‘Quantumania’ Proves It’s Time for Marvel to End the Ant-Man Movies

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There are roughly 47,000—oh, wait, a new Netflix Original just dropped; make that 47,001—TV shows and movies coming out each week. At Obsessed, we consider it our social duty to help you see the best and skip the rest.

We’ve already got a variety of in-depth, exclusive coverage on all of your streaming favorites and new releases, but sometimes what you’re looking for is a simple Do or Don’t. That’s why we created See/Skip, to tell you exactly what our writers think you should See and what you can Skip from the past week’s crowded entertainment landscape.

Skip: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania—besides needing an abbreviation—also needs a rewrite and CGI punch-up. Was the idea not to enhance any MCU stories? And was the visual inspiration Spy Kids 3-D? Congrats, then, on another Marvel success!

Here’s Nick Schager’s take:

“Marvel’s 15-year-long success has hinged, to a significant degree, on its expert casting. From Robert Downey Jr. as cocky tycoon Tony Stark, to Chris Evans as aw-shucks heartthrob Captain America, to the late Chadwick Boseman as regal and wise Black Panther, the studio has thrived precisely by finding the ideal people to play its popular larger-than-life parts.

Certainly, that’s true of the Ant-Man movies, which would be even more humorless and second-rate if not for the innate charm of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, a thief-turned-hero who’s the beneficiary of a techno-fangled suit created by Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) that allows him to magically make himself bigger and smaller.

A chore of diminishing returns, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is an adventure that plays out almost wholly on green screens, here used by desktop artists to realize the Quantum Realm, a subatomic world that resembles a cross between Star Wars and Avatar, except with far more garish and muddy blues, oranges, and yellows. It’s a murky mess of an artificial setting that no doubt made filming during COVID easier, not that the pandemic is any excuse for the chintzy aesthetics and leaden writing of this forgettable franchise entry.”

Read more.

See: Of an Age

Of an Age is a singular queer romance about two men who come together again after 11 years. It’s somehow funny, unforgettably sentimental, and stirringly sexy, all at once. It also has a needle drop of Nelly Furtado’s “Maneater,” so, sprint to your local multiplex.

Here’s Coleman Spilde’s take:

“In recent years, Hollywood has made the bold decision to occasionally let queer characters live at the end of the story. Imagine that! The hole left by queer death has now been filled by queer longing, a much more realistic—if equally heartbreaking—storytelling device. The stifled, torturesome desire of an unspeakable love that goes against the grain of society is what made Timothée Chalamet put a pair of his crush’s swim trunks over his head. It’s what brought Harry Styles drunkenly to the stoop of his lover’s London flat. And it’s what makes the two days depicted in Of an Age feel like two lifetimes’ worth of yearning.

Of An Age does so much with its frugality. It allows its characters to move and behave naturally, without trying so hard to create a dynamic so sorely unforgettable that it becomes a maladroit muddle. Stolevski—along with Green and Anton—has crafted something so singular that it transcends the inherent urge to compare it to other queer films. By narrowing its focus, staying locked into a simmering desire on the verge of volcanic explosion, Of an Age builds an empathetically messy tale that weaves heartache with the haunting ecstasy of first love.

Read more.

See: Cunk on Earth

Cunk on Earth has the single funniest name of any show so far this year. It’s also a deliciously acerbic satire that reminds us just how much human history deserved a classically British sendup. Read more.

Here’s Catherine Caruso’s take:

“Philomena Cunk is back and better than ever, in a new Netflix show that explores the history of the world through her notorious Cunkian lens. For those who have not yet had the pleasure, Cunk (played by