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The good parts of Ant-Man

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In my last Ant-Man article, I may have given off the impression that I didn’t like Ant-Man. I’ll admit, talking about all its flaws did get me riled up but, ultimately, I actually really liked the movie. So, to prove it, here’s my counterpoint: all the good parts of Ant-Man. Mild spoilers inbound.

 

1. Paul Rudd as Scott Lang

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I’ve got no sarcastic quip here. He’s that damn good.

I didn’t know what to make of Paul Rudd being cast as Scott. I’m not the kind of person to get worked up over casting choices nor do I know which actor should play what role. But from the moment we were introduced to him, I felt like Paul Rudd was pretty much perfect.

In a cinematic universe that has starred billionaires, super soldiers, special agents and literal gods, Rudd’s Lang was a refreshing change of pace. A down-to-earth, somewhat snarky ex-con who just wants to get his life back on track and reconnect with his young daughter – despite his amazing thief skills, he’s already a very relatable character. That’s not to say the other Marvel leads aren’t relatable but there was something about Rudd’s performance that made him immediately likable.

Maybe it was because he was able to capture so many different sides of Lang’s character perfectly. The sarcastic asshole that always had something to say about the situation, the devoted daddy that loves his daughter and the tired and desperate ex-thief; they all felt like they belonged to the same character. I didn’t know who should play as Lang but now that Paul Rudd’s here, I don’t want him to leave.

2. The comic relief weren’t annoying

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“You guys gonna do anything useful?”
“Yes, and we’ll still be funny.”
“Oh….. good, carry on.”

When we’re introduced to Lang’s criminal buddies, I remember thinking to myself “God, I hope these guys don’t get annoying.” They just seemed to have all the trademarks of being really cringey and pointless comic relief. But to my surprise, whether it be the acting or writing, they not only managed to be funny but relevant.

It’s displayed very early on that despite their silliness, they were still really good thieves. The moment they orchestrate the break-in at Pym’s house, they suddenly become serious and professional while still retaining their comedic personalities. When they are called in to help with the final heist, I initially had a similar reaction to Pym, thinking that everything was going to go tits up because of these three. But no; they do an amazing job. Any problems that arise are a result of the interference of someone else.

It’s all too easy to make the comic relief dumb; like really idiotic to the point where you question why the main character would ever socialise with them. This film manages to avoid that pitfall entirely. Ironically, the best kind of comic relief is the kind where they’re not just the comic relief.

3. Scott’s daughter

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Fun fact: in the comics, Cassie would go on to wear the Ant-Man suit herself.

This was definitely something I wasn’t expecting but it left quite an impact on me that I felt like I had to include it. The main character having a small daughter that he’s trying to help support isn’t a new idea and, usually, these small daughters are simply cute and innocent – in another word “pwecious.” Cassie manages to be “pwecious” but not in the way you’d expect.

Her first scene is at her birthday party, where Scott gives her a toy rabbit. Of course since he’s out of work and has virtually no money, it’s a crappy toy. More than that, it’s frightening. An ugly, creepy looking thing with an almost-equally creepy voice. What’s Cassie’s reaction? She loves it. 100% genuinely loves it and we even see her with it later while she’s asleep in bed. Cassie doesn’t serve that big of a role in terms of the action but I love how the writers went out of their way to make Cassie her own character instead of simply following a stock template.

Her performance is equally excellent. It’s all too common for child actors to be either dull or just plain bad but it’s like the girl who plays Cassie wasn’t even given a script. She’s just so natural. It’s a small thing but, for me, this character was a very pleasant surprise.

4. The shrinking scenes

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How can a movie make realistic-looking ants actually kind of cute?

I very rarely complement how scenes are shot, simply because I’m not an expert cameraman and the only reason I would call a shot bad is because it’s really bad. But my god, the scenes when Ant-Man has shrunk look amazing. The very first one, when Lang accidentally shrinks himself in a bath tub almost blew me away with how good it looked. It felt like Edgar Wright had never left, or at least someone was doing a damn good imitation.

There was just something spectacular about seeing the world from Ant-Man’s perspective. You feel like you’ve shrunken with him; running water now feels like a tidal wave and bullets feel like giant missiles thanks to the visuals and the sound. The shot of Ant-Man running across a pistol might be my favourite in the whole movie.

The best parts, though, were when Ant-Man would rapidly switch between sizes. Not just because it looks cool but because it lends itself to a lot of creativity; the fight scenes between Ant-Man and Yellowjacket at the end were the payoff and demonstrated how much of a threat these two can be even when shrunk. Hell, I’d even say that it was one of my favourite climaxes in all the Marvel movies thus far, both for its creativity and how silly it all really was.

5. Still had plenty of surprises

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Not many people know this but Thomas is actually one of the most powerful forces in the Marvel Universe.

It was unanimously decided that the best part of Ant-Man was seeing big bad Yellowjacket getting run over by a Thomas the Tank Engine toy – a scene that was sadly shown in all its glory in one of the trailers. We all agreed it was fantastic but how much better would it have been if our first exposure to it was in the move theater? It felt like the film had played its trump card too early.

Fortunately, that wasn’t entirely the case. Obviously I don’t wish to spoil any of it but let’s just say there were still plenty of great moments that I don’t think anybody expected to see. All I recommend you do is actually go watch the movie and experience them for yourself.

Ant-Man could have very easily become the one blot within Marvel’s cinematic universe but was somehow saved and managed to be far better than I think even fans of the super small superhero expected it to be. All I wanted from it was a good Ant-Man movie, but I think it managed to even be a good movie on its own. It was funny, had a great lead, great action and was, overall, very fun. If you still don’t believe how a film about a guy whose main powers involve shrinking and talking to ants can be good, I suggest you still go watch it. You just might find yourself a new favourite superhero.

