Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Lazarus Effect

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! One day I want a horror film where a dangerous experiment takes place and it goes smoothly without any conflict or consequences...that'll really upset some people and I'll find it hilarious.

The Lazarus Effect – 2 out of 5

Conquering death is a common thing in fiction. Religions are built on resurrection, comic books would have died out if they didn’t originally come up with the idea of bringing dead heroes (and villains) back to life, video games would be impossible if you only had one life, and where would the world of supernatural and sci-fi horror films be without stories about a team of researchers trying to bring items back from the dead? Sure, it’s been done but there’s always the potential to do it differently or even just passably well enough to make it interesting…except The Lazarus Effect didn’t quite achieve that.
I had the same look when the credits hit and I was like, "That's it?"

A team of medical researchers lead by Frank (Mark Duplass) and his fiancée Zoe (Olivia Wilde) are attempting to create a serum that can, essentially, resurrect the dead. Bringing on a student videographer named Eva (Sarah Bolger) to document their journey and with the help of some friends; Clay (Evan Peters) and Niko (Donald Glover), the group finds they might be on to something when they successfully bring a dog back. However, the college finds out about the experiments and shuts them down. Now they must go around the system and complete their work; unfortunately, Zoe is accidentally killed and Frank, desperate and heartbroken, uses the techniques on her. However, Zoe doesn’t seem the same and the question is now being asked: Did the process change her or did something else come over and change her into something monstrous?
Wait...the bad aftereffects had nothing to do with the drug or's all because
Zoe broke a mirror.

There was definitely some potential to this film. The cast alone is made up of some really talented and enjoyable people and they each had the potential to make the film watchable. However, the end result was just another example of a PG-13 horror film that refuses to push the boundary of what’s scary. Even worse, the film and its story actually feels confused on what it wants to be.
This part was a metaphor for what the writers did most of the time instead
of writing.

The trailer made the film feel like the resurrected Olivia Wilde monster could have been a demon from Hell or something just as sinister (what’s more sinister than a demon? Donald Trump, maybe/pretty much definitely?). However, the film plays around with the idea that not only is it possible that Zoe is a monster from the other side (or was turned into a monster because of the other side) but it also calls into question the possibility that she is going mad from the resurrection serum and is going all ScarJo in Lucy because it is allowing her to access the X-Men portion of her brain that grants supernatural powers. I have no problem with ambiguity with the cause of the madness and powers but the plot and story need to feather them out a little bit. It felt like the film was a merger of two scripts—one where Zoe is effected by her time in the afterlife and her own personal Hell she found herself in and one where the medical science was doing bad stuff to her body and it was causing her to lash out. The film will jump back and forth where it made me feel like that it had no idea which way it wanted to lean as it one second makes Zoe feel like a monster of science and one second comes off like a monster from the other side. A little more focus or having the whole ordeal be something that can be explained in either way (make it look like the possibility for her homicidal rage be possible supernatural in definition or medical in explanation) could have helped this movie a lot but what was delivered was a muddled mess that came off like the writers had no clear vision of what their major element of conflict would be.  It clearly wants to be mysterious and slightly ambiguous but it just comes off as confused.
You think he's upset with the messy plot but really he's fussing over his
fantasy football team.

Additionally, the film’s body count is about as light as the low running length. I get it, the film has a small cast and it’s about intimacy and having this horror play out in a small and enclosing location for just a few people but the problem comes in with the fact that the characters aren’t developed very well and the fact the deaths are weak for even a PG-13 movie. Aside from the fact this group is working on a way to bring back the dead, you don’t really learn much about them. Sure, you learn the Zoe had a traumatic childhood but, beyond that, the most you learn about them is that Frank loves Zoe, Niko also loves her, Eva can work a camcorder and Clay likes his E-cigarette. That’s just about all you learn about them. Even though I enjoy all these actors tremendously, I found I couldn’t care about the characters. So, when they die in very weak, often off-camera, ways I found myself completely disinterested in the events that were transpiring around them. It also calls into question the supposedly boundless powers that Zoe contains. If the best you can do is snap a person’s neck when you can literally make the entire room’s furnishings levitate around you, you are a complete let down as an antagonist.
But she sure looks metal as hell!

