The good parts of Ant-Man
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
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
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
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
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
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.
To keep Apex Legends running for an additional “10 to 15 years,” Respawn opens a third studio
Apex Legends developer Respawn has created a third studio in order to keep the popular battle royale genre running for another “10 to 15 years”. Madison, Wisconsin is where the new studio is situated.
This third studio (the first two being headquartered in Los Angeles and Vancouver) will largely focus on Apex Legends in order to ensure a continuous and, most importantly, sustainable production pipeline. It may, however, contribute to other Respawn products in the future. Ryan Burnett, who previously served as director of engine production at Epic Games and had a distinguished 14-year career at Raven Software, the Call of Duty Studio, will serve as the studio’s head.
Senior VP of operations at Respawn, Daniel Suarez, claims in-depth in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz that “Because we intend to stick with this for the long haul, team health is unquestionably a top priority for us. We’re eager to see Apex become a franchise that endures for ten, fifteen, or more years because we think it will. We can’t just accomplish everything at once, exhaust ourselves, and be unprepared to do it over the long run.”
Consistency (as well as adequate production runway) are essential to make Apex Legends’ 90-day turnaround for new seasons of content realistic. Suarez observes that the introduction of new characters to the game takes a lot longer than you might anticipate “It takes us between a year and a year and a half to become proficient in a Legend. We are therefore making preparations well in advance.”
Only a few weeks ago, parent company EA fired more than 200 Apex Legends quality assurance testers in an impromptu Zoom call, raising concerns among some fans about the game’s future.
Do you support Respawn’s decision to open a third studio? Do you believe Apex Legends will still be around in 15 years?
On the PS5, Kingdom Eighties brings micromanagement and vintage nostalgia
Kingdom Eighties, a micro-strategy game coming out for the PS5 in 2023, is a loving tribute to that legendary time period.Eighties will be a stand-alone novel like earlier books in the Kingdom series, such as Two Crowns or New Lands.
You take on the role of the leader, a camp counselor tasked with protecting the village against enigmatic creatures known as greed. Bike around the neighborhood with youngsters like The Champ, The Tinkerer, and The Wiz, who will support you in combat and each contribute something unique to the table while doing your best Stranger Things impressions.
Your thoughts about Kingdom Eighties Have you played any of the other Kingdom games?
Currently available on PS5, PS4, and 18 more PS + Extra, premium games
Just now, another great update for PS Plus Extra and PS Plus Premium came out.There are 17 titles in all that are available for these higher membership tiers in March, which is a wonderful collection that should have something for everyone. In Europe, these games are now available for download on the PS5 and PS4, and they will soon be released in North America.
Here is a list of everything included as a reminder:
PS Plus Extra: March 2023
- Tchia (PS5, PS4) | Review
- Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection (PS5) | Review
- Immortals Fenyx Rising (PS5, PS4) | Review
- Rainbow Six Extraction (PS5, PS4) | Review
- Ghostwire: Tokyo (PS5) | Review
- Life is Strange True Colors (PS5, PS4) | Review
- Life is Strange 2 (PS4) | Review
- Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (PS4) | Review
- Street Fighter V Champion Edition (PS4) | Review
- Untitled Goose Game (PS4) | Review
- Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (PS4) | Review
- RAGE 2 (PS4) | Review
- NEO: The World Ends With You (PS4) | Review
- Haven (PS5, PS4) | Review
PS Plus Premium: March 2023
- Ridge Racer Type 4 (PS1) | Review
- Ape Academy 2 (PSP)
- Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror (PSP)
Tchia, an independent open-world adventure, debuts on PlayStation Plus Extra on the first day of this month. In addition to everything else mentioned above, members will also have access to this endearing new game. The three classic games mentioned above are also available to PS Plus Premium subscribers. Both Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror and Ape Academy 2 provide a set of trophies, which is always a welcome extra.
According to our most recent poll, the majority of you are happy with the new games and oldies that were added to the catalog this month, and we don’t blame you. It’s a fantastic choice. With these more recent membership tiers, Sony seems to be finding its footing after a somewhat poor start.
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