Summary: Life isn’t going well for Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). After famously being arrested for a modern day Robin Hood crime his release from prison finds himself unable to keep down a job – a big issue since his ex-wife, Maggie (Judy Greer), and her new partner Police Detective Paxton (Bobby Cannavale) won’t give him any form of custody to his daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Forsten).
He finally gives in to his best friend’s urges and decides to help out with a heist that suddenly finds him being recruited by Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to become ‘Ant-Man.’ While Pym’s daughter, Hope (Evangeline Lilly), thinks it is a bad idea soon Scott is being trained to help prevent the money hungry Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) from selling technology that is destined to be used for evil.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 16th July 2015
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: United States
Director: Peyton Reed
Screenwriter: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd, Stan Lee (comic), Jack Kirby (comic), Larry Lieber (comic)
Cast: Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Carlos Aviles (Carlos), Nicholas Barrera (Ernesto), Bobby Cannavale (Paxton), Joe Chrest (Frank), Robert Crayton (Peachy), David Dastmalchian (Kurt), Martin Donovan (Mitchell Carson), Michael Douglas (Dr. Hank Pym), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Abby Ryder Fortson (Cassie Lang), Judy Greer (Maggie Lang), Dax Griffin (Young Pym), Wood Harris (Gale), Tom Kenny (Hideous Rabbit), Lyndsi LaRose (Emily), Evangeline Lilly (Hope van Dyne), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/Falcon), Cesar Mendoza (Gabriel), Jordi Molla (Castillo), Michael Pena (Luis), Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/Ant-Man), John Slattery (Howard Stark), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes), Corey Stoll (Darren Cross/Yellowjacket), T.I. (Dave), Gregg Turkington (Dale), Danny Vasquez (Ignacio)
Runtime: 117 mins
OUR ANT-MAN REVIEWS & RATINGS:
The Marvel universe has been chugging along quick nicely for a while now. The franchise has peaked with amazing films like Guardians Of The Galaxy and Captain America: Winter Soldier and even it’s weaker films, Thor 2 etc, are films that are worth more than one watch. But now comes the film that many would consider the problem child for Marvel, Ant-Man.
So why is Ant-Man the film that seems to have been causing Marvel the most amount of trouble. Well first of all the fanboys have been all over the film, criticizing the casting of Paul Rudd (like they did with Robert Downey Jnr. before Iron Man) and seemingly being outraged that they would even entertain inserting comedy into the film (yep because nobody had a chuckle during Guardians Of The Galaxy). But like is the case with so many problem children the real root of the issue was happening behind closed doors. See Ant-Man was supposed to be a Edgar Wright film. Yes the man who is largely responsible for the Cornetto Trilogy was supposed to be at the helm, but because he didn’t fall into Marvel’s line found himself turfed out and replaced with Peyton Reed (the man who brought us Bring It On), but the good news is that despite all this upheaval Ant-Man turns out to be a pretty decent film.
Now before you go into the cinema to feat on Ant-Man be aware that the problems behind the scenes have resulted in Ant-Man being very different to any of the other films in the Marvel universe, but that actually ends up being a good thing. Gone are the epic scenes of large flying ships crashing to Earth or the destruction of a major city and instead we are left with an action packed scene that occurs in a little girl’s bedroom but will have you laughing out loud as a giant Thomas The Tank Engine goes crashing out of the side of the house. Yes it is scenes like that has Edgar Wright’s finger prints all over it.
There are things that let Ant-Man down a little, the most annoying being that Michael Pena and Bobby Cannavale are simply playing walking clichés, but the plusses certainly outweigh the negatives. The screenwriting team have inserted the much needed heart that was missing from Avengers: Age Of Ultron as both Hank and Scott try to repair the relationships with their daughters while the well-written script has allows some of the cast to bring their A-Game to the acting stakes as well.
Yes that is right everybody it seems that throughout this film that Michael Douglas forgets that he is in a comic book movie and actually turns up his acting output to that of what we recently saw in Arbitrage. Douglas is on fire here and it seems to have a carry on affect on some of the actors around him as well. Evangeline Lilly brilliantly plays a character with divided loyalty and it is Hope that much of the suspense centres around. Is she really on Pym and Scott’s side or is her loyalty to Darren Cross more than what they bargained for? She plays the double agent well and you can only hope that both her and Douglas are used more in the Avengers franchise now.
Then there is Paul Rudd, who as I previously mentioned had the fanboys baying for his blood before the film was even released. Now I will admit that I was skeptical about Paul Rudd’s ability to play an action hero, but he well and truly made me eat my words with his performance. Rudd not got buff for the role but seems to become Ant-Man with complete ease. He manages to pull off the action sequences awesomely well, while it is also some of his quick wit and one liners that make the film a please to watch. Apparently we should also be thanking him for helping the script run smoothly after Wright’s departure… so Mr. Rudd from the bottom of our heart we thank you.