The only real highlights the film contains is that the cast is doing the best they can with the paltry script they were dealt and the visuals from director David Gelb were far better than the weak scares this film farts out. Gelb’s use of light and shadow (and occasionally total darkness) is excellent and really primed me for something that had the potential to be really terrifying. Sadly, the visuals don’t pay off in anything remotely scary or even unnerving but, at the very least, the film looked good.
Like look at Evan Peters here...he looks great and is lit quite well.
However, I doubt this kid has a bad side and ever looks bad.  The guy is adorable, people.

I won’t lie and say there wasn’t potential for The Lazarus Effect because it probably could have been great or even just okay. As it stands, it’s not a terrible film. I wasn’t annoyed by bad acting or cheesy special effects and it didn’t have a story that made absolutely no sense. Instead, the film just had a story that lacked focus, contained very underdeveloped characters, held no scares or thrills, and had deaths that were incredibly weak. It could have been something but it felt like it didn’t want to put in the effort.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!  At this point I am totally convinced that Fin Shepard is actually causing these sharknadoes with black magic.  Considering where they went with this one, this might be the only thing left to do for the next one.

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! – 1 out of 5

Okay, so it seems it’s a yearly event now. The first one’s success was an accident. It was just your run-of-the-mill bad Syfy movie produced by the awful production company The Asylum but the world of social media latched on and everyone was clamoring to MST3K this bitch. The second was expected but this third one felt like we might have been reaching and it…um…I don’t want to say it was nearing shark jumping territory but the beating of a dead horse was definitely taking place. But, here we are, and since I’ve reviewed that other two, might as well do this one, too.
                                                                                                          The Asylum/Syfy Films
What?  More sharks?!?  This was never set up in any way!

                                                                              The Asylum/Syfy Films
A new actress plays April and Fin's son.  They explain the
change of hair color but never how she somehow
got younger.
After battling all those sharknadoes brought them closer together, Fin (Ian Ziering) and April (Tara Reid) are officially married again and expecting another child…but some sharknadoes have to come and mess up everything. While Fin is being honored by the President in D.C. (who is played by Mark Cuban), April is hanging out with her mother (Bo Derek) in Orlando. Not surprisingly, a sharknado hits D.C. and after it suddenly dies out Fin beats feet to get to Orlando to protect April and his unborn child. Along the way, he meets up with an old friend from the first film; Nova (Cassie Scerbo)—who has no news about Fin’s son that she was all googly eyed for in the first one. They soon realize that sharknadoes are so powerful that they need a new tactic to fight them and it involves getting Fin’s astronaut father (David Hasselhoff) and getting their asses to space (but not as far as Mars, other asses have to get there)…because of course they’re going into space now.
                                                                                                           The Asylum/Syfy Films
Nova returns and offers up no updates on Fin's son Matt?!? 
Let's assume she murdered him for the insurance money.
The sharknado insurance money.

                                                                             The Asylum/Syfy Films
It's like a cheesy, absolutely moronic, and incredibly
low budget version of Independence Day.
The first one was such a awful piece of crap that was made with absolutely no real motivation that it created something that was fun to watch. The second one just became a spectacle of trying to cram in as many celebrity cameos as it could and it ended up being too self aware to be appreciated as much as the first one—bad movies that try to be bad aren’t fun. However, there was still an element of fun to the film. This time around the joke has definitely run its course and there was nothing fun about it. The film’s subtitle didn’t need to be "Oh Hell No!"…it should have been "This is Getting Tedious."
                                                                                                             The Asylum/Syfy Films
Not even the legendary David Hasselhoff can save this film...and another thing:
Why did it take till the third film to get him into this franchise?

                                                                             The Asylum/Syfy Films
Chris Jericho is a little old to play a ride operator but
I like his enthusiasm for the job!
This time around the story tries way too hard and is attempting to get bigger and bigger with its moments of insanity—all the while they are ham-fisting as many celebrity cameos as they can. However, at this point, it seems they are reaching the bottom of the barrel of people willing to be in these films as we have to see Ann Coulter as the Vice President and see such stars as Bill Engvall, Chris Jericho, Michael Winslow, Cindy Margolis, Jackie Collins, Ray J, Jerry Springer, Michele Bachmann, and former Playboy playmates Kendra Wilkinson and Holly Madison. Occasionally, the cameos are fun like seeing Penn and Teller hanging out with The Hoff and watching George R.R. Martin die as he clearly will cameo in this stinker because he needs any reason to not write his book. However, most of the time, these cameos just feel unnecessary and, most of all, feel like they just couldn’t get more likeable people to make the time to be in the latest Sharknado film. I mean, they got Ann Coulter for the film and who in their right mind wants to see her in anything? I’ve always imagined that people’s faces melt off if you make eye contact with her.
                                                                                                          The Asylum/Syfy Films
Pay careful attention, Mark McGrath will never look at her directly.

