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Ant-Man - Blu-ray Review

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Ant-man - Movie Review

4 stars

They say it’s not the size, it’s how you use it. Ant-Man, with its emphasis on all things microscopic, is proof of the truth in that saying. With its smallest hero, Marvel Studios has done the biggest thing. I’m just going to go ahead and make one thing clear: Ant-Man is a hell of a lot more fun than Avengers 2 and, in a lot of ways, a much better film. Shocking, right?! It shouldn’t be. Ant-Man has the freedom that Age of Ultron just didn’t have and it celebrates that simple fact with a half-an-inch tall superhero that does some pretty heavy lifting in clearing out its competition.

Rounding out its Phase 2 series of films, Marvel Studios delivers a solid kick in what so many naysayers have already dismissed as weak (based solely on their own prejudices). Fun and energetic, Ant-Man, in my opinion, saves the summer of 2015 from total disappointment. No one saw this coming. Not amongst all the towering dinosaurs this summer offered. To go from the earth-smacking, window-shattering antics of Hulk vs. Iron Man to a film like this that cleverly genre-hops itself into a sort of comic caper.

Ant-Man is the true marvel here.

A charming and witty Paul Rudd is ex-con Scott Lang. Lang, who needs to change for the benefit of his young daughter (Abby Ryder Fortson), is looking for a chance to make himself over in the eyes of his ex-wife (Judy Greer). Already Marvel is taking chances here. This truly isn’t the sort of super hero movie you might expect which makes Ant-Man all the more interesting (considering all the directorial drama behind the scenes). Humanity and humor is at the forefront.  

Lang finds himself alienated from his family and from society and winds up working at an all-too familiar job. He is, in fact, in a personal prison and is aching to find a path to redemption. Enter Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) who see purpose in Lang’s particular set of thieving skills. Their mission is one of conquest: get back the shrinking technology (aka the Pym Particle) that Darren Cross/Yellowjacket (Corey Stoll), Pym’s former protégé, has militarized and they need Lang as much as he needs them.

Co-starring Bobby Cannavale and Michael Peña, Ant-Man features cameos from MCU regulars John Slattery, Hayley Atwell, and Anthony Mackie. While it certainly feels like a different bug altogether, the film fits into the world of Marvel’s superheroes in a way that probably few are expecting. And, when it all comes together, audiences will get to see just how BIG this character’s future in MCU will be.

Director Peyton Reed (who replaced Edgar Wright) proves he was truly the right fit for the film. He doesn’t just inherit the Ant-Man; he adds to it by building up the relationships established between two generations of crime fighters and keeps things settled on, of all things, the heart. Don’t worry, though, Wright’s influence is still apparent. Tonally, the film merges the action and the comedy into a film about the relationship between mentors and mentees. It’s a passing of the torch and unique to Marvel’s cinematic universe thus far.

Remember (for some) the surprise of Guardians of the Galaxy with its humor and pure trippy awesomeness? Yeah, well, it’s back to crown Rudd as champion of this world. Sure, the film has its typical training montages as Rudd gets used to the idea of shrinking and figuring out how everything works BUT the intelligence in how Ant-Man operates through this new maze of smallness is - including the wicked POV shots - simply exhilarating, making everything that feels familiar (which isn’t much) so incredibly worth it.

Dizzying, irreverent, and down-right trippy at times, Ant-Man proves that Marvel knows EXACTLY what it is doing – no matter the size of its hero.

Ant-man - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi action violence.
Runtime:
117 mins
Director
: Peyton Reed
Writer:
Edgar Wright; Joe Cornish
Cast:
Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll
Genre
: Sci-fi | Action
Tagline:
This July, heroes don't come any bigger.
Memorable Movie Quote: "One question... Is it too late to change the name?."
Distributor:
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Official Site: http://marvel.com/antman#/antview
Release Date:
July 17, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
December 8, 2015.
Synopsis: Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Ant-Man - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - December 8, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

Disney closes Marvel’s Phase 2 with the release of Ant-Man on blu-ray. The results are as good as can be expected. Black levels are charged and edges are well developed. The crispness to much of the happenings only gets crushed a bit when we go small scale and, usually, that’s only in the darkest of holes as our hero crawls and runs alongside some ants. There’s a nice lever of saturation to the film and the effects are detailed and strong. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless soundtrack is a pretty big deal. It’s immersive and perfectly aligned with the scope of the project.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Peyton Reed and Paul Rudd have themselves a grand old time with the feature length commentary. It’s fun, humorous, and informative.

Special Features:

There are two very brief featurettes that - comprised of interviews with cast and crew - detail a very small-scale look at the making of the movie. Peyton Reed’s interviews are key here since he was brought on after the unexpected departure of Edgar Wright. He explains what he added to the film and the integration of Ant-Man into The Avengers. The second featurette lays out the groundwork for some pretty heavy territory that Doctor Strange will fill us in on. There are a collection of fake news interviews, 8 deleted scenes featuring a young Hank quitting SHIELD, and a fun gag reel. All in all, good stuff.

  • Making of an Ant-Sized Heist: A How-To Guide (14 min)
  • Let’s Go To The Microverse (8 min)
  • WHIH NewsFront (9 min)
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (8 min)
  • Gag Reel (3 min)

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