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Ant-Man (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

November 29, 2015 by  



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“Ant-Man” is a fun and exciting action film with plenty of humor and wonderful visual effects. If you love the Marvel live-action films, you won’t be disappointed by “Ant-Man”. Recommended!

Image courtesy of © 2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Ant-Man

YEAR OF FILM: 2015

DURATION: 117 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Color, 1:85:1 Aspect Ratio, English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 Description Audio, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks, Subtitles: English, French and Spanish

COMPANY: Disney

RELEASE DATE: December 8, 2015


Directed by Peyton Reed

Based on the comic book by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby

Screenplay by Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd

Story by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish

Based on the Marvel Comics Comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Executive Producer: Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Michael Grillo, Stan Lee, Edgar Wright

Producer: Kevin Feige

Co-Producer: David J. Grant, Brad Winderbaum

Associate Producer: Leo Thompson, Edgar Wright

Music by Christophe Beck

Cinematography by Russell Carpenter

Edited by Dan Lebental, Colby Parker, jr.

Casting by Sarah Finn

Production Design by Shepherd Frankel, Marcus Rowland

Art Direction by Cameron Beasley, Nigel Churcher, Jann K. Engel, David Lazan, Justin O’Neal Miller

Set Decoration by Leslie A. Pope

Costume Design by Sammy Sheldon


Starring:

Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man

Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym

Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne

Corey Stoll as Darren Cross/Yellowjacket

Bobby Cannavale as Paxton

Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon

Judy Greer as Maggie Lang

Abby Ryder Fortson as Cassie Lang

Michael Pena as Luis

David Dastmalchian as Kurt

T.I. as Dave

Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter

Wood Harris as Gale

John Slattery as  Howard Stark

Martin Donovan as Mitchell Carson


 The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduces the newest member of the Avengers: Marvel’s Ant-Man. Armed with the amazing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang joins forces with his new mentor Dr. Hank Pym to protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from ruthless villains! With humanity’s fate in the balance, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a daring heist against insurmountable odds. Filled with humor, awesome special effects and exclusive bonus features, this action-packed adventure takes you to new levels of pulse-pounding excitement!


As Marvel continues to succeed with their live action movies and having another box office winner with “The Avengers: Age of Ultron”, the film eventually left the stage open for more heroes to join the Avengers but also opportunities to introduce new ones.  And so “Ant-Man” is the next Marvel superhero to get a new film.

The super hero made was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby and with his first appearance in “Tales to Astonish” #27 featuring the character Hank Pym, the new Marvel movie focuses on the second person to take on the Ant-Man name, the character Scott Lang.

The live-action film is directed by Peyton Reed (“Yes”, “The Break-Up” and “Bring It On”) and would star Paul Rudd (“Role Models”, “I Love You, Man”, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”), Michael Douglas (“The Game”, “Basic Instinct”, “Falling Down”), Evangeline Lilly (“Lost”, “Real Steel”, “The Hurt Locker”), Corey Stoll (“The Bourne Legacy”, “Non-Stop”, “Midnight in Paris”), Bobby Cannavale (“Chef”, “Win Win”, “Parker”), Anthony Mackie (“Real Steel”, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, “The Hurt Locker”, “Million Dollar Baby”), Judy Greer (“Jurassic World”, “13 Going on 30”, “Archer”) and hip-hop star T.I. (“The Hangover”, “Pitch Perfect 2”, “Fast & Furious 6”, “Furious 7”).

“Ant-Man” received positive reviews from film critics for its humor and visual work and earning over $518 million worldwide.  And now “Ant-Man” will be released on Blu-ray (2D+3D+HD and DVD) in Dec. 2015.

“Ant-Man” begins in 1989 with scientist Hank Pym (portrayed by Michael Douglas) resigning from S.H.I.E.L.D. after discovering that the organization was trying to replicate his Ant-Man shrinking technology using the Pym particles, believing that the technology is too dangerous, he vowed to make sure the technology never gets out, as long as he is alive.

Fastforward to 2015 and we see Hank Pym returning back to the corporation he founded and was forced out of.  He meets with his estranged daughter Hope van Dyne (portrayed by Evangeline Lilly) and his former protege, Darren Cross (portrayed by Corey Stoll).

Darren wants to show Hank that he is close to perfecting his own shrinking technology using a suit, the Yellowjacket, which shocks Hank.  As Hank tries to tell Darren to stop, Darren whispers to him that he still has a grudge against his former mentor for pushing him away.