                                                                              The Asylum/Syfy Films
Now if Obama got what he wanted and took our guns,
we'd have nothing to shoot the sharknadoes with.
I understand the need to have a sequel up the ante and make things bigger so the film doesn’t feel repetitive or like a rehash of what’s been seen but Oh Hell No! decides to do this by having increasingly growing spectacles with its sharknado attacks and it ultimately leaves the franchise with few places to proceed in the future. Each time results in more destruction, more sharks (I’m not even sure how there are sharks left anymore), more celebrity cameos being murdered, and more bad special effects. The film culminates in a space adventure (because NASA has shuttles ready to launch at the drop of a hat) and, yes, sharks end up in space (which makes total sense because they are somehow able to breathe and eat when not in the water so why can’t they breathe in space?) but, by this point, the film is clearly just trying to get to the next spectacle as quickly as it can and about getting what cameos it can get. Story has never been something that writer Thunder Levin (yes, that’s the writer’s real name) ever really considered when writing these films but I’m fairly certain that this film’s script was only a couple of pages long and just contained crayon drawings of the thing that Levin wants to happen. I then assume that the "script" is sent to returning director Anthony C. Ferrante and he and all the executives at Syfy roll them up and snort all the coke they can buy with their miniscule budget.
                                                                                                           The Asylum/Syfy Films
Impressive...usually film franchises don't head till space till after the 5th film.

In the previous films, the bad special effects, awful acting (or sometimes too strong acting like in the case of Ian Ziering—that man is giving his all to this role and more power to him for that), and the whole ridiculous nature of the idea itself made the experience fun—especially when you add in your own jokes that make fun of it along the way. 
                                                                                                          The Asylum/Syfy Films
Even this is a little gratuitous for a movie about tornados filled with sharks.
                                                                            The Asylum/Syfy Films
Even on the third go-around, Ian Ziering won't phone it in.
That's dedication.
This time around in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! the final result is so tiresome and so desperate to try and get to that next bit of nonsense (shit, even before the credits hit the film is overly preoccupied with pimping part 4, there’s no living in the moment with this one) and this it makes the film an act of tedium to get through. While I watched and live Tweeted jokes about this film (by the way, follow me on Twitter @RevRonster), I quickly found I was getting bored with it. Even making jokes about it felt like work. I know I said it in my review of The Second One but the joke has definitely run its course and, with the film going balls out and reaching into the depths of space this time, the fourth one has a real danger of just going through the motions when its made because there's no place left to take this dwindling franchise…at the very least, they are allowing the audience to vote on whether April lives or not. I, for one, don’t know if I can sit through Tara Reid’s dead deliver or look into her even deader eyes for another film. Seriously, though, I’m not trying to be mean here but are we 100% certain that she’s not a zombie?
                                                                                                          The Asylum/Syfy Films
Is it possible to be trying too hard with a tongue-in-cheek style?


***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!  The Governor could have learned a thing or two on what to do with your zombie daughter if he had watched this film. 

Maggie – 3 out of 5

Okay, so if you told me 20 years ago that the Terminator would one day be in a zombie movie I would have immediately called you a witch because you are having visions of the future and then would go to the heads of the town folks and see that you and your black magic loving ass was burned at the stake. However, in all seriousness, I never expected to see Arnold in a zombie film (and the Expendables films don’t count—sorry, that was an easy joke and I shouldn’t have gone for it…but I did, so let’s move on). Hell, if it was going to happen—and with how hot zombies are now in our pop culture—it would have been an action-packed extravaganza with Arnie blowing zombie brains away and delivering horrible one-liners like no tomorrow. I sure as spit didn’t expect a drama and I really, REALLY didn’t expect it to be one of the films where you see the most humanistic acting from a man that can play a killer robot really well.
He's pondering if he's ever truly been back.

