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I'm a movie buff, and I love anything to do with entertainment (especially science fiction and British dramas!) I write about current and upcoming films and other entertainment-related news. I currently work as a communications coordinator, and I'm an aspiring novelist. - Ashley Marie Pauls

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Fall/winter 2015 movie preview

star-wars-the-force-awakens-bb8-daisy-ridleyAnother summer movie season has come and gone, but there are plenty of movies to look forward to in this year’s fall/winter line-up, including a Bond film, the final chapter in the Hunger Games series and a certain little science fiction film directed by J.J. Abrams. Here are the five films I’m most looking forward to this fall and winter. Let me know what films you’re most excited about, as well!

The Martian (Oct. 2)

1E2FE3ADSpace movies seem to be experiencing a bit of a resurgence, with “Gravity” achieving commercial and critical success in 2013, followed by Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” in 2014. “The Martian” continues that trend, highlighting mankind’s feelings of fascination — and fear — about the dark reaches of outer space.

Based on a best-selling novel, “The Martian” is a survival story about an astronaut stranded on Mars after his team members have to abort their mission. It has a fantastic cast — Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, just to name a few — and the trailer certainly caught my attention.

Pan (Oct. 9)

PANThis is my wildcard pick for this fall and winter movie season. It could be really good, or it could be bad; it’s one of those films I don’t think will fall in the “in between” zone. We’ve seen Peter Pan on film plenty of times before, and even in Disney’s mash-up TV show “Once Upon a Time,” but this appears to be a darker take on the famous story.

The film features an almost unrecognizable Hugh Jackman as the pirate Blackbeard and has Peter befriending his future nemesis, Captain Hook. Retellings of famous fairytales can be hit or miss in Hollywood. For every live-action fairytale adaptation that’s good (such as this year’s charming “Cinderella”), there’s one that’s pretty bad (the 2012 Snow White retelling “Mirror Mirror”). “Pan” could be a fun twist on the Peter Pan legend, or it could fail to hit the mark.

Spectre (Nov. 6)

SpectreDaniel Craig continues his run as James Bond in “Spectre,” the follow-up to 2012’s blockbuster “Skyfall.” I love Craig’s portrayal as Bond; he brought fresh life to the Bond franchise back in 2006 with “Casino Royale,” which is still my all-time favorite spy film.

I’m excited to see the new series delve into classic Bond history, presumably charting the rise of the mysterious criminal syndicate Spectre. I’ll miss seeing Judi Dench as M, the head of MI6, but I’m also looking forward to seeing what Ralph Fiennes brings to the role. It will be interesting to see if this is Craig’s last outing as Bond, and if so, what film makers have planned next for the franchise.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 (Nov. 20)

Film Review The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1I still wish the film makers hadn’t split the final Hunger Games novel into two films instead of one (especially since “Mockingjay — Part 1” mostly felt like a two-hour long trailer for the series finale). But what’s done is done, and judging by the trailer, this film will bring back the sense of dangerous tension that made “Catching Fire” such a thrilling watch.

Many fans of the book have complained about the series’ ending, and I’m hoping the film will fix some of the issues, such as abrupt and jarring character deaths that don’t give the other characters (or readers) time to grieve. Let’s hope the final film ends the franchise on a high note.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Dec. 18)

Star-Wars-Force-Awakens-First-Order-stormtroopersThis is, hands down, my most anticipated film of the year and, OK, I’ll be honest, of the decade (I’m just a little excited about this). I’m also incredibly nervous, because this is my all-time favorite film franchise. But I’ve got a good feeling about this. The cast is solid. The costumes look great. The trailer gave me goosebumps. And I believe J.J. Abrams and Co. will be able to pull it off.

As a fan of the Star Wars Expanded Universe novels, it was a little hard to let go of stories and characters I’d already come to love. I don’t know how much, if any, of those details or characters will show up in the new Star Wars universe. But this is a brand-new Star Wars movie — in theaters — something I didn’t think I’d ever get to see. As much as I want to know more about the plot, I’m trying to avoid learning too much about it, because I want to be surprised and simply let the film sweep me away. I’m excited that we all get to return to that galaxy far, far away. I hope it will be magical.

