With all the recent drama around the future of MoviePass and new limitations for their subscribers, my casual movie viewing and rankings going forward may be affected. Also for the month of July, I spent most of it out of state for work and my movie viewing got scaled back. I did manage to watch some fun flicks though, so here are this month’s rankings.
Warning, This article will contain SPOILERS.
#1 – Ant-Man and the Wasp
Coming off the epic turn of events in Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp tries to pad the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies for another seven months until Captain Marvel comes out. We see the life of Scott Lang pretty much under house arrest trying to live out his sentence while having visits from his daughter. Through having a series of dreams, Scott finds himself helping out Hope and Hank Pym to rescue Janet Van Dyne, Hope’s mother and Hank’s wife from the Quantum Realm. They run into Hank’s old partner, Bill Foster and his relationship with the primary villain, Ghost.
Ant-Man and the Wasp didn’t need to be a giant epic Marvel movie, it just needed to e serviceable. It helped to continue it’s own story and universe. There was a lot of laughs and jokes to keep you on your toes plus great acting from Michael Douglas as Hank Pym. I also love the special effects when they shrink and grow random items like a salt shaker or a Hello Kitty Pez Dispenser.
– Loved the opening scene with Scott and his daughter playing in a fort/maze made of sheets and boxes. Especially loved the giant slide made of flatten cardboard boxes. Made me think if I ever had a daughter, we would have fun like that making pillow forts and playing in cardboard boxes.
– I wished as a kid I had something to carry my Hot Wheels around. When they pulled them out to make them into large cars, I can remember my five year old self saying he wanted to do that a long time ago.
- I recently walked by the pier where Ant-Man went gigantic to stop a ferry. It was really cool to see the area they filmed it at.
#2 – Uncle Drew
It wasn’t too long that the NBA Finals just finished that Uncle Drew came out in theaters. It’s the story about Dax, a coach that usually takes a team to the Rucker Classic street basketball tournament but unfortunately finds himself without a squad. He runs into the myth called Uncle Drew played by Kyrie Irving. To those that don’t know, Kyrie was in a bunch of Pepsi commercials dressed up in make up to pretend he is an older man that would school younger people on the basketball court. They decided to run with this concept and gather the rest of his old team that is also played by famous basketball players, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Lisa Leslie. As predictable the movie is, the old team does battle in the Rucker Classic and makes it all the way to the finals but not without any drama along the way.
Growing up a big basketball fan, I was actually interested in seeing all these former players on the big screen. It is what it is, players in old man makeup playing ball together trying to crack a few jokes. Those jokes actually weren’t so bad, even some with hidden references to hardcore basketball fans that I was able to catch. It’s great for all basketball fans to watch, old and current “young bloods”.
- When the old team decides to play against a high school girls team, you can hear the Big Fella played by Shaq upset with not getting the ball by yelling, “Pass the all Kobe!” This was a joke back when Shaq and Kobe Bryant played for the Lakers and their known drama as teammates.
- There is a spot where Uncle Drew tells Preacher, played by Chris Webber, that they have no more timeouts. This is a joke back when Webber played in Michigan in college and was infamous for calling a timeout when they had none remaining that ended up costing his team the win.
#3 – Animal World
Probably my most interesting pick that I watched this month goes to Animal World. The story is about Zheng Kaisi and the fact he runs into trouble with debt of millions gathered from himself and his friends in addition to a comatose mother in the hospital. The nurse looking after him is an old childhood friend/girlfriend that he has to leave to go fix the mess and the debt he owes. He ends up getting abducted by a secret mafia group led by Michael Douglas who is in charge of ship called Destiny. He invites Zheng to play a game on the ship and if he wins, he gets his debts settled. The game ended up being a card battle game of rock, paper, scissors. It ends up that it isn’t a normal game of rock paper scissors, it ended ups having a bunch of rules like having to battle for stars and using money to buy cards from other players.
I didn’t think I was going to see two movies with Michael Douglas this year, let alone in one month but here he is playing the main villain. If Fast and the Furious, Yu-Gi-Oh, and the AKB48 Janken Tournament had a baby, this movie would the result. It was really style over substance as the cool graphics and music really shined but the story itself wasn’t really anything special.
- This was my first Chinese movie I saw in the movies in maybe 10 years. I kept thinking how the art style and the CGI looked amazing.
- I loved the mathematical and stylized breakdowns of the card situations and the stats on each player they came to battle.
#4 – Sorry To Bother You
My most anticipated movie of the month went to Sorry To Bother You. Down on his luck, Cash is struggling to make money and hold a normal job until he applies to be a telemarketer at RegalView. As he finds out after landing the job, he isn’t really good at being a telemarketer as he has his callers hang up on him frequently. He later finds out that if he uses his “white voice” he is able to earn lots of sales, so much that he ends up being a power caller. He ends up making more money and using new things like an apartment and a car all this while his fellow coworkers are protesting the unfair working conditions of the company. He would later run into the CEO Steve Lift and find out what the front of the telemarketing company was intended for in the first place.
The first half of the movie was very nice and had a good flow to the story. It wasn’t until we get to find out what the master plan is about turning humans into a cross hybrid with horses called “Equestrisapiens” that the movie throws an unexpected curveball. It really had “Walk Out heat” from the theater I was in as a good 1/3 of the people got up and left. I could here people say, “well that’s just stupid” as they left and I had that feeling as well. I ended up staying until the end but I really felt that the movie couldn’t really recover the charm it had in the first half. The movie was interesting, but ultimately it ended up being very disappointing leaving a very bad impression in the end.
- Everything dealing with the power caller elevator had me laughing more than I should have. From the crazy long passcode to the random motivational phrases as the elevator is moving were hilarious.
Hopefully August will be a lot better now that I’m back home and I can get back into a normal movie viewing routine. Already MoviePass is messing that up so I will have to watch movies I want on slower days or at a farther theater. The AMC A-List subscription is looking a lot better lately. I do have a watch list that I hope I can see this month.
Stay tuned for my rankings next month!
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