Cinema Dispatch: Ant-Man and the Wasp

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Ant-Man and the Wasp and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Peyton Reed

The first Ant-Man is easily one of my favorite Marvel films and has always felt like an outlier in the MCU because (incoming pun VERY much intended) it knew the value of going small.  The fate of the world wasn’t at stake, it didn’t involve Gods, Kings, or vast armies of convenient cannon fodder; rather it was a heist film about a guy who basically just needed a job and got wrapped up in a while bunch of sci-fi nonsense!  It was fun, it was light, and it didn’t have the weight of a dozen other films dragging it down which, given my lukewarm reception to the more recent BIG TEAM UP MOVIES, is just the kind of Marvel film I could really use right about now.  Seriously, I couldn’t IMAGINE a better time to make a goofy palate cleanser than in the wake of Infinity Bore which I’m STILL feeling rather grumpy about and could certainly use something like this to take my mind off of it.  Does this manage to be the perfect antidote to the overly serious and bombastic Avengers film that preceded it, or does the specter of that film loom large enough over the MCU that even THIS series cannot escape from its massive shadow?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins in that period between Civil War and Infinity War where The Avengers are basically split up but no one is all that freaked out about it.  Spider-Man is doing his thing on the East Coast, Black Panther is dealing with his kingly duties in Wakanda, and it turns out that Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has been doing… nothing.  Yeah, it turns out that after helping Captain America in Civil War and taking a plea deal with the US government, he’s under house arrest and hasn’t been doing his Ant-Man thing in a while; especially since the Sokovia Accords (ugh…) have an odd stipulation that the people who MADE the tech he used are JUST as responsible as he is and need to face similar punishments.  Well jeez, I kinda wish we ACTUALLY had that with gun manufacturers, but what it means here is that Hank Pym and Hope van Dyne (Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly) are on the run and decidedly not talking to Scott for putting them in this situation in the first place… not that they could considering he’s under house arrest.  Jeez, kind of a downer way to start the movie, BUT things get better once Scott starts having night terrors about the Quantum Realm and Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) who is the mother of Hope and the wife of Hank, and manages to get this message to those two who swiftly kidnap him MERE DAYS BEFORE HIS HOUSE ARREST IS UP!  It turns out that the two of them have been continuing their research while running from the law (pretty easy to do when you have the ability to shrink) and they’re VERY close to making a tunnel to the Quantum Realm (that place you go to if you shrink TOO SMALL and where Janet ended up after doing so on a mission) but apparently Scott has some connection to it and potentially to Janet due to him somehow escaping it in the first film.  Okay, so Scott helps them with the Tunnel and with any clues he may have about Janet from his dreams, and then they just drop him off at his house before the cops realize he’s gone!  Easy enough, right!?  Well… not exactly.  Throw in some wannabe gangsters looking to snag their research for profit (led by professional scumbag Walton Goggins), a mysterious woman who has bad ass phasing powers (Hanna John-Kamen) trying to steal their research for reasons OTHER than profit, and all of a sudden it looks like Scott might end up going to jail for twenty years because he got caught up in some giant caper yet again and could get caught out of the house at any moment by FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) who is just itching to put him away for good!  Can Scott, Hope, and Hank find out what happened to Janet and maybe save her from the Quantum Realm?  What exactly is the mystery phasing lady after, and just how far will she go to get her hands on their research?  When they get that glove away from Thanos, can we use the Time Stone to go back and make EVERY Marvel movie about Ant-Man and The Wasp?

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“Captain Ant-merica!  Guardians of the Colony!  Thor; Ragna-wasp!”     “Yeah, I’m sure Paul Feig is gonna put those on a marque.”     “Well you won’t know until you ask him!”

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Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Surprise Party)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

We’re back with another episode of Everybody Loves Gibbons!  Everyone except Tom of course, but by the end of this episode you might feel the same way!  We start with good ol’ Tom Peters trying to manage his family’s finances (not an easy task considering he’s perpetually unemployed AND currently renting out a bounce house for his step children) when he starts getting IMs from Gibbons; his just as perpetually unemployed best friend played by Brian Posehn who is staying with him at the moment.  Somehow the second level he put on Tom’s house back in his introductory episode is not present here so I’m guessing he’s either sleeping on the couch or sleeping in Tom’s bed while Tom sleeps on the couch.  SO MUCH FOR CONTINUITY, but then again Tom’s house DID collapse under the weight of the second story in that episode, so it’s less a continuity issue than a continuity stalemate.  In any case, Gibbons is e-pestering Tom regarding this totally badass sword being sold at the Jefferton Mall while CASUALLY reminding him that his birthday is next week; a fact Tom is keenly aware of because his own birthday falls on the same date.

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“Happy Birthday to me!!”     “You know Gibbons, I was thinking-”     “Geez, Tom.  Way to kill the mood!  Not everything’s about YOU!”     “Well, fair enough.  Even though it’s my birthday too.”     “I’m getting real tired of your sass, buddy.”

