Ant Man (Movie Review)

ant man movie 2015

This is a spoiler free review!

Well, I mean, considering that I expected to totally hate this movie, it wasn’t bad. I’m glad that I decided to see it in theaters, instead of waiting for the DVD. But I still definitely wouldn’t say that I loved it for anything, because even if it was an enjoyable two hours or so, it had a massive plot hole. So, basically, I have pretty mixed feelings on this one.

Really

I’m going to rant a little here. But first off, let me say that I absolutely love Marvel. I love the comics, I love the movies, I love the cartoons (except for Agents of SMASH).

FeministRants

But the comics are my favorites, and will be my favorites until the movies start to show some change. Marvel’s comics feature tons of “strong female characters”, and the true meaning of that word, not just the Tauriel who kicks-butt-and-says-little kind of strong female character. Almost all of the women in their comics have diverse views, diverse backgrounds, diverse goals- they’re three dimensional, and have a purpose to their storyline other than being a love interest.

So why are those characters always sidelined in the movies? Natasha Romanoff, a fantastic character, was reduced to a love interest and damsel in distress in Age of Ultron. Shadowcat, the hero of the Days of Future Past storyline in the comics, was relegated to helping Wolverine from a distance, so that he could achieve what was originally one of the biggest opportunities for women in comics. When creating the roster for the movie version of the Avengers, the women were the first to go.

So let me ask again: why are the women of Marvel so often sidelined in the movies?

RhetoricalQuestion

Unfortunately, Ant Man fell into this trap, and it fell pretty deep.

Before the movie even takes place, Janet van Dyne, AKA The Wasp- a HUGELY notable character who, in the comics, was a founding member of the Avengers and even named the team– was killed off. That alone was frustrating, but there’s more.

Janet and Hank Pym (the original Ant Man, who is still alive when the movie takes place), had a daughter, Hope. She had more skill and more motivation than the hero of the movie, Scott Lang, yet for some reason she was relegated to training Scott instead of putting on the suit and saving the day herself.

Now, the movie does have an excuse for this- that her father, Hank, doesn’t want what happened to her mother to happen to her.

But that seems like a pretty feeble excuse to me. If Hope was really as driven as the viewers are led to believe, then why wouldn’t she just take the suit? She’s a better fighter than Scott, she has more skill, and she knows that.

I don’t know. It didn’t make sense to me. But I digress.

Meh3

Aside from my… obvious issues with this movie, it was still pretty good. Better than I had expected, at least.

It was different from Marvel’s usual fare- less of an action movie and more of a heist/ spy thing. Most of the plot was spent in preparing for the heist at the end of it. So if you’re not really into super action-y movies, this one might be a good one for you.

It was also more kid friendly than a lot of Marvel movies. There was some bad language (but not nearly as much as, say, Guardians of the Galaxy), and a little bit of action, but other than that, it was pretty family friendly.

And it was funny! Not so much as Guardians of the Galaxy (at least, not in my opinion), but I was laughing most of the way through. There was a pretty memorable fight scene near the end involving Thomas the Tank Engine.

Aaaaaaaah

So, long story short, this movie was… okay. But considering that we could have very easily had a Wasp movie instead of an Ant Man movie, I can’t help but feel a little frustrated.

Just by scanning the Wikipedia list of Avenger members, a significant number of the Avengers have been women. Yet, so far, we have no female led Marvel movies, and the only one slated for the future doesn’t come out until 2018. By then, we’ll have eleven movies led by a white man named Chris (Captain America 1, 2, and 3, Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2, Thor 1, 2, and 3, and Avengers 1, 2, and 3).

So, considering how many fantastic female characters there are in the Marvel universe… why is it that we don’t have a movie about even one of them?

SexistAndAbsurd

I dunno. It’s something that really frustrates me- 90% of my favorite characters being constantly sidelined.

PowerfulLadies

So… sorry, but the more I think about this movie, the less I like it.

FeministKilljoy

2

2 out of 5 stars

Recommended to: casual Marvel fans and/ or people who won’t be as frustrated about this as I am, anyone looking for a fun way to spend an hour or two

Avengers: Age of Ultron (Review)

So, a couple of days ago, I went to see Age of Ultron! I’ve been looking forward to it for months, and it definitely didn’t disappoint (which is good, because I’m not sure I could’ve handled it if it did). Anyway, here’s to the hope that this review turns out somewhat coherent instead of being a mess of excited squealing.

This is a spoiler free review!

