Posts categorized “Movies”

Friday, 5 October 2018

Movie Review: Ant Man & the Wasp

These guys...

These guys…

Ant Man & the Wasp (2018): ★★★

Ant Man & the Wasp is pretty much the epitome of a three-star movie. It’s fun, breezy, exciting, and hilarious, but never earth-shattering. You won’t come out of it a better person, or wanting to be a better person, or still gasping in amazement at the things you saw on the screen. You will have a good time, though.

Like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this is a better film than its predecessor. You’ve got the origin story out of the way. Now you don’t have to be bothered with watching how Scott Lang became a superhero; you just get to watch what he does as a superhero.

And what he does is be hilarious. Gotta confess, I’m a big Paul Rudd fan. I love his put-upon, slightly loser-ish, everyman persona as Lang. His interactions with exasperated FBI agent Jimmy Woo are gold. His reactions to his suit’s frequent malfunctions are fantastic. Plus Rudd is a great physical comedian. That’s all put to great use in this movie. There’s a montage towards the beginning of the film that shows how he tries to pass the time during his house arrest stint (due to the events of Captain America: Civil War), and he gets to show of some fantastic up-close magic. There’s also an absolutely amazing scene where Michelle Pfeiffer’s character (Janet Van Dyne, the original Wasp) possesses Scott Lang. So for quite a long stretch of time, we all get to enjoy and laugh at Paul Rudd doing a spot-on Michelle Pfeiffer impression.

Also funny are Lang’s ex-con sidekicks, who are all trying to start a legitimate security business together with Lang. Michael Peña is once-again amazing as Luis, who while under the effect of a truth serum (“It’s not truth serum!” “It’s truth serum!”) gets to have another one of his monologues where we get to see all of the actors lip-synching to his prattling on. I wonder how long one of those could be before it got old? Could we see a whole movie from Luis’s point of view? I’d probably want to watch that!

As much as this movie is called Ant Man & the Wasp, though, this is really the Wasp’s story. It’s her mother who is in lost, and in accidental jeopardy due to the not-really-villains Ghost and Bill Foster. She’s the one who gets to debut as a superhero. She’s the one who has all the drive. Ant Man is just kind of along to support her, and I thought that was great. It reminded me a lot of Mad Max: Fury Road, in which it was really Furiosa who was the main character, with Max just along for the ride.

I really appreciate the small scope of the plot. Sure, there are huge (literally) superhero fights across San Francisco, but there is no earth-shattering, world-ending threat. The Pyms just want to get Janet back. Scott just wants to make amends. Sonny Burch (the only real villainous character in the movie) just wants to make some extra black-market money. And Bill Foster just wants Ghost to be stabilized. That’s really it. Nobody is going to try to take over the world. Nobody is trying to kill half of all life in the universe. It’s just a story about people trying to fix their families. And after 20-some Marvel movies about megalomaniacal villains trying to be the be-all-and-end-all, it’s pretty amazing that a very small, personal story like this can work so well in the superhero milieu.

Categories: Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Kris “Sonics Guy” Brannon is a “Superfan: The Documentary”

superfan

♫ He’s a Superfan! A Superfan! He’s Super-fannish! ♬

Kris Brannon, AKA “Sonics Guy” (AKA a former member of Fools Play Improv), is a pretty cool guy, and (obviously) very passionate about getting an NBA team back in Seattle after the Sonics were taken away many years ago. He shows up at events all over the region in his Sonics gear holding signs with various “Bring Back Our Sonics” messages. Everyone loves getting their photos taken with him:

Here we are WAAAAAAAAY back in 2011.

Here we are WAAAAAAAAY back in 2011.

Well, he was recently the subject of a fun little documentary about the leaving of the Sonics and the hope for their return, called Superfan. It was an official selection at the Seattle International Film Festival, the Tacoma Film Festival, the Chicago International Reel Shorts Film Festival, and was also shown on Alaska Airline’s in-flight entertainment. And you can now watch it RIGHT HERE:

At fewer than seven minutes long it’s not horribly in-depth, but it’s very well done.

Kris and filmmaker Leigh Burmesch at SIFF. Photo by Raimundo Jurado (obviously).

Kris and filmmaker Leigh Burmesch at SIFF. Photo by Raimundo Jurado (obviously).

Heck, I don’t know many people who have been the subject of documentaries, do you? And, no, I don’t really count.

Good on ya, Sonics Guy!

Categories: Fools Play, Movies, My Famous Friends.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

😢

"The deliberate taking of human--even super-human--life goes against every belief that I have--and that you have. That's the one thing we've always had in common. It's what made us what we are."

This is one of the main reasons why I don’t want to see Snyder’s Batman v Superman.

Categories: Movies.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Eight More Days Till Halloween…

Categories: Holiday, Movies, Videos.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Prom Queen: Rated XXX (Root Beer)

Drinking the Blues Away.

Drinking the Blues Away.

Back in September I wrote about Prom Queen (aka Celene Ramadan, aka chiptune musician Leeni) and her very exciting and ambitious Kickstarter campaign to make a 12-song album with 12 accompanying videos that, when strung together, will form a full-length film.

