Posts Tagged ‘bobby cannavale’

I like Marvel movies, I do, but they tend to stick to a certain formula when making its origin movies, or really making any movies for that matter. That being said there’s this undeniable force behind the movies that keep bringing me back time and time again: The movies have the ability to seamlessly blend humor, wit, charm, action, and amazing special effects. And they are always impeccable with the casting.

Marvel’s
ANT MAN

Directed By: Peyton Reed
Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Bobby Cannavale,
Judy Greer, Patrick Wilson, David Dastmalchian, Anthony Mackie

ant-man-poster-1

So okay, the plot is a little iffy, the whole “rag-tag, Ocean’s 11, steal an important relic but not before a big training montage” has been done to death. And there are many looming plot problems that put the entire story line into question (but I won’t spoil it, lest it be like that time on Big Bang Theory when Amy ruined the entire plot of Indiana Jones for Sheldon). Plus there’s a complete lack of a big female presence thing, except for Evangeline Lily who is awesome, but could really use another woman to talk to.

However, despite all these things there is one big thing in Ant Man that makes the movie worth watching even if none of the rest interests you. No, it’s not Paul Rudd’s undeniable self-deprecating charm, it’s not the incredible attention to detail in the “shrinking” special effects (that bathtub scene is so awesome), nor is it the awesome action sequences such as Hawkeye and Ant-Man battling it out. The thing, or rather person that makes Ant-Man worth watching is Michael Peña.

Michael Peña plays Luis, Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) partner-in-crime friend. But Peña manages to take the terms “goofy sidekick” to a whole other level. Luis is full of joy, even if things are going absolutely terrible in his life. Perpetually stoned, everything that comes out of his mouth is hilarious. But the thing that works is that you don’t write Luis off as just a goof-ball, you genuinely like the dude. And that is the genius of Michael Peña. Luis is not just comic relief, he’s much more.

AAAGGHHH! The Latino actor reacts pretty much how everyone reacts when they see a bug on their shoulder

We have to remember Ant-Man is the origin movie. It’s the TV equivalent to a pilot meaning there is room to grow. Now that we know the characters, now that we know his backstory, we can be launched into some exciting adventures. I can’t wait to see Paul Rudd and Ant-Man integrated into the MCU, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers. Because we all know that the Marvel movies work best when all their characters are together.

Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

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Win Win

Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Jeffrey Tambor

 

I went into Win Win, not knowing much about it. It was a Sundace Film, a lot of people liked it, and I might cry. Well, I didn’t cry, but I did enjoy the movie.

There are certain moments in life, where you’re not so much concerned about living life, so much as you are surviving it. Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti) is stuck. He lives in a small town, gets up, eats breakfast, kisses his slightly overbearing wife (Amy Ryan), goes to work as a lawyer in his dying practice, coaches high school wrestling,  lives in a small town, works as a lawyer in a dying practice, and tries to figure out how he’s going to pay his bills with his diminishing money.

One day, Flaherty decides to become the guardian of one of his clients (Jeffrey Tambor) who’s suffering from dementia in order to collect the caretaker money. The client’s grandson, who ran away from his mother (Melanie Lynskey) shows up and Flaherty and his family have no choice but to take him in. It turns out taking him in wasn’t only good for the kid, but it was good for Flaherty and his family as well.

Sure the movie was predictable. It was set up in a way where you knew exactly how it was going to go wrong, but that still didn’t mean I didn’t want to know how it was going to go down. Sometimes a movie doesn’t have to be flashy or twisty with a complicated plot. Sometimes a movie can be funny, sweet, and intriguing, and what makes you continue to watch is not to figure out the pieces to the puzzle, but to make sure these characters are going to be okay.


Paul Giamatti is good, like coming home after 14 hours of standing and putting your feet up on the coffee table good. And while all the characters are deeply flawed, their flaws are actually what make them great by the end of the movie. Take for instance, Flaherty’s wife, played by Amy Ryan. At first she seems strict and overbearing, but those qualities actually make her a fantastic mother because she does it out of love. She’s tough, but in a good way because you know she’s just kicking your ass to make you a better person. Bobby Cannavale, played Flaherty’s sidekick/friend. Though Cannavale tends to play the same character in everything he does, he played that same character extremely well in this movie. He brought a lightness that rounded out the film nicely.

Overall, this movie had a quiet brilliance, with some heartwarming moments that make you feel gooey inside. I left this theater with a smile, feeling satisfied. And that’s more than most movies provide.

Rating: 3 ½ stars.