Meanwhile, Scott Lang (portrayed by Paul Rudd) is released from prison and is picked up by his old cellmate, Luis (portrayed by Michael Pena).  We start to learn that Scott is a thief and was caught and was sent to prison. Luis and his friends want Scott to partake in another burglary but Scott doesn’t want to go back to prison and wants to start anew.

Scott wants to build a relationship with his daughter Cassie, despite his former wife Maggie (portrayed by Judy Greer) and her boyfriend, police detective and fiance, Paxton (portrayed by Bobby Cannavale) not wanting him to be there.

Scott said he just wants to start his new life and build a relationship with his daughter, but Maggie tells him that he needs to prove that he can change his life for the better good and pay child support.

So, Scott tries to find jobs but finds it difficult.  He eventually gets a job at Baskin Robbins but is fired after they find out the truth that he is a former criminal.

Upset that he hasn’t been able to find a job because of his criminal record, he agrees to help Luis and his crew to break into the house owned by Hank Pym, which is rumored to have a lot of money.  He just has to crack the safe, which Scott can definitely do.

But in truth, the information that Luis was given for the break-in was orchestrated by Hank Pym, who was looking for someone with great skills as a thief to take on the mantle of the Ant-Man, a title he once had.

As Scott breaks into the Pym home, he and the others are disappointed that there was not money to steal and all that was left was a bicycle suit and helmet, which he takes.

When Scott tries the suit on at home, he immediately shrinks to the size of an insect and starts hearing a man communicate directly with him..  Terrified that he has stolen major technology, he tries to return the suit back to Hank Pym but is quickly arrested by the police.

As Paxton gives Scott a hard time for messing up once again in life, he is told that his lawyer came to visit him.  Surprised as a lawyer came by, when Scott meets with the man, it turns out to be the scientist Hank Pym who has smuggled the suit into his cell to help Scott break out of jail.

As the two meet at Hank Pym’s home, Hank tells Scott that the burglary was planned and the reason why he wanted Scott to discover the suit is because he needs his skill for the most dangerous burglary and that is to break into his former company by using the Ant-Man uniform and technology and steal the Yellowjacket suit from Cross.

While Hope agrees to assist her father, she still has a problem with him picking a former criminal to do the job, but also still harbors ill feelings to her father for the death of her mother, Janet.

Knowing that he has run out of options and he needs to make a living, he agrees to take up the Ant-Man mantle and help Hank Pym and steal the Yellowjacket suit.  But first he must undergo a multitude of training in order to become the Ant-Man.


VIDEO:

“Ant-Man” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio). The film is presented in 3D and 2D.

First, let’s discuss the 2D. The film looks magnificent in HD. CG elements (especially the use of technology of featuring the ants) are well-balanced with live action scenes and there is amazing detail when it comes to closeups. Outdoor scenes are vibrant, the colors are well saturated and black levels are nice and dark. But it’s important to note that there are many scenes that were purposely made to look gloomy and soft, but for the most part, the film looks fantastic in HD!

As for the 3D version of the film (included on a separate disc), the film does feature good use of displaying depth. From the bath-tub scene, to Ant-Man practicing along with the ants, Ant-Man vs. the Falcon and even the fight against Yellowjacket as there are scenes with ants, ice, sparks, blasts and laser effects coming towards the viewer.

I felt the 3D was much better utilized in this film compared to “The Avengers: Age of Ultron”.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

As for the lossless audio, “Ant-Man” is presented in English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby digital Language Tracks.

The lossless soundtrack is quite immersive with great use of the surround channels and LFE via the subwoofer. Due to the large amount of action sequences, many times I felt the room tremble to my delight. Dialogue and music were crystal clear but I felt the surround channels were well done! Audiophiles for the most part, should be quite satisfied with the overall mix.

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Ant-Man” comes with the following special features:

  • Making of an Ant-Sized Heist: A How-to-Guide – (14:35) Featuring the cast and crew discussing the characters of the film and more.
  • Let’s Go to the Macroverse – (8:07) A featurette about how they used Macroverse technology and set the bar in making shrinking looking photorealistic.
  • WHIH News Front – (9:13) Featuring four interviews with WHIH Newsfront with Christine Everhart.
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes – (8:40) Featuring eight deleted and extended scenes with optional audio commentary from Director Peyton Reed and Paul Rudd.
  • Gag Reel – (3:06) A hilarious gag reel from “Ant-Man”.
  • Audio Commentary with Director Peyton Reed and actor Paul Rudd

EXTRAS:

“Ant-Man” comes with a slipcover and a Disney Movie Rewards code. Plus the 2D and 3D Blu-ray discs for the film.


