Monday, July 20, 2015

The State of Sci-Fi Shows, Ant-Man Review, Movie News, Mini-Alex, and Reading Ambitions

I’m back from vacation! And it was awesome…
I’m also over at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group with guest blogging tips.

Movie News

Ant-Man Review
I’m happy to say the state of the Marvel Universe is alive and well!
Ant-Man is a quirky superhero and the film could’ve gone many directions. (Most of them wrong.) But in very capable hands, it turned out to be a great time at the theater.
Paul Rudd is the lead with Michael Douglas guiding him into the role of Ant-Man. They both do a fine job with their characters.
The film is full of humor and many laugh out loud moments. Rudd brings the right amount of comedic behavior to his character, and some of the side characters have hilarious lines.
The special effects are great and they took full advantage of Ant-Man’s ability to change sizes. This also worked amazing in the action sequences.
Typical Marvel, you get two extra snippets at the end. So stay until the VERY end for the best one.
This film was the most fun I’ve had at the movies in a while and in my top three of the year.
Highly recommended!

Expendables 3 Review
I dig good action movies, but something about this series hadn’t clicked with me yet. The first one was ‘all right’ and the second one stretched even my ability to suspend disbelief. So I went into this one with low expectations.
And I have to say, I really enjoyed it. (Third time’s a charm I guess.) This one was more of what I thought the series should be like with all of those action stars. And it was a lot of fun.
To give you an idea of the cast – Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson (who plays the bad guy), Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Antonio Banderas (as a really quirky character), Kelsey Grammer, and more.
Recommended as a NetFlix watch.

World Wide Box Office

Just to give you an update on some movies released this year –

#4 – Jurassic World - $1,513.5 million
#5 – Furious 7 - $1,511.7
#6 – Avengers: Age of Ultron - $1.393.5
#91 – Minions - $625.8
#144 – Inside Out - $490.2
#166 – San Andreas - $459.8
#246 – Mad Max: Fury Road - $366.6

I’m still stunned Jurassic World is doing so well. I enjoyed it once, but it’s really not that good. Not $1.5 billion dollar good.
Minions has already soared ahead of Inside Out and will likely be the biggest animated film this year.
And while Fury Road deserves more than that, it was enough to green-light the sequel. Awesome! Bring on the bat-crap insanity.

Mini-Alex

Mini-Alex would like to remind everyone to pick up their Insecure Writer’s Support Group t-shirt!

Designed by the very talented Jeremy Hawkins, it’s available at the NeatOShop.
 
(And sorry, Mini-Alex did not go on vacation with me, so no photos of him being carried off into the woods by bears.)

Reading Ambitions

I’m a slow reader, which really sucks as I have so many books I want to read, including those by blogger buddies. So my goal for the rest of the year is to get to at least one book by every one of you. I doubt I’ll make it, but I’d like to read at least ONE book by each of you. Yes, it will probably be the shortest one, but that’s better than none!

Wish I could teach my clones to read…

The State of Science Fiction Television Shows

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

As I was recently watching an episode of Killjoys, I was left wondering what happened to the good science fiction shows of my younger years.

If I have to point the finger at one culprit, it appears the tipping point began with the latest incarnation of Battlestar Galactica. It was a show that featured a fractured team, full of backstabbing, deceit, and treachery.

And apparently this has become the template for current science fiction shows. From Stargate: Universe to Defiance, Dark Matter, and Killjoys.

It’s sad this dark, nihilistic attitude has seeped in from real life and permeated our entertainment. What happened to optimistic science fiction shows? Like SG1 and Star Trek? Gone now are the days of likeable characters you could root for and teams who stuck together to solve problems.

I just hope that this attitude doesn’t creep into great franchises like the Marvel movies. If it does, I’ll just stop watching those as well.

What do you think about this shift in attitude and do you like it? Is it really a good message for people to hear - that there's no hope? What happened to the joy of watching and the fun?

Who else saw Ant-Man this past weekend? Willing to give Expendables 3 a shot? Do the box office figures surprise you? What are your reading ambitions for the rest of the year? And what do think about the nihilistic attitude of shows these days?

Don’t forget to visit the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!

And if I have new followers that I haven’t yet followed back in return, please leave a comment! The Google Friends Connect widget is being a pain and I can’t find blogs through it right now.

135 comments:

mail4rosey said...

We'll definitely be seeing Ant Man. Good to know to wait until the end-end w/the movie. :)

Mason Canyon said...

Glad to see you made it back safe and sound from your vacation and had a good time while you were away. Good to know about Ant-Man and Expendables 3. I'm like you where Jurassic World is concerned. It was good, but not one I'd watch again and again. Also glad to know I'm not the only one that misses how TV shows used to be.

nashvillecats2 said...

Pleased to see you back safe and sound and had a good time.
My TSHIRT came last week.
Why did you leave Mini Alex home?
Yvonne.

Sandra Almazan said...

Glad you had a good time on vacation, though it's too bad Mini-Alex didn't get to come along.

I'm ahead of schedule with my reading for the year with close to 120 books read to date. I still have about 80 more to go.

As for why SF TV is so dark, it's hard to be optimistic about the future when we seem to be only a couple of decades away from major climate change disaster. I hope it's not as bad as I fear it will be.

Just Keepin It Real, Folks! said...

