I appear on “CTV News at 6” with anchor Andria Case to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week I have a look at the 11th Toronto Black Film Festival, the Marvel movie “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and Liam Neeson as a famous detective in “Marlowe.”
Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to tie a shoelace! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the MCU adventure “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” the hardboiled “Marlowe” and the documentary “Cat Daddies.”
I join NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “NewsTalk Tonight” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the MCU adventure “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” the hardboiled “Marlowe” and the documentary “Cat Daddies.”
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the MCU adventure “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” the hardboiled “Marlowe,” the “What’s-in-a-name” documentary “The Other Fellow” and the documentary “Cat Daddies.”
I sit in with CKTB morning show host Tim Denis to have a look at the MCU adventure “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” the hardboiled “Marlowe,” the “What’s-in-a-name” documentary “The Other Fellow” and the documentary “Cat Daddies.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the MCU adventure “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” the hardboiled “Marlowe,” the “What’s-in-a-name” documentary “The Other Fellow” and the documentary “Cat Daddies.”
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” now playing on theatres, kicks off Marvel’s phase five with a talky sci fi story, heavy on the scientific blather. Instead of “Quantumania,” a more appropriate subtitle could have been: More Fun Than Physics Class!
“It’s a pretty good world,” says Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a.k.a. Ant-Man. He’s a member of the Avengers, gifted with the power of size manipulation and some funny dialogue. “I’m glad I saved it.” Basking in the glow of his heroic contributions to mankind, he’s written a book titled “Look Out for the Little Guy,” and shamelessly drinks in the praise of his friends and fans.
His family, however, thinks he is resting on his laurels, and, in secret, are still working on ways to help the planet. His romantic partner Hope van Dyne, a.k.a. Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) and the original Ant-Man Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), have created a sort of satellite for deep space, except it connects them to the Quantum Realm, a subatomic level where the realities of space and time don’t exist.
Having spent 30 years trapped in the subatomic world, Hope’s mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) is horrified by their experiments. “Do you know how dangerous the Quantum Realm is? Turn it off now.”
Of course, Cassie and Co learn too late that the connection to the Quantum Realm goes both ways, and they are all sucked into the satellite and transported to the strange world, a place that looks like a Yes album cover from 1973 come to life.
Separated into two groups, Scott and Cassie are captured by freedom fighters led by Jentorra (Katy O’Brian), while Hope, Hank and Janet are cut loose, on the run from Janet’s old nemesis, a destroyer of worlds called Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors).
Kang needs the Pym Particles, the subatomic particles developed by Hank which can increase or reduce mass as well as density and strength, to exit the Quantum Realm and travel through time and bring havoc to the real world.
Only Ant-Man and his ragtag gang can stop him and his interdimensional threat, but only if they can navigate the Quantum Realm and come together as a group.
There is a lightness of touch to “Quantumania.” Rudd’s charisma sees to that, and he provides some genuinely funny moments in the film. Majors brings the secret sauce as a great cartoon villain, but the talky script and messy action scenes suck away much of the fun.
You may be thinking, “But Michael Douglas talks to a giant ant. How can that be bad?” True enough, it is something I never would have expected to see, and I got a kick out of it, but for every nifty moment like that, there is sea of exposition, as if the filmmakers don’t trust the audience to understand what is happening unless it is spelled out for them.
The loud, CGI-overload climax fills the screen but doesn’t grab the imagination. There are cool creatures and action enough for any two movies, but it all feels thrown at the screen, willy-nilly. There is a lot of it, but none of it is memorable or particularly original.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is a let-down, a movie that feels more like an introduction to the next batch of MCU movies than a standalone.
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including “Knives Out” with Daniel Craig and a cast of n’ere do wells, the Disney+ revamp of “Lady and the Tramp,” the odd couple picture “The Two Popes,” the corporate legal drama “Dark Waters,” and the thought provoking “Queen & Slim” with CFRA morning show host Bill Carroll.
The only thing big and green in Mark Ruffalo’s new film “Dark Waters are the hulking wads of cash a major corporation is willing to pay to cover up an ecological disaster.
Based on true events, Ruffalo plays corporate defense lawyer Robert Bilott, a native West Virginian now working for an upscale Cincinnati firm. He makes a living defending big companies but when Wilbur Tennant (Bill Camp), a friend of his grandmother shows up complaining that chemical giant Dupont is poisoning his livestock, Bilott is at a loss for words. “I defend chemical companies,” he stuitters. “Well, now you can defend me,” replies the plainspoken Wilbur.
Bilott knows the farm. As a kid he rode horses and milked his first cow there and even though the he doesn’t think he can help, he agrees to have a look. On the land he finds horrifying things. 190 cows dead, many born with birth defects and tumors. Wilbur is convinced that runoff from a nearby landfill is responsible. What was once a pastoral paradise is now a poisoned plot of land.
To paraphrase the famous John Denver song, country roads lead Bilott back home to place he belongs, defending a farmer done wrong by a conglomerate more concerned with profit than people.
“Dark Waters” is about accountability. Bilott spends more than a decade of his life, putting his health and family life at risk to take a corporate Goliath to task for their irresponsible behavior. Ruffalo does a good job at portraying the Bilott’s decline as he is worn down by the tactics of his foe, the impatience of the people he is trying to help and his inability to force the power brokers to play fair. It humanizes a story that otherwise would be a high level legal procedural.
Director Todd Haynes shoots the story in drab tones that echo much of the colorless work—i.e. cataloguing the mountain of paper sent over by Dupont in the form of discovery. It doesn’t make for a compelling looking film but it helps set the scene and tone. Fighting back isn’t glamourous work. It’s about late nights, crappy food and a constant feeling of exhaustion.
“Dark Waters” isn’t a thriller. From the first frame there is no question about who is guilty. The question here is how guilty and will they ever pay for what they have done? It is geared to outage and infuriate, to underscore that the big guys don’t always win. It is marred by a leisurely approach and some paper-thin characterizations, but the David and Goliath story is compelling.