AgeOfUltron

First off, it was really cool seeing the Avengers as a fully established team. It was great in the first movie watching them get together and learn how to work with each other, but at this point, they all knew each other well and played off of each other’s powers in really neat ways. That was pretty awesome to see- they were assembled as a team who knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and how to best use their abilities all together, instead of just beating stuff up on their own.

There was also some really good character development going on in this one as well. Like I said, everyone has changed a lot since the first movie- and they continue to change throughout the movie. We get to see the darker side of some of the characters, especially Tony, while we get to see the lighter side of other characters, like Clint and Natasha. Clint has a family, and Natasha opens up a little to- guess who- Bruce Banner.

Brutasha

I was pretty skeptical about the two of them when it was first hinted that they were going to get together in the trailer. I’ve always been a pretty big Clintasha shipper, but Bruce and Nat were actually pretty cute together. They’re both deeply broken people- good people with a very dark side. And, while I suppose Clint is the same way, I’m also pretty happy that they are just friends after all. It’s really refreshing in movies (and books, for that matter) to see a man and woman who are very close, and not in a romantic way.

Clintasha

Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were excellent additions to the team. They were both really interesting characters, and their powers added a little intrigue to the team, especially Scarlet Witch/ Wanda’s. Among a bunch of other stuff, she was able to induce dream type hallucinations of a person’s fears, which allowed for some really interesting character building.

ScarletWitch

Also, Ultron’s dark humor was unexpectedly hilarious. Like, I didn’t really expect an evil genocidal robot to be funny but somehow he was and it worked? Unfortunately, it kind of ruined the creepy aspect of his character that you see in the trailers, but I think that in the end it was worth it for some of his fantastic one liners.

Ultron

Reallty, the humor in general was spot on, not just Ultron’s- Maria Hill’s “cough TESTOSTERONE cough” line made me laugh SO hard, and Hawkeye had some pretty funny quips about his role in the team as well.

Hawkeye

“We’re fighting an army of robots and I have A BOW AND ARROW”

The fight scenes were all very unique, so they didn’t really feel that excessive even though there were a lot of them. One of my main problems with the first Avengers movie was that the action started to get kind of tedious after a while and lost a lot of the impact that it could have had, but in this one, each and every fight was different in some way or another. There was also a really big focus on helping civilians, as opposed to beating up baddies, which was a nice change from the norm in superhero movies.

And it did a much better job at female representation than the first movie! Scarlet Witch was introduced, which, although it isn’t a huge step, really improved the male to female Avengers ratio. It’s still not great, but it’s better. And she was a very well written character, which I was pleased with. And there were plenty of more background female characters, too, which was refreshing, since background characters seem to tend to be male by default. Maria Hill also got a bit more time in the spotlight, which was great.

The main death scene (not saying who, because SPOILERS!) felt rather pointless and didn’t seem to have much of a purpose except for angst. That’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine- when authors write in deaths solely for the cause of making people sad (as opposed to story reasons). Who knows, though- it could be setup for a future movie. I do hope so.

Another minor frustration I had was that, looking back, it structurally, it was almost exactly similar to the first Avengers movie, meaning that it feels a little bit predictable. It isn’t much of a problem once you really get caught up in the story, though.

Almost exactly what I expect (and hope for!) from a superhero movie. Comic book movies seem to lose a lot of the glamour of the comics, but Age of Ultron felt just like it had just the right amount of action, humor, and interesting characters. Unfortunately, it feels a lot like a repeat of the first Avengers movie, and wasn’t really quite different enough to really stick out in my mind.

5

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Review)

FiveArmies

This is a spoiler free review!

I wanted to like this movie. I really did. But in the end, it all seemed very… well… meh. A mediocre movie wrapped up in a glittery package of epic fantasy battles and amazing CGI. I didn’t dislike it, don’t get me wrong. But it wasn’t anything amazing, either.

Meh

My biggest complaint with Battle of the Five Armies is that, for a movie that went out of its way to add more female characters, it had some pretty sexist moments. Tauriel had potential, but… in the end, she had no character autonomy. At all. There were moments when she tried to rebel and leave Thranduil, but in the end, it never actually worked without Legolas’s help. And her “big”, “defining” moment had no more impact on the film than the rest of her character. But enough about Tauriel. There were other female characters in the movie, right? Bard’s two daughters were also pretty frustrating. They ran around screaming and needed their brother’s help to protect them, even though he presumably has no more weapons training than them.