I saw an interview with Paul Rudd and he said he never worked out so hard to get in shape for Antman. That sounded so hilarious!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad you enjoyed your vacation. And it sounds like you've got a great reading goal. Good luck with it.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Wonderful review of Ant-Man, Alex. It made me wanna see the film even more. Its released will be a week delayed in our local theater because of distribution issues, so I'm terribly pissed off, and I will have the chance to watch it this Friday at the earliest.

Arlee Bird said...

I'm glad to hear the good report on Ant Man. This is one of the superhero movies I've kind of been looking forward to seeing.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Jo said...

I had vaguely heard of Ant Man. I assume ant because he can become small? I thought it meant he looked like an ant which put me off. I often follow things you mention but as you know, I rarely actually go to the theatre so wait for them to come out on iTunes or DVD.

I don't ever remember you mentioning The Imitation Game or The Theory of Everything. Have you seen them? I loved both of those movies.

I enjoyed the first Expendables, didn't even know there was a second one let alone a third.

I agree, don't want to see nihilistic shows. I have all the "Almost Human" shows (your recommendation again) and even those contain a bit of back stabbing.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Glad you had a good vacation, Alex!

Enjoyed the Minion movie this past week. Also saw Big Eyes on DVD - very good, with questions about art, commercialism, salesmanship.

Watched the first episode of Humans the other day - really enjoyed it. Will probably watch more episodes at some point.

mshatch said...

I think our shows tend to reflect our attitudes and with all the awful things that are happening in our world maybe we're not feeling very hopeful right now. That said, I adored the new BSG, especially the way the cylons were portrayed. I also loved SG1 to death and some of those episodes where they played with time were the best.

Murees Dupé said...

It's great that you had a great vacation. You really deserved a break. I'm glad you said that you're a slow reader. So am I, but I never hear anyone else admit it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mason, the joy is gone. And that's sad.

Yvonne, just didn't think to pack him.

Sandra, that's impressive. And I think social collapse will do us in before climate change.

Just, it was a tight suit...

George, bummer. But go Friday and enjoy.

Glad you enjoyed those, Jo. Haven't seen either movie though.

Marcy, the one where Jack and Teal'c repeated the same day over and over is my favorite SG1 episode.

Murees, we slow readers are out there!

A Beer For The Shower said...

I'm going to see Ant Man today, and I'm glad to hear it's being received well. It's one of those movies that looks silly via preview, but I figured if anyone can pull it off well, it's Marvel.

I also liked the Expendables 3. The first two were meh, but 3 was a lot of (very brainless) fun. My rule for dumb action movies - just don't think about anything you're watching and you'll have a blast.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - so pleased you had a break ... and probably a good thing Mini Alex took time off too ... I expect he needed some time away from the frantic life in the Cavanagh world. Glad you had a good time ... take care .. cheers Hilary

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Have you been watching Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell on BBC America? My daughter and I are really enjoying the series -- just as I enjoyed the book many years ago.

The mini-series is already concluded in Britain. I read a review that said viewership fell off drastically over the course of the episodes, with British viewers tuning in to other, competing shows that were SF/Fantasy-like but inferior. That is to say, this reviewer thought Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell was true, quality fantasy -- but too smart and original for the TV viewing public, who preferred shows that pretended to be SF/Fantasy, but were really regurgitated, formulaic same-old-same-old stories. Sad, really. (And it kind of explains why Jurassic Park continues to top the list of movies here in the U.S., doesn't it?)

randi lee said...

Hi Alex! Hope all is well :-) I was really on the fence about Antman, but not anymore as you haven't steered me wrong with a review yet. It'll have to be an Amazon rental as I doubt I'll get out to the movies anytime soon....but that's okay, I have a big TV :)

Ted Cross said...

I already knew I wanted to see Antman, but Expendibles 3...hmm, I disliked the first one so much that I didn't even bother with the second, but I may have to check out this third one.

Yolanda Renee said...

That review speaks well of Ant Man, I wasn't interested, but you've changed my mind!

Good goal for reading. I too owe so many a read. Will try to do as you suggest!

Checking out your post on IWSG, too!

The kids, and me love dinosaurs. I can understand the numbers. :)

Gail said...

I began Defiance and at first enjoyed it. Now with every one sleeping with the ones they don't kill and sometimes killing the ones they sleep with, I am losing interest fast. NatGeo tv is looking better all the time.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I haven't seen Ant Man, but I've heard such good things about it I hope to see it soon.
My list of books to read the rest of the year is tall as a mountain, both print and eBooks. I'm a slow reader too, but I get there.
Have a great week.

Karen Walker said...

Welcome home. Glad you had a good time. I loved Inside Out, but haven't seen Minions.

Karen Lange said...

Glad you had a good time on vacation! It's always nice to get away and recharge.

Christine Rains said...

Happy you had a good time on your vacation! I want to see Ant-Man. Would you say it's a better watch for younger viewers than Avengers 2? My movie for the weekend was Zombeavers. Absolutely ridiculous and hilarious! I would like to see more hope in shows like they had with Star Trek. I haven't managed to get into any of the new sci-fi shows. Have a great week!

Julie Flanders said...

Glad you had such a great vacation but I feel kind of bad for Mini Alex that he had to stay home. Although I guess if the alternative was being carried off by bears he made out.

