Tag Archives: michael douglas

AVENGERS: ENDGAME (2019) – My rating: 7.8/10

Avengers: Endgame is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team,The Avengers. The film is produced by Marvell Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Avengers: Endgame is the sequel to 2012’s “The Avengers”, 2015’s” Avengers: Age of Ultron” and 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War” , it is also the 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Avengers: Endgame is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Endgame picks up with the surviving members of the Avengers team, along with their allies working to reverse the damage caused by Thanos during the Infinity War. I for one, anticipated Endgame with bated breath. While I thought this was a decent sequel, I was somewhat disappointed.

Thanos (Josh Brolin) used the Infinity Stones to disintegrate half of all life across the universe, leaving us devastated by the deaths of our beloved super heroes. The world has waited in anticipation for the reversal of Thanos’ actions. Avengers: Endgame, part two of Avengers: Infinity, begins three weeks after the completion of Thanos’ dastardly deed, with Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) returning to Earth from deep space, carrying a spaceship containing Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) inside. Now the remaining Avengers, which include; Bruce Banner / The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Rocket (Bradley Cooper’s voice), Thor (Christopher Hemsworth), Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and James “Rhodey” Rhodes / War Machine (Don Cheadle), must find a way to go back in time to fix what Thanos has done. Using Nebula’s knowledge, they find an injured Thanos on an unguarded planet. Their plan is to retake the Stones and reverse his actions but find he has already destroyed them to prevent further use. An enraged Thor beheads Thanos, who is now an ordinary person without the powers of the stones.

**** SPOILERS ****

Five years later, Scott Lang / Ant Man (Paul Rudd) escapes the quantum realm and meets Natsha Romanoff / Black Widow and Steve Rogers / Captain America at the Avengers’ compound. Scott explains that he experienced only five hours while trapped, which to him theorizes that the quantum realm allows time travel. The three heroes travel to ask Stark, because of his genius, to help them retrieve the Stones from the past so they can reverse Thanos’ actions in the present. Stark not believing this could be done refuses, mostly out of fear he’d lose his daughter, Morgan (Lexi Rabe). After having a short chat with his wife, Virginia “Pepper” Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Stark relents says good-bye to his family, then leaves to work with Banner, who has merged his consciousness with the Hulk’s body, hoping to stabilize travel in the quantum realm. Banner and Rocket go to the Asgardian refugees’ new home in Norway, to recruit a beer drinking, drunken, overweight Thor and Romanoff heads to Tokyo to recruit Clint Barton / Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who has turned into a ruthless vigilante following the disintegration of his family.

I think this is a good place to stop. It is difficult to critique this film because the entire story is a mystery for you to solve or not, so you don’t want to know how it ends or if they accomplish the mission. I was a little disappointed in this sequel. First, I felt Tony Shark deserved much more. I can’t elaborate on this since it would spoil the movie for you. Suffice to say, Iron Man should have a movie all to himself, which would give him the opportunity to explain his actions, past, present and future. I also feel Black Widow should be in that Iron Man movie to boost their fan’s moral, concerning what happened in the Endgame. I must inform you that this three hour and one minute movie is action packed with special effects beyond your greatest expectations. There were so many super heroes, from the present as well as the past, that you will find it hard to keep up. The beginning of Endgame tested our faith in the writers to pull off a Thanos’ reversal, as hopelessness was the only feelings we could muster up. After a long battle of defeats for the Avengers and company, we finally got some hope but it didn’t last long. I personally thought the Endgame could have been better written, as there were too many disappointments. Also, the quantum theory story was a bit hard to swallow. Terms like “your past is now your present” really took a lot of intellect to fully understand. BTW, that quantum statement is longer with deeper meaning; I just can’t spoil this for you by saying anymore. You have to see Avengers: Endgame for yourself. It is definitely worth seeing. The film received positive reviews for its direction, acting, entertainment value, musical score, visual effects and emotional weight, with critics lauding its culmination of the 22-film story. With an estimated budget of $356 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made. It also broke numerous box office records and has grossed over $1.7 billion worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film of 2019, as well as the fifth highest-grossing film of all time. Check It Out!

 

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP (2018) – My rating: 8.5/10

Ant-Man and the Wasp is categorized as a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics characters Scott Lang / Ant-Man and Hope van Dyne / Wasp. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man, and the twentieth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Peyton Reed and written by the writing teams of Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, and Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, and Gabriel Ferrari. Ant-Man and the Wasp focuses on retrieving Janet van Dyne from the quantum realm.  I truly liked the original film, Ant-Man, so I was psyched about seeing the Wasp officially added to the series.  I only have good things to say about Ant-Man and the Wasp — it was fun!

ANT-MAN (1987)
Janet van Dyne / Wasp (Michelle Pfeiffer) shrinks between the molecules of a Soviet nuclear missile, successfully disabling it but becoming trapped in the sub-atomic quantum realm for 30 years. Her husband, Hank Pym / Ant-Man (Michael Douglas) raises their daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly), by himself, believing that Janet is dead. Years later, former criminal Scott Lang / Ant Man (Paul Rudd) takes up the mantle of Ant-Man and discovers a way to both enter and return from the quantum realm. Pym and Hope begin work on repeating this feat, believing they may find Janet alive. Lang and Hope also start a romantic relationship and begin training to fight together as Ant-Man and the Wasp, until Lang secretly helps Captain America during a skirmish between the Avengers in violation of the Sokovia Accords. Lang is placed under house arrest, while Pym and Hope go into hiding and cut ties with Lang.