After a zombie virus called the Necroambulist virus hits the globe, the world attempts to operate as normal but as normal as a world can be with zombies shuffling around. Curfews are put into place to protect the citizens and the infected—after they reach a certain stage and all bits of their humanity are gone—are thrown into quarantine zones where they are put down. Maggie Vogel (Abigail Breslin) finds herself trapped in the city after curfew and ends up being bit. Her father; Wade Vogel (Arnold Schwarzenegger), comes and collects her from the hospital and decides to do everything he can to protect her or, at the very least, allow her to live out her days in relative comfort and ease her passing when the unfortunate day comes that her transformation is complete and she becomes a decaying shadow of her former self. But until that day comes, Maggie is forced to come to grips with her life being taken away from her and the reality that she will become a member of the undead. Meanwhile, Wade must wrestle with the reality that this is the one thing he might not be able to protect his daughter from.
Nope.  None of this.  Absolutely none.  I would run and never stop if I saw this thing.

I had heard some bad things about Maggie before I got around to seeing it and went in with some low expectations but found the film better than I was ready for. I’ll admit that the movie is bogged down by a slow moving story that doesn’t have a lot of meat to it, it puts in a lot of filler in the form of moody imagery and the film could have used a few more light-hearted moments between the two main characters to show that Maggie’s journey wasn’t all depressing but, overall, the film has some merit. The biggest draw this film has going for it was the performances from Breslin and Schwarzenegger.
The virus causes Arnold to burn his crops.  What you can't hear is him yelling,
"I'm here!  Do it!  Kill me now!"

Abigail Breslin really nails the difficult performance of showing a young girl about to see her entire life slip away and become a member of the walking dead and she does it in a way that we don’t usually see in zombie fiction. Maggie isn’t ripped open by the dead and left to quickly change when she dies but rather we get to see her gradually change.  Even though she gets bitten, her transformation isn't the same we've seen in a thousand other zombie films.  Along the way we see her interact with the friends she has the horror of not being able to see again soon, she spends some time with her family and, because life loves irony, gets to connect with a young boy who is also infected. While most of Breslin’s performance is reserved and quiet, her transformation feels a lot more realistic (as realistic as someone becoming a zombie can be) than what we’ve seen in previous zombie films and it makes for the more intense moments—like watching her body fall apart and seeing how those like her are treated by the general populace—become that much more important and attention-grabbing.
Let's hope that no one in Abigail's life have seen her other zombie movie; Zombieland.
She wouldn't have lived as long in this one if they did.

As good as Breslin was as Maggie, I was absolutely floored by Arnold’s performance. I found it amazing that it’s in a zombie film that we see Schwarzenegger at his most human. Never in my life have I seen the man who is best known for telling us he’ll be back and to get to the choppa be so real. This was honestly the best acting I’ve ever seen from the man and it was unbelievable to see how real he made Wade feel.  In every scene you feel Wade’s love for Maggie and his instinct to protect her. In the more intimate moments when Wade is alone, you see the pent up sadness boiling over and you feel that he is out of his element and is nearly lost at how he can help his daughter. It was incredible and it made the film something to watch. Arnold’s performance allowed this movie to be something that everyone can relate to and, even if you’re not a zombie fan, you can find yourself sympathizing with his journey and his fatherly instincts.
Arnold's crying...let's see if any internet chauvinists have the balls to say he's
being a pussy.

Finally, I also really enjoyed the fictional realty that is established in Maggie. The movie isn’t like a lot of zombie fiction features that show a world that is completely devastated by the outbreak and man is left to fight the dead and somehow survive on a landscape that is as dead and as decaying as the enemy. While this reality isn’t quite the same as our everyday life, the production did a great job of making it believable that the world is somehow trying to cope with this virus. There are still hardships but people are still trying to live their lives like this virus isn’t going to completely obliterate the mundane and routine. It was a refreshing take and a new way to set the stage for zombie fiction and something I would be very interested to see other zombie features try.  For example, I would love to see a short film that centers on fast food worker trying to live his life in this type of reality...and then seeing the people who still think he doesn't deserve a living wage even though he has to risk being killed by zombies so he can get your tubby butt your double cheeseburger with super size fries and large diet coke.
Sure, their world is still bleak but it's not the usual zombie outbreak bleak.