Beth Ellyn Summer said...

I've heard so many say the same about the Expendables. Most people I know seem to like this one best. so glad you enjoyed your vacay! Also, I've been super slow with my reading this summer. Makes me feel awful since there are so many from my blogger friends waiting for me!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I didn't know what to expect, but Ant Man was fun.

So many shows today are so depressing. If I want depressing, I'll watch the news.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I wasn't sure about Antman, but after you're recommendation I think we'll see it. As for the SciFi attitude, I think this is why I don't like episodic TV. I hate that part of humanity, the lowest common denominator. I guess I'm too much like Don Quixote who wants only to see the noble in mankind. And we can be SO noble!

Pat Hatt said...

Great that ant man was good, I'll be seeing it soon. Yeah, Expendables 3 was way better than the 1st two. The 1st two were just meh. 3rd one was way more fun. Banderas really helped make it fun.

And yeah, scifi shows suck now a days. I don't think there is one left I enjoy. All the dark and dreary, angst crap. Stargate Universe was such an abysmal piece of crap.

Shell Flower said...

Glad you had a great vacation. I agree with you about a lot of shows these days. Seems like they always have to go over-the-top on crack or something just to keep people interested. You can't trust anyone, you can't trust a death, and there are a lot of unreliable narrators out there. I do hope this isn't saying something about humanity.

damyantiwrites said...

Welcome back from your vacation! I wasn't about to watch Antman, but now I just might :)

Nicki Elson said...

Welcome back!

I enjoy a good backstabbing in shows like Survivor, but even then, the most endearing "characters" - and the ones who become viewer favorites and tend to go further in the game - are those who stay true to their core alliance. Current Sci-fi ought to take a lesson from that.

I saw the Ant Man clips at Geek Twins & it looks so fun!! I think you underestimate the power of Chris Pratt as the alpha man w/ the female audience. I'll be buying a second ticket to that movie. ;)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for the review of Ant Man! I'm hoping to catch it sometime mid-week. We finally watched Terminator Genisys last night - and totally enjoyed it. :)

I would like to see a few more optimistic sci-fi shows, too. I think we need to rediscover the joy of exploration - and I think that's been reflected in movies like Interstellar and Tomorrowland (and even Terminator Genisys).

Chrys Fey said...

I still want to see Jurassic World.

One book for everyone? Whoa! That's a lot. Good luck with your reading goal! I know I have a ton to catch up on too.

Charles Gramlich said...

Rudd seeemed an odd choice for a super hero but maybe he is just right for Ant Man. I've never read an Ant Man comic so I really have no ideas about that character.

cleemckenzie said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful if those of releasing books made half the amount so-so movies made in a year?

Good luck with your goal of reading one book by each of your blogging buddies. I'm so far behind in that goal that I'm laughing at myself for making it. Still it's worthwhile to try.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I guess any remake of Jurassic was going to be a blockbuster - those are long tails to ride off of.
Glad you had a great vacation, Alex.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I missed seeing Jurassic World. I will see if I can still watch it. Ant-Man sounds nice, I like quirky superheroes.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Brandon and Bryan, exactly! Enjoy Ant-Man.

Dianne, I haven't started watching it yet but I want to. And that is really sad people want dumbed-down shows.

Randi Lee, that's what those big screen television sets are for!

Gail, I finally gave up on Defiance this season.

Christine, I think it might be a little better for kids. Not as intense and they will dig the ants.

Donna, yes we can!

Pat, yes it was! I hated the third Stargate show. Such a disappointment.

Shell, if it is, it's saying we suck.

The joy of exploration - well said, Tyrean!

Chrys, yes I do...

Huntress said...

So much info. So little time to comment. *sigh*

Movies. I'm waiting on them to come out on PPV. The theater experience is great but inconvenient. Love reading your reviews btw.

Mini-Alex. Thank you for keeping him safe.

Sci-Fi status. Lately I've seen some excellent TV shows, a true rarity for sure.
I gave Defiance a chance but it quickly developed into teenage angst, a trope no-no for me.
I gave Dark Matter a chance as well as Killjoys. Blech. They go down the same road of plots the head execs love. They set up the storylines like dominoes, (first this happens, then that, have a little smoochy-smoochy, then angst here).

Humans is still great, wonderful, a real stand out.
Mr Robot is still disturbing and might fall if it goes down the wrong path. Dominion is...well, it's contrived but I'm watching. At least there's no teenagers whining.

Waiting for Fear the Walking Dead next month.

Sean McLachlan said...

I sympathize about not getting enough reading done. So much of my reading is tied to research for my fiction and nonfiction writing projects that I don't get to read many books purely because I feel like it. It's strange that being a writer actually limits your reading!

Heather M. Gardner said...

ALEX!!!

Welcome back from vacation!
I'm glad it was good for you!

I haven't seen any new movies yet, but we are still working on it. Might could go see AntMan at the drive-in. We just have to find some time! So much fun stuff going on!

I really like your reading ambition. I have a bunch of our blogger friends books, but haven't started to reading them!

I miss the good sci-fi shows, too.

Have a great week!

Heather

Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks for the review of Ant-Man. I didn't know much about it.

Patricia Stoltey said...

