Alright, let’s get to the movies and such.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
It feels like Marvel is staring to spin its wheels a bit, with this Ant-Man movie a weird blend of refried Guardians of the Galaxy and a far-less interesting extension of what Loki was doing with all the multiverse hubbub.
I hate that this feels so perfunctory, and that the Kang storyline has absolutely nothing going for it. Jonathan Majors squeezes as much as he can out of an underwritten part, but for all the drama they try to infuse into “The Conqueror,” he’s a surprisingly inert big bad for the MCU. You get a generational talent, and this is what you do with him? Everyone talks about how bad Kang is, how “you don’t want to mess with this guy,” how the one you see isn’t even nearly as bad as the ones you’re going to see, but it amounts to nothing. He’s just a guy who shoots lasers out of his hands. He apparently has done all of this horrible stuff, but talk is cheap. The Thanos arc took a bit of a similar approach, bur they cleverly hid him from major screen time until that Infinity/Endgame stretch. I genuinely have no idea how the Kang Dynasty reaches that when it’s just a mess right now, even though I absolutely trust Majors to do the most with the role he can.
This one…it’s not really ever convincing enough to hold itself together past the sum of some occasionally engaging sections. Paul Rudd is always fun in the role, but the whole quantum realm stuff just feels like a half-assed attempt to recreate the Guardians vibe. It really doesn’t work as well as you’d want it to, even if there are some fun little creatures and oddities within.
The MODOK thing was kind of terrible, though, a ridiculously stupid piece of meta joke that tries hard to zap the piss out of whatever is supposed to be serious with any of this Kang drama. It’s the epitome of “you can’t have it both ways.” Either you think all of this is dumb or you take it deathly serious. Trying to blend it all together just feels insulting to your audience for caring…and this is coming from someone who doesn’t really care all that much about these characters or the story.
Where to Watch: Theaters
Your Place or Mine
I’m a little concerned Your Place or Mine might be the first movie ever written by ChatGPT.
While some people are horrified by AI starting, like, World War III, I dread the 2-3 years that steamers start letting prediction-based language software write all the inexpensive romantic comedies. Partially kidding…but also not?
I’m genuinely not sure why “let’s put Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher together in a romcom!” turned into “let’s do that … but put them in different places the entire movie to zap any sort of chemistry or tension from the story!” I’m guessing money? Shooting availability? Who’s to say.
This isn’t great or anything, and it was probably written by Sydney the Bing AI (on a good day). It’s beige paint sitting in a closed bucket. It’s not even trying to touch the wall. “Cute” is the highest-possible compliment I can give it, but that’s also something you’d say about a baby babbling a noise at a rattle. *shrugs*
Where to Watch: Netflix
Knock at the Cabin
Oh hell yes. This is the M. Night I love, filled with crises of faith, plenty of dread and delightfully obnoxious flourishes of genre command. Dave Bautista and Jonathan Groff trying to outact each other was not on my bingo card, but scene-stealing from Rupert Grint was (shoutout Servant fans who have known). The third act is the most pleasantly restraint we’ve seen Shyamalan be since Split, and this is definitely his best movie since … man … his original golden run.
The world is a better place when Shyamalan just goes out there with a concept like this and does the damn thing.
Where to Watch: Netflix
Titanic (3D re-release)
Although I shouldn’t have waited this dang long for a stone-cold masterpiece like Titanic, it was a true joy to see this in a theater for the first time.
Those shots of the boat sinking — the grand terror of it all — goodness gracious, man…the swooning, doomed romance…Garber by the clock…Leo the damn movie star…cinema! Cinema, I say! Cinema!
James Cameron, man. This movie really did deserve all the Oscars.
Where to Watch: Theaters (limited run), PVOD