— SPOILERS BELOW — 

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP – (2018)
Two years later, Pym and Hope briefly manage to open a tunnel to the quantum realm. However, Lang receives an apparent message from Janet with whom he is quantumly entangled. Despite only having a few days left of house arrest, Lang decides to call Pym and share the message. Hope kidnaps Lang, leaving a decoy so as not to arouse suspicion from FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park). Seeing the message as confirmation that Janet is alive, Pym and Hope work to create a stable tunnel so they can take a vehicle to the quantum realm and retrieve Janet. Hope arranges to buy a part needed for the tunnel from black market dealer Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins), but Sonny realizes the potential profit that can be earned from Pym and Hope’s research and double-crosses them. Hope fights Burch and his men off, until she is attacked by a quantumly unstable masked woman, Ava Starr / Ghost  (Hannah John-Kamen). Lang tries to help fight off this “ghost”, but she escapes with Pym’s portable lab, causing Pym to reluctantly visits his estranged former partner Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) for help locating the lab.

From this point, the adventure goes to unimaginable places.  The special effects are fantastic as well as the performance of each actor.  The plot is also excellent, as there are several stories happening at once.  The twist and turns are great and will have you on the edge of your seat.  Overall, I really enjoyed Ant-Man and the Wasp.  Although it was technical most of the ride, it was understandable.  This movie is appropriate for all ages and is well worth your time and money to see it.  3D is nice but not necessary to enjoy the film.

 

ANT-MAN (2015) – My rating: 8.5/10

Ant-ManAnt-Man is still a corny title, but it’s a good movie.  Funny, with a pretty good story behind it.  Entertaining with good acting and just enough mystery to keep you interested.  Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym gives a believable performance as a scientist and creator of a suit that allows the wearer to transform to the size of an ant, keeping the dominion of man over animals and the ability to go in and out of this size as often as necessary. Believing his shrinking technology is extremely dangerous, he vows to suppress it as long he’s alive.  Dr. Pym who was a S.H.I.E.L.D. employee when he developed the suit has since build his own company, but has been forced out by his rival Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), a former protégé who wants to use the technology for evil.  Since Dr. Pym has never admitted his shrinking technology exists, Cross has been working to create a similar suit called Yellowjacket he eventually reveals to a horrified Dr. Pym.  Working between the two men is Dr. Pym’s estranged daughter, Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) who doesn’t know why her father detached himself from her most of his life but continues to work for his former company beside Cross.  Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has quite a story himself, having been a brilliant thief with a Masters in Computer Science, a daughter, a divorce and a prison record.  Through manipulation by Dr. Pym, Scott becomes Ant-Man and the journey begins.  Hydra gets involved and The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) makes an appearance to add to the excitement.  For Ant-Man, the focus stays on his daughter Cassie Lang (Abby Ryder Fortson).  I liked the way different species of ants were defined and what their jobs were.  Overall, I think Ant-man was great.  BTW:  I saw it in Real 3D which I don’t think was all that necessary.

LAST VEGAS (2013) – My rating: 7/10

lastbvegasLast Vegas is a pretty good movie.  Michael Douglas (Billy), Morgan Freeman (Archie), Robert Di Nero (Paddy) and Kevin Kline (Sam)  are best friends from childhood.  Now senior citizens, they get together to attend a wedding in Las Vegas.  Michael Douglas is getting married to someone half his age and is not in good favor with one of the members of this elite party of long time friends.  It seems they butted heads years ago because Paddy’s wife died and Billy didn’t attend the funeral, among other things.  To complicate matters more, they meet a singer in Las Vegas, Diana (Mary Steenburgen) and both Paddy and Billy fall for her.  Eventually they suck up their differences and the journey continues. Last Vegas is  a lesson in friendship, trust and doing the right thing.  An enjoyable movie with a wholesome message.  Now that it’s out on DVD,  I think it’s certainly worth checking into.  There are some very funny moments and its interesting to see how the team works out all their problems.  

Behind the Candelabra – 7.5/10

BehindTheCandelabraBehind The Candelabra is a HBO movie based on an  autobiographical novel and the tempestuous 6-year relationship between Liberace and his much younger lover, Scott Thorson.  Liberace is played by Michael Douglas and Scott Thorson is played by Matt Damon. Casting Douglas and Damon was brilliant.   I am still reeling from their performances.  Who knew this pair would be so well suited to deliver these characters?  While the movie only touched on Liberace’s life after he was a huge star, it was crammed with information that probably was the most significant about who he  had become and how he died.

I remember Liberace as a flamboyant performer who played fantastic piano.  I enjoyed his concerts on TV and his funny way of talking and dressing.  I didn’t really know much about his personal life until now.  According to the movie, he had an insatiable sexual appetite and a thirst for new relationships.  He valued his talent and was an excellent showman.  All of this was nicely revealed in Behind the Candelabra.  Might I add, this movie was tastefully filmed and didn’t get too sexually graphic.  If you haven’t seen it, you can catch it On Demand.