The Kickstarter campaign was obviously a success. How could it not be? It was an awesome idea.

The expected delivery date is April 2014, so I’m excitedly anticipating that. In the meantime, though, filming chugs on. One video has been completed and released, the video to “Can’t Seem to Cry.” And a big chunk of it just happened to be filmed in one of my all-time favorite restaurants:

XXX ROOT BEER!

XXX Root Beer, Photo by brewbooks

Photo by brewbooks Creative Commons License

If you don’t know about XXX Root Beer…

  1. Shame on you!
  2. Listen up, ’cause I’m gonna break it down for you.

XXX Root Beer is a burger joint in Issaquah:

It is probably my favorite burger joint in the state, despite its distance from Tacoma. They have amazing, huge, incredibly-sloppy burgers (but don’t ask for a fork & knife no matter how sloppy they are). But since their name is XXX Root Beer, they’re known of course for their homemade root beer floats. These things are gargantuan and come in mugs the size of your face. Not only do they have scoops of ice cream in them, but the mug is garnished with a scoop of ice cream on the rim.

Just check out their menu and become a believer.

Now here’s the video. It should be pretty obvious which part is filmed at XXX:

One of my favorite musicians and one of my favorite restaurants = two great tastes that taste great together!

More info:

Categories: Movies, Videos.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Kick a Prom Queen: The Midnight Veil Kickstarter

Yesterday in my “Of the Month” choices for September 2013 I talked briefly about the sultry, 1960s-sounding music of Prom Queen, aka Celene Ramadan, aka chiptune musician Leeni.

Today I’m talking about Prom Queen once again, this time because she has a pretty awesome idea for a Kickstarter campaign. You see, Prom Queen wants to put out a new album, Midnight Veil. But instead of just putting out a new album, she wants to make a video for each song. But instead of just making a video for each song, she wants to make a series of videos that, together, make up a film. As she puts it:

Prom Queen: Midnight Veil will be a full-length album-film. I will be making 12 videos for each of the 12 songs and they will be strung together and woven into a film, or rather an interconnected series of short-films.

It’s quite an ambitious project, and she’s asking for $12,000. That may seem like a lot, but it really just breaks down to $1,000 per video, which is really not very much money to produce professional-quality videos.

I really like projects like these. It reminds me of Daft Punk’s Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, in which Daft Punk’s Discovery album was transformed into a full-length animé movie designed by the acclaimed Leiji Matsumoto (Battle Ship Yamamoto, Captian Harlock). Plus Prom Queen is no stranger to making movies; Celene directed the puppet classic A Very Alan Thickemass a few years ago (unfortunately the movie seems to have disappeared from the internet except for one clip). Her recent video for “This Town Ain’t Big Enough” was super-professional (though as she points out she didn’t direct it herself, it still proves she knows how to surround herself with talented folks). So I have every confidence that this movie can kick some major ass, if we kick it first.

Here is Prom Queen to explain it all herself:

I look forward to when it is completed sometime next year, so that I might have the unique opportunity to make Midnight Veil both my Album and my Movie of the Month. Support awesome things!

Categories: Movies, Music, Videos.

Friday, 17 May 2013

My Famous Friends: “Winning Dad”

There are lots and lots of independent movies floating about the world and the internets in various stages of production. Many of them have Kickstarter campaigns. One of them is called “Winning Dad.”

How is it that this movie came to garner my support when so many others have not? Well, for starters it’s being made locally: all Western Washington cast and crew and whatnot. For another thing, it’s got a pretty intriguing premise that fits very well into our enlightened, Pacific-Northwest mindset:

Colby’s dad knows his son is gay, but he doesn’t like talking about it. He respects it, but ignores everything about that aspect of his son’s life – he doesn’t even know about Colby’s long-term boyfriend, Rusty.

Increasingly committed to Rusty, Colby hatches a plan to trick his father into camping with Rusty under the pretense that Rusty is Colby’s straight friend and future business partner. Colby is convinced that, given the chance, his father and his boyfriend will get along great…

But what REALLY sealed the deal for me was the fact that my pals Julia Massey & The Five Finger Discount were hired to write the soundtrack for the movie. The ENTIRE soundtrack!

Here’s their Kickstarter vid so you can learn more:

As an added bonus, they’ve also hired Ellen McLain, who you probably know as the voice of GLaDOS from the Portal games (and in Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming Pacific Rim extravaganza) as one of the on-screen characters in the film. She’s also gotten involved in the Kickstarter campaign, and let’s just say that this time the cake is NOT a lie:

And what’s that song that was playing in the background during that video? Why it’s “Skatepark” by Julia Massey & The Five Finger Discount!

SOLD!

Be like me (you know you wanna) and support this film’s Kickstarter campaign. Also find them elsewhere on the internets:
There’s Facebook: – http://www.facebook.com/winningdad
Twitter: – http://twitter.com/winningdadmovie
and their Newsletter: – http://eepurl.com/p5dHn

Categories: Great Ideas on the Internet, Links, Movies, Music, My Famous Friends.