Overall, Maggie is worth a chance but the film is bogged down by a slow moving story. The plot could have been assisted by some additional happier moments between Wade and Maggie—if would have helped shown their father/daughter relationship on a level that isn’t just a father protecting his zombifying little girl. Getting into more depth with the characters might have also helped the film decrease its overused go-to move of intercutting B-role imagery to help establish mood. While this tactic isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it did often make the film feel like it was padding itself out in order to get to feature length.
I'm not a father but I'm sure there would be limits to my fatherly love...especially when
my zombified daughter is giving me a kiss goodnight.

Maggie isn’t a terrible film and contains some great performances and offers up a fresh new look at the post-apocalypse landscape of the overly familiar zombie fic. The film does stumble greatly due to a very narrow plot that doesn’t venture out far enough or develop what it has deep enough and it makes for a story that has a tendency to drag very often. However, it’s definitely worth a shot for Arnold’s performance alone and it definitely seems like a great jumping point to make more poignant and emotional zombie films in the future.

Friday, July 17, 2015


***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!  If the hero thing doesn't work out, Ant-Man can take a job at the Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can't Read Good...or at least the model of it.

Ant-Man – 5 out of 5

That’s right, playas!  Another Marvel Studios film has been released and Phase 2 has been shut and it’s no surprise that I absolutely loved this film!  What can I say?  I’m a huge fan and superhero films haven’t been letting me down for several years now.  So, strap in and let’s get to talking about the latest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; Ant-Man.

                                                                                                                          Marvel Studios
Welcome to the world of being a hero, Scott Lang.  You are legally required to land all your
jumps like this.

Set after the events of Avengers:  Age of Ultron, we see Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) desperate to get his technology out of the hands of the unstable Darren Cross (Corey Stoll).  Years ago, Pym discovered how to pull a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.  This tech would leave the subject with the ability to shrink, revert to normal size, and have heightened abilities when in the shrunken state.  Pym knew that this tech could be used for great evil so he turns to Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a criminal desperate to reform in order to be a positive presence for his daughter.  Lang agrees and learns to control the tech and the suit that contains this ability (part of which is the ability to communicate with ants) and ends up becoming the Ant-Man.  Now, teaming with Pym, his daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), and some of his former robbing buddies (played by Michael Peña, T.I., and David Dastmalchian) set out to successfully complete a heist to take away Cross’ suit that replicates Pym tech.  A suit he soon adorns in order to become the villainous Yellowjacket.

                                                                                                                         Marvel Studios
Yes, Yellowjacket is a bad guy but that suit is badass.

I know I get repetitive when I defend my perfect scores for superhero movies but I feel I have to always explain myself.  I never deny that I’m bias towards these films because I totally am.  Superheroes are just my thing and I’ve been a loyal fan of Marvel and DC superhero properties since I was old enough to actually talk.  I’ve been through the dark times and seen the horrors they made when I was a youngling and seen the adequate items that were made when I was a teenager and in my early 20s.  However, things all changed when Iron Man came out and things just seem to keep getting better and better.  Ant-Man just keeps that level of quality going and proves that Marvel Studios might be unstoppable with their shared cinematic universe.

                                                                                                                          Marvel Studios
I think this is a metaphor for San Diego Comic-Con.

Unlike the entirety of Phase One, Ant-Man ventures past just an origin story that establishes Scott Lang and Henry Pym.  In the same vein that The WinterSoldier went the political thriller route or how Guardians of the Galaxy became a loving tribute to the Sci-Fi space adventures of old, Ant-Man forgoes being just a straight forward tale of the aging hero Pym handing off his tech to the younger Scott Lang and, instead, is a heist movie with a heavy dose of comedy.  Granted, the film is still filled with the usual superhero origin tropes and familiar twist and turns that heist movies go through but they never feel tired or boring.  Part of this has to do with fantastically established cinematic universe Marvel has but a lot of it has to do with the wonderfully written comedy and the charismatic cast.
                                                                                                                           Marvel Studios
Oh, Paul are too damn charming and are, without a doubt, Hollywood's
most likable man!  You are a national please lift the restraining

I was very excited to hear that Paul Rudd was going to suit up and enter the MCU as Ant-Man.  I’m a big fan of the guy.  I find him hilarious and overwhelmingly charming…with the whip cream and cherry on top being the fact that he is a ridiculously talented man.  I’ve said it many times and I stand by it; I don’t want to meet the man who doesn’t like Paul Rudd.  Rudd brings his usual lovable persona and makes it work well with the redemption-seeking Scott Lang.  There was the potential that Rudd might not have fit in within the Marvel Cinematic Universe due to his comedy work but, not surprisingly, Rudd proves that he can balance his humor with heart and complete badassery and prove that he is a welcome addition to the universe and someone I’m excited as all hell to see fight side-by-side with Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow and the rest of the Avengers.