So the best way to approach Ant-Man is to go into the cinema not expecting anything like you have seen in the Marvel universe to date. Yes Ant-Man has two Avengers appear (one in the main frame of the film, the other in the credits) and there are a few references to the Avengers and Spider-Man, but this is very much a film that is out there on its own. Yes this is a child that is very different to its siblings, but sometimes they make the best friends, right? Ant-Man is enjoyable enough to make you hope that the character appears again somewhere… very soon.
Shep Gordon was a casual drug dealer whose job caused him to collide with the music world in strange ways: he became the legendary manager of Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd and Blondie, and masterminded some of the music world’s most notorious stage antics. He lived the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll life to the extreme (while also being a close friend of the Dalai Lama and inventing the ‘celebrity chef’ concept!), earning a reputation as a hedonist who could be sweet and generous beyond compare.
Featuring contributions from Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, Willie Nelson and more, this is the directorial debut of comedian Mike Myers, who spent 20 years trying to get Gordon’s blessing to make a documentary about him
Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Beth Aala, Mike Myers
Cast: Tom Arnold (himself), Alice Cooper (himself), Michael Douglas (himself), Shep Gordon (himself), Emeril Lagasse (himself), Anne Murray (herself), Willie Nelson (himself), Derek Shoof (himself), Sylvester Stallone (himself)
Runtime: 85 mins
SUPERMENSCH: THE LEGEND OF SETH GORDON REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Summary: Self-obsessed real estate agent Oren (Michael Douglas) life is turned upside down after his estranged son leaves a grand-daughter he didn’t know about in his care. Struggling with his newfound role of guardian, Oren turns to his lovable and determined neighbour Lean (Diane Keating) for guidance, and ultimately learns how to love again.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 7th August, 2014
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Rob Reiner
Screenwriter: Mark Andrus
Cast: David Aaron Baker (David Shaw), Yaya DaCosta (Kennedy), Michael Douglas (Oren Little), Luis Augusto Figueroa (Mario), Paloma Guzman (Selena), Sterling Jenins (Sarah), Albert Jones (Reggie), Maurice Jones (Ray), Andy Karl (Ted), Diane Keaton (Leah), Austin Lysy (Kyle), Annie Parisse (Kate), Rob Reiner (Artie), Markley Rizzi (Sarabeth Little), Luke Robertson (Jason), Scott Shepherd (Luke), Maxwell Simkins (Caleb), Sawyer Tanner Simpkins (Dylan), Frances Sternhagen (Claire), Michael Terra (Peter), Johnny Tran (Le Duc), Frankie Valli (Club Owner), Amirah Vann (Rashida), Meryl Williams (Rita)
What you get out of And So It Goes largely depends on what you go into the film expecting it to be. If you are expecting the latest As Good As It Gets (or insert the name of any Jack Nicholson comedy from the past couple of decades here) then you are going to be in for a surprise. Because while And So It Goes teams up screenwriter Mark Andrus (the man who penned the aforementioned As Good As It Gets) and director Rob Reiner (known for classics like Spinal Tap and The Bucket List) this isn’t a film that just goes for over-the-top-comedy. This is a film that decides it can mix and match the genres and have some comedy amongst heartfelt scenes that tug on the heartstrings, much in the same way Andrus’ Life As A House Does.
As a film And So It Goes centres around Oren Little (Michael Douglas). The two years since his wife died has seen successful real estate agent because one of the grumpiest men alive in the small American town he calls home. From trying to sell over-priced homes to racially vilifying his potential clients and making life one big sad mess for his neighbours it’s all in a day’s work for him.
Then suddenly his life is turned upside down when his son that he has written off years before shows up on his door begging him to look after his granddaughter Sarah (Sterling Jerins) while he is in prison. Oren reluctantly agrees and decides that while he is working he can easily just dump the girl on his long-suffering neighbour Leah (Diane Keaton) who is another one of Oren’s victims.
The fact that And So It Goes does drift between genres is possibly both its biggest positive and greatest negative all rolled into one. While some audience members may like the fact that the film can one moment show a heart gripping scene of a family ripped apart by drug addiction and then the next moment go for comedy relief with a dog humping a teddy bear others will find this to be a film that loses direction and ends up becoming a chore to watch.
