Ant-Man on BluRay (and in 3D)

heard more than a few people bemoan Ant-Man before they saw it. They thought Paul Rudd wouldn’t be a good super hero, and they thought it wouldn’t make for a good movie. People also bemoan the use of 3D in today’s blockbusters. I want to take a magnifying glass to this hill of bemoaning and fry it. Paul Rudd is a great Ant-Man, and Ant-Man is a great superhero movie. On top of that, the 3D in this film is a powerful tool that helps in immersing us in the world of the tiny.

Just like Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios was taking a bit of a risk by pushing an otherwise obscure property. Not many people have heard of Ant-Man the comic, and even fewer knew the story. But the introduction and the actual execution make only not a great movie to watch, but introduces a new character to appear in the next Avenger-related titles. I particularly enjoyed how they didn’t take the name or the suit too seriously. One of my biggest problems with Man of Steel (and it’s infected Super Girl as well) is how they fight so hard not to say the name Superman because they think it’s a dumb name. Ant-Man just owns it and it’s perfectly fine.

Ant Man Ant Farm by Uncle Milton

Paul Rudd is known for his comedic, slacker, characters, so seeing him as an inspirational super hero was probably the bigger sell than the character of Ant-Man getting the big screen treatment. However, because shrinking and talking to ants is a preposterous premise anyway, having a comedian take the lead, fits. And Rudd does a great job of being a sympathetic, and reluctant, hero that takes on the adventure. I’m a big House of Cards fan and I loved seeing Corey Stoll as the main antagonist. His character is structurally different than HoC’s Peter Russo, showing that he can get into a character you want to be cautious of, but not be sure of when he’s going to pull the trigger and betray everyone. Evangeline Lilly, perhaps best known for being Freckles on Lost is the biggest surprise. I don’t know if Rudd is short, or Sawyer is super tall, but Lilly seems to have grown a foot since Lost. She is cool and in control and a great physical foil for Rudd during his training scenes. There is a post-credits scene you must stick around for.

And I can’t forget Michael Douglas, he handles the comedic, superhero mentor role with ease. It doesn’t feel like he’s stumping or embarassed and having a great time with it. He’s perfect for the role.

The 3D effect was a lot of fun in theaters and played out just as well on my 3D television at home. The filmmakers really embraced the framing and perspectives when shrinking Ant-Man down to size and the 3D beautifully enhances these moments. Rarely is it gimmicky or shoved into the process just to make a buck, it really works seamlessly with the storytelling. If you have a 3D television, or a friend with one, this should be one of your top pics to see.

More ant men!

I really enjoyed the redemption story. This film introduced a new hero in a believable fashion and they, predictably, set up Ant-Man’s involvement in the next Avengers films. The violence is also minimal. There’s shooting, but no one dies. There is a lot of punching, but it feels more slapstick. The chemistry of the cast is very natural, and the humor is mixed with action. This is everything I’m looking for in an action movie. It’s not just a contant stream of SFX and explosions. There are characters and real drama supporting all the spectacle.

I also watched most of the bonus features. I did not listen to the commentary yet, perhaps someday. I really liked the featurettes showing how the effects were put together and the cast getting to know each other. However they did a great job with the fully produced news segments (featuring the reporter from Iron Man, filling in more detail. Those were great.

I’m ready to watch Ant-Man again fairly soon. It’s got a great re-watchability to it. It’s available now on OnDemand channels, or snag the Blu-Ray on starting Dec 8th.

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