I have to admit that I was a bit excited of hearing that “Ant-Man” would be made into a live action film.

For one, Disney/Marvel is on a hot streak with their films and for the most part, they all have been enjoyable.

But why I was excited was that, having been a long time Avengers fan and reading the comic books since I was young boy, I have felt that box office hit “The Avengers” was missing two prominent characters from the comic books, Ant-Man and the Wasp.

They were members of the original Avengers but at the same time, I understood why they weren’t featured.  Every character of “The Avengers” film were all derived from a character’s own film, “Iron Man”, “Captain America”, “Thor”, “The Incredible Hulk”, etc.  But similar to how Hawkeye was introduced to the film and has grown with viewers with the two Avengers films, I thought perhaps Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne would be featured.

But I also knew that unlike the other Avengers, Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne were characters that have had major drama issues for decades in the Marvel Universe.  Two characters that had to deal with marital problems, marital affairs, mental breakdown, physical abuse, suffice to say, their marriage was messy.

In fact, Hank Pym returned as Giant Man and also becoming Yellowjacket and in the comics, it was Pym who created Ultron.  But the movies have been released, Marvel Comics is doing reboot and whatever happened is the past or another alternate universe, so what best than to start anew.

And so, in 2015, we have “Ant-Man”.  Hank Pym is still a scientist who created the Ant-Man technology, but his wife Janet is deceased and he has an estranged daughter named Hope van Dyne.

Hank is much older and he can no longer become the Ant-Man and when confronted by his former protege who has worked on his own shrinking technology and has developed the yellowjacket suit, which they intend to sell to the highest bidder, knowing the technology is dangerous, Hank needs to make sure the technology is destroyed.

But he needs the ultimate thief and who better than former criminal, Scott Lang.  A man and a single father who has not had much success with life, finding a job due to his criminal record but he is given a chance to do a job by Hank Pym and that is to steal the Yellowjacket suit.  But first, he must go through extensive training of learning about the suit and its technology, learning to work with the ants and even going so far as to steal technology from the Avengers headquarters.

I was actually quite pleased by the overall film because unlike Hank Pym, who had his faults, the character in the comics was too serious and had too many issues going on with his life and each time he would create something, something bad would come out of it.

The movies make Hank Pym a much simpler character, who is trying to prevent people from stealing his technology and using it for evil purposes.  But also trying to establish any relationship that he can with Hope, who has blamed her father for her mother’s death.

Personally, I never expected to see Michael Douglas in a Marvel film, but it was great to see him play Hank Pym, while Evangeline Lilly still manages to show that she can take on an action role since her days on television on “LOST” and I can only hope to see more of her in other Marvel films in the near future.

As for Scott Lang, he is the anti-hero type in the fact that he is a criminal, he is often cracking jokes and he hangs out with a crew of criminals, who actually add to the enjoyment of this film.

Michael Pena’s character as Luis breaks any monotony of serious criminal business by saying the craziest things or explaining things that you can’t just help but laugh and be amused by it.

But Scott Lang has that Peter Quill (Chris Pratt’s character on “Guardians of the Galaxy”) vibe of cracking jokes, being a thief and hanging out with a crazy crew sans the ’80s music and the singing and dancing.

I also enjoyed the connection with “The Avengers” film by having Ant-Man take on the Falcon.   And last but not least, the scene involving Hope right after the first portion of the credits are shown, put a big smile on my face. And also one more sequence involving Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Sam Wilson (Falcon).  So, remember to not turn off your Blu-ray or DVD player when the credits start showing.

But I did enjoy the film a lot and can’t wait to see Ant-Man return in “Captain America: Civil War” (set for release in 2016) and the recently announced “Ant-Man and the Wasp” scheduled for 2018.

As for the Blu-ray release of “Ant-Man”, while I preferred the 2D of the film, the 3D does provide great depth and sparks, water and sediments coming at you.  In fact, I found the 3D to be much more effective for this film versus “The Avengers: Age of Ultron”.  But the film looks great in HD (and features great detail on closeups.  Lossless audio is fantastic and great utilization of the surround channels and LFE.  For special features, you get a few features such as audio commentary, deleted/extended scenes, gag reel and a few other short featurettes.  Also, the film does come with a digital HD code, so you can enter it on DisneyMovieRewards for points and also watch the film on HD through the website or on VUDU.

Overall, “Ant-Man” is a fun and exciting action film with plenty of humor and wonderful visual effects.  If you love the Marvel live-action films, you won’t be disappointed by “Ant-Man”.

Recommended!






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