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DISNEY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Peyton Reed
Cast:
Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Bobby Cannavale
Writing Credits:
Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Paul Rudd, Adam McKay

Synopsis:
Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Box Office:
Budget
$130 million.
Opening Weekend
$57,225,526 on 3,856 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$180,202,163.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 2.0
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish

Runtime: 117 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 12/8/2015

Bonus:
• Both 2D and 3D Versions of Film
• Audio Commentary with Director Peyton Reed and Writer/Actor Paul Rudd
• “Making of an Ant-Sized Heist: A How-To Guide” Featurette
• “Let’s Go to the Macroverse” Featurette
• “WHIH Newsfront” Featurette
• Deleted/Extended Scenes
• Gag Reel
• Sneak Peeks


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Ant-Man [Blu-Ray 3D] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 14, 2016)

Long disrespected and viewed as a joke, 2015’s Ant-Man brings its title character his day in the sun. A prologue takes us back to 1989 and shows how scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) resigned from the secret organization SHIELD to keep his “Ant-Man” miniaturization technology out of the wrong hands.

In present day, we see that Pym became a scientific mogul – one about to be pushed out of his own company by his daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and his former protégé Darren Cross (Corey Stoll). Hank finds himself distressed by this path as well as Darren’s attempts to perfect his own “Yellowjacket” miniaturization suit.

In the meantime, small-time crook Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) gets out of jail and tries to set his life on the right track. However, his criminal past makes it tough for him to get work, so out of desperation, he agrees to accompany his buddy Luis (Michael Pena) on a heist.

This job takes Scott to Pym’s abode, and he winds up in possession of the Ant-Man technology. Scott discovers the special abilities he can now utilize and starts down the path to super-hero status, a quest that will lead him to help from Dr. Pym – and also to confront Darren.

As one of the founding members of the Avengers, Ant-Man really shouldn’t have been so ignored over the years. However, the character’s inherent silliness made him less feasible – even in the 1970s, he’d be mocked on a Saturday Night Live skit about superheroes. Time seemed to have left behind poor Ant-Man.

Faced with a character more ridiculous than most, Ant-Man goes for a comedic approach – but not to an extreme degree. The movie could’ve become nothing more than a spoof/farce, but the filmmakers avoid that choice.

Which makes me happy. Not that I have great fondness for the character – I loved the Avengers as a kid, but I never felt any real attachment to Ant-Man. Honestly, I’d be hard-pressed to recall any real feelings for the hero either way – by the early 80s, he seemed like a largely irrelevant relic.

Nonetheless, I’m not a fan of an out-and-out comedic approach to “serious” superheroes. If Ant-Man had done little more than mock the character and go into parody mode, I think it would’ve flopped.

Ant-Man nods at the character’s inherent silliness but never gives us jokes that come at his expense. We laugh with the character, not at him, which works – as does the movie’s general sense of lightness. Again, Ant-Man isn’t a role that favors a grim or dark approach, so a loose and lively take fares best.

Which Ant-Man has in spades, but not to the exclusion of all else. Lose the comedy and you still find a flick with a lot of action and even the necessary drama, as we buy into Scott and his life.

Ant-Man might be the most fun of all the Marvel movies - well, those released under the "Marvel Cinematic Universe" banner, at least. The Raimi Spideys remain my favorite of the Marvel flicks, but I think Ant-Man might be better than any of its MCU predecessors.

It's one of the rare MCU flicks that pulls off comedy without seeming forced and self-conscious. In other movies - even the much-lauded Iron Man and Avengers - the comedy comes across as non-organic to me. However, the laughs/quirks of Ant-Man feel seamless and natural.

Rudd becomes a much better hero than I would've expected. I feared he'd "act down" to the material and wink at the audience in a smarmy way, but he plays it straight. He does the comedy better than anyone else in the Marvel flicks but still invests in the character's action and dramatic scenes.

Most of the supporting cast fares well, too – especially Pena. Luis offers one of the most charming felons you’ll meet, and Pena invests him with a gleeful innocence that makes him a delight. Pena gets the movie’s last line for a reason: he’s a hoot.

I admit Yellowjacket doesn't make for the greatest villain, partly because Stoll plays him in Nutbag Mode from the start. It’s like Jack Nicholson’s approach to the lead in The Shining. Just as Jack Torrance starts too nuts to really “grow”, Darren’s such a Capital V Villain at all times that it's tough to believe he was ever close to Hank or that Grace would be interested in him. Sure, the movie tries to explain his change in personality, but I still think we should've gotten a better hint of "normal Darren".

Minor quibbles aside, Ant-Man offers an awfully fun movie, and one that kept me with it from beginning to end. It's up there with the Captain America movies as the best of the MCU.

Footnote: two sequences appear during the end credits. One comes “mid-credits” while the other appears at the very end.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A-/ Bonus B-

Ant-Man appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The movie offered terrific visuals.