My reading ambitions are: (1) read every day, (2) every other book should be one by a Colorado author or blogger friend, and (3) I should always post a mini-review on my blog as well as on amazon.com and Goodreads if I like the book.

Andrew Leon said...

Ant-Man is the first Marvel movie I wasn't able to see on opening day, but we had softball all weekend (ALL weekend), and I wasn't able to get to it. There's a likelihood that softball will keep me from it, today, too.

As for your question about shows... I'll have to think about that.

Cherdo said...

Number 3 son and I have been discussing Antman since first we heard about it. I love Paul Rudd. Totally. The trailer doesn't give it justice, apparently, because we both feared it would be lame city. I'm so glad you've given it the thumbs up. That will be our next movie night, for sure!

Stephen Hayes said...

Glad to hear you liked Ant-Man. I've been thinking about seeing it and needed a nudge to get me to the theater. Take care.

Suzanne Furness said...

Glad to hear you had a good vacation. Best of luck with your reading goals, there are always so many great books out there to read.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I've been watching a lot of Star Trek:TNG recently, and I think you're right about the lack of positive characters in many newer shows. It might just be a trend that'll be reversed again at some point. These shows can't just get darker and darker, can they?

Good luck on your goal to read blogger friends books. I have so many lined up, and feel bad I haven't got to them or reviewed them - I must try harder!

Patricia Lynne said...

Hubby and I went with friends to see Antman and we thoroughly enjoyed it. That second teaser scene at the end of the credits was torture. So many questions.

Sarah Foster said...

I'm on pretty much the same page when it comes to reading (ha! same page! Get it?...err, nevermind...). I tend to read really slow and have a bunch of books I still need/want to read. Especially books by blogger buddies. Good luck with your reading goals! I'd make one, but I never seem to stick to them...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Huntress, the ones you aren't watching anymore I'm no longer watching either.

Sean, it does!

Heather! Go see Ant-Man. You won't regret it.

Patricia, those are good.

Cherdo, the trailer definitely doesn't match the film.

Annalisa, any darker and they'll be Satanic.

Patricia, I know!

Sarah, funny!

DAVID WALSTON said...

Going to see Ant-Man today. Every syfy show or movie doesn't need to be so dark. Just look at Guardians of the Galaxy.

Misha Gericke said...

I have to admit that I haven't gone to the movies in eight months. :-(

As for that trend in Sci Fi, I don't mind if stuff is written to be dark and gritty, but I draw the line if it's done gratuitously. I don't like back-stabbing just for the sake of back-stabbing.

That said, I would love to follow a Sci Fi series with happy group dynamics just for the novelty of it. ;-)

Joanne said...

Ant Man is on my list. Ray and I saw Trainwreck and really liked it a lot. Raunchy yes, but it's a love story. Glad you had a great vacation. Back with more energy? I did see Expendables 3 and was amused. It's so over the top. Watched Kingsmen this weekend too - quite entertaining.
Take care and face reality vs. vacation

Carrie-Anne said...

I mostly read non-fiction these days, historical research for my writing. I know I need to get back in the habit of reading more literature, even though my tastes will always be foreign and dinosaur. I still need to get back to The Winds of War, though I need a better copy than the $1 paperback I was so proud of scoring. Trade paperback size is NOT a good fit for a book over 1,000 pages!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I did see Ant-Man this weekend with my son. We enjoyed it and the company was good. You are so right about the new shows on SyFy. I've been watching their Friday night trio and I'm so tired of there being no really 'good' guys in those shows. They're all so dark with even families turning on each other. Glad you had a good vacation.

Sandra Cox said...

I'll probably do both Expendables and Ant Man on Red Box. An Ant-sized man just doesn't sound super heroish, but I'll probably be pleasantly surprised.

Holy Ghost Writer said...

Ant Man was a great movie. Enjoyed the final expendables one also.

Jenni Enzor said...

Ant Man sounds really good. I like that it has humor. I haven't watched most of the current sci fi shows, but used to watch Star Trek Next Generation. What you're saying about sci fi is true of a lot of shows now. I like to think that that's my calling to write hopeful stories, but I think we need more TV writers who do that too.

Laura Clipson said...

I need to go see Ant-man! I haven't even seen Jurassic World yet, though, so it'll probably be a while.

Elephant's Child said...

I am sooo glad you had a good holiday - and find myself wondering what Mini Alex did while you were away...

Maurice Mitchell said...

Welcome back Alex and it's great that Ant-Man made your top three! I'm hoping that the space opera comes back but it's been a long time.

dolorah said...

Agents of Shield is starting to get that backstabbing vibe to it. Never know who you can trust. Yes, I like a hero I can always count on to do the right thing. Maybe that's why Capt America is so appealing.

Chemist Ken said...

The family and I saw Ant-man this weekend. We loved it. And my daughter was so excited when Falcon showed up she almost spilled her soda. We'll probably see it again if it makes it to the dollar theater. (Well, it's not really a dollar anymore, but it's still cheaper than the first run theaters!)

As far as the backstabbing trend these days, I suspect that's the writers' lazy way of coming up with new plots instead of having to think of new ideas.

Cherie Reich said...

I've been a bit surprised to hear how good Ant-Man is. It's one of those movies from the trailers that could go either way. Good luck with the reading goals!

Birgit said...

