My thoughts on Ant-Man and The Wasp

After Infinity War I thought what else Marvel could show me which make it matter, with Ant-man and The Wasp they didn’t even try to make it matter and that is what makes it great. This film is more a sequel to Civil War rather than the first Ant-man as it happens 2 years after the event. Scott Lang/Ant-man (Paul Rudd) is under house arrest due to his involvement in Civil War.

Meanwhile, Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) together with his father Dr Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) try to save Janet Van Dyne/Wasp (Michelle Pfeiffer) which they thought still in the quantum world, so they create a machine that could bring them there. Ava/Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) due to her reasoning try to get the machine for her own reason. Other than her, there also Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) who also try to get the machine but for money.

So the story pretty much is all about that, Scott try to help Hope but at the same time try not to screw up his house arrest. Together, they also need to secure the machine from Ava and Sonny. In other words, the story is quite simple and not really bring anything new to the Marvel universe. It might not work for some, but for me I love it. Due to its simplicity, the movie able to focus more on the relationship between the characters. I think the strongest element of this movie is the casual interaction between the characters even how tense the situation should be. That makes the movie more enjoyable and fresh. It also make sure the story is compact without any unnecessary conflict.

I feel the movie was told with great pace – just keep going and going without so much of filler. Sure it wasn’t as deep as some other Marvel’s but I think it works wonder because of the movie release after Infinity War. When you already see something that is heavy, a more light story is much more enjoyable and for me preferable. Sure the movie lack of great, deep characters especially the villain however that help to make the movie more easy to watch and you would enjoy it so much even though you do not really care about the story after the credit roll (do WATCH the post-credit scene though).

I do feel that we currently have too many superhero movies and I myself feel the fatigue. However, Ant-man and The Wasp manage to release me from it without as many changes as Ragnarok or as ‘deep’ as Black Panther and show me something fresh even though it is not new. The action was good because the ‘super-power’ that they have is great by itself, smaller or bigger can make the action become better and funnier. I certainly have no complaint about the effect or anything. In other words, for me, there is no noticeable flawed. The acting was good.

Maybe this is not something that you would say “Wow even after a big movie like Infinity War, they could pull something like this” however I believe you will enjoy this movie so much and you will appreciate every minute of it, which what really matter.

8/10

My Thoughts On Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Sicario: Day of the Soldado is a sequel to Sicario which was released in 2015. The first one was directed by Denis Villeneuve and for the second film the new guy took the mantle – Stefano Sollima, to be honest never head of him before. Despite the changes, both movie wrote by same writer Taylor Sheridan. I love the first one very much, if I would rated it today a 9 is pretty much an easy score to give. It also the film that introduce me to the great Denis Villeneuve which later direct movie like Arrival and Blade Runner 2049.

So I went to watch this sequel with high expectation but a bit skeptical because they change the director and also because how the first movie end. In the end my skeptical was justify, the movie isn’t as good as the first one but to be fair it was pretty high standard to match. The first film have this surprise factor in the story that make it great, Soldado try to bring that back and in some extend it work however not as great.

What make Sicario great is because it was story about Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro), however the way it played out he doesn’t seem as the main man. If first one it was because of Kate Mace (Emily Blunt), the second film they have two which are Isabel Reyes (Isabela Moner) and Elijah Rodriquez  (Miguel Hernandez). The story begins with few bombing happening in Kansas City which US goverment suspect Mexico’s drug cartels responsible.

In respond US government asked Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) to stir up trouble that could make the drug cartels be at war with each other, as I’m pretty sure they do. So Matt asked Alejandro to help him kidnapped Isabela which daughter of the drug lord. As any thing that happened in life, thing went wrong and story start to become more interesting. You must be wonder, “so.. how Elijah came into picture?”, I guess that is the magic that still continue in this film. It kept all cards closed to the chest, you can’t really predict what would happen and what the character got to do with anything.

As story progress, things start to open up and it become more and more interesting however it was done not as subtle as the first one. There are too many plot where it become too situational making it less authentic. In overall they is left with so much to desire. The story also feel rushed and unfinished, there are too many thing left unexplained. The first film end in a way where you don’t expect a sequel, however this film felt like forcing you to wait for another sequel which not always work great.

The action still good, even though there are some part which I think too “actioney” something that you would see in ‘not that good action’ movie. I guess that the different between Denis Villeneuve and Stefano Sollima. Denis like his movie to be subtle but with some action that look and feel authentic, Soldado just missing that magic. I can’t fault the acting as they all done great, new and returning cast. The movie also looks good.

In overall, if you expecting something as brilliant as the first Sicario, you will be disappointed. However if you looking for action movie with decent storytelling, this movie will give you just that and a bit more.

6.5/10

A Speech That Changed My Life

My life went downhill at one point, nothing work. I just get angry at many thing and it really put my mental health in jeopardy.  Then I heard one speech that changed my life around, the speech was by David Foster Wallace (a writer) which was given by him as commencement speech during Kenyon College’s graduation ceremony. The title, ‘This is Water’. I included the video below but sorry for the poor quality, unable to find better one.

The speech begin by describing the mundane of adult life, 8 to 5 cycle which for me at that moment very much relatable. That is what hooked me. Throughout your daily life you will face many things that just ‘in your way’ which make you angry and felt like the world is against you and the speech describe that as nature default setting or in other word we are the center of the universe.

Which is why when thing not going in our way we always feel piss and miserable, we hating some random guy we don’t even know and we become frustrated. The speech then describe act of choosing, if we choose to feel that way nothing wrong with that and many of us do however there is other way to look at it.

As example when you queuing to order some fast food during lunch, since lunch hour is short of course you are in a hurry. One person in front of you for some reason really took sweet time to order, instead ordering meal or set, he decide to order lot of add on and prolonged the whole thing. By default you would get angry, but you can choose to think differently. Maybe he was ordering for his kid which really picky and he really felt sorry for taking so long.

The speech describe this act of choosing as freedom, a real freedom which ‘understanding how to think’ and can decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. It just a simple thing, however I can’t really count how many time this speech has changed the way I think and in a way help me to live a much, much better life.

I don’t know how to describe it, but it is seriously easy to get mad but if you didn’t you will feel quite a relief. You will feel at ease and I believe my life significantly improve after that. If you think your day full with thing that you get mad about, try to take it differently and stop putting yourself as the center of everything.

Today, I rarely get mad, even at the worst of thing, however doesn’t mean that I never get mad. Sometime thing just too much, your default setting just kicked in. When that happened, I usually take a step back. Turn away, do something else and try as much as possible to ignore the feeling, don’t encourage it.

It wasn’t easy but trust me, it work wonder.