Hits, misses and plenty of surprises: Summer 2015 in review

ant-man-jumpingThe summer movie wrap-up is probably my favorite blog to write each year. Summer blockbuster season is my favorite time at the box office, and it’s always fun to look back over the summer and review the hits and misses. While there are always a few surprises, I have to admit that this year, pretty much all my predictions were a bust. ;) The movie I thought would be the biggest blockbuster of the summer as well as my personal favorite — “Avengers: Age of Ultron” — actually turned out to be neither. Instead, “Jurassic World” was the biggest blockbuster, breaking records set by the first Avengers movie. I was also surprised to find my favorite movies of the summer were “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Ant-Man.”

I’m still trying to decide how I ultimately feel about “Age of Ultron.” Like all Marvel movies, it was fun to watch, and I enjoyed seeing it in the theater. I really love these characters — and the actors who play them — and it’s always great to watch them onscreen. But this is the first Marvel movie in a long time I only watched once in theaters (I’m still not confessing how many times I saw one of my most-watched Marvel movies “Guardians of the Galaxy” in theaters ;) but it was more than twice). I definitely want to watch “Age of Ultron” again when it’s released on DVD to see if my thoughts change. On first viewing, “Age of Ultron” doesn’t pack quite the same punch as the first Avengers team-up film. There’s a bit too much going on, and some subplots and characters don’t get quite enough development (i.e. the Hulk/Black Widow romance, the introduction of new heroes Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, Andy Serkis’ too-brief cameo appearance, etc.). Even though it made more money than Marvel’s other summer 2015 offering, “Ant-Man,” the latter felt like a better film.

The biggest surprise of the summer for me was “Mad Max: Fury Road.” With a 98 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating, the reboot of the classic ‘80s franchise is arguably the best movie of the summer. It’s a tense and thought-provoking action film with amazing visual effects, and while the strange post-apocalyptic setting takes a bit to get used to, the movie is a great ride. It’s also exciting to see an action movie with multiple nuanced roles for women, and though Mad Max (Tom Hardy) is the character whose name appears in the title, rebel leader Furiosa (Charlize Theron) is the star of the show.

I was also surprised by how much I enjoyed “Ant-Man.” Marvel’s long-delayed origin story created some negative pre-release buzz with the departure of original director Edgar Wright, but the movie turned out to be a fun, lighthearted treat. Paul Rudd is a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the Ant-Man, and the film makers found a way to make a hero whose powers are shrinking and running with ants look really cool. The clever action sequence that takes place on the miniature train set is one of my favorite movie scenes this summer. I’m definitely on board for an “Ant-Man” sequel.

“Jurassic World” was a bit hit with audiences and ended up as the biggest blockbuster of the summer. While I was surprised to see it break “The Avengers” box office tally, now ranking as the third highest-grossing film of all time, I think the movie did well because it played on nostalgia for the original 1993 film and captured a sense of magic the previous two sequels didn’t quite attain. A stronger script would have made this a better film, but it was fun and made for a good summer popcorn flick. It was great to see new (and old) dinosaurs, and Chris Pratt makes a strong case for why he should be hired for the Indiana Jones reboot, playing a motorcycle-riding raptor wrangler.

Tom Cruise’s “Rogue Nation” proved that even after almost 20 years and five films, the “Mission: Impossible” franchise isn’t running out of steam. This is a fun but smart spy thriller, and as far as I’m concerned, Cruise can keep making these films as long as he likes.

The biggest flop of the summer was undoubtedly the “Fantastic Four” reboot, with a cringe-worthy 8 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. We’ll never know whether the movie was doomed from the beginning or whether the studio’s tampering ruined what may have been a better film. It’s tough for fans who are still waiting for a definitive Fantastic Four movie. It will be interesting to see if Fox has another go at this or decides to let Marvel take back the rights and work the Fantastic Four into their overall cinematic universe.

So, what do you think? What was your favorite film of the summer? What was the biggest surprise? What was the biggest disappointment?

Movie review: ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ lightweight but stylish bit of retro fun

JwQaEWe’re used to Bond, Bourne and the “Mission Impossible” team: modern cinematic spies who rely on cutting-edge technology to uncover secrets and bring down criminal organizations. The battlefield is often a digital one, and the side with the better technology is more likely to win. So it’s interesting to travel back to the Cold War-era 1960s, where the tools of espionage were decidedly lower-tech but the threats were just as dangerous.