From a feminist perspective, there were probably two redeeming features to the story. First, there is a pretty awesome moment when Galadriel kicks some Nazgûl butt. It’s a pretty brief scene, but also totally awesome. The second is that, although the men try to send the women and children to safety at some point during the battle (I say ‘some point’ because the battle encompassed pretty much the entire movie and it all blurred together in my head), but the women are like “Heck no! We’re going to stay and help!”. So that was cool.

But really? No matter how cool those two scenes were, the movie was most definitely not feminist, and that’s disappointing. It could have been. It really could have been. Why not let Tauriel have a bigger effect on the story? Or maybe (heaven forbid) Bard could have been a woman in the movie. It isn’t like they didn’t already massively change the story in the movie from that in the book, and making Bard a woman would add a pretty major female character (with a much larger impact on the story than Tauriel). A real, actual, strong female character (which Tauriel is not). Or some of the dwarves could have been women. Or both!

But I digress.

FeministRants

The movie itself was… decent. It seemed really disjointed, and badly structured as well. Smaug was defeated much too quickly (like, ten minutes into the movie), and I feel like it would have been better to just get rid of him in Desolation of Smaug, then focus this movie on the battle.

Battle of the Five Armies didn’t feel like a movie in itself at all, really. I think it would definitely work better when combined with the other movies. It’s a conclusion, not a story.

Also, just out of curiosity, what happened to the Arkenstone? It was such a major part of the first quarter or so of the movie, and played a huge part in the trilogy overall, yet… it’s totally forgotten after the battle. We never find out what happens to it. The Arkenstone was a plot device, kinda like the eagles- it shows up conveniently, plays its part, and then disappears.

Meh2

I think Legolas was one of the best parts of the movie. He did… you know, typical Legolas stuff. Like, say, stabbing a troll in the head with his sword and then riding it around the battlefield, using the sword (still stuck in said troll’s head) to steer. You know. That kind of stuff.

Legolas

Okay, but seriously now. Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage’s acting was also great, and that also really improved my opinion of Battle of the Five Armies. Say what you want about the story itself, but the acting was well done.

But seriously. There were some really great moments between Thorin and Bilbo, whether you interpret it platonically or romantically.

But, I mean, overall…

SuperMeh

A mediocre ending to a good trilogy. I’d give it about 3.5/10.

The Winter Soldier Movie Review

This movie was amazing. Just peer, utter awesomeness. I’ve been wanting to go see it for a while now, but I never really got around to it until today.
And boy am I glad I did.
First off, just let me say that I’ve never been a huge Captain America fan. I mean, he’s okay, but… he’s never been very high on my list of favorites.
This movie has quickly zoomed to the top of my list of favorite movies. And my list of most feels-y movies, too.
But I’m sure you’d prefer it if I started discussing the specifics, instead of just ranting about how good it was.
The plot twists were absolutely amazing. Disturbing, but amazing. I love a good plot twist, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. I really wonder how they’re going to handle the aftermath. I won’t spoil it for you, though 😉
Secondly, there were some fabulous one-liners, as I would expect of a Marvel movie. And some very gif and meme worthy moments, too.
Yes. A perfect description of my feelings for DC and Marvel
And then there were the Easter Eggs. Natasha’s arrow necklace. The way names like “Stephen Strange” were casually dropped here and there… The little things all added up.
The plot was gorgeously executed, too. I never felt like it was moving too quickly or too slowly- it was just right. And then the fact that it didn’t really end. HYDRA is still out there- cut one head off, and two grow back.
The stuntwork and CGI was excellent, too. The fight scenes were very nicely done. I especially liked the police chase with Nick Fury and SHIELD. It certainly kept me on the edge of my seat. And anything with Bucky was very well done, too.
And the feels. There were lots of feels.
Why didn't this happen.
my feels
So, in summary. Beautiful movie. Lots of feels. And maybe I can come up with something bad to say about it later so this is more of a review and less of a “ohmygosh this movie was so cool” rant.
But probably not.
Seriously though.
And you’ve probably guessed by now that my rating is a 10/10.

