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    Date:

    Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania

    Year: 2023
    Genre: Superhero, Adventure, Sci-Fi

    Duration: 2 hours 5 minutes
    Where to watch: Cinemas

    Straight off the bat, the effects and CGI are the best Marvel has been in a LONG time. Which they needed to hit. The quantum realm looks phenomenal. The world feels lived in and there is a sense of history through the vast creatures, terrains and cliques of civilisations and jobs. Honestly exploring that part of the story was a highlight visually and thematically.

    From a writing and story perspective, the theme of family, lost time and the “watch out for the little guy” / “always room to grow” I wouldn’t say fell flat…  I think those aspects hit their mark enough, but I did feel like it narratively weighed down and overshadowed the lingering doom of the plot, and the multiversal threat of Kang The CONQUEROR. As per Marvel/Disney standard, the writing has become lazy or disinterested in telling a deeper complex story and going for something more cookie cutter and accessible for all audiences. Corny quips and forgettable one liners, shamefully written established MCU characters and jokingly written new characters. As Kang The Conqueror, I think Jonathan Majors is perfect for the role. I thought he was great in Loki, I think he has the ability to portray all the wacky and weird variations of Kang that we’ll see while giving him enough development to keep us intrigued and wanting more. However… I was wanting A LOT more from the character during the film. Characters such as Kang and the mechanised human M.O.D.O.K were either vastly underwritten or portrayed to be weaker, less menacing or portrayed as a little insult comedy relief character, a far departure to their source material. Which, in a Marvel movie where every character has to be the comic relief, can be boring and even exhausting.

    Is it a bad film? Not necessarily, but what it lacks in taste it excels visually. Whilst it does Kang well, it’s not well enough to seem like he got the proper respect and justice he deserved. I’d recommend watching Ant-Man & The Wasp, Avengers Endgame and then Loki before watching this movie. 

    **/


     

    M3GAN

    Year: 2023
    Genre: Thriller; Horror

    Duration: 1 hour 42 minutes
    Where to watch: Cinemas

    It’s not often I do animated content. M3GAN or Megan has been turning heads lately, and for good reason. Riding on the back of concepts like Chucky (Child’s Play, 1988) and T-800 (The Terminator, 1984), this film is a perfect successor for the aforementioned films. 

    Cady (Violet McGraw) is a young girl whose parents died in a fatal crash, she is now under the custody of her toy manufacturing aunt Gemma (Allison Williams). Struggling to find a happy medium, Gemma creates M3GAN (Amie Donald), a life-sized doll with integrated AI technology. It is designed to be the best and only toy Cady should need, but when its AI program starts to learn on its own, it starts to become a danger to Cady, Gemma and anyone who gets in M3GAN’s way.

    This film is pretty clever and a lot of fun, it knows that the audience knows what the movie is about but is able to deceptively play with us. Throughout the film we get hints of M3GAN’s AI learning and getting more cunning and receptive to certain things, showing signs of what’s to come to then go from a quick zero to 100 in the final leg of the film. Despite the horror and thriller elements, this is a great film and case study on childhood trauma, PTSD, parenthood and the study of Attachment Theory with children.

    By far the creepiest and unsettling factor of the film is Amie Donald’s performance as M3GAN, the makeup department really went above and beyond this time around. The plastic/silicon look of the makeup, in conjunction with Amie’s physical acting is some uncanny valley kinda stuff. Her movements are fluid, yet naturally robotic if that even makes sense, it looks and feels fake but that’s the beauty in it.

    The only real criticism I have for the film is to dive a little deeper into the creepy vibe, I think there is some cool potential for sequels if it decides to become a franchise. Who knew dolls could be a child’s best friend and worst enemy? Go find out for yourself. 

    ***/

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