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Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Spray a Carpet or Rug)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

Welcome back to another chapter in Tom’s perpetual nightmare, with the town of Jefferton serving as his own personal Silent Hill and the inscrutable The Mayor being a much more verbose Pyramid Head whose sole purpose is torturing our presumed hero!  The episode begins as most stories in this show SHOULD end; namely with good ol’ Tom Peters sitting in a jail cell for the horrible crimes that he’s committed!  Now I would have assumed that this is for his involvement in the Pioneer Island fiasco, the Jeffy Incident, or even the Bass Fest Apocalypse, but no; this is for something new!  At the prodding of his charming cell mate (Judd Hirsch), Tom begins to regale us with the tale of how he managed to find himself in this unfortunate predicament where he’s being accused of murdering four thousand people (okay…), and of course it starts with The Mayor.  From what we can gather in the flashback The Mayor was having a little issue with the city’s landscaper who he affectionately refers to as The Lawnmower Man and he ACTUALLY looks a bit like Jeff Fahey nowadays if you stare at him long enough.  The cause of this tension seems to be that The Lawnmower Man is on strike until he can get a simple cost of living increase which is something that The Mayor (as well as most Red State politicians) is vehemently against.  After all, why would you want people to AFFORD things in a capitalistic society!?  Fortunately for The Mayor, a solution comes waltzing through the door of his office; albeit in a rather odd form.

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“I am Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan!”     “Whatever you say, guy!”

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Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Saxman)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

We’re back with another episode of Mayor as Folk where Tim & Eric introduce their first explicatly queer character in the series; though after watching it becomes pretty clear why GLAAD didn’t throw a Media Award their way.  The episode begins with a sweeping view of Jefferton’s pier district where we get a nice snapshot of people going about their daily lives (which mostly consists of them standing around), all set to the third sexiest saxophone song of all time; first and second being Careless Whisper by George Michael and Runaway by SunStroke Project & Olia Tira respectively.  But wait!  These mellifluous melodies are not merely an audio track layered on top of this idyllic scene during the editing process!  This lovely tune is coming from The Saxman (Tom Kenny); a homeless dude with great musical talent but is about to lose his home on the pier.  Why is that?  Well a Mattress Mogul known as Captain Lew Peterson (Robert Loggia) is gentrifying the area with a new outlet store and so the homeless in the area are basically getting muscled out.  At least that’s what I THINK is happening as we only have Saxman’s word on any of this, and as we’ll soon learn he’s not the most reliable of sources.

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“I was rooming with this starfish for the LONGEST time, but then this new store polluted the hell out of our pad, so now I’m out here playing for my meals.”     “Well shirt!  That’s just not fair!”

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Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Wrestling)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

We’re back with another episode of Tim & Eric’s Friday Night Lights where the duo enters the high stakes world of school sports!  Sure it’s just a bunch of untalented middle schooler wrestlers they’re trying to manage, but you’ve got to start somewhere!  The episode begins with life imitating art as the local boy’s wrestling Coach is a raving jackass who ALSO happens to be played by the human car alarm known as Gary Busey.  The reason said Coach is shouting at the kids of Jefferton Middle School which includes Tom’s son Brendon (or is it Branden?) is to try and get them ready for the upcoming wrestling tournament against their HATED rivals… actually who are they wrestling against?  Oh it doesn’t matter.  GO JEFFERTON PINNERS!!  Speaking of Tom, what’s he up to right now?  Well it seems that he STILL hasn’t found a job since he quit his CEO position back in White Collarless, so in order to pass the time he’s become the Equipment Boy for the wrestling team which means he’s hosing down jock straps while wearing a thong.  Now NORMALLY this would come off as a little bit strange, but I guess anything goes when Gary Busey is in charge.

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“I didn’t realize Satan lives in pee stains, but then again I didn’t even know about the Illuminati until Coach threw that book at my head!”

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Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (White Collarless)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

We’re back with another episode of Tim & Eric’s Dirty Jobs as the duo tackles the mindless toil of regular employment; something Tom seems quite unfamiliar with given how rarely we see him ACTUALLY working rather than indulging The Mayor and his latest scheme!  The episode begins with good ol’ Tom Peters making his usual trip to The Mayor for a quick “how do you do”, though this time he comes baring gifts in the form of a fruit basket and his updated résumé!  He even changed the font this time around to be THAT much more professional looking… which admittedly is STILL an uphill battle when you consider he printed it out on a sky blue pieces of paper, but he’s got that go getter attitude that all the Fortune 500 companies are looking for!  However, Tom’s renewed interest in employment doesn’t seem to be driven by a desire to support his family or have something to do during the day time.  Rather, one of his step-sons has a career day coming up and he wants to have something to present to the class other than being a mooch at home and a stooge for The Mayor.  Speaking of whom, the resume (if nothing else) appears to amuse him greatly since he is completely incapable of hiding his mirth at what has been presented to him, and this turns out to be quite the boon for good ol’ Tom as he now thinks that said deadbeat would be a perfect fit for a CEO position at Jefferton’s Department of Special Projects!  What is The Department of Special Projects, you may ask?  HA HA!!  As if I need to tell YOU!  EVERYONE is talking about The Department of Special Projects and their goals to exceed market share saturation into the twenty first century!  Maybe this video presentation will jog your memory!

