Ant-Man and the Wasp

[4.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Neither wife nor kid wanted to see this with me, so by my lonesome I traipsed over to Barn-Zs in Barrington for a rainy Sunday matinee. Small screen, non-stadium seating, no footrests like the fancy Newington cinema. Nevertheless, it was crowded! And I had a great time.

Last movie's Ant-Man, Scott Lang, has been placed under house arrest for taking his stand with the pro-Captain America side in Captain America: Civil War. Which violated the "Segovia Accords" or something. Could have been worse. His lovely, precocious daughter, Cassie gets to visit every so often, and they have a blast.

But off in a remote lab, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his lovely-in-a-different way-if-you-know-what-I-mean-and-I-think-you-do daughter, Hope (Evangeline Lilly) are desperately trying to tie up the loose end from the previous Ant-Man movie: Hank's wife Janet has long been lost in the "Quantum Realm", which Scott visited briefly. And (it turns out) Scott and Janet were "entangled" during the visit, and Scott has unexplained dreams...

Anyway: two hours of madcap fun and sight gags, involving bad guys (Walton Goggins and his henchmen), morally-ambiguous antagonists ("Ghost", victim of a past mad-scientist experiment gone wrong), Hank's ex-colleague Ben (Lawrence Fishburne), a well-meaning by-the-book FBI agent, and Scott's security company co-workers, including the always-great Michael Peña. (The scene where he's under truth serum administered by the bad guys is worth the price of admission all by itself.)

And yes, I did see three Bobby Cannavale movies in a row. Not intetionally, I assure you, but I guess Bobby is having a pretty good acting career, getting roles in all these flicks.

Last Modified 2018-10-05 1:50 PM EDT

URLs du Jour


[Amazon Link]

  • I can only imagine the family situation that caused the Proverbialist to write Proverbs 10:5:

    5 He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son,
        but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

    … except these proverbs are credited to Solomon, who had a sole (credited) son, Rehoboam, who was (it is written) kind of an incompetent dick.

    Legend (but not the Bible) saith that Solomon's dalliance with the Queen of Sheba produced another son, Menelik I, who went on to be Emperor of Ethiopia.

    I can't find any reference to either Menelik or Rehoboam being especially eager to do field work.

  • NYT columnist Ross Douthat op-eds on a topic I should find interesting: Libertarians in the Age of Trump

    Just a little while ago journalists were talking about a “libertarian moment” in American politics, with Rand Paul as its avatar — an entitlement-cutting, prison-reforming, drug-legalizing, intervention-opposing, drone-strike-filibustering politics that was supposed to build bridges between Republicans and millennials. But then Paul, like other Republicans, was steamrolled by Trumpism in 2016. So what exactly happened to his moment?

    One answer is that the libertarian spirit was overextended and vulnerable to a backlash. Confident free-traders underestimated how much outsourcing had cost the Western working class. Entitlement reformers overestimated the political practicality of their proposals. Cultural laissez-faire weakened social solidarity, with opioid-driven disintegration the starkest symptom of decay. And the rise of ISIS transmuted the post-Iraq anti-interventionist impulse into a “raise the drawbridge” style of politics, with the libertarian aspect drained away.

    Libertarians are very used to electoral defeat. As said in the past: we'll just have to be satisfied with being totally right about everything, all the time.

  • I was informed, via Jonah Goldberg's latest podcast, that the "National Review Online" has been debranded, gone the way of gluten-free Rice Krispies. So…

    Kevin D. Williamson writes at NR on The First Nationalist. Who's that? The answer may surprise you! Or not.

    FDR sent aides to Italy to study Mussolini’s social-insurance policies and housing programs. As New Dealers including FDR himself would later acknowledge, Mussolini’s radical economic nationalism seemed benign, even salutary, when Il Duce was still maintaining some semblance of parliamentary democracy, before he entered into his subordinate alliance with Adolf Hitler. The Depression seemed at the time to represent a failure of global capitalism, and Mussolini seemed to have discovered a way to press economic resources into the service of the public good — the national interest — in a way that free markets did not.

    You know, with all the brouhaha about removing offensive statues and symbols from public display, we really ought to get iconoclastic on all the literally Fascistic symbology around the country.

  • Deirdre McCloskey asks the musical question: Is Facebook a Problem?. Hint: the correct answer is cleverly hidden in the excerpt below…

    You’ve witnessed the recent brouhaha about Facebook selling your life to advertisers and, especially, if indirectly, to Cambridge Analytica. (Can the University or the City of Cambridge sue for damages for the misuse of their name? I wish they would.)

    Is it a problem? No, not especially. What should we do about it? Nothing.

    It is indeed a problem when a company, or the state, fools people by telling them they are being taken care of when they are not. Free exchange among informed adults benefits both sides, and practically everyone else. But if the exchange is fraudulent, it does not. “Not to worry,” says Facebook, “We have your privacy for social chitchat in mind, and would never abuse it.” “Not to worry,” says the state, “We have your entire privacy, income, safety, right to vote, education, health, legal justice, protection from knife attacks, and freedom in mind, and would never abuse them.” In Facebook’s case, if the fooling becomes egregious, and is publicized through a free press, or private suits before a court, and if Facebook is not protected by the state in a cozy monopoly, the buyer of chitchat goes to a competitor, or ceases chitchatting. In the state’s case, by contrast, she gets to vote, occasionally, on a collection of important issues, one of which may be the abuse. Mostly not. Perhaps she can move to France.

    To echo David Harsanyi from yesterday: "Get a grip, America."

  • Another day, another report of massive profligacy of your ex-money from Reason (Steve Chapman): How the National Flood Insurance Program Wastes Taxpayer Dollars.

    Hurricane Harvey inundated a house in Kingwood, Texas last year—the 22nd time it has flooded since 1979. You might think that after the first or second disaster, those in charge of the insurance program would have offered to pay for the owner to rebuild—somewhere else. But it was allowed to remain in harm's way. As of 2015, the government had paid $2.5 million in claims—"at last eight times what the house is worth," according to the Houston Chronicle.

    Just one example. Unsurprisingly, the folks in charge want to "help" flood victims. They are not using their own money to do so, however.

  • More American Consequences content from P.J. O’Rourke in their "Summer Reading" issue: 3 Books That Aren’t About Investing (subtitle: "Which Every Investor Should Read")

    Spoiler: Free to Choose by Milton and Rose Friedman; The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek; New Ideas from Dead Economists by Todd Buchholz. A quote from the middle one:

    Once government has embarked upon planning for the sake of justice, it cannot refuse responsibility for anybody’s fate or position… There will be no economic or social questions that would not be political questions.

    And, decades later, we have The Life of Julia.