Jake Gyllenhaal is on a roll.
He has millions of dollars, a beautiful wife and daughter and has won 43 straight fights.
After a tragedy strikes Hope’s family, everything he has vanishes, including his longtime manager Jordan, played by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.
Antoine Fuqua does a fine job directing the film. In fact, it may be his best work since Training Day.
Just like Fuqua did in Training Day with Denzel Washington, he gets a scene stealing performance from Gyllenhaal, who should garner some Oscar attention for his role.
Paul Rudd stars as the Marvel Cinematic Universe wraps up Phase 2 with Ant-Man. Blake and Kevin are out – so it’s up to Joe, Dan, and Tom to take on the movie. But fear not – tangents abound as we discuss everything from Star Hustler to frozen custard. Sometimes we even talk about the movie.
All this plus a Video Recovery from Dan (Tom finally remembered).
It’s Reel Spoilers #103 – Ant-Man.
You’ve been warned.
Starring: Tom O’Keefe, Dan Graney, Joe Buttice
Run-time: 1hr 49min
By now, we’ve all grown used to the idea that any new Marvel movie is capable of topping the box office and leading ticket sales worldwide, if not setting a new record for an opening weekend. Time and time again, the studio pushes out a new superhero adventure only to set its own bar higher, and in the process that same studio has raked in untold hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. It’s the new standard: Marvel Studios + new movie = $$$.
And then along came Ant-Man. Arguably the studio and comic book giant’s most bizarre standalone project to date, the project served as the origin story to a hero who’s actually an original Avenger (if we’re going by comic lore), but who’s also something of a joke. Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) is a master thief who’s gifted with a special suit by mad scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). The suit gives him the ability to shrink down to ant size while enjoying the accompanying perks, like magnified strength and the ability to control, um, ants. And voila! A superhero story is born.
Incredibly enough, this ludicrous concept actually played pretty well on the big screen. Ant-Man received pretty good reviews (a cumulative 80% positive on Rotten Tomatoes), for a number of reasons. To begin with, Paul Rudd is an intriguing brand of Hollywood darling; he can be knee-slapping hilarious or he can play the forgettable good guy, but he’s really hard to criticize. Douglas is his own brand of darling, and on top of these two packing a punch among critics, there’s the fact that the movie is pretty enjoyable. Like Guardians Of The Galaxy before it, it excels by not taking itself too seriously, and this helps viewers to relax and enjoy the fun.
Unfortunately for the studio, Ant-Man didn’t quite match the box office success of Guardians Of The Galaxy (which topped $160 million in its opening weekend). Marvel’s latest had a gigantic opening by most ordinary standards, nearing the $60 million mark. But as IGN pointed out, this was actually Marvel’s weakest opening since The Incredible Hulk (and that in itself is an extraordinary statement on the money-making power of the superhero genre).
While Ryan Reynolds was patiently counting down the days until Deadpool makes him a star again he went ahead and filmed Self/Less. It’s kind of Freak Friday meets Jason Bourne only not as good. Also, there’s Ben Kingsley because the check cleared.
All this plus Dan finally gets to do a Video Recovery, Quincy takes on punk rock and Tom will make you question everything you thought you knew about Cat’s in the Cradle.
It’s Reel Spoilers #102 – Self/Less.
You’ve been warned.
Starring: Tom O’Keefe, Blake Fehl, Dan Graney, Joe Buttice, Kevin Brackett
Run-time: 2hr 8min
Enter for your chance to receive a pass for two to a special advance screening!
The next generation of Griswolds is at it again. New Line Cinema’s “Vacation,” starring Ed Helms (“The Hangover” films) and Christina Applegate (the “Anchorman” films), takes the family on the road for another ill-fated adventure. The film marks Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley’s directorial debut. Following in his father’s footsteps and hoping for some much-needed family bonding, a grown-up Rusty Griswold (Helms) surprises his wife, Debbie (Applegate), and their two sons with a cross-country trip back to America’s “favorite family fun park,” Walley World.
Cast: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann, Skyler Gisondo, Steele Stebbins, Chris Hemsworth, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo
Director: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley