Film Friday #241

Ant-Man (2015)

Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang, an ex-con who has just been released from prison after breaking into his former employer’s offices and returning the funds they stole from customers. Scott wants to get on the straight and narrow in order to be able to spend time with his young daughter but the lure of one last big score is just too much for him and he is catapulted into the path of scientist Dr Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). After years as a recluse Pym has returned to his former company to find out that his protégé, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) is close to using technology that he developed to create a miniature super-soldier. Along with his feisty daughter (Evangeline Lilly), Pym wants Scott to use his unique skills to stop Cross from realising his potentially devastating goals before it’s too late. With the help of Pym’s Ant Man suit, the power of some amazing ants and a little help from his somewhat dodgy friends, Scott just might be able to redeem himself if his ex-wife’s new cop boyfriend (Bobby Canavale) doesn’t get him first. As super-hero movies go, this one had some great elements. Evangeline Lilly’s character is surprisingly layered and complex for Marvel and her relationship with her father was a great emotional heart for the film especially paired with Scott’s desire to be a good father. Paul Rudd often annoys me but in this case his quirky humour and charm really worked well and there were some excellent set-pieces throughout. I loved the ants and I also loved some of Cross’ more bonkers weapons experiments like the one that basically turned someone into a pile of snot. On the other hand it was pretty forgettable and although I saw it less than a week ago I had to think pretty hard to remember what happened. A fun movie to spend an afternoon with but with the overflow of super-hero movies coming out at the moment it’s just another one for the pile. 3/5


What do you mean I’m not as cool as Ironman?

The House I Live In (2012)

Directed by Eugene Jarecki, this affecting documentary looks at the history of the US war on drugs and its systematic failure to have any effect on the consumption of illegal substances, the harm they cause individuals or the way they damage communities. Several themes are explored including draconian minimum sentencing and incarceration rates but what I found most interesting was how the focus of the “war” is cracking down on use and supply without any investment or attention on the societal causes that drive people to take drugs in the first place. Even more interesting was how the way the media has portrayed the situation and the way the government has implemented the laws has affected certain communities way more than others and how the war on drugs is really more of a war against minorities and the poor. I believe a good documentary should expose you to new information, present you with facts in a tangible way and really make you think and The House I Live In does all of these things exceptionally well. By combining high level facts with deep dives into real communities and individuals it paints a picture that one can only hope will eventually lead to a rethink of the current drug enforcement policy before it’s too late. 4/5


Bob was regretting showing Hilary Clinton his George Bush

The English Teacher (2013)

Linda Sinclair (Julianne Moore) has devoted her life to a love of English literature and inspiring her students to great things, none more so than Jason Sherwood (Michael Angarano) who has gone on to the NYU playwriting programme. So when Jason returns to his hometown disgraced and planning to study law seemingly at the insistence of his father (Greg Kinnear), Linda is desperate not to see him waste his talent. She manages to convince the school to put on a play that he has written no matter what the personal or professional cost in the hope that it will re-excite his passion for writing. The only problem is that it ends in a suicide that the school is less than keen on. As Linda gets more and more involved with Jason’s life her own starts to spiral out of control making her question everything she thought she knew. The English Teacher has a great cast which also includes Nathan Lane, Lily Collins and Jessica Hecht and the story of a repressed older woman finding herself has potential despite being somewhat unoriginal. Unfortunately this production is hampered by a plodding script and a meandering narrative that fails to deliver.  Linda is distinctly unlikeable but then so are all the characters and it’s hard to care about what happens to any of them. It’s no wonder it never got a theatrical release. 1/5


Having just found out how many cats Linda had, Jason was questioning his desire to bed her

Boyz n the Hood (1991)

After he persistently behaves badly, Tre’s (Desi Arnez Hines II) mother (Angela Bassett) sends hit to live with his father, Furious (Laurence Fishburn) in Compton so he can learn to be a man. Here he befriends Ricky (Donovan McCrary) and his brother, Darren (Baha Jackson) and starts to experience the realities of trying to make it in “the hood”.  In his teens, Tre (Cuba Gooding Junior) has a bright future having obeyed Furious’ strict rules, while Ricky (Morris Chestnut) has hopes of getting a football scholarship to make a better life for his young family. But the societal pressures they face are intense and soon a series of events is set into play that might destroy any hope they have of getting out. There is nothing particularly revolutionary in the storyline of this coming of age saga but the impressive performances of Gooding, Chestnut, Ice-T (who plays an older Darren), and especially Fishburn, raise it to an outstanding level. The characters are archetypal but well-written and well-developed and there is something universal about the three friends’ struggle to break out from their circumstances and the war that rages inside them between what is right and what is easy. There is a very good reason this is a classic and I would highly recommend it. 4/5


The girls were having trouble believing the IPC’s claim that he’d slept with over 3 women


  1. theipc

    I’ve never made such allegations and a gentleman never tells!

    1. abbiosbiston

      Don’t lie… it was those 3 women in the picture. One of them is pregnant.

      1. theipc


  2. Your repartee with IPC is fab. I thought you might like Antman more. It does seem different to the regular superhero films. Saw Boyz n the Hood years ago. Great film. Was blown away by how great the acting was, as well as how bad ass the name Furious Styles is.

    1. abbiosbiston

      Ah Eric and I have a strange but beautiful connection.

      Ant-Man was fine I just think I have superhero fatigue.

  3. I’m a big fan of Regina King. I like her in anything.

    1. abbiosbiston

      She’s great!

  4. Great reviews, Abbi. Glad Paul Rudd didn’t totally annoy you for a change! I’d like to see that but probably won’t make it to any movies until school starts again. Boyz n the Hood is a good one! Doubt I’ll watch the other two, though. 🙂

    1. abbiosbiston

      Steering clear of The English Teacher is definitely the right choice.

  5. Aww sorry to hear you didn’t find Ant-Man memorable haha. 🙂 I’ll take your recommendation to see Boyz in the hood, been meaning to catch that one for a while. Great reviews!

    1. abbiosbiston

      Boyz n the Hood is great. I hope you get to watch it soon.

  6. Ant-Man was by no means revolutionary but I quite enjoyed it. What a fun little film. The other three I’m not really interested in. I hadn’t even heard about The English Teacher before, actually.

    1. abbiosbiston

      I don’t disagree that it was enjoyable but I’m just not sure anyone will remember it in a year.

      I’m not surprised no one has heard of The English Teacher because it was so awful.

      1. Yeah, not super memorable. I don’t see it having a lasting legacy even though I enjoyed it

  7. I have the hugest crush on Paul Rudd. My husband gives me hell for it.

    1. abbiosbiston

      He’s not my type but I can see why one might find him attractive.

  8. great stuff as usual abs!

    BITH is amazing and I cant wait to eventually see Antman. Not really interested in seeing the other two tho

    1. abbiosbiston

      Thanks! I don’t think the other two are worth bothering with but I hope you enjoy Ant-Man.

  9. I still need to see Boyz in the Hood! I’ll skip The English Teacher though, not all that interested in it anyway. Yeah, I almost didn’t see Ant Man because I’m tired of seeing Marvel superhero movies, but thankfully it was quite fun.

    1. abbiosbiston

      You should definitely check out Boyz ‘n the Hood but The English Teacher is best avoided. What a waste of a good cast!

  10. I’m so torn about seeing AntMan. I generally like Marvel, and I’ve heard really good things, but… AntMan. Ant. Man. Really?

    1. abbiosbiston

      Hahaha! Yeah I thought the same thing but it’s better than a lot of other superhero movies I have sat through!

      1. I heard that too. I doubt I’ll see it at the cinema, though. Too leery about it to shell out the ridiculous amount of money they ask for nowadays…

  11. Don’t think I have seen anything here, but will check out Ant-Man when it hits DVD because I absolutely adore Paul Rudd!

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