2023 Movie Reviews: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania / She Said / Speak No Evil

Bad parents, brave women and small men.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

I can’t remember the last time I was so indifferent towards a movie. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania certainly isn’t terrible, but it’s a far cry from the best Marvel offerings, and I think Marvel fatigue is really starting to set in for a lot of people. I’d say it’s starting to set in for me too except that I’ve never been too invested in this mega-franchise, mostly because I didn’t read the comics as a child. I wasn’t really into comics or superheroes at that age, my favorite movie when I was 12 was Boogie Nights. Next time you see my parents, please fire them. I think that’s a big reason why I don’t care for sports either, my parents didn’t watch sports and so growing up, I never watched them either. I do enjoy playing Spikeball at bachelor parties though, more so than I enjoy watching any televised sport. Basketball is okay to watch live I guess, but live baseball bores the shit out of me. I haven’t seen much hockey, but I did lie in a video audition for a Phoenix Coyotes commercial, claiming I was a huge fan. Anyway, let’s get back to Ant-Man 3, a movie so uninteresting I’d rather talk about sports. Scott Whatever played by Paul Rudd is back and he’s still with Evangeline Lily of Lost fame. Michael Douglas is still alive and Michelle Pfeiffer is back being in movies and I couldn’t be happier. Scott’s daughter is all grown up now and played by the YA actress Kathryn Newton, who was the dead daughter in Three Billboards. She’s a little inventor and accidentally sucks the family into this alternate universe of being or whatever the thing is called. It’s like a barren wasteland that exists under our world, kinda like a big train station that a lot of different races/species of people are stuck in, including Bill Murray of recent child abuse fame. Also stuck there is the new major Marvel villain named Kang, he’s played exceptionally well by Jonathan Majors who I’ve been raving about for the past four years. He’s pissed that Michelle Pfeiffer has screwed him over a couple years ago, and since the family is stuck there he decides to make their life a living hell. The first twenty minutes of this movie are mildly entertaining and the final twenty minutes are mildly entertaining as well. The middle 80 minutes have some serious ups and downs, bringing us some amusingly bizarre shit (Corey Stoll as MODOR – MVP fersherr) and also some moments where I was so disinterested that I considered walking out of the theater to go take a nap at home, leaving my poor roommate alone to be slightly more entertained than I was but still pretty underwhelmed. Even though it was tempting to book it, I stuck it out in the theater, even as the unsupervised rugrats in the row behind me were running around, knocking into shit and coughing an obvious sick cough over everything in sight. I don’t blame the rugrats, I blame the parents. Like I get you’re excited to get off of work at the poop factory and have a family movie night on a Monday, but if your toddler is sick maybe stay home and take care of them? If anything, just for the kid’s benefit. These kids were super bored, and most of the audience wasn’t really that into it either. Marvel is never going away, so if we’re stuck with it till the world ceases to exist in the next 100 years or so, they need to be better, cause Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is not worth leaving the house for. Treat yourself to a nap instead. Grade: C (In Theaters)

She Said

Seems a bit early to make a dramatized true life account of the Harvey Weinstein decades spanning sexual assault saga, just five years after the scandal broke, but whatever, we’re here. I think that everything this dramatized film does a documentary could do far better. At the same time, a dramatized film ensures more people will be exposed to the story that otherwise wouldn’t — I guess if they’re unable to or just don’t like reading or if they have a natural aversion to documentary storytelling. This is an important story to tell not only for sexual assault/harrassment that still exists in Hollywood today, but in seemingly every industry in the world. Still, I doubt many people are going to watch this movie as indicated by its exceptionally poor box office performance of less than half of its budget. Peacock will expose more people to it I guess, but who the fuck has Peacock besides my roommate? Do you have Peacock? How many people do you know that have Peacock? Anyway, let’s focus on the movie itself. Maria Schrader‘s She Said is a very straightforward investigative procedural that wisely doesn’t rely too much on character dynamics. It’s fast-paced in the way it unravels facts but whenever we stop to hang out with Carey Mulligan‘s husband or Zoe Kazan‘s kid we’re instantly bored. Speaking of Mulligan, one of the best actors of her generation, she fares the best here. Mulligan succeeds in bringing her typical subtle flair to a character that seems to have been written merely as a vessel to most efficiently distribute the narrative. Kazan isn’t as good, neither is Patricia Clarkson, one of the best actors of her generation, in an atypically ham-fisted performance as the boss character. Maybe it’s just the way the character is written but it might be the only Patricia Clarkson performance that instantly read artificial to me. Andre Braugher is pretty good as a senior journalist at The New York Times, we wish he was given more to do. Ashley Judd plays herself and it’s an interesting casting choice – on one hand it seems like no one would know Judd as well as Judd and I’m sure it was cathartic telling her Harvey story to the world in a major motion picture. On the other hand, it’s a noticeably self-conscious performance that takes us out of the movie’s reality, perhaps an actor playing Judd would feel more natural in a strangely indirect way. I think one of the hardest things for an actor to do is play themselves and only a few cases (Malkovich in Being John Malkovich, most notably) are totally successful. I don’t want to say this is an important movie because I really don’t think it is. It is however, an extremely important story that I think would have been much more effective if told told via print or documentary form. For a dramatized version to work, I think we’d have to wait fifteen or twenty years when most of the dust has settled and we get a bigger picture of who all was involved and how #metoo ultimately effected the industry in the long term. She Said is very well-paced though, and that’s huge plus nowadays. Grade: B- (Peacock)

