Took a little longer for this one. Got a lot going on, & after going on for almost 20 mins in my first thoughts video (see here), I decided to take an extra day. Crazy thing is, the more I keep going over Ant-Man & the Wasp in my head, the more I realize how much I loved it. From the time it started all the way to the amazing end-credit scene. This is not only perfect follow up to the first Ant-Man, it even feels like this spot is the perfect spot in the MCU for this to land. Taking place during the events of Infinity War this film offers a much needed counter to the weight of the SNAP. Very few times do comedy sequels live up their predecessors, but this one makes it look easy. This thing fires joke after joke, but the jokes are so natural. It's "real world" comedy based off the amazing personalities of these characters. Evangeline Lilly's Wasp really steals the "superhero" side of this one. She kicks @$$! Her fight choreography paired with the shrinking, growing, shooting, & flying was amazing on so many levels. This actually goes for all of the films choreography. From the fights to the chase scenes to all of the various uses of shrinking of growing, this film felt like it never even thought of taking a break. With Wasp playing the heroics Paul Rudd was able to spend more time being Paul Rudd. On house arrest for helping Captain America in Civil War, all he wants to do is spend some time with his daughter. This sets up his relationship with Randall Park's CIA agent. Between that & his relationship with Michael Douglas's Hank Pym, I couldn't figure out which I enjoyed more. These guys are hilarious together. Speaking of hilarious though, Michael Peña's Luis is my favorite MCU character. His crew backs him up great, but I totally sponsor his character doing a full retelling of the MCU to this point at the opening of Avengers 4. Newcomer Hannah John-Kamen's Ghost serves up a villain that we haven't really got in the MCU. Her motives are so relatable it's really hard to look at her as a true villain. Adding more layers to what takes the films center. The hunt for Hank's wife, the original Wasp, played by Michelle Pfeiffer who was lost in the Quantum Realm years before the first. And actually, the Quantum Realm should also get some credit for this one. I've never seen something as complicated as quantum mechanics handled so beautifully, making it almost simple to understand. All in all if I even had a drawback for this movie it'd be the same one that the whole MCU faces now. With each film some of these become more inaccessible. There's at least 4 movies mandatory you have to see to fully appreciate this film. That number keeps growing. For me, I don't care, I love all these. I've seen them all, multiple times for that matter. For a newcomer though, at some point this might become overwhelming. We're not there yet with this one though. Great follow up. Especially if you look at it as just a comedy film sequel. There it stands with an elite few when it comes to comedy sequels. I do wish I would've seen this in 3D. I just feel like I missed something special there in the Quantum Realm. I would highly suggest a theater visit for this one. Prepare to laugh. When you're done let me know your thoughts. Put it in the comments, like, & share.
Alright, after getting my first thoughts out (see here), I've took a couple days to really let the Incredibles 2 DOUBLE FEATURE sink in. Since we're dealing with 2 films & a short I'm gonna break this into 3 sections.
Incredibles: This was my first experience with the classic Pixar film on the big screen, & it was impressive on a while new level. The story, action, & comedy stand up to time so well. In fact, the only sign that this was a classic, was the dated Pixar animation. Which even 14 years ago would stand up against any other animation studio today. The movie blends classic golden-age superheroes, James Bond like locales, & a strong family dynamic seamlessly. I still say to this date, this is actually the best Fantastic Four film we have recieved. Set in that golden age of heroes like the old Superman cartoons from the 50s, superheroes have been made illegal due to ever growing lawsuits against them. Honestly, the most realistic reason ever, & then the "Supers" are out on a form of Witness Protection. Part of the catch is they can't use their super powers any more. Mr. Incredible can't stop dabbling in heroics though, & eventually requires help form the whole fam. That's the ultra simple version of an animated film that holds it's own with major live action comic book films of today. Ultimate storytelling in what is one of Pixar's best. The cast of characters are intriguing, with so much depth for animated characters, that only Pixar can add. Seeing this on the big screen gave me a even bigger love for this movie. Depending on what day I wake up, this goes back & forth with Toy Story & Coco as my favorite Pixar film. If you haven't seen this film, where have you been for 14 years? Anyone with a love for superheroes, golden age heros, Pixar, James Bond, or just all around great feels all around films this one is definitely for you, & leaves you begging for more.
Bao: For me this short film was an intermission film. For anyone seeing a non-DOUBLE FEATURE, this will be what opens Incredibles 2. In a nutshell, without spoiling it, this short is about a lady who makes a dumpling that comes to life. She raises this adorable dumpling as her own child. From there the clip uses this as a metaphor for growing up & letting go. I never knew so much emotion could be contained within about 5 minutes. You could feel the emotion radiating throughout the audience when this was over. It's a very powerful short, quickly becoming one of my all time favorites.
Incredibles 2: Here it was. We had all waited 14 years for this. 14 years, & they definitely made it worth it. Picking up exactly where the first left off to the second, there was one notable difference. Pixar has come a long way in 14 years, & it shows in the best ways. This was probably easier to see due to the DOUBLE FEATURE aspect, but the difference was like HD versus classic film. Everything immediately looked so much more alive. Other than that though, if you wouldn't have told me this was part 2, I'd have thought I was watching an Incredibles extended edition. Not only does this pick up right after, it just take the ball & keeps running. The story progression feels more natural than almost any sequel I've seen. The story takes those moments at the end of the first to segway right into fixing the illegal superhero problem. With a brother/sister pair enlisting Elastigirl to put Supers back in the limelight. This has Mr. Incredible playing Mr. Mom while wifey does all the hero stuff. Opening up the reveal of baby Jack Jack's powers by the way. Had me laughing in tears for what felt like a solid 5 minutes. All the main characters return, not skipping a beat. Meanwhile, favorites Frozone & Edna Mode get some more screen time this time around, sprinkled along with some new Supers. There was an awesome villain that felt straight out of Batman, even if the reveal was a little telegraphed. All in all, this movie was as good, if not better than its predecessor. I've got my fingers crossed we don't have to wait another 14 years to cap this as a Trilogy. I do suggest to anyone that does see this film, it benefits highly from coming directly after the first. Revisit Incredibles as soon as you can prior to seeing the sequel. I'll probably never watch these films another way. That's my full thoughts though. Love to know yours. Put em in the comments, like, & share.