I really dislike the negative attitude of TV shows. We, as human beings, need something positive. I don't watch "Breaking Bad", "Game of Thrones," or "The Walking Dead" because they are just too negative for my taste. I love Star Trek because they do have something positive and this is sorely missed. People forget that during the Great Depression when people were starving, losing their homes and not much to live on, musicals were huge and so were happy endings. Yes, the studio system was big in happy endings which was controlled by the Hays Office but people liked to see hope because they lived in a reality with little of it. Maybe we live in a time when things are too good. I once saw a list of box office hits if it was converted in today's dollars and "Gone With The wind" overtook Titanic by 10 miles! Believe it or not "The Jungle Book" and "The Sound of Music" were up there as well. "Star Wars" was 2nd and "Titanic did not make the top 10. Good to hear about "Antman" as I was wondering if it would be bad. I enjoyed all "the Expendable" movies and loved Antonio Bandares's character

Blogoratti said...

Amazing to see how good the movies have done so far this year. And I really want to watch Antman, high on my list at the moment. Greetings!

J E Oneil said...

I'm surprised at my lack of interest in Ant-Man. Have I finally reached full superhero saturation? Is that possible?

I like the dark direction of most shows. They're certainly fun and enjoyable for me to watch. Life is complicated to navigate and it can be hard to make a decision. When I see that reflected in television, that people I identify with can screw up and aren't always the hero, it feels real, like I'm not the only one who screws up. A lot of those old sci-fi shows seemed like an unattainable perfection. I still enjoyed them mostly, but the bad guys were always one-dimensional forces of evil that came from the outside. It's not as real to me as people who act like, well, people.

Cindy said...

It's admirable of you to try and read everyone's book.

As for the nihilistic attitude, I think it comes from the success of shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead. I'm weird because I'm not a fan of those shows. I really wish we had more balance these days on TV.

Truedessa said...

First, glad you made it back from the woods and no bears took you from us..even though a bear encounter might be rather interesting. I am rather fond of bears. The movie stats do surprise me a bit as I didn't think Jurassic World was that great, but I guess it could just be me.

I have picked up some new books to read over the summer. A couple from bloggers I have found on your site.

I am not sure about Ant-man...I guess I am more of a batman or superman kind of girl.

Have a great week Alex...rock'on

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I go to see ANT MAN tomorrow. I enjoyed the 3rd Expendables the best too.

THE LAST SHIP is a Sci Fi show that I like that is positive, though it has its backstabbing villains. THE STRAIN is also watchable. But like you, I stopped watching DEFIANCE because there was no one to root for. Oh, ZOO is interesting ... for now. :-)

Helena said...

I know just what you mean by the nihilism in so much sci fi today; there's also the gloomy apocalyptic view of the future, especially in YA sci fi books. Having grown up on the optimistic view of humanity's future in Star Trek, I can see why none of these new grim shows have caught on the way the original did. There's a reason why Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock became archetypes and why the JJ Abrams' reboot in the series has been such a success. Maybe the newest Star Wars movie will reignite a passion for heroes in these stories.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

David, enjoy!

Misha, so would I...

Joanne, I want to see Kingsmen.

Susan, it's so depressing, isn't it?

Jenni, write those stories!

Elephant, I think he drank all the beer...

Birgit, we need more of those happy endings.

JE, sorry, I just don't like them and can't relate.

Roland, enjoy! And haven't caught Zoo yet.

Helena, I hope so!

Al Penwasser said...

I wouldn't have thought that about Ant-Man. To me, he seemed like no big thing (BA DUM BUM). Based on your recommendation, I'll have to go see it.
Question for you: doesn't Ant-Man become an Avenger? I asked a co-worker today (we were discussing the movie) whether he knew. He said he didn't know a lot about comics.
We are no longer speaking.

Liz A. said...

I know. I've been lamenting the bleak sci fi shows, too. I think bleak shows have become popular, so new shows try to emulate that formula, to our detriment. I have to say, though, that I'm enjoying Killjoys. That team seems to stick together and they don't seem that bleak, but we'll see if it stays like that.

Susan Kane said...

I had vetoed Ant-Man, since I hated the comic book. But now...
Expendables 3 -- yes.
I have a few books stacked by my chair, each with a book mark.
Sooo tired of the doomsday, post-apocalyptic, dystopia desperation cited as the big hits of the season.

Have you seen (SyFy) the latest bad shark movies? Sharkopolus vs. Pteracuda? Or Sharkopolus vs. Whalewolf?
Conan O'Brien was in the first as a cameo 30 seconds before losing his head, which was then used as a volleyball.

Ella said...

I'm anxious to see Ant Man! I loved your review~

I miss SG1 and Star Trek. I was in love with Richard Hatch on Battlestar Galactica.

So, I visited my son and he told me about this guy he works with. He went to his house for dinner. Well, they had a few beers and he took my son in his basement and there is all these celebrity signed autographs. My son was like, "Dude, where did you get all of these?" He was in some of the photos-as a child. He said, "Oh, my dad is an artist. He worked with Gene Roddenberry.

I was like what?! I laughed, "Right!" So, my son gets on the computer and pulls up the artist. I have seen photos of his son on my son's FB page. And he shows me a photo of one of the autographs. I think my jaw dropped to the floor. So, now I hope my son gets to meet his dad~ He doesn't live around here, but the son does and dad might visit~ http://www.probertdesigns.com/#!about/csfj

Michael G D'Agostino said...