Guy Ritchie’s “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” based on the 1960s TV show, takes us back to this era, capturing a “Bond” meets “Mad Men” vibe. It follows two Cold War spies — one Russian, one American — who are forced to look past their countries’ own nuclear stand-off to combat a worse threat. Their globe-trotting assignment blurs the lines between friend and foe as they try to stop a covert Nazi terrorist organization from building a nuclear missile.

“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” is a fun, fairly lightweight summer spy flick. While the final product is not as strong as it could have been, it’s still stylish and entertaining, particularly for those who enjoy retro-era movies.

Henry Cavill plays Napoleon Solo, an American CIA agent who was caught selling stolen art on the black market after the second World War. Instead of sending him to jail, the CIA recruits him, and he has since become their best agent. Although Cavill (who also played Superman in “Man of Steel”) certainly looks the part of “suave ‘60s spy,” he comes off as just a bit flat in this role. I didn’t quite buy him as the ex-con womanizer the character is supposed to be, and he seems a little too formal and clean-cut. Armie Hammer, on the other hand, is a surprisingly good fit as Russian KGB agent Illya Kuryakin. His character first appears emotionless and slightly unhinged, but Hammer makes Kuryakin more sympathetic, revealing a painful childhood and a sense of concern for his team members (though you’d be hard-pressed to get Kuryakin to admit this).

Hammer also has nice chemistry with co-star Alicia Vikander, who plays an East German mechanic who helps the spies on their mission. Vikander has been receiving quite a bit of buzz as an actress in Hollywood recently, and she’s a fun addition to the team, turning out to be more than just a damsel in distress. She and Kuryakin’s sweetly awkward almost-romance is a nice touch.

While the movie’s script could have been stronger, there’s no faulting Guy Ritchie in terms of style. I loved his slightly unconventional, steampunk take on “Sherlock Holmes,” and his distinctive cinematography is on full display here as well. He crafts a film that’s retro enough to feel authentic but fresh enough that it doesn’t feel dated. We’ve all seen plenty of spy flicks, but there are some fun surprises here. I liked Ritchie’s creative use of split screen shots, particularly in the scene where Solo and Kuryakin break into an enemy shipping yard. The film’s costumes and music also add to the retro vibe, and there are several memorable witty moments, such as an unexpected boat rescue which involves Solo driving a truck into a body of water. In fact, I think Ritchie could have injected even more humor into the film.

The film received a decent score from Rotten Tomatoes — about 70 percent — but under-performed at the box office. Although the movie is fun, it’s tough to market it to general audiences who may not be familiar with the TV show. “Straight Outta Compton” occupied a lot of the new release buzz this past weekend, and “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” is still playing well. We probably won’t get a sequel, which is a shame, because I would have liked to see Ritchie get a second crack at the franchise.

What happened with the ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot — and what does this mean for the franchise’s future?

Fantastic_Four_poster_2I went to the theater this weekend to see a superhero movie. I wanted that movie to be “Fantastic Four,” because I wanted to believe this would be a fresh start to the franchise. The trailers looked promising, the cast members had all done solid work in other films. However, I just couldn’t get past the Rotten Tomatoes rating — now sitting at a dismal 9 percent — and decided to see “Ant-Man” again instead (which turned out to be just as fun the second time around). Apparently, many filmgoers also chose to skip this superhero flick, and the “Fantastic Four” reboot debuted to less than $30 million, behind “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” in its second week.

Since I haven’t seen “Fantastic Four,” I can’t comment on exactly what went wrong with this movie. Is the 9 percent rating too harsh? Maybe, but audience scores aren’t much better, hovering around 25 percent. Reviews call it dull, flat, dreary and soulless — and a missed opportunity.

So, what happened? Why did this movie flop so badly, and why is Hollywood still struggling to bring this famous superhero team to the big screen while so many others — X-Men, Avengers, etc. — have found box office success?

