Movie Review – Ant-Man


Directed by Peyton Reed

Starring Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lily, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Michael Pena, David Dastmalchian, and T.I.


Of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, none has had a longer gestation than Ant-Man.  Announced way back in 2006 when Marvel Studios was first formed.  Almost forgotten when Marvel announced the rest of their Phase I, but we were assured, “It’s still comin’…It’s still comin’.”  Tragedy struck last year when original director Edgar Wright pulled out a few weeks before filming began, and Peyton Reed was brought in to take over.  Would the film survive such last-minute changes to gain an honoured place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?


Scott Lang, a career thief with a bit of a Robin Hood flair (he robs from the rich and gives back to the poor), is finally released from prison and vows to go on the straight and narrow for his daughter.  But, finding a job is way too hard for an ex-con, and he soon goes back to his burgling ways.  He breaks into the home of famed scientist Hank Pym, and swipes what looks to be a motorcycle suit.  But, Pym soon reveals that he set the whole thing up to test Lang.  The suit allows the wearer to shrink down to the size of an insect, and gain super-strength in the process.  Pym’s former protege, Darren Cross, has finally figured out the secrets of the shrinking process, and is getting ready to mass produce it and weaponize it.  Pym wants Lang to don the suit, break into Cross’s HQ, and wipe out every trace of Cross’s research before it falls into the wrong hands.  Lang dons the suit, and, under Pym’s tutelage, can he become the hero the world needs…the Ant-Man?

What I Liked

First up, the film is funny.  Lang, being a thief, has a whole crew, and they provide the majority of the film’s comedy.  They are so lively and so quirky.  The visuals are amazing.  The shrinking and enlarging effects provide so many fascinating combat scenarios.  I’m sure you’ve seen the trailers where the hero and villain battle it out atop a Thomas the Tank Engine in a little girl’s bedroom, but when you see the entire sequence, it’s a thing to behold.  And I like how Marvel is trying to mix up genres and drop superheroes into them because, at the end of the day, this is a heist film.  And a good one.

What I Didn’t Like

Well, yeah, it’s cliched.  I mean, the hero winds up battling a villain with powers just like his…just like in every Marvel movie.  And as much as I loved the battle against a certain Avenger in the middle of the movie, it did seem kind of shoehorned in to link everything into the bigger Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Final Verdit

A very fun and enjoyable film.  It’s nice to see Marvel reduce the scale a bit, no pun intended, as this is a much smaller film than their gigantic superhero epics.

3 Nibs

Episode 8.16: All Stuffed Up

U62: The Targ

Pluggin’ along at the ol’ podcast, and we really are in the dog days of summer.  I’m running out of fascinating things to talk about, as there’s not much going on.  But still, I battle my stuffy nose in these finals days of fighting a cold to bring you Episode 8.16: All Stuffed Up.  What are my rants?

  • With my love of superhero films, I just got home from Ant-Man, so I share my thoughts.
  • I came home without any new Blu-Rays, and somehow that gets me ranting about the secret origins of special editions
  • I share my fascination with Charlie Brown cartoons, as I picked up a lot on DVD lately.

That, and a few other digressions and rants await you in Episode 8.16: All Stuffed Up.

Download here!

And I’m on iTunes!

Episode 8.15: Waitin’ for the Pizza

I almost skipped doing an episode of U62: The Targ this week.  It’s another busy weekend, but, I did find a few moments to myself, so I decided to throw together a mini-sode!  It’s shorter than the typical episode, where all I really do is ramble about the awesome trailers that were released from the San Diego Comic Con this week.

You know, that Star Wars: The Force Awakens featurette:

And that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer.

Here my ramble on Episode 8.15: Waitin’ for the Pizza!

Download here!

And subscribe in iTunes!

Episode 8.14: Funghi Pizza

Here we are again, with the good ol’ podcast.  Not much to talk about, but there’s enough out there to get me talking.  At least, to fill 20 minutes of airtime.  So what ramblings to I ramble in Episode 8.14: Funghi Pizza?

