Movie of the Week: Ant-Man and the Wasp

Has anyone else recovered from Infinity War? No? Me neither. If anything, this week’s feature film will take me and millions back to the blissful time before the….trauma. This Independence Day weekend we roll on with Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we check in on what happened to Scott Lang after most of the Avengers went to a supermax after Civil War. An entity from the Quantum Realm has escaped to Earth and this Ghost plans to unleash chaos unless she is stopped. Ant-Man and the Wasp appear to be the world’s only hope.

Director: Payton Reed

Written by: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari and Paul Rudd

Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Michael Douglas, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Hannah John-Kamen, Michael Peña, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Walton Goggins, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Laurence Fishburne and Michelle Pfeiffer.

What am I expecting to see?: Right now, Phase Three of the MCU has been damn near perfect and I fully expect Ant-Man and the Wasp to carry on the streak of excellence. I remember being satisfied with the first Ant-Man and I think that with Payton Reed coming back, more settled in his role as director compared to the first film, Ant-Man and the Wasp seems destined to be more entertaining than the first one. Fireworks and superheroes this week? What more could a man want in his Fourth of July weekend!

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Movie of the Week: Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Three years ago, Denis Villenueve and Taylor Sheridan took audiences to the border in a film that took audiences to the edge in one of the best pictures of the year. The drug war along the Mexico-U.S. border is brutal and without rules and to fight that war, soldiers are needed; soldiers who don’t exactly adhere to the same rules and controls that our men and women in combat answer to. This week, we’re going back to the land of wolves in the follow-up to the relentless and brilliant Sicario, in Sicario: Day of the Soldado.

Director: Stefano Sollima

Written by: Taylor Sheridan

Starring: Benecio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Jeffery Donovan, Isabella Moner, Catherine Keener, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Matthew Modine, Elijah Rodriguez, Jacqueline Torres and Shea Wigham

What am I expecting to see?: I thought Sicario was the third best film to come out in 2015! That being said, I did NOT expect or want a sequel, let alone one without Denis Villenueve or Emily Blunt, two figures who played a big part in the first film’s success because I felt that the film was strong enough to stand on its own without any future installments. I am going into Sicario: Day of the Soldado with a great degree of skepticism because I have doubts that I will enjoy this sequel as much as I enjoyed the first one. Still, Sheridan is a strong storyteller and I believe he’ll craft a formidable story for director Stefano Sollima to work with.

Movie of the Week: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Can you believe that the original Jurassic Park roared into theaters a quarter of a century ago? If I can take away anything from Steven Spielberg’s classic is the moral that man cannot play God and suffer no consequences; bringing mankind and dinosaurs together? Bad idea with very bad results but still great material to watch as you consume popcorn. Anyway, we’re on the cusp of another feature that explores why mankind should not be allowed to play God. The dinosaurs are back and they are hungry but this time, the park is as extinct as the dinosaurs should be. This week, we’re going to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Directed by: J.A. Bayona

Written by: Derek Connelly and Colin Trevorrow

Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Toby Jones, B.D. Wong, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Geraldine Chaplin, Isabella Sermon and Jeff Goldblum

What am I expecting to see?: I recall the last Jurassic World feature and I was a bit indifferent towards it. The big bad dinosaur was menacing but it had the all-too-familiar feel of a sequel of a franchise that was better off extinct. This feature, we have a change in director and from what I see, this appears to have a more amplified level of suspense and fright that may work well in its favor. I’m giving Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom a watch because I’m curious about where Bayona wants to take this franchise.

Movie of the Week: Incredibles 2

Before Disney took ownership of Marvel, before Iron Man, before the Dark Knight trilogy, there was a formidable family of superheroes everyone couldn’t help but love! Times were simpler then; there were no comic book universes, no warring fandoms, just a movie for everyone to love no matter how old you were. After 14 years, Disney and Pixar are dusting off one of their many animated achievements and giving the Parr family a brand new adventure and audiences may be in store for something more incredible than ever! Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Dash, Violet, Jack-Jack and Frozone are making a comeback! Incredibles 2 finally arrives in theaters!

