Tag: Ant-man and The Wasp

Brainiac On Banjo: Tiny Heroes Vs Tiny Minds

Brainiac On Banjo: Tiny Heroes Vs Tiny Minds

Now Fatherland, Fatherland, show us the sign your children have waited to see. The morning will come when the world is mine; tomorrow belongs to me. “Tomorrow Belongs To Me,” written by John Kander for the play “Cabaret.”

I loathe going to movies alone. If the flick is great, I wanna talk about it. If the flick sucks, I wanna commiserate with a friend. Most movies are somewhere in between, and if I picked the right companion the after-movie discussion can be better than the viewing experience itself. In seeing Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, I was joined by my dear friend Martha Thomases, of DC and Marvel fame. We’ve enjoyed some great movies together, although some would be defined by critics as shitty.

Is a movie shitty even if you had a good time? Well, perhaps by consensus, but that should not humble your experience retroactively. Portal-to-portal, going out to the movies these days is an expensive proposition: the old phrase “coming soon to a theater near you” is obsolete because the vast majority of humanity no longer lives near a movie theater (Martha is a lucky exception). So when you add up all of your expenses, assuming you are willing to pay the going theater rate for a quarter’s worth of pop corn, seeing any movie in the theater is likely to cost the better part of a mortgage payment. Of course, those few surviving movie palaces of yesteryear are now showing live theater and kinda-live concerts, so we’ve got to shoehorn ourselves into little boxes made of ticky-tacky and endure twenty minutes of commercials before we get to the trailers.

But it’s a choice we, as the paying audience, choose to make. Not so much the movie critics. They have to see damn near everything, and I sympathize. They’ve been subjected to so many flickering images it’s a wonder they’re not all epileptics. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Tiny Heroes Vs Tiny Minds”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #081: Tired of your Marvel Malaise

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #081: Tired of your Marvel Malaise

The murmurs and mumbles of mediocrity started as early as Thor 2: The Dark World. They got louder with Black Widow. Louder still with Eternals. Then came the ire and fanboy rage over She-Hulk. And now it’s perhaps getting a bit too loud over Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

I’m sick of it.

In my day (shh, Mike Gold. Shh.) comic book movies were — at best — loud, kitschy affairs. For every Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or ’89 Batman… we also got Howard the Duck, Superman III and IV, and Captain America. In the 90’s, Batman plummeted in quality, and was met by early CGI nightmares like Spawn, or obnoxious barely-based-on-their-source popcorn flicks like Judge Dredd or Tank Girl. And while these films were watchable… they were hardly of a caliber that one could present opposite more lucrative blockbuster sci-fi and action romps.

And then came Marvel.

It started unassumingly with Blade. Unlike so many neon-lit counterparts released prior… Blade felt like a horror action-movie. It was clearly inspired by the comic book origins and broad strokes of the character, but made smart choices in costuming, sets, and the watered-down plot. It wasn’t hokey. It was a blueprint.

1998’s Blade begat Bryan Singer’s X-Men. Similar to the vampire hunter… these were well-dressed (“what, you’d prefer yellow spandex?”) superheroes with well-thought-out effect work that made their mutant abilities feel believable. Combine this with the gravitas and star power of Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellan, and slowly but surely, the zeitgeist was changing. 

Take a side-step from the mainstream, and you could see Hollywood begin to lean into the pulp and paper world. Ghost World, From Hell, Road to Perdition, and my personal favorite American Splendor showcased that comics beyond the punchy kind would also be applicable to mainstream (if a bit arty) America. But I digress.  Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #081: Tired of your Marvel Malaise”

With Further Ado #010: Don’t Belittle Others; “Be-Big” Them

With Further Ado #010: Don’t Belittle Others; “Be-Big” Them

A planned trip to the drive-in sparked an idea for one of these columns.  A few weeks ago, one of the summer superhero movies, Ant-Man and Wasp, was playing at the local drive-in theater. This was an astonishing fact to me.  Longtime Marvel fans know that Ant-Man was never very popular.

The “small hero” had been done so many times before- in everything from Gulliver’s Travels (when he’s amongst the giants in the land of Brobdingnab) to The Incredible Shrinking Man to TV”s Land of the Giants.  And in comics, other diminutive heroes like Doll Man, Doll Girl and the Atom were always fighting fearsome giant threats. Such as… the neighbor’s house cat or toys that came to life.

When I was in fourth grade, my class published a student newspaper and used the proceeds to buy cool stuff.  After we splurged on posters and kickballs, there was just a little bit left over. My teacher, Mrs. Shearer, turned to me and asked if I’d buy some comics for the class with the small amount of leftover change.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #010: Don’t Belittle Others; “Be-Big” Them”

Ant-Man and The Wasp and Mighty Marvel Continuity

Ant-Man and The Wasp and Mighty Marvel Continuity

A review of sorts

As we were leaving the movie megaplex last night, Editor Adriane asked me to do up a piece about Ant-Man and the Wasp, informing me that others also will be reviewing the movie from their own unique perspectives and I should do the same. That’s fine by me: there’s some cute stuff pulled straight out of Marvel continuity lurking in the shadows of this flick, and as the Pop Culture Squad’s official old fart, I’m gonna pull back some of the covers.

But first, the mandatory SPOILER ALERT. I might be revealing some stuff that could possibly undermine your enjoyment of this very entertaining movie, presuming you haven’t seen it yet because, ya know, you might actually have a life. So if you haven’t seen the movie and you haven’t looked at the art we’re posting, proceed at your own risk.

Continue reading “Ant-Man and The Wasp and Mighty Marvel Continuity”