ANT-MAN AND THE WASP – A Blu-ray and Digital HD Review by John Strange

 
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP – A Blu-ray and Digital HD Review by John Strange
 
Fans of the MCU and Ant-Man have a treat with this film.  Paul Rudd is back as Scott Lang.  He has almost completed the house-arrest mandated for his part in breaking the Sokovia Accords (in Captain America: Civil War).  Soon he will be able to see his daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson), someplace outside his home.  Until then his imagination is evident in his choices on ways to keep him and his daughter amused.  I was truly amazed at the lengths he is willing to go (within his budget, of course).
 
And then, while taking a bath, he is back in the Quantum Realm.  When he comes back to this side of the veil, he cracks out the hidden burner phone and calls Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to tell him about his vision.  This starts a chain of events that reunites Scott with Hank and his daughter Janet van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) in a wild adventure that is filled with greedy criminals determined to steal Hank Pym's discoveries (Walton Goggins as Sonny Burch), a damaged woman determined to heal the injury she blames on Pym (Hannah John-Kamen as Ava Starr / Ghost), and (of course) the gang from Ant-Man now known as X-Con Security (Michael Peña as Luis, Tip "T.I." Harris as Dave, and David Dastmalchian as Kurt).
 
The story flows well with plots layered one upon the next like a good novel.  The team who made this film used every trick in their tool kits.  They used CGI, studio stages, real locations, and every combination of these imaginable to allow us to see people shrinking, growing, and diving into the Quantum Realm. 
 
To me, the central theme of this film is recovery and healing.  Recovering from house arrest (Scott), recovering/healing  from damage due to a failed scientific experiment (Ghost), and recovery from the Quantum Realm (Janet van Dyne – Michelle Pfeiffer).  But like all of the MCU films, this one (the 20th in the series) is filled with wild fights, unbelievable special effects, and humor.  They have perfected the formula for these films, all as different as the various directors and writers could make them, and yet similar in scope and feel.  The characters who inhabit the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) have a LOT of stories left to show us.  I look forward to seeing them all.
 
Now the fun part of these reviews, the EXTRAS!  Marvel and Disney pack these offerings with a lot of great featurettes ranging from deleted scenes to gag reels to shorts where various aspects of what happens behind the scenes and how they are accomplished.  Bust best of all, I love it when we get a good Director's Commentary track.  Watching the film and listening to the director tell us the how's and why's as the action happens.
 
For Ant-Man and the Wasp, the extras are excellent.  The Gag Reel is good but Stan Lee, the Man Himself, overshadows those laughs with a series of out-takes for his short cameo from early in the film (the extra tells us this was the first scene shot).  These lines are hilarious!
 
The deleted scenes were interesting.  However they would have changed the feel of the film without adding to the overall story significantly.  And one of the hidden jokes spoken about in the commentary track of the deleted scenes would have probably caused a ruckus that would not have advanced either the film or the MCU.
 
Every section of the extras starring director Peyton Reed is chock-full of interesting information for film-buffs and comics-aficionados.  I watched a couple of them twice!  And the commentary track is one of the best I have watched in a while.  Peyton Reed loved what he made and it shows in his commentaries.  All-in-all, a well made film, well worth the cost of the disk or digital download (or both).
 
 
Directed By:
 
  • Peyton Reed
 
Cast:
 
  • Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas
 
Extras:
 
  • Blu-ray & Digital:
    • Director’s Intro by Peyton Reed – The talented creator behind some of Marvel Studios’ funniest and most charming films will invite home audiences deeper into the world of “Ant-Man and The Wasp.”
    • Making-of Featurettes:
      • Back in the Ant Suit: Scott Lang – Hero and all-star dad Scott Lang keeps the laughs coming for the audience, cast and crew.
      • A Suit of Her Own: The Wasp – Highly trained Hope Van Dyne is now the Wasp. See how some of her craziest stunts and action-packed scenes were brought to life.
      • Subatomic Super Heroes: Hank & Janet – Hank Pym’s wife Janet was lost in the Quantum Realm. Trace the legacy of these characters and the iconic actors who portray them.
      • Quantum Perspective: The VFX and Production Design of “Ant-Man and The Wasp” – Explore the movie’s visual effects and production design from a whole new viewpoint, in which every micro and macro detail counts.
    • Gag Reel and Outtakes – Audiences are treated to the hilarious quips that did not make the film as well as exclusive outtakes from Stan Lee and Tim Heidecker.
      • Gag Reel – Join in the fun with these outtakes from the set.
      • Stan Lee Outtakes – Stan Lee tries out a series of hilarious one-liners for the scene in which his car shrinks.
      • Tim Heidecker Outtakes – Check out Whale Boat Captain Daniel Goobler and his improvised whale-watching riffs.
    • Deleted Scenes (with commentary by Director Peyton Reed)
      • Worlds Upon Worlds – As Janet leads Hank through the surreal landscape of the Quantum Realm, they encounter an intelligent life form.
      • Sonny’s on the Trail – On the hunt for Hank Pym and his lab, Sonny Burch and his henchmen check the security camera of a neighborhood bookstore.
  • Digital Exclusives:
    • 10 Years of Marvel Studios: The Art of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – See what it takes to bring the MCU to life, and the role concept artists play in bringing Super Heroes from comic book to screen.
    • Online Close-Up Magic University – This commercial will inspire you to expand your mind and maximize your full potential!
 
Specifications:
 
Runtime:
 
  • 118 Minutes
 
Studio:
 
  • Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc.
 
Release Date:
 
  • 10/16/2018
 
Region:
 
  • A/1 (U.S. and Canada only)
 
Website:
 
 
MPAA Rating:
 
  • PG-13 (for some sci-fi action violence)
 
Selig Rating:
 
  • BRAND NEW
 
Selig Rating Scale:
 
BRAND NEW: Should add to your DVD collection at any cost
SALE ITEM: Worth owning, but try to catch it a sale
SECOND HAND: Plan to get it, but wait to buy it used
RENTAL: Worth taking a look at, but not owning
COASTER: Pick it up at a garage sale and use it for drinks
PULL!: Makes a great Trap Shooting target
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