Speak No Evil

Very well made but unpalatable Danish horror indie that’s damn heavy on allegory while completely slighting its more human elements. It’s not very difficult to decode what filmmaker Christian Tafdrup is trying to communicate about parenthood, basically that you must protect your family even if it means an awkward social encounter. The film follows two couples on a weekend getaway comprised of the worst, most inept parents you could ever imagine. However, these characters feel more like archetypes than actual flesh and blood human beings. They’re super one-dimensional and I think that’s a grave misstep because I would have been infinitely more invested in the narrative if I had at least one character I cared about. The relatively sane couple is comprised of a total wimp husband and a much more assertive but ultimately far too passive wife. The cuckoo-banana-shit couple is comprised of a dude who is seemingly upbeat one moment and then foaming-at-the-mouth insane the next, and his world-class gaslighter wife. I’d be lying if I said the awkward interactions between the two couples weren’t effectively done and well written, but when you put your viewer in such an uncomfortable situation you expect a little bit more of a payoff. Speak No Evil never feels worth the torture it puts you through. While I admire that it would rather use Curb Your Enthusiasm-level cringe to unease its viewers over a type of banal gore fest that most of its contemporaries seem to deploy, it seems like a moot point when the film inevitably turns into just that. I appreciate a lot of the technical craft that went into making this film but overall I didn’t enjoy it. I understand there is an audience for this type of film and I also understand that I am most certainly not it. I appreciate that the movie at least has some intelligence and restraint, but I found it to be an overwhelmingly depressing experience that left me cold without ever justifying its reason to exist. There are much better horror/suspense/thriller films that explore parenthood that would be much more worthy of your time. Grade: C+ (AMC+/Shudder)



Road House (1989)

A ridiculously stupid action movie that makes so little sense it’s almost astounding. It is however one of the most purely enjoyable and most-80s 80s action films I’ve ever seen. People get kicked in the face and there’s a giant bear!


Little Children (2006)

16 years before TÁR, writer/director Todd Field made Little Children an incredibly underrated ensemble-driven mosaic of East Coast Suburbanites dealing with infidelity, town pedophiles, PTA bullshit and gossiping bitches. Based on a novel by Tom Perrotta, who also wrote the book The Leftovers is based on, and featuring a stacked cast including Kate Winslet, PatrickConjuringWilson, Jennifer Connelly, Noah Emmerich and Jackie Earle “Not My Freddy” Haley.


The King of Comedy (1983)

Scorsese’s best film after GoodFellas, The King of Comedy was under received at the time of its release but has since developed the reputation of a classic. Robert DeNiro plays a creepy local stand-up who idolizes and stalks a famous late night host played by Jerry Lewis, in hopes of getting his big break. This is a great combination of really scary shit and some expertly crafted cringe comedy. Todd Phillips stole the entire plot for Joker.



Magic Mike’s Last Dance (B-)

Avatar: The Way of Water (B-)

Knock at the Cabin (B)


The Fabelmans (A-)

Pearl (B+)

Bodies Bodies Bodies (B-)


You People (C-)

White Noise (C-)

Emily the Criminal (B-)



Armageddon Time (C+)



Empire of Light (D+)

The Menu (C+)

The Banshees of Inisherin (A-)


Hellraiser (C)

Prey (B)

Fire Island (B-)

Amazon Prime

The Northman (B)

Licorice Pizza (A)

House of Gucci (C+)


Top Gun: Maverick (B+)

Smile (C+)

Jackass Forever (B+)


Interview with Vampire Season 1 (A-)

Watcher (C+)

The Innocents (B-)


Resurrection (B+)

Mad God (B+)

V/H/S/99 (B-)

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