Piecing together rumors from the film production, it sounds like Josh Trank, director of this “Fantastic Four” reboot, and Fox, the film studio, clashed on set, and Fox ended up reworking the film. Whether the movie would have been better if Trank had been allowed to work with less micromanaging, we’ll never know. However, lack of a cohesive vision is never good for a movie, and this likely contributed to the disjointed product that flopped in theaters. It also could be Trank just wasn’t ready to be called up to the big leagues. His previous film, “Chronicle,” was a well-received but small budget superhero indie, and it could be the “Fantastic Four” reboot wasn’t the best creative fit for him.

A more difficult question to answer is why the “Fantastic Four” franchise as a whole just can’t seem to get off the ground. None of the films have managed to break the 50 percent mark on Rotten Tomatoes. I’ve only seen the second film, “Rise of the Silver Surfer,” but I remember it wasn’t good. In some ways, this turned out to be a blessing for Marvel and Captain America fans, because it freed up Chris Evans, who played the Human Torch, to cross over to the Avengers team. But I’m sure this is frustrating for Fantastic Four fans, who’d like to see this team succeed on the big screen.

I don’t think the issue is the source material. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has made blockbusters out of more difficult concepts and decidedly D-list characters: “Guardians of the Galaxy” beat the odds and proved with the right actors, director and script, you can pull off pretty much any comic adaptation. And if Marvel can also make us buy into a hero who shrinks and runs with ants, then an elastic man and a man made of rock aren’t impossible protagonists.

It’s not too late for “Fantastic Four.” After all, Christopher Nolan was able to resurrect the Batman franchise after “Batman and Robin.” However, I do think it’s time to let the franchise sit for a while. Let memories of these flops fade, and then — very carefully — bring them back to audiences. Fox probably still doesn’t want to do this, but maybe they should let the rights go back to Marvel, who can work this team into its overall cinematic universe (this worked out very well for “Daredevil”). Another suggestion I’ve heard is going retro with the film; perhaps setting it in the past can help distance it from the other flops in the franchise. Maybe it’s time to find another villain besides Doctor Doom; tease us with other adversaries, then build up to this major villain.

So, what do you think? Can the Fantastic Four franchise be saved? If so, how? Or, should Hollywood just let this concept go and pursue other superhero projects? Check out Sidekick Reviews’ thoughts on the franchise here: https://sidekickreviews.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/how-to-fix-the-future-of-fantastic-four-franchise/.

Movie review: ‘Rogue Nation’ another solid entry in ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchise

635624454898073280-FERGUSON-MISSION-IMPOSSIBLE-5-MOV-jy-4998-After almost 20 years and five movies, it seems inevitable that a franchise would start running out of steam. However, that certainly isn’t the case with “Mission: Impossible.” The latest chapter in the spy franchise, “Rogue Nation,” feels just as fresh and exciting as the films that came before it, and it’s a strong follow-up to 2011’s well-received “Ghost Protocol.”

“Rogue Nation” finds veteran IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) operating off the grid to try to prove the existence of a shadowy criminal organization known as the Syndicate. Pursued by both the CIA and the Syndicate, Hunt must search for clues while trying to avoid capture. Hunt calls in trusted members of his team: tech expert Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), agent William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and former agent Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames). He also must decide whether or not he can trust Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), a disavowed British agent who seems keen to help them but may have dangerous ties to the Syndicate. Hunt matches wits with the Syndicate’s leader in a final chase through London that will end either the Syndicate — or the IMF — for good.

Say what you will about Tom Cruise, but the actor never turns in a half-hearted performance. I respect the fact he performs his own stunts, including a genuinely death-defying scene at the start of the film which finds Hunt hanging onto the side of an aircraft during take-off. While I continue to be amazed at how far film CGI technology has come and how realistic computer graphics now appear, there’s still something magical about well-executed practical effects — and there are plenty of those in “Rogue Nation.” The scene with the aircraft taking off felt more intense and authentic because I’d heard Cruise really did perform the stunt, and not just in front of a green screen.

The plot is fast-paced and there are several good action set-pieces throughout. Sometimes it seems tough for studios to come up with fresh material for action movies these days, but I felt there were some nice stunts audiences haven’t seen before. In addition to the airplane take-off, there’s also a tense scene where Hunt dives into a submerged vault without oxygen — and then gets trapped. Exactly why Hunt is in the vault is a long and spoiler-filled story, but it’s a new twist on Hollywood’s well-used “ticking clock” scenario.

