Jewish, but I have to say – I think she nailed it. And I am pumped to see her in Cap 3. I hope they bring in the full costume, though – it’s just not Scarlet Witch without the headpiece!

Comics

A-Force

A-Force #1 is out today, and I’m headed down to the comic book shop to pick up my copy the instant I get out of work. Just check out all those AMAZING variant covers!

Variants

BEAUTY

This photo set is utter perfection. All those beautiful shades! I need to get all over making my hair a different color. It’s just time.

Goods

Nate Berkus Office Collection @ target

I’ve been slobbering over all of this for ages, but I think it’s time I bring some of it home with me – because OMG.

 

There you have my faves for the week – what are you obsessing over? Is there something I’m totally missing?! Let me know!

Until Next Time ❤

Holy Birthday.

I had the best birthday last week, you guys. [Caution: Random blabbering ahead.]

Thursday was a non-stop kinda day. I got to work around 7:00 & had a huge meeting across town until noon. That wasn’t an ideal way to start my birthday, BUT it did include a free catered fajita buffet, so it definitely wasn’t a bad thing. Plus then I got to call it a day after lunch, which was perfect.

I went home & got changed into my midnight movie uniform (Marvel tank top, duh) before heading out to meet up with some friends who were sweet enough to invite me to their lunch date. I was super stuffed from the catered lunch, but figured the last thing I should be doing on my birthday was just sitting on my couch waiting for the action to start. SO, I ordered a gigantic margarita & had a great time talking Star Wars & Avengers while they had lunch.

Before the party could really get going, hubby & I had to take kiddo to her Kindergarten open house (moment of silence, please, cuz my baby starts kindergarten in the fall T_T). We had no idea what to expect, but it was mostly an informational thing where the faculty described to us the daily routine of the kindergarten class. I was utterly shocked at the level of autonomy they expect out of kindergarteners. Maybe I’m underestimating my kid, but I am super nervous to have her be responsible for getting herself on the right bus & off at the right stop or serving herself lunch from the buffet line. Eek. Oh well. We’ve got all summer to work on it, right? Plus, look at that  face. She’s gonna be just fine.

We had about 15 minutes to get home, get kiddo changed for  dance, send her off with my mom, and get ourselves out of the house to meet our friends at the bar for our Avengers Pre-Game/ my pseudo-birthday party. It was close, but we managed. 🙂

From there, it was all about the good times. No responsibilities, celebrating great friends, and getting completely pumped for the movie by indulging in very heated debates about comics & superheroes. Not that that’s new for us, by any means. Have you checked out SWATH yet? That is kind of our default setting.  #shameless plug #sorrynotsorry

We had probably 25 people at the bar with us, which made us the really loud, obnoxious table in the place (again, not a novel situation…that’s pretty typical). AND here’s where I lend a huge shout-out to Raven for slaving away over cherry tomatoes to make me my favorite BLT bites. Holy lordy those are amazing.  And she made enough for EVERYONE. Even the waitress got her hands on a couple.

I’ll be perfectly honest & admit that I may have been having a little bit TOO good of a time before the movie.  I’m not sure how many drinks I had, but I’m certain my adult beverage-to-water ratio was NOT proportionate. And then we made our way to the movie theater, which sells alcohol. I always thought they only had beer, but I discovered last week that they also have margaritas! And they’re surprisingly good – as in, surprisingly strong.  After a couple of those, I was feeling REALLY good & officially uncontrollably excited for the movie (have I mentioned that I was REALLY excited to see the movie?). In case you were wondering, we were also the really loud, obnoxious group in the movie theater. BUT we respect the movie, so we calmed down after the previews. We’re not THAT obnoxious. We literally took up 1.5 rows of the theater. It was kind of epic. Our largest movie premier turnout ever (we do this for almost every late-night release).

I’m gonna skip over my thoughts on the movie – partially because this post is long enough already and partially because I might have taken a tiny nap towards the end & don’t feel I should form opinions without re-watching it. We’re going again next weekend 🙂

After the movie, we stood in front of the theater having a lively debate about different aspects of the film before a small group of us headed back to the bar for a nightcap. That’s when this gem happened. Because one of my friends had a freaking Zelda hat in her car. And then I was deemed unworthy of it when I didn’t know what the emblem was called (it wasn’t a tri-force, it was a tri-force surrounded by some stuff & I still don’t know what it’s called). But at least I got one good birthday selfie.

Seems like a good note to end my recap on. Sorry for the random tangents & stuff, but I’m still floating after such a great day.  27 is going to be a good year. I’m gonna take it by storm.

Until Next Time ❤

 

Regaining My Footing & A Nerd-tastic Birthday

So, I’ve spent a substantial amount of time catching up on my RSS feeds today. My feedly had over 1,000 unread posts. That’s super intimidating. I’m only about 1/3 of the way through so far.

The way the last couple of months have gone, I feel like I’ve been missing out on so much from my favorite blogs. I really felt like I was gaining some traction for a little while back in March – getting to know some of you & really making connections with people in the community – and then everything kind of fell by the wayside with personal shit that came up, getting sick, vacation, blah blah blah.

Well, it’s definitely time for me to find my footing & dive back into things. I’ve got a long list of posts to write, a huge stack of books/comics to read, and so many new things I want to try just so we can chat about them. I think it’s going to have to wait until the weekend, though, BECAUSE this is my birthday week. And I’m a huge fan of my birthday.

You know what’s awesome? When a highly anticipated movie comes out on your birthday. That’s right. I’ll be celebrating in style with a few drinks with friends, followed by a premiere showing of Age of Ultron (we have a group of something like 20 people coming & it’s going to be crazy).

I’ve been looking forward to this since the day they set the movie release. It’s finally only 4 days away and I’m geeking out hardcore.  I am so excited to see Wanda Maximoff on screen. I dressed as Scarlet Witch for Halloween last year & wanted to make sure I was well-versed in her history, so I read like 4 different Wiki pages/ character bios and found myself COMPLETELY enthralled with her story.

I’m gonna go read the Vision & The Scarlet Witch collection my brother-in-law got me for my birthday so I’m super in the zone when Thursday rolls around. Enjoy the geek-week, y’all.

Until Next Time ❤