Really though And So It Goes does deserve some cinematic credit. While any schmuck that has only watched a few films in their lifetime will easily work out where the Oren and Leah storyline is heading it is harder to determine where the plots revolving around young Sarah and her father Kyle (Austin Lysy) are going to end up. Sure there are some pretty clumsy attempts of humor throughout the film and some of the smaller roles (including one surprisingly played by Frankie Valli) are wasted, but there are more than enough witty one liners and story turns to keep most audiences members interested.
Most of the time Michael Douglas just seems to be in cruise control as he plays a role that was seemingly written for Jack Nicholson but he does transition well from being a grumpy old curmudgeon to a much brighter human being rather well, while once again reminding audiences that he is more capable of handling comedy when he needs to as well. The real star here though is Diane Keaton who also seems to just breeze through her role most of the time but then hits some great peaks when she reveals a rather nice jazz voice when the script calls her to perform in front of a microphone.
And So It Goes ends up just being a film that certainly can’t be called an awful film but also can’t be described as a memorable film either. It parts its comedy does work, while at other times the film’s journey into family problems also shows that the script wasn’t a complete write-off.
One thing is for sure though this is a film that is going to be enjoyed more by older audience members than the younger ones.
It must be an exciting time for an actress when she is sent a script to read, it must even be more exciting when the script she is sent is one for a blockbuster film that may change her career forever. For that reason, it is almost unfathomable how an actress can read a blockbuster script but then decline the role. But is has happened, so let’s take a look at the actresses who have turned down blockbuster roles.
Nia Long – Nia who? Yes sometimes a decision that an actress can make about her career can be the difference between one day getting a star on a Hollywood pavement or career suicide. Back in 2000 when the producers were putting together a dream cast for the big screen adaptation of “Charlie’s Angels,” they had one actress say no to a role that would have seen her acting in one of the biggest action blockbusters of all time alongside the likes of Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz. Actress Nia Long was actually approached about playing the role of Alex Munday, but when she turned it down to be in “Big Momma’s House” the role instead went to Lucy Liu. The decision was pretty much career suicide for Long who, since “Big Momma’s House,” has pretty much been restricted to doing just television roles.
Sandra Bullock – Okay, so Sandra Bullock has enough brownie points in her bag to show that it probably didn’t matter that she passed on a movie role once, but there is another actress out there who is very thankful that she did. Back in 2004 when legendary director Clint Eastwood was putting together the cast for boxing flick “Million Dollar Baby,” the role of Maggie Fitzgerald was actually offered to Sandra Bullock first, but she declined the role saying she couldn’t work with Eastwood. Instead, the role went to Hilary Swank who had impressed everybody with her performance in “Boys Don’t Cry” five years earlier. Swank probably still thanks Bullock for the opportunity because playing Maggie saw Swank pick up an Oscar.
Jada Pinkett – Can making bad decisions about movie roles run in the family? It’s common knowledge that Will Smith turned down the role of Neo in “The Matrix” but his wife Jada Pinkett also made a terrible decision about a role as well. Getting offered a role in a franchise based on a comic book is now like a badge of honor, but back in the year 2000, it was less so. It is perhaps only a little surprise that Pinkett was not quick to snap up the role of Storm for the “X-Men” film when it was first offered to her. Pinkett turned down the role and instead it went to Halle Berry, who used it to catapult her career into a new atmosphere of stardom.
Michelle Pfeiffer – “Pretty Woman,” love it or loathe, it but it is still one of the most watched films of all time. It was also the film that introduced the world to Julia Roberts and made her a superstar. Yes, it was Roberts who played the role of fun-loving escort, Vivian Ward, in this Cinderalla story. At the time Roberts was a virtual unknown with “Steel Magnolias” being the only film of note under her belt. She should consider very lucky to have won the role in “Pretty Woman,” because the role was first offered to Michelle Pfeiffer who was hot property after just working on “Dangerous Liaisons.” Pfeiffer turned down the role and Roberts used it to become a star.
Demi Moore – Yes, it maybe news to all of you out there that ever decided to hit the pause button during a certain scene in the erotic thriller “Basic Instinct,” but it almost wasn’t Sharon Stone who took the lead role opposite Michael Douglas. When director Paul Verhoeven was first putting together the cast for “Basic Instinct,” his first choice of leading lady was in fact Demi Moore who was the toast of Hollywood after her lauded performance in “Ghost.” When Moore said no to the role of “Basic Instinct’s” relative vixen, Catherine Tramell, the role was instead offered to Sharon Stone who was mainly known for her role opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Total Recall.”
Some may say that their decision was wise, some may say that their decision was one of the stupidest decisions they ever made in their lives. But for one reason or another the woman above all said no to a blockbuster. Thankfully, not too many have lived to regret to the decision.