Michael is a graduate from Brunel University, where he studied Computer Games Design and Creative Writing. He denies claims that he did it just to give him an excuse to play videogames. He usually has something to say on the latest news in gaming, film and TV, even if no one wants to hear it.

Gaming

“Really pleased” with Sea of Thieves PS5 sales, Microsoft

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After the recent port to PS5, Microsoft is “really pleased” with the overall sales and performance of Sea of Thieves. As a result, more people are playing the Xbox and PC versions as well. Matt Booty, president of game content and studios at Microsoft Gaming, said this:. He also said that the success of the series means it can grow and that more money should be spent on a Variety podcast interview.

Microsoft is bringing four games that used to only be available on Xbox to other systems. Sea of Thieves was the last of these games to come out. The others are Pentiment, Grounded, and Hi-Fi Rush. Even though things have been going well lately, Booty says that more ports will be dealt with “case-by-case.”

News spread before the port came out that Sea of Thieves was being used as a “key test” to see if more Xbox-only games would be ported to PS5, PS4, and Xbox One. In May 2024, the game was the best-selling PS Store game in both Europe and the US. It also did well in the weekly sales charts.

Aside from the four games that have already been ported to Xbox, nothing else has been officially confirmed. However, news reports say that a lot of exclusive games may be about to come to other platforms. Some say that PS5 games like Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, Starfield, and a rumored remaster of Halo: Combat Evolved are all being thought about.

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Gaming

The new game from Danganronpa’s developers is being published by Aniplex, a Sony company, but it won’t be coming out on PS5

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The upcoming game from the creators of the Danganronpa series has found a publisher in Sony subsidiary Aniplex. However, it’s worth noting that it won’t be initially released on the PS5. It is highly likely that The Hundred Line: Last Defense Academy will be released on Sony’s system at a later date, just like Master Detective Archives: Rain Code in October. However, the development team is currently focusing on prioritizing the release of their latest title on the Nintendo Switch and PC.

Described as a strategy game, the title allows players to step into the shoes of teenager Takumi Sumino, who resides in the perpetually secure Tokyo Residential Complex. When monsters suddenly unleash chaos upon the town, Takumi finds himself thrust into the Last Defense Academy. His mission? To protect the school alongside 14 other students for a grueling 100 days.

As one would anticipate, alongside the strategic gameplay, it is crucial to foster strong relationships with your comrades. Moreover, the outcome of the game can vary greatly, with a staggering 100 possible endings contingent upon the choices you make. We will reach out to Aniplex to inquire about the possibility of a PS5 port. However, it is important to note that Aniplex operates independently from PlayStation, as it falls under the Sony Music umbrella.

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Geek Culture

NASA’s cool new laser system is being used to send astronauts videos of their pets

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To send and receive messages to and from the International Space Station (ISS), NASA has built the first end-to-end wired system that works both ways. With its 1.2 gigabits per second speed, which is faster than your home internet, it sent pictures and videos of cats, dogs, and even the occasional parrot to the astronauts who are currently on the station.

Space communication is slow for more than just the reason that light moves so slowly. It took over a year to send a few days’ worth of observations from missions like New Horizon, which was the first mission to Pluto. It will be possible for future missions to carry more instruments with better resolution, but that won’t help much if we can’t get the data back to Earth.

Lasers can make the speed at which data is sent much faster. A mission called Psyche is going to look into the metal-rich asteroid with the same name. It has an infrared laser system on board called Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC). Last year, it was shown off from 40 million kilometers away, which is 16 million kilometers (10 million miles).

It took DSOC an extra month and 3 million kilometers to get to the important stuff. Of course, Psyche sent a video of Taters, a cat, chasing a laser dot.

But this only went one way. The video was put on Psyche before it opened. At the moment, there is no quick way to send that much data to a spacecraft so far away.

But the ISS is not like that. The mission operations center in Las Cruces, New Mexico, sent data to ground stations from Texas to Hawaii. The first set of data included pictures and videos of the staff’s pets. At these points, it was changed into infrared laser signals and sent into space.

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As you might expect, the signals weren’t sent straight to the ISS. Instead, they were sent to satellites in geosynchronous orbits 22,000 miles above Earth. From there, everything was sent to a receiver that was temporarily attached to the outside of the ISS. All of those valuable bits were sent back to Earth, showing that the system works both ways.

We are used to information traveling at the speed of light, so this may not seem very impressive, but it was very hard to do technically. Radio waves can only carry so much data at a time. Infrared lasers can carry more data, but delays can cause important data to be lost over these distances, let alone the ones NASA wants to use these systems for in the future. A new “store-and-forward” process was put to the test during the demonstration. This process checks the quality of data and either sends it right away or stores it for later use.

A High-Rate Delay Tolerant Networking (HDTN) system was created so that this could happen four times faster than it could before. Astronauts on the Artemis Mission will need improvements like these so they can connect to the Internet instead of sending their videos in grainy black-and-white like Apollo astronauts did.

NASA’s Kevin Coggins said in a statement, “Not only did they show how these technologies can be an important part of NASA’s future science and exploration missions, but it was also fun for the teams to “imagine” their pets helping with this innovative demonstration.”

We commend NASA for the technology and the things they sent, but we can’t help but feel like they missed a chance. These pets belonged to astronauts Randy Bresnik, Christina Koch, and Kjell Lindgren, as well as to people who work for NASA but have never been to space. We especially like Astrid the Beagle because the breed is linked to scientific progress.

Still, none of these astronauts are on board right now. The current crew must miss their own pets and would have liked a video from whoever is taking care of them. Next, astronauts will face-time with their excited dogs (the cats won’t mind).

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