In terms of sharpness, the image seemed solid. It displayed tight, accurate images from start to finish. I witnessed no signs of jaggies or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. No source flaws marred the image either.

The film’s palette favored Hollywood standard teal and orange with some amber along for the ride as well. Those choices left me cold but the Blu-ray replicated them appropriately. Blacks seemed deep and dense, and shadows offered nice clarity. This became a consistently fine image.

As for the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Ant-Man, it satisfied just as much as the picture. The soundscape opened up the material in an active manner, especially during scenes at “ant-level”. Those gave us an immersive feel that added a lot of information all around the spectrum.

Even at “normal size”, the mix worked well. As anticipated, the many action sequences offered the most engaging moments. These used the various channels to create a good sense of place and action, with battle elements that zipped around the room.

Audio quality was positive. Music showed good boldness and clarity, while speech appeared distinctive and concise. Effects came across as accurate and dynamic, with nice low-end response. The soundtrack fit the material and added zing to the proceedings.

The package includes both 2D and 3D versions of Ant-Man. The technical comments address the 2D edition – what does the 3D platter bring to the table?

Picture quality seemed almost as strong as the 2D’s visuals. Some light ghosting created mild distractions, but that was the only minor concern I noticed. In all other ways, I felt the 3D image matched up well with is 2D partner.

As for the 3D effects, they added some zip to the proceedings. The image boasted a good sense of depth, and a variety of scenes – usually those at “ant level” – demonstrated impressive immersiveness. The combination of strong visual quality and some fun 3D elements made the 3D version my preferred way to watch the film.

All the extras show up on the 2D disc, and we start with an audio commentary from director Peyton Reed and writer/actor Paul Rudd. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, various effects, music, editing and related topics.

While not a great track, Reed and Rudd give us a pretty good overview. The director dominates and delivers a likable, engaging chat, while Rudd contributes enough insights to make his presence worthwhile. This becomes a solid “B+” commentary.

Three featurettes follow. Making of an Ant-Sized Heist: A How-to Guide runs 14 minutes, 34 seconds and includes info from Reed, Rudd, co-producer Brad Winderbaum, production designer Shepherd Frankel, special effects supervisor Dan Sudick, producer Kevin Feige, costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ, head specialty costume creator Ivo Coveney, stunt coordinator Trevor Habberstad, second unit director Jeff Habberstad, executive producer Stan Lee and actors Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, John Slattery, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Pena, Corey Stoll, Tip “TI” Harris, David Dastmalchian, and Anthony Mackie,

We hear about cast and performances, story and characters, music and pacing, production design, sets, locations and effects, the Ant-Man suit, stunts and action. “Heist” offers a pretty frothy little piece, so don’t expect a ton of substance. Nonetheless, it gives us a quick and lively overview.

Let’s Go to the Macroverse lasts eight minutes, six seconds and features Reed, Rudd, Douglas, Feige, Winderbaum, and executive producer Victoria Alonso. The featurette informs us about elements used to create the “small size” Ant-Man sequences. Like “Heist”, this one seems a little fluffy, but it still includes a decent array of details.

Under WHIH Newsfront, we get a compilation of clips that fills a total of nine minutes, 12 seconds. These offer faux news segments related to the movie’s characters and situations. These acted as marketing for Ant-Man and they offer a fun collection of clips.

Eight Deleted/Extended Scenes take up a total of eight minutes, 39 seconds. That overall running time indicates that these will consist of brief clips – which is true for all but the first. “Fixing the Cable” lasts about three minutes and becomes the only substantial sequence here – and it’s a lot of fun. It lets us see an encounter between Scott and Hank that takes place earlier than their first meeting in the final cut.

Otherwise, the altered scenes offer minor tidbits. These can be entertaining but they remain pretty minor, so outside of “Cable”, don’t expect much from them.

We can view the scenes with or without commentary from Reed and Rudd. They tell us a little about the sequences as well as why the clips got the boot. They add some good information.

Lastly, a Gag Reel goes for three minutes, 25 seconds. It shows some of the usual goofs, but it mostly provides improv/alternate lines. That makes it a nice addition to the package and much better than the usual blooper collection.

The 2D disc opens with ads for Avengers: Age of Ultron and Agent Carter. Sneak Peeks adds promos for Ultimate Spider-Man Vs. Sinister Six, Avengers: Ultron Revolution, and Claymation: Marvel’s Avengers. No trailer for Ant-Man appears here.

A nice combination of comedy, action and heart, Ant-Man brings us a strong superhero flick. It blends its elements seamlessly and gives us a fine piece of entertainment. The Blu-ray delivers excellent picture and audio as well as a smattering of supplements. One of the best entries in the “Marvel Cinematic Universe”, I can’t wait for the sequel.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.5 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main