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Cinema Toast: 'Ant-Man' rules, 'First Purge' revolts

July 07,2018 16:10

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP (PG-13). Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Michael Pena, Evangeline Lily. Directed by: Peyton Reed. NOTE: In the interest of saving friendships, physics students should steer clear of 'Ant-Man and the Wasp.' That's because ...



(1 of ) 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' - This sequel to the silly but satisfying 'Ant-Man' is light and breezy and loads of fun, says Gil Mansergh.

(2 of ) 'The First Purge' - This prequel to the 'Purge' series shows how the national annual night of terror started, and is 'depressing and violent,' says Gil.

(3 of ) 'Boundaries' - According to Gil, this father-daughter road trip film (starring Christopher Plummer and Vera) could have used some storytelling boundaries of its own. CR: Sony Pictures Classics

GIL MANSERGH

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ANT-MAN AND THE WASP (PG-13)
Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Michael Pena, Evangeline Lily
Directed by: Peyton Reed
NOTE: In the interest of saving friendships, physics students should steer clear of ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp.’ That’s because so many physical “laws” are broken, it will be impossible for these students NOT to share their critical observations about conservation of matter, inertia, equal and opposite reactions, etc., etc. - thereby making their friends extremely unhappy.
Picking up where ‘Ant-Man’ left off, the film opens with Scott (Paul Rudd) under ankle bracelet house-arrest and forbidden to don his size-shifting Ant-Suit. This has the benefit of allowing him to play for hours with his cute little daughter. (You will probably notice the same family-friendly, big-box-office similarity of the superheroes from ‘The Incredibles’). Suit-inventor Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) uses this downtime to help his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lily) rescue her mother (Michelle Pfeifer) from the “sub-atomic realm.” To accomplish this, Hank and Hope recruit Ant-Man and bring along their microscopic, Swiss Army Knife of a portable laboratory in a briefcase. Without scrimping on all the cool size-shifting special effects, this new film has a looser style and is dotted with welcome bits of off-the-wall humor. Think of it like the last few days of senior year when everyone (even those physics majors) lets off a little steam. By the way, this one goes great with popcorn and a Snickers bar!
3-and-1/2 pieces of ‘The Wasp adds a real ‘buzz” to the goings-on’ toast
BOUNDARIES (R)
Starring: Christopher Plummer, Vera Farmiga, Lewis MacDougal, Bobby Canavale, Kristen Schaal, Christopher Lloyd
Directed by: Shana Feste
Shana Feste wrote and directed her film ‘Boundaries’ without enough boundaries. The semi-autobiographical screenplay about a single mother floundering with the roguish men in her life - her pot-dealing, con-man of a father, her cheating ex-husband, her tuned-out teenage son, and the series of weirdos she encounters on the road trip from Seattle to L.A. - goes on way too long. Adding to the mélange, stray animals are adopted along the way as if writer-director Feste needed something cuddly to trust in her over-stuffed movie (she even cast her own dog, Lorette, as one of the featured strays). The attempt is to glom-onto the dysfunctional family, road-trip originality of ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’ but only the Rolls-Royce owning, constantly stoned dad (Christopher Plummer) is worthy of accolades. Everyone else reads their lines like they are supposed to somehow understand what’s going on.
1-and-2 pieces of ‘Shana Feste hasn’t figured out the movie’s boundaries’ yet toast
THE FIRST PURGE (R)
Starring: Y’Lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Lauren Velez, Marisa Tomei
Directed by: Gerard McMurray
Creator James DeMonaco has jumped back in time to create an origin story-line for his popular franchise about the murder and mayhem that ensues when revenge-fueled white-supremacists are encouraged to roam the streets of Staten Island to “take care of” (aka, rob, rape and gun down) anyone who doesn’t pass their “purity test.” To keep things straight, the costume designer has them wear gruesome masks, KKK robes and neo-Nazi uniforms, while the ICE detainees wear jumpsuits, and the NRA lobbyists don expensive tailored suits.
2 pieces of ‘Violent, depressing fare for anyone, but most especially for Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei whose behavioral scientist character starts “The First Purge” as an experiment’ toast

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(To view trailers of the above-mentioned films, visit Petaluma360 and find ‘Cinema Toast.’ Comments? E-mail gilmansergh@comcast.net)

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