  • I tell you how I spent my birthday this year, including having a pizza at Famoso and seeing Inside Out.  (Complete review here, in case you haven’t seen it yet.)
  • The latest Star Wars news, including my thoughts on the upcoming Young Han Solo spinoff film.  (I do so much rambling about Star Wars I should turn it into its own segment.)
  • I ponder whether I own a lot of DVDs or whether the DVDs own me.
  • And hey!  You ever see the “special thanks” in the end credits of a movie?  Ever wonder what people did to get those special thanks?  Well, I share some special thanks stories I recently heard.

And that’s what you’ll find in this week’s podcast!

Oh, and I didn’t realize I accidentally gave the date as April 12 until I got home from recording it, re-listened to it, and noticed it.  But trust me, it’s July 12.

Download here!

And iTunes!

Movie Review – Inside Out

Inside Out

Directed by Pete Docter; co-directed by Ronaldo del Carmen

Starring the voices of Amy Poelher, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, and Kyle MacLachlan


I love Pixar, but let’s be honest, they’ve been in a slump lately.  Cars 2...well, the less said the better.  I found Brave mildly disappointing, and with Monsters University, my expectations had been lowered so much that I thought, “Meh.  Could have been worse.”  But, still, I was getting excited for Inside Out.  Pete Docter, the director of Up, was back in the director’s chair, with another original story.  Since Up was considered too original back in 2009, would Docter give us another highly unique tale?


The story takes place within the mind of an 11-year old girl named Riley.  We find that her actions and attitudes are shaped by five dominant emotions that run the show.  Joy is in charge, ensuring that Riley remains happy.  Joy has given assigned tasks to Fear, Anger, and Disgust, but couldn’t quite figure out what the purpose of Sadness is.  But, young Riley’s life is thrown into turmoil when her family moves to San Fransisco.  Joy does all she can to make sure Riley remains happy, but it’s difficult.  One day, while trying too hard to prevent Riley’s memories from being tainted by Sadness, Joy and Sadness are ejected from the Headquarters, and must make a dangerous journey though Riley’s mind to get back home.  Meanwhile, without Joy to lead them, Fear, Anger and Disgust to their best, but under their mismanagement, various aspects of Riley’s personality begin shutting down.  It’s up to Joy and Sadness to make it home before Riley does something drastic, and perhaps, Joy can find that Sadness plays an important role after all.

What I Liked

EVERYTHING!  This is such an imaginative landscape, with such imaginative characters.  I found one set piece in the Land of Abstract Thought that made quite imaginative use of 3D.  And of course, the trailers made no mention of Bing Bong, Riley’s long-forgotten imaginary friend who helps Joy and Sadness, and gets one of the most dramatic character arcs.  The voice acting is all beautiful.  Amy Poehler seemed destined to voice Joy.  Michael Giacchino’s score is one of the most unique I’ve head in a while.  Everything is great.

What I Didn’t Like

Well…let’s be honest, ever since Toy Story, the road movie has been Pixar’s go-to formula.  And this is another road movie.  But hey…this it’s the journey, not the destination, right?

Final Verdict

Pixar is back.  This had that emotional gut-punch that I hadn’t felt since Toy Story 3.  Well done, Pixar.

4 Nibs

Bonus Materials

As is Pixar tradition, it opens with an animated short.  This time out, it’s Lava, a cute little love story between two volcanoes.  It’s an unusual subject for a love story, but Pixar makes it work.  3 Nibs.

Episode 8.13: Dog Days of Summer

Well, gang, summer is here, and with that, things are slowing down a bit, leaving me with very little material in this week’s episode of U62: The Targ.  So, I scrape the bottom of the barrel a little bit, but I find some scraps for Episode 8.13: Dog Days of Summer.

  • Rambling about Star Wars is always good, so I continue the countdown to The Force Awakens
  • The Raccoons looks to be the next reboot coming down the line, so I rant about that.
  • I got the latest issue of the Augustana alumni magazine the other day, so I share some tales of the good ol’ days
  • And taking a minute to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future.

Download here!

And here’s the iTunes link!