                                                                                                                          Marvel Studios
We going to see Giant Man in Civil War perhaps?

Rudd isn’t a lone wolf in this film and is surrounded by an excellent cast.  Smaller roles filled by Judy Greer and Bobby Cannavale play just as well as the bigger roles of Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly.  Some of the highlights include the great chemistry between Douglas, Lilly and Rudd in the core of the heist team and special mention has to be made to Michael Peña who provides some of the strongest laughs in the film and proved to be just an absolutely and fantastically entertaining character.  Finally, just like Rudd nailed becoming Scott Lang, Michael Douglass proved to be insanely captivating to watch as the mentor and creative genius Hank Pym.

                                                                                                                           Marvel Studios
Seriously, try and take your eyes away from Douglas when he's on screen...
you can't do it.  He's that good.

The only downside I had to the cast was Corey Stoll as Darren Cross/Yellowjacket.  Stoll is never outright terrible in this role and actually proves to be quite intimidating once he puts the suit on but early in the film he comes off a tad cheesy.  His performance made it seem like Cross was seconds away from spontaneously growing a mustache before he started twirling it and tied Hope van Dyne to some railroad tracks.  And speaking of Hope, Lilly's performance was so good that I really wanted to see a bigger character arc for her.  Her character isn't written badly at all but she was so cool that I wanted more...which is definitely going to happen as it is hinted A LOT!

                                                                                                                          Marvel Studios
Not to spoil anything but during the button scene in the credits we learn

Stoll’s performance proved to be the only real downside I had for the film for the most part.  Occasionally, the action is difficult to watch because of the scale.  When Ant-Man is small, the action is fast and sometimes hard to focus on because the scenes are so busy but, for the most part, the action is satisfying—even though it’s on a much smaller scale than the previous Marvel film…pun intended.  This also leads to the very cool special effects that successfully provided a sense of scale that showed you how different the world looks when you’re the size of an insect and it was just awesome to see how they created the shrinking effect and did so in a way that honored the source material wonderfully.

                                                                                                                           Marvel Studios
The design of the suit is so rad!  And I'm not trying to be ironic by saying "rad."
I really mean it, it looks very cool.

Finally, no adaptation—whether it is a book, comic, video game or cave drawings—will ever been 100% accurate and translated exactly.  I don’t expect it to be because I honestly think that would be boring.  I want just enough changes that makes what I’m seeing to be fresh and new and Marvel Studios is doing an amazing job of adapting their characters so they are familiar from the pages but different enough so they exist in a realm that can cater to a mass audience.  This story captured the spirit of the characters extremely well—heck, even taking the character of Yellowjacket (who is actually Pym in the comics) felt like it was a nice mix of the source material but molded so that it fits in the MCU.  What I saw on screen feels like the characters I read on the pages but shown through a different filter for the MCU and it works.

                                                                                                                          Marvel Studios
Just going to say it again:  Michael Peña is a show-stealer in this film.

My complaints for Ant-Man are very minimal because I had a blast watching it.  The story is solid as it tells a great heist story and blends it with themes of passing on the torch, redemption and personal responsibility.  The humor is fantastic and helps keep the movie light enough and the cast is an ensemble of talented people that fit right into this universe.  This film, much like Guardians, was a big risk for Marvel because Ant-Man isn’t a mainstream hero and the realities of his abilities might be considered silly to the average movie goer but Marvel Studios knew how to play the game and proved that this gamble was successful and they crafted another fun and wickedly entertaining film.  Now, it just sucks that I have to wait until next year to watch Captain America:  Civil War…well, at least Jessica Jones will be coming out on Netflix.  That’ll be my Marvel fix!  And then, of course, there's season 2 of Daredevil and that contains Jon Bernthal as The Punisher!  Oh my glob, I can't wait for that!