Your review of Ant-Man has piqued my interest, because until now I'd been viewing it as the beginning of the end for Marvel movies. I figured DC still had a few good ones left in them with their grittier style, but soon that would be over too.

I've been slowly working my way through Firefly, which sounds like exactly the kind of optimistic show you're talking about. You're right, it's much more fun to watch than the likes of Fringe or Galactica.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I was iffy about Ant Man, but your review changed my mind, Alex. Hope you had a nice vacation!

S. L. Hennessy said...

I'm so excited to see Ant Man on Thursday! I've heard the best things. And LOVE my new IWSG shirt.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Alex,

I agree, and not just in SCI FI shows but ALL shows, Everything is so dark and full of the WRONG kind of drama. I never watch TV anymore, and if I do it is always reruns from earlier times when the writing was amazing and the story lines interesting, intriguing, and even humorous,

Glad you enjoyed ANTMAN... I was wondering how that would play out. I must see it. Looking forward to seeing MINIONS, too. I think they are just genius....

Rhonda Albom said...

I finally understand, I started watching SciFi way to late, after all the likeable characters left the screens. No wonder I never became a fan like hubby has been since we met. As for Ant Man - it has a great cast, so I might give it a try.

And welcome back. Is there some part of your vacation story you want to share with us? Did someone or something get carried off by bears?

ediFanoB said...

Good to read that you enjoyed your vacation.
Ant-Man will hit cinemas in Germany on Thursday, 23rd of July.
My wife and I want to see Ant-Man next week.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Glad you had a good break!

My son saw Ant-Man with his friends. Really enjoyed it. I'd warned him before he went that the Charlotte Observer liked the film, so he should be prepared for a plot. :)

Medeia Sharif said...

If I see a team in a show or movie, I prefer that they all be positive, with maybe one or two bad apples to add tension. I wouldn't watch something with mainly unlikable characters.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Al, funny! Yes, he is an Avenger, so I predict we'll see him in the third Avengers film.

Liz, we'll see.

Susan, I did see him lose his head! And never read the comic books of Ant-Man.

Ella, that is really cool! Hope your son gets to meet him.

Michael, Firefly was the greatest show ever.

Lauren, glad you got one!

Michael, you'll laugh through both films.

Rhonda, no bears! That would've been a bad experience.

Elizabeth, that is hilarious!

Liza said...

Won't see Ant-Man, because I'm not a fan of ants. Still watch Star Treck the Next Generation whenever it is on. I'm not much of a sci-fi girl, but I love that show.

Spacerguy said...

I think movies like Jurassic succeed because they'e got a peachy formula nothing more. Spielberg knows how to use creatures to play with our human emotional vulnerabilities!

Tamara Narayan said...

I can see what you're talking about with sci-fi in Heroes (watching it on Netflix) and Lost as well. Characters are good one week, bad the next. I guess it's another way to create tension and cliffhangers--two things TV series thrive on.

Sherry Ellis said...

My husband and I saw Expendables 3. We enjoyed it, too.

Jeffrey Scott said...

No time to read more books? I wish I had more time to even watch a movie. So many of the films you mentioned I'd like to see. But where does all my time? Writing and learning a new language.

I love the Marvel movies, but I haven't even gotten around to seeing any from this year yet. That includes the Avengers.

One day I shall take a day off and go watch non-stop films like I used to do when I was a child.

Anna Soliveres said...

I too, am a slow reader. I enjoy taking my time, though if I get absolutely hooked, there's no putting the book down!! I'm looking forward to watching Trainwreck and Ant-Man this weekend!

Karen Peterson said...

I was (and still am) SHOCKED that Ant-Man is so far my favorite movie of the summer. So much fun!

Sandra Cox said...

Expendables: Saw the first and like you expected more with such a star studded cast. Haven't seen 2nd or 3rd.

Donna McDine said...

I'm not much of a Marvel fan, but adore Paul Rudd... so I must give a whirl. Hoping on over now to get my IWSG t-shirt. Awesome! Glad you had a wonderful vacation!

Michelle Wallace said...

I'm fortunate in that I can read very fast. I just wish I could write as fast as I can read.
I still need to place an order for my T-shirt...

Rachel Morgan said...

So glad to hear that Ant-Man is good! My husband has been going on about it for a while, so I'm sure we'll watch it soon :)

Melissa said...

It always amazes me how much people spend on entertainment.

Poor Mini Alex. He got left behind. :(

Hart Johnson said...

That's actually a very ambitious reading plan! You have a lot of readers.

And I am actually really enjoying Dark Matter--I don't think ANY of those guys are as bad as we've been led to believe. There is some level of framing or accident related to their biggest crimes and I think they will end up as a group trying to set things right. All except 3. 3 has no conscience. He reminds me of Jayne.

Michael Abayomi said...

I saw Ant-Man with my girlfriend yesterday. She's not a big fan of superhero movies, but very much enjoyed this one, which I guess is a testament to just how accessible it was. We couldn't wait to see the second post-credit scene though; the cleaning crew had already come in to prepare for the next showing, and were making it abundantly clear that our continued presence there was impeding their progress. :D

Leandra Wallace said...

