Friday, July 17, 2015


Carole Mallory Headshot

Movie Review: Ant Man... CGI Reigns, But Not Much Else

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Paul Rudd is charming as the Ant Man. He is not too broad which he has a tendency to be, but plays it just right. He is Scott Lang a master thief who has lost custody of his daughter due to his attraction to all things criminal while Michael Douglas plays the not so mad scientist, Dr. Hank Pym, who rescues Rudd from his wayward ways by turning him into the Ant Man. Marvel Studios' brings a founding member of the Avengers to IMAX 3D and the flying ants have never looked so good. Dr Pym who created the Avengers, guards the secret behind the Ant Man suit from Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) Mr. Evil, who is intent on destruction of most of the universe. Hope played by the perfectly beautiful Evangeline Lilly is effective as Dr. Pym's daughter who initially is ambivalent about Rudd's ability to don the spectacular ant suit invented by her father. This inventive suit of great retro design reduces ones size yet increases ones strength. But it is Rudd's final heist that must go smoothly to save the world.
Michael Douglas explained on a recent talk show that there were four set ups for each shot and the fourth was shooting from the perspective of the ant. He found working in the environment of CGI fascinating and went on to explain that while Marvel has gone big big big, it was time to go small as this was the only way left to go.
Michael Pena as one of Rudd's partners in crime plays a bumbling burglar with panache. Pena does not miss a beat with his lines and expressions. The dialogue written by Stan Lee, Paul Rudd, Joe Cornish, Edgar Wright, Adam Mackay is snappy but could have been a bit wittier. Buzz words with an over the top hipness were few. But who's kidding, the CGI made Ant Man. Douglas himself was in awe of the special effects team with whom he worked. But stunning special effects can not resolve the problems in this Marvel wonder. Peyton Reed directed at a fast pace and predictability was kept at a minimum but overall, the story lulled in parts and ultimately was a snore. Yawning was kept at a minimum, but the excitement that a Marvel creation normally creates was sadly missing. .

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Magic Mike XXL... Movie Review.... Still Perspiring

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Hot, hot, hot! Stuff a $100 bill in the crotch of the producers of Magic Mike XXL and Steve Soderbergh, the behind the scenes maestro, for making sex on the screen something you can not write home about. My, this is a long time coming. Far superior to Magic Mike One. Great writing and pacing. Magic Mike XXL builds sexual heat like a great strip tease. Funny dialogue which just makes you want to shout, "Take It Off!" The dancing is over the top, but I longed for more of the gyrations from those 'male entertainers,' Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) and Joe Manganiello. Watching these gyrating specimens of male pulchritude made my night and day and then some.
The women were no dogs either as Jada Pinkett Smith and Andie MacDowell held their own against fierce flesh. I remember when MacDowell's voice was dubbed in Tarzan because the producers claimed she could not act. Well, she can act and held up the image of all those women who long for sex who do not care about public opinion. MacDowell nailed these feelings. Bless the writer Reid Carolin for showing the heat of frustrated women longing for firm male flesh. The sleeper 'male entertainer' was Michael Strahan who began the procession of sultry passionate stripping and was refreshingly devoid of his smaltzy TV personality. He was genuine in his display to please a woman and totally blushworthy-- the Rhett Butler of the brothel of sorts run by Jada Pinkett Smith. Well, it's really a dance hall for African American women who have been neglected by their males and need to be told they are beautiful, sexy, loving and also specimens of proud flesh too often beaten down by their guys.
Gregory Jacobs directs Magic Mike XXL knowing his audience waits with baited breath and torn pantyhose for the moment when they "Take It Off!" He cleverly builds the crescendo and heat so that it finally explodes in the finale mc'd by that terrific comedian Elizabeth Banks who is the mistress of ceremony when they all finally strip. Another sleeper is Matt Bomer who is also great with comedy and delivers some of the best lines with a straight face, yet when he dances, he shows no humor, but is pure sex appeal. Magic Mike XXL works because the comedy is placed in the right moments and when it is time to "Take It Off!", the comedy is dropped and sheer passion oozes from the screen. Seconds? Count me in!