Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
In Cinemas 16 February
When Ant-Man first released it felt like one of the first B-Grade heroes earning their wings. Now three films later, Ant-Man is going from strength to strength.
This latest movie officially kicks off phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe bringing back Peyton Reed to direct the film, with Kevin Feige and Stephen Broussard on production.
Superhero partners Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) return to continue their adventures as Ant-Man and the Wasp. Together, with Hope’s parents Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), the family finds themselves exploring the Quantum Realm, interacting with strange new creatures and embarking on an adventure that will push them beyond the limits of what they thought was possible. Jonathan Majors joins the adventure as Kang the Conqueror. It turns out that when you get real small there really is an entire other world down there.
One of the big reveals in this film is that Scott Lang’s young daughter from the first film is now a teenager, and old enough to suit up and do battle with the rest of the family. Cassie Lang has been progressively aged up through the films with different actors but the mantle now rests with Kathryn Newton (Big Little Lies, Detective Pikachu), who will most likely be carrying the character forward with the Young Avengers. Her eventual hero name in the comics is Stature, and she has the ability to shrink and grow without the aid of a suit like her dad.
This slow and natural introduction of new heroes shows a new way of introducing a heroes origin story, by literally watching them grow up from childhood. That’s only something Marvel could pull off.
In Cinemas 19 January
Who better to illustrate the decadent excesses of Hollywood than to star Margot Robbie alongside Brad Pitt. Set in the golden era of tinsel town, this wild comedy blurs the lines between facts and fiction, but ultimately follows the tales of outsized personalities trying and failing to make it in the sea of depravity.
Excellent fun ride written and directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land). Self flagellating naval gazing Hollywood movies about Hollywood generally suck, but I’m giving this one a pass.
Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre
In Cinemas 12 January
Guy Ritchie is getting the old crew back together again with some excellent additions. Jason Statham does Statham things to get close to Hugh Grant, a crime boss who’s forgotten to stop playing the same character from The Gentlemen. He does this by baiting the crime lord with his favourite actor, who isn’t particularly interested in being in the middle of a bloody shoot out. Aubrey Plaza brings her sharp wit to the fore, making the movie all the more better for it. Ritchie does it again.
In Cinemas 2 February
Bring the tissues out for the stunning return of Brendan Fraser. Directed by Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Pi), Fraser plays a reclusive English teacher who suffers from morbid obesity trying to reconnect with his daughter one last time. It will play with your heart. The film got a six minute standing ovation at Venice International Film Festival and Fraser’s performance is tipped to put him in the running for the Best Actor Oscar come award season. With that said, not an easy watch.
Also check out: The Last of Us: Season 1 – 16 January 2023: Pedro Pascal escorts slightly less marketable child.
The Gems of 2022
Every year we have a swath of movies we just don’t have the space to talk about or watch. Looking back, there is a load of gems well worth returning to. Here’s our top picks.
Everything Everywhere All At Once
The multiverse isn’t just for Marvel movies. Michelle Yeoh plays a Chinese immigrant to the US who suddenly discovers she can tap the memories and skills of all her multiverse selves. It’s bizarre, hilarious, full of action, and it will make you cry appreciating what you have in this world. It sits on a lovely 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Relying solely on word of mouth, The Northman has already reached Cult Classic status. With a rock solid cast behind Alexander Skarsgård, this film is an epic story that remains grounded and engaging without falling into campy viking tropes. A son escapes when his father the king is killed by his uncle. He needs his revenge.
A late entry to 2022 that somehow slipped entirely under my radar on release, but quickly became one of the best films we saw for the year. An eccentric chef invites guests to a private island for an experiential meal. Death and mystery ensues. It’s pacey, keeps you on the edge of your seat and gives some dark comedy laughs along the way.
I use this list to point out that everything Anya Taylor-Joy stars in is going to be solid gold.