Me and the hubs were thinking Ant Man sounded pretty silly, but I'll bump up my thoughts on it if you enjoyed it. =) Loved Jurassic World, but I am a dino fan!

Tara Tyler R said...

yay ant man!! paul rudd is such a cute little jokester!
and yay for trying to read more - me too. i'm involved in 2 friends' books with so many more to read! hopefully will finish a couple if we get to go on vacation!

happy summer!

jmcchesneywrite said...

I agree with Jurassic World. I loved the movie and felt that it was a good part to a series that was taken away from the nature of the books, but it is making way more money then I thought it would. I'm glad to hear about Ant Man, I was wanting to watch it so glad to hear that it was enjoyable.

Loni Townsend said...

My husband noticed that with Stargate: Universe too. He wasn't a fan either.

I'm looking forward to Antman! I probably won't get to watch it on the big screen, but I'll definitely check it out when it hits Redbox. I've seen Expendables 3, and it did make me smile.

Fundy Blue said...

I hope that you had a great vacation, Alex. It's always inspiring to have a change of scenery!

I'm sure that there will be another visit to Jurassic Park with box office receipts like that. If so, I hope that they focus on character rather than stereotype. I did love the dinosaurs though, and the tie-ins to the original JP film.

That's an ambitious reading goal! I want to read more boos published by IWSG members. My goal is simply to read every day and enjoy as many books as I can.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jeffery, you need to catch up on your movies!

Karen, it was a ton of fun!

Donna, thanks for getting a shirt!

Michelle, order now and you might get it by Christmas.

Hart, he is a bit like Jayne.

Michael, bummer you missed it!

Loni, I despised Universe.

Fundy, good goal!

M Pax said...

Will see Antman when it comes out on DVD. I think Killjoys is OK and I really liked BSG and SG Universe. Do not like Defiance at all. Husband Unit hates it too. Yeah, hate, not dislike. Humans has been good and we've been watching The Zoo and Falling Skies.

I dunno. Expendables 2 was so bad... you were brave to watch 3.

Kim Lajevardi said...

I'm not a regular follower of the Marvel Universe, and I must admit to being slightly stunned by a superhero that would take on the small role of ant. Stunned may be misrepresenting my giggly demeanor. But I'm pleased to hear that it's good, and the movie was well done. Maybe I will recommend it to my son.

In terms of Sci-FI, I'm the wrong girl to ask. I tend more toward fantasy than Sci-Fi, so I'm woefully uninformed as to the changes in that genre. Maybe you'll have to write a script for a new Sci-Fi show to get what you want. Ninja TV writer. Maybe produced by Ninja Productions. What do you think? ;)

Stephanie Faris said...

I figured Ant Man had to be at least somewhat humorous when I saw Paul Rudd was in it. And that girl from Lost, right? I've always thought she was among the most beautiful women I've ever seen.

Sandra Cox said...

The only one on the list I saw was San Andreas, which I thought was pretty good. The rest will probably be rentals.

Emilyann Girdner said...

Glad Ant Man was good. I will have to check it out. And I agree about Science Fiction TV... I really miss Star Trek and SG1.

msmariah said...

I'm really glad you liked Ant-Man. I think I'll wait for this one to come to Netflix. I'm just not a Paul Rudd fan. I think that may be the issue more so than Ant-Man. Although I have been skeptical about a movie about a superhero who shrinks to the size of an ant. It feels like "honey I shrunk the kids" to me.

Mason T. Matchak said...

I haven't seen Ant-Man yet - my options were to see it opening weekend with one friend or wait a week and see it with a group, so I opted to wait, since movies like that are much more fun in groups. ^_^ But I've heard mostly good things about it, so I'm really looking forward to it. Just have to avoid spoilers for a few more days.

As for Jurassic World making so much money, I have no idea how that's happening. The special effects were good, but the writing was crap, on all levels. Boo. Hiss. >_< And I know money isn't a sign of how good a movie is, but I'd rather see a movie that means something like Inside Out do better than something like Minions that's just for fun.

But I'll stop complaining in your blog now. Eh heh heh....

Shannon Lawrence said...

Just saw Ant Man last night! I'm glad he brought his humor to the movie. Unfortunately, we were at the drive-in next to an unruly family, so I'm going to have to watch it again and see what I think.

I liked Expendables 3. 2 is probably my least liked of them. I like seeing the guys I grew up watching.

Cynthia said...

Looking at the box office update, I'm glad to see Inside Out is still doing okay. I was told it could be a fun movie to take kids to, and I do need stuff to do with my daughter since she's still on summer break.

Brinda said...

I like Paul Rudd, so I might try Ant Man purely based on your review!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mary, I was just hoping it would be better...

Ninja Productions! I like that, Kim.

Stephanie, she was also in the Hobbit movies.

MsMariah, they did it right though.

Mason, I wish Fury Road had made some of World's money.

Shannon, glad you liked Ant-Man!

Nick Wilford said...

I thought Ant-Man sounded humourous when I heard the name! An ant isn't the sort of super creature you normally expect. At least that sounds like entertainment that's on the fun side, rather than dark. I'd also like to read as many books by blogger buddies as I can, but I haven't set a time limit. Good luck!

The Happy Whisk said...