X2: X-Men United Movie Review

 
Okay, okay. Maybe I did promise a bunch more book reviews. They’re coming, don’t worry! But last night I finally got to watch X2, so I’ll be reviewing that today.
*Spoiler Alert*

If I had reviewed this last night, I wouldn’t have been able to do anything but ramble about Jean’s “death”, because number one, it was late and I was exhausted, and number two, Jean “died”. One of my favorite X-Men. Even though, I knew she wasn’t dead… It was almost as bad as Reichenbach. Except not quite, because I knew how she survived.
Annnyway. I’m rambling, aren’t I? Sorry. You’ll have to bear with me here.
So. NIGHTCRAWLER. You may remember that I mentioned Jean was one of my favorite X-Men? Well, Nightcrawler is number one on that list. What’s not to like about a fuzzy, blue, swashbuckling pirate ninja with awesome teleportation powers? I’m not too sure of what I thought about him in the movie. He’s looks quite different from the way he looks in the comics, but I suppose it would take massive amounts of CGI to pull off, say, this.
Amazing X-Men #1~ Beautiful artwork.
Also, the mother/son conversation was really sweet. Although Mystique isn’t exactly the wise, motherly type, she passed on some words of wisdom to her son.
But anyway. Time to move on. I’m sure you don’t want to listen to me drone on and on about this.
Jean and Scott. Perfection. I loved their portrayal in the movie. They also pulled off the Logan/Jean/Scott triangle quite nicely. I also liked the developing relationship between Rogue and Iceman.
So. That’s it for now, folks.
Rating: 9/10

Frozen Movie Review

Oh my gosh. Disney’s newest movie, Frozen, was amazing. And I know I promised more book reviews, but I just have to write this.

First of all, the music.

The music was all amazing. Some of the songs, like “In Summer” were amazingly lighthearted songs that were fun to listen to.

But the one song I really loved was “Let it Go.” The music was amazing, but the one thing that I really loved about it was that I could relate to it, on so many levels.

Frozen

Another thing I loved? The characters. Anna, the outgoing, naive younger sister who dreams of falling in love. Hans, the typical Disney prince who turned out to be evil. Kristoff, the sweet but incredibly shy mountain man who sells ice for a living. And Elsa, who lived in isolation to protect those around her.

Third, the fact that Frozen had the amazing combination of Brave And Tangled’s amazing, strong female leads and the beautiful music of their older movies.

The acting was great, but what do you expect from a group mainly consisting of Broadway actors and actresses?

Overall, I’d give it a rating of 8.5/10

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

Oh. My. Goodness.

**Spoilers Ahead**

I went to see the DoS yesterday, and… gosh. I don’t know what to say. First and foremost, I didn’t write the review yesterday because all I would’ve been able to do was squeal about how amazing it was.

And I’m going to try not to do that today, but I’m not promising you anything 😉

Let’s start with… the acting.

Oh my gosh. The acting was amazing.

Martin Freeman did a wonderful job as Bilbo, same as the first movie.

And Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug?

His voice was so filtered that I could hardly recognize it, but gosh it was creepy. Almost as creepy as Sherlock when he’s mad.

And then Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel.

She did an amazing job, I must say, especially considering the fact that I originally hated the idea of adding in her and Legolas. But now, I’m not so sure. I was quite pleased with her character.

Except for one teeny, tiny thing.

The Kili/Legolas love triangle.

I’m perfectly fine with Peter Jackson adding in Tauriel for some female representation. I mean, goodness, look at this chart.

Tolkein really could have a done a much better job with adding more female characters, which is one reason why I liked the addition of Tauriel.

But now that I’ve seen the movie, I’ve realized that even though she did get some really cool fight scenes, she was added more for the romance than anything else.

Why can’t we just get an awesome female character without romance and love triangles in the background?

As Evangeline Lily herself said,

“Because The Hobbit was my favorite book as a little girl, and the Silvan Elves were my favorite characters in the book, it would be a dream come true to play one, I agreed very quickly. And then they said to me, ‘Your character’s not in the book.’ And I took great pause as a great fan of Tolkien. I kind of gulped and went, ‘Whaaaat? Everyone’s going to hate me.’
At that moment when [Boyens] said there was a love story, I agreed to the job under one condition. One condition. And they agreed to the condition, and it was in place for two years. The condition was: I will not be involved in a love triangle. (“It’s true,” Boyens confirms). Because any of you who are fans of Lost — I had it up to here with love triangles.”
So now I’m going to stop ranting about the love triangle, because I really honestly did love the movie overall.

Most of the things they changed from the canon, I liked. 

I didn’t mind the fact that Bard was a peasant instead of the leader of Laketown because I feel that it enforced the entire theme of the LotR trilogy- that small people can do great things. 

I liked how they began to show Bilbo’s growing attachment to the Ring, something that never really happened in the book.


I honestly did love Tauriel’s character, and I still think she’s an awesome.

And overall, the movie was totally AMAZING.

Rating: 8.5/10

I really should be wrapping this up now, so bye, everyone!

Oh, and as a side note, all my really old posts containing nothing but pictures have been deleted. If you really want to see those pics, most of ’em are on my Pintrest page, which is linked from the sidebar.