Contains plot details.
I am hopelessly behind with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I haven’t even got to the end of ‘Phase One’ yet, as I have yet to watch Captain America: The First Avenger and Marvel’s The Avengers, and as a result a lot of the later films in the franchise are just far too intricately interconnected and convoluted to jump straight in to. As a result, when I do feel in the mood to sample a recent superhero I tend to go for ones outside the core MCU continuity.
Last year that spot was taken by Guardians of the Galaxy, which was almost totally disconnected from the main series. This year the best I could find was Ant-Man which can be best described as ‘semi-detached’ from the main MCU storyline for most of its 117 minute running time even though it starts with a scene featuring Howard Stark and Peggy Carter (John Slattery and Hayley Atwell) and has a key role for S.H.I.E.L.D. nemesis Hydra. Happily I’m much more up to date with MCU’s TV offerings so these elements didn’t give me any trouble at all. The few bits that were entirely new to me – such as a cameo from Anthony Mackie as the Falcon – took little explanation to make perfect sense.
Ant-Man is in many ways the answer to the question ‘Where do you go after beating demigods and sentient supercomputers, travelled the galaxy and crossed into alternate dimensions?’ Based on this evidence, the idea is to go back to basics and bring everything down to a much smaller and more intimate nature. And by that I don’t just mean the eponymous hero’s reduced stature. Read the rest of this entry »
I should probably own up and admit that I saw the second film in The Hobbit trilogy last month. Keen-eyed readers will have noticed that I didn’t publish a review of it, however, and may now be wondering why that is.
I did start to write one, but I ground to a halt midway through. I rather lost heart as well as interest in completing it – and I have to say, that mirrored my feelings toward the film as a whole. Having enjoyed the first film An Unexpected Journey more than I’d expected to (and more than the reviews of that instalment had suggested I would), my feelings about the second part proved significantly less upbeat. Even now with some distance I’m not entirely sure why that was: perhaps I didn’t manage my expectations properly going in and allowed myself to anticipate a better film than was possible in the circumstances; perhaps I was simply in a bad mood the day I went to the cinema. Or perhaps the film just wasn’t very good, despite the much better reviews it has received this time around.
In an effort to finally get through the review on the second attempt, I’ve broken down my problems with it to three general areas of concern. Read the rest of this entry »