I read sooo much but it's barely ever fiction. Good luck with your goal and boogie boogie.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

We weren't all that enticed by the idea of Ant-Man, but after reading your review, maybe I'll reconsider. Since my hubby enjoyed both of the first two Expendable movies, I'm sure we'll go see the third one, too. He was a fan of all the Fast & Furious flicks, too, which I mostly ignored until we went to see the latest one. Much to my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Ditto the Minions movie. (No surprise, there, though.) I agree with your assessment. I think it'll be the top animated movie of the year.

Stephen Tremp said...

Judging by the previews I was concerned Ant Man would be really stupid, but the reviews have been nothing short of great. So I'll take the kids next weekend to see it.

Saw Minions the other day. We have Chinese exchange students and they loved it. It was a fun film. Not great as in Stuart winning an Oscar, but a lot of fun.

I concur with the state of Sci-fi. All the drama and back stabbing. I hope the Heroes reboot doesn't follow suit.

Lexa Cain said...

There are so many movies I want to see, especially Mad Max, and now Ant-Man, since you liked it so much! But I have to be patient for Italy or Poland to put them on satellite.

My fav SF shows were Star Trek, Star-Gate, Falling Skies, Smallville (does that count, since Superman is technically an alien?), and Quantum Leap. Remember that old thing? lol I don't like the new ones. They're missing heroic characters and exciting plots. I also loved X-Files and Fringe, but those strike me as more supernatural than SF.

Lexa Cain said...

Oh! And I forgot Eureka. It took me a while to warm up to that one, but once I did, I loved it. :)

Deniz Bevan said...

Got my t-shirt already! Now I wish there was a shirt with mini-Alex on it :-)
Love your idea to read fellow bloggers books. Wish I had one out to offer you. Unless you'd like to beta...
I hate to admit this but I hadn't read yours before -- but I started the first one a few days ago! I'm slowly getting used to reading on the Kindle for iPad after baby's asleep. Really intrigued by Byron's story so far. And he's still only in training! Can't wait to see what happens once he's graduated...
Oh yes, blogging times. I seem to fit all the averages -- I post once a week, Wednesdays, and the time difference means I end up posting in the morning EST. I used to post three times a week (blogging is fun!) and do all sorts of bloghops and guest posts, but that was pre baby. Right now, I'm still catching up on comments from all of July!

Toinette Thomas said...

I saw Ant-man and was very please. Missed the last extra rushing off to the bathroom. Surely it's online somewhere by now.
I have a movie night set up for EX3. It should be fun.
I can't believe Fury Road hasn't done better than Jurassic World, but I know it's only because of the kids. People could take their kids to see it.
And yeah, sci-fi TV isn't what it used to be. I keep watchin old episodes of Twighlight Zone, Next Generation, and even Firefly (which is borderline).

Ava Quinn said...

I'm wanting to see Antman. And I agree, too much dark drama in lots of things, not just scifi. I'm one of those that you're not following back on the blog front.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Glad you had a good vacation! I usually love Harrison Ford movies, but this sounds like a really big cast!

Sandra Cox said...

That's a very ambitious reading goal...and a kind and supportive one.

Madilyn Quinn said...

I'm a HUGE Marvel fan and love superhero movies, but Antman is one I'm likely to wait for it to come out in Redbox. It just doesn't seem worth the movie ticket. Might be because I never read those comics and have no real idea who Antman is. Expendables 3 was OK. The whole series is mildly funny, but just watched for the ridiculous action.
I have a goal of 60 books to read this year and I'm already at like.. 30? But I'll go through periods where I'll read like five or six books in quick succession or like this month I've only been on one. So yeah. Plus, slow reader.
I write nihilism, so I'm OK with it. Also, not a fan of sci-fi in general (besides Star Trek).

Kimberly said...

My husband wanted to see Ant Man but I said it sounded dumb - now I'm thinking I'm wrong based on your feedback! We seem to have about the same tastes in movies so I think I will be open to watching it. :)

I've been trying to read books by all my blogger friends too. I wish I was a speed reader. :)

Elizabeth said...

I'm hoping to go see Ant-Man soon, I thought it looked like it would be a good one. With reading, my initial goal was to read one book a month. So far I have read through 7 and am half-way through the 8th, so I'm slightly ahead of schedule and I may bump my goal up to 15. I also hope to acquire and read more books by my blogging buddies.

T.F. Walsh said...

Really enjoyed Ant Man.. hubby loved it and can't wait for the next one:)

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Glad you had a great vacation! Antman sounds like a hoot. I'll have to check it out. My goal is to read at least 20 books this year. I don't know if I'll get there, but I'll sure try. I agree about the TV shows. I used to watch quite a few shows back in the 80s, but I stopped watching TV some years back when all the shows began featuring obnoxious, sarcastic people that weren't funny or they became too gritty, violent, and explicit. Not my idea of entertainment.

Donea Lee said...

Ah - you know, I actually kind of like Killjoys. I have been watching Dark Matter, but I totally see your point and I agree. But, I think that dark trend has permeated more than just sci-fi movies/shows. Hannibal, Mr. Robot, American Horror Story, etc...that horrific, dark, depressing, there's no hope theme is everywhere.

I am patiently waiting for the next incarnation of Star Trek (tv series) to come along - that embodies that wonderful sense of adventure! *fingers crossed*