Director: Brad Bird

Written by: Brad Bird

Featuring the voices of: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Huck Millner, Sarah Vowell, Eli Fucile, Samuel L. Jackson, Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, Sophia Bush, Brad Bird, Isabella Rossellini, Michael Bird and Phil LaMarr.

What am I expecting to see?: I remember The Incredibles being damn good 14 years ago. New refreshing characters, an intriguing plot to wrap my head around “what if superheroes were outlawed?”, beautiful animation, great pacing, great score; a truly remarkable piece of work from Disney-Pixar and now we finally get to know what happens when and after the Underminer surfaces. This is actually a sequel I’ve been waiting for and I believe that it has the clout to hold up with the original.

Movie of the Week: Solo: A Star Wars Story

The second film in the Star Wars anthology series centers around one of the most pivotal characters in the franchise. Not much is known about this character before he met Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi and agreed to charter them to Alderaan. We’ve seen and heard snippets of his past before he was reluctantly entangled with the Rebellion, but this film will attempt to fill in the blanks. Before he was the renowned Rebellion general, before he won the heart of a princess, before the events of A New Hope, Han Solo aimed to write his name down in history as the best pilot in the galaxy and Solo: A Star Wars Story will tell his story from the beginning.

Director: Ron Howard

Written by: Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan

Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Joonas Suotamo, Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau, Linda Hunt, Warwick Davis, John Tui and Ian Kenny.

What am I expecting to see?: What really fascinates me about these anthology films is that they fill in so many blank spaces in the almost 20 year void between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and Han Solo plays such a prominent part in the original trilogy that he does constitute his own origin feature because he is a character with a backstory some fans would like to see. I’m looking forward to seeing how Ron Howard salvaged this production due to early reports about how this film was trending towards disaster under then-directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord and to see if Alden Ehrenreich can do justice by the role Harrison Ford made legendary. A lot is riding on Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Movie of the Week: Deadpool 2

I know it’s been awhile. Bear with me, I’m still in recovery from the last film I saw but I’m ready to go back to the movies and this week’s feature film looks like it could be just what the doctor ordered. This week, we dive back into the psyche of a true renaissance man; tortured artist, interpretive dancer, mythical equine enthusiast, Rhodes scholar, renowned gigolo, gentlemen of fortune, connoisseur of katana, chimichangas and firearms and a mouth that just won’t quit to compliment a body that just won’t die. The rascal known as Wade Wilson is back for more and this time, he’s not alone. The second coming is upon us! Deadpool 2 is about to be unleashed!

Director: David Leitch

Written by: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Ryan Reynolds

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Leslie Uggams, Karan Soni, Stefan Kapicic, Brianna Hildebrand, Julian Dennison, Terry Crews, Lewis Tan, Rob Delaney and Bill Skarsgård.

What am I expecting to see?: I described the first Deadpool as “goofy and stupid in the silliest way possible.” This sequel has the formula to be even goofier and stupider than its predecessor if new director David Leitch doesn’t mess with the formula too much. I honestly think that if this movie works the way I hope it does, I die from laughter because Ryan Reynolds just embodies this outlandish smart alec of a character. Deadpool 2 looks like the upper I need to take after Infinity War eviscerated my soul!

 

Movie of the Week: Avengers: Infinity War

There was an idea. This idea may have sounded unfathomable upon its initial stages but now that it has reached its zenith, the culmination of this idea is poised to change the world as we know it. This idea involved assembling not only remarkable characters but the universes they hail from and pit them against a force of evil so titanic, the universe will tremble when they clash! It has taken a decade in the making but the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s finest hour is upon us! The Avengers have fought against gods, machines and each other in the past but the Mad Titan is ready to strike in Avengers: Infinity War.

Directed by: The Russo Brothers

Written by: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

Starring: Let’s just save ourselves the time and just say “everyone!

What am I expecting to see?: The superhero movie to end all superhero movies! This movie is the culmination of a decade of creativity, dedication, conviction and pure fantasy. I’ve been on the ride that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the beginning since Iron Man dropped and the MCU has had their share of highs and lows but if I were to say that I was ready for what’s coming, would be a lie because I have no idea what’s coming, there is a galaxy of stars in this movie with excellent storytellers behind it and I’m oozing excitement. Avengers: Infinity War is my most anticipated film of the year and my expectations could not be higher!