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Hey, at least it looks more stable than a Cryptocurrency company.

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Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Jeffy the Sea Serpent)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

We’re back with another episode of Tim & Eric’s The X-Files!  While this may not be a case urgent enough for Mulder & Scully to pay a visit, Jefferton is certainly about to get a strange lesson in the world of Cryptozology and Freaky Happenstance when Tom and The Mayor get started on their latest scheme!  The episode begins with lovable Tom visiting The Mayor with yet another scheme; this time involving Jefferton’s tourism problem!  You see, Tom was watching That’s Amazing last night (the in-show TV show hosted by Bradley who is played by Bob Odenkirk) and there was a section on their involving The Loch Ness monster.  If the two of them could brainstorm a similar monster to roam the streets of Jefferton, then maybe they’ll get a piece of that sweet Cryptid money too!  Luckily for Tom, The Mayor comes up with a BRILLIANT scheme involving a man-made monster that Tom can pilot inside of the Jefferton Man Made Lake!  He calls him Jeffy!

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“To appeal to the kids, we should probably give him sunglasses and a lot of ‘tude.”     “I whole heartedly agree, Tom.  Let’s start brainstorming some ideas that’ll really show those kids how cool we are!”     “I’ll fire up excel while you get the poster board!”

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Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Bass Fest)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

We’re back with another episode of The Day After TOMorrow, as this is basically a Roland Emmerich film told in a mere eleven minutes.  Maybe a bit TOO short, but I’d honestly take it over his usually bloated runtimes.  The episode begins with Good Ol’ Tom Peters on a fieldtrip for his Night School course which is PRESUMABLY on Jefferton History (all thirty years of it) because their trip is to the one and only Jefferton dam (or as Tom calls it, a darn; because he’s a pedantically squeamish jackass) which was built by Papa Richardson many years ago!  Well you might be wondering if this is a science field trip where they learn how a darn works, but that would be a very silly notion as the darn they’re at is absolutely awful; essentially made out of rotten wood scraps and Elmer’s glue.  Before we can ruminate much longer on this though, Tom interrupts the FASCINATING lecturer (Sean Hayes) by getting a phone call from Joy who demands that he buy three bass guitars for their sons, something he’s more than willing to do after the field trip is over, but Joy still yells at him anyway for being a joke of a human being.  Not the most UNREASONABLE stances to take if you spent five minutes with the guy, but SERIOUSLY!?  The broke bastard doesn’t even have a job!  How the hell is he supposed to afford THREE instruments that even on the low end go for hundreds of dollars!?  Heck, I’m not even sure how he can afford these night classes!

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“Okay, here’s an idea.  What if, instead of bass guitars… we get them recorders?”     …     “No, I wouldn’t really like to know how well they’d fit up there, but you DO make an excellent point otherwise!”

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Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (My Big Cups)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

We’re back with another episode of Tom Peters in the Jungle where our lovable loser tries his hand at the unforgiving world of local art!  I’m SURE he’s got at least ONE creative bone in his body!  Have you seen the way he dresses!?  Only a utter fool or a total GENIUS would try to pull off a poorly fitting vest like that!  The episode begins with Good ol’ Tom Peters visiting his best buddy The Mayor who’s a bit more distracted than usual due to the fact that Jefferton will be celebrating its thirtieth anniversary and he’s having trouble choosing an artist to make the official town painting.  Now normally Tom would jump on an opportunity like this despite his utter lack of talent, but the episode throws us a curveball as Tom seems to have an ACTUAL job this time around!  He seems to have opened up a franchise in the mall for a place called My Big Cups, and he was hoping The Mayor could stop by to give the place a bit of publicity which will hopefully drum up a few sales.  I’m not sure why his store needs it though because they already have AMAZING commercials with the one and only Sir Mix-A-Lot doing their jingle!

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“I like big CUPS, and I cannot lie!!”

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Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Vice Mayor)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

We’re back with another episode of Tim & Eric’s West Wing as Tom navigates the ever shifting and duplicitous world of Jefferton’s politics!  The episode begins on an unexpectedly somber note as good ol’ Tom Peters visits The Mayor to deliver some bad news.  It turns out that the barely functioning town of Jefferton that is ruled by a megalomaniacal despot is not the ideal place to raise a family and start a business, so Tom will be moving away very soon.  Well it makes sense to me that he wouldn’t want to stay and get sucked into The Mayor’s further adventures into destructive absurdity, ESPECIALLY after the events of Re-Birth, Vehicular Manslaughter, Porcelain Birds, you get the idea!  Despite all that though, the two men (one of whom barley know who this strange fellow is that has entered his office) have a good cry about the tragic turn of events that fate has taken them as they remember the good times they had together.  IS THIS THE END OF TOM GOES TO THE MAYOR!?

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“Who’s THAT handsome fella!?”

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