The Wasp is one of the oldest, most important Marvel characters of all time (she was one of the original five Avengers), and she’s also someone who has been waiting in the wings for far too long. In “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” the heroine finally gets her due in a movie that’s about her legacy as much as it is about the Avengers, and Ant-Man, overall. After the two heavy meals that were “Black Panther” and “Infinity War,” Peyton Reed’s return to “Ant Man and the Wasp” is like a nice light after dinner sorbet. It’s a palate cleanser, it’s simple, and it’s quite good.
I’ve had a lot of time to think about Lowell Dean’s follow up to 2014’s “WolfCop,” and while I did love the original movie for its balls and unique premise, I can’t say I loved “Another…” Is it a poor follow up to the original? Absolutely not, but with the bigger budget and massive acclaim, it feels more like Dean forced a lot of the cult aspects, and has a tough time progressing the narrative of his hero Lou Garou. That said, “Another WolfCop” is still a fun cult movie romp that gets a nice blu-ray treatment for fans.
It’s a shame that we’ve reached this milestone, but it warrants noting that “Jurassic World” is the first “Jurassic Park” movie to ever put me to sleep. I’m not saying “Fallen Kingdom” is an awful movie, it’s just that it’s not a very good one. If “Jurassic World” became a Saturday morning cartoon to entertain kids between bowls of cereal and bathroom breaks, “Fallen Kingdom” would be the pilot episode. It’s thin on narrative, but crowded with a ton of half baked, under developed characters, all of whom are so paper thin we barely get to know them, or engage ourselves with them all over again.
Leave it to Disney and Pixar. They have the stable of Marvel superheroes at their disposal and they approach “The Incredibles 2” not as a cash grab but a sincere look at the idea of superheroes in the modern era. Sure superheroes seem like a great idea in theory, but “The Incredibles 2” uses its concept as a means of exploring the world with superheroes and how it can have its definite upsides and crushing downsides. The first film had the concept of the idea of the meaning of being exceptional, our natural advantages, and how mediocrity has become the norm for society that only accepted stellar, once upon a time. “The Incredibles 2” takes it a bit further dissecting the need for heroes and whether self-reliance is the only thing we have in this world.
It’s a shame that “Prey at Night,” the long awaited sequel to “The Strangers” hit like a thud in 2018, because it sure is a top notch follow up to the atmospheric original we saw a decade ago. Where as the original was more an homage to the Manson family murders, “Prey at Night” is a slick hodgepodge of slasher and thriller nods and winks that paint our trio of Sack Face, Pin Up Girl, and Baby Doll as more aggressive individuals that spend less time tenderizing their victims before they go in for the ultimate kill.
Many years later, director Sam Firstenberg’s “Ninja III” is an out of left field mix of horror, action, and ninjas, all of which were very popular in the eighties. I was never quite sure what happened to “Ninja” one or two, but when I was a kid, “Ninja III” was a bonafide favorite of mine that I’d indulge in every time it was on network television. Thankfully I’m not alone as “Ninja III” has become a cult classic that stands alone, much like “Troll 2.” There’s just something fascinating about a young woman and aerobics enthusiast being possessed by the ghost of a ninja, who begins to seek revenge on his past foes.
I didn’t think it was possible, but “Paddington 2” is just as good as the original “Paddington.” It doesn’t repeat the same beats from the original film, but expands on the world we engaged in when we first met the friendly bear. Director Paul King is back and could easily have suffered a sophomore slump with a sequel that was filled with redundancies and pandered to a more mainstream crowd, but thankfully “Paddington 2” stays true to itself, following the adventures of our good hearted bear as he attempts to spread love where ever he goes, and find the good in people.
I was never actually a fan of movies where we have to follow an animal or group of animals as we follow along on their adventures. It never dawned on me that animals have such exciting lives and I was never interested In that sub-genre. Save for the “Homeward Bound” movies, but that’s a whole other discussion. “Benji” is considered a classic by many that also begat a ton of copycat films, and “For the Love of Benji” is the follow up that, I assume is intended for kids. It’s kind of dark, all things considered.