Cruise is backed by a strong supporting cast, including several favorite characters from previous films. Simon Pegg is one of my favorite actors, and I like how his character Benji is both smart and funny; he’s able to provide comic relief but is also a definite contributor to the spy team. I also thought Rebecca Ferguson did a good job as a newcomer to the franchise. While Ilsa is pretty much the only female main character (note to Hollywood: it’s OK to have multiple female characters in the same action film!), it’s nice to see a female character portrayed as more than just a love interest (in fact, in both “Ghost Protocol” and “Rogue Nation,” there’s really not much of a love story at all). Ilsa more than holds her own as a spy, and there’s also some genuine doubt as to exactly which side she’s on.

The film hints at some deeper themes that have been popping up more frequently in espionage movies: Are spies above any kind of moral code? Is committing an illegal act justified if it saves lives? And if spies are allowed to operate outside the law, who monitors them and decides when they’ve crossed the line? “Rogue Nation” doesn’t delve too deeply into these themes, however, and that’s actually OK. It’s a fast-paced action film providing a few hours of summer escapism that’s still meant to feel smart.

After ‘Age of Ultron’ and ‘Ant-Man’: What’s next for Marvel?

civil-war2014 turned out to be an impressive year for Marvel. First, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” impressed both audiences and critics with its political thriller plot and truly game-changing revelation for the Marvel universe: the downfall of S.H.I.E.L.D. Then, despite some initial skepticism about how well it would play to general audiences, “Guardians of the Galaxy” — a quirky sci-f film starring Marvel D-list characters — became the highest-grossing movie of the year, turned Chris Pratt into a buzzed-about movie star, and made us all fall in love with a walking tree and a talking raccoon.

However, the sailing hasn’t been quite as smooth for Marvel this year. Although “Age of Ultron” made plenty of money, most fans seem to agree it didn’t completely live up to its potential. Marvel’s origin film “Ant-Man” turned out to be a very fun — and funny — movie, but it didn’t bring in as many dollars as Marvel’s previous offerings. So, what does this all mean for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and where is Marvel headed in the future?

First off, I’ve never NOT had fun watching an MCU movie. I love the characters, there’s always some funny lines, and I’ve never walked out of the theater wishing I hadn’t spent money on a ticket. There are always some redeeming factors to take away. Still, “Age of Ultron” left me wanting more. Maybe it was too many characters packed into one film. Maybe this time Marvel tried a bit too hard to create a film that was “darker” yet not give up any of the trademark one-liners. Maybe the film contained too many teasers to future Marvel films, taking up plot time that could have been used to add to the story or flesh out character development.

I hope for future films, Marvel will remember that sometimes, less is more (“Ant-Man” is a good example of this). Don’t try to pack too many heroes or plot points into one movie. Also, you don’t need to try too hard to convince us to see sequels with well-established characters — we already love Marvel and have practically pre-ordered our tickets already. ;) Instead of scenes that were more than likely teasers for Thor 3, I would have liked to see “Age of Ultron” throw out a reference to Ant-Man, a new character that general audiences aren’t as familiar with.

I thought “Ant-Man” was a great deal of fun, and I wish it had earned more money in theaters. I am a little surprised it wasn’t able to ride the Marvel brand to a bigger box office take, and I definitely encourage fans to go see this movie. Maybe advertisements needed to communicate more clearly Ant-Man’s importance to the MCU and the Avengers team. Hopefully Marvel will be able to do this for another upcoming origin film starring another more obscure character, “Doctor Strange.”

Going forward, I’d like to see Marvel continue to expand into new mediums. Not every character needs a movie; for some characters, TV may be a better format to tell their story. Marvel and Netflix’s “Daredevil” is a great example of this. The show has a darker, edgier tone and more episodes to develop the characters. It also has one of the most complex and layered villains I’ve seen in a superhero project.

I’m also really looking forward to “Captain America: Civil War.” While this too carries the risk of trying to include too many characters in one film, I think the movie will actually be closer to what fans were hoping for from “Age of Ultron.” The film ups the MCU stakes by pitting two of the most popular Avengers characters against each other — Captain America and Iron Man — and forcing other superheroes to choose sides. I’m glad to see Paul Rudd show up on the cast list for this one; the movie could help tie the Ant-Man character into the MCU. I’m also glad to see other characters like Black Widow and Falcon.

Movie review: ‘Ant-Man’ proves bigger isn’t always better

antman0007On paper, I’m sure “Ant-Man” always looked like a tough sell. A superhero who discovers a suit that gives him the power to shrink to the size of an insect and control an army of ants isn’t an easy concept to pull off onscreen. With the film project also mired in development delays and internal issues, such as Marvel and original director Edgar Wright parting ways, “Ant-Man” seemed to be on a fast-track to earning the distinction of Marvel’s first real flop. However, the good news is, Marvel’s magic has worked once again, and “Ant-Man” is a charming, fun — and funny — addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

There are actually two “Ant-Mans” in this movie: Michael Douglas plays Hank Pym, the original creator of the suit who hides his technology from S.H.I.E.L.D. for fear of what could happen if it fell into the wrong hands, and Paul Rudd, who plays an ex-con named Scott Lang who is recruited by Pym to stop Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) from giving a similar technology to HYDRA. Pym and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) train Lang to use the Ant-Man suit and show him that he’s capable of more than committing crimes.

Although I was initially more than a little worried about “Ant-Man,” considering all its production woes, this movie turned out to be a pleasant surprise, and I have to confess that I think I actually enjoyed it more than “Age of Ultron.” “Ant-Man” is certainly a film on a smaller scale (sorry, I know it’s bad, but I had to throw in at least one of those puns), and it doesn’t have the epic scope of the Marvel movies we’ve seen recently, such as “The Winter Soldier,” which brings the entire S.H.I.E.L.D. organization to its knees, or “Age of Ultron,” which features the creation of an artificial intelligence with the power to bring on the apocalypse. It does feel more like a “Phase I” origin story on the level of Marvel’s earliest films, and to some that could be a disadvantage.

However, that’s actually what I liked about “Ant-Man.” “Age of Ultron” almost had too many characters and too much going on. It tried to be darker but still pack in plenty of Marvel’s famous one-liners. “Ant-Man” may be a less grandiose movie, but it’s also a more cohesive story. While it does tie into the larger Marvel universe (there’s a great extended cameo — SPOILER ALERT! — from Anthony Mackie’s Avenger, “Falcon”), it also stands on its own, with a unique tone and message.

This film feels more like a comedy with action than Marvel’s other offerings (which feel like action with comedy), but I think that’s the right approach for this project. Paul Rudd is a good choice to play Scott Lang; I’ve always been a fan of Rudd’s, and he’s relatable and funny in this role. It’s also great to see Michael Douglas in a Marvel movie, and he plays the role sincerely. Another highlight for me was Michael Peña as Lang’s enthusiastic and good-natured former cell mate Luis.

The film’s special effects also are strong. While a tiny superhero running with ants may not seem as dynamic as, say, Bruce Banner rampaging as the Hulk, watching Scott Lang shrink down and control an army of hundreds of ants is actually pretty cool. I also really liked the fight scenes with Ant-Man and Yellowjacket (the villain Stoll’s character becomes), with both characters alternately shrinking then jumping back to full size.

The film does have some weaknesses, one of which is the villain. There’s nothing wrong with the casting; I just wish Corey Stoll had been given a little more to work with in terms of character background and motivation. Part of me also still wonders what a full-on Edgar Wright Marvel movie would have been like. Wright is perhaps best known for his film “Shaun of the Dead” and has a quirky, decidedly British style of comedy. I’m sure this version of “Ant-Man” has been altered somewhat from his original vision, but I’d like to think the funniest moments — such as the mini train set fight — were Wright’s touches.

Although “Ant-Man” isn’t a flawless film, as a movie-going experience I really enjoyed it, and I’m definitely eager to see it again. I hope it performs well at the box office because I want to see Marvel make more movies like this one. I’m excited about Marvel’s big round-up movies like “Captain America: Civil War,” but I also still want to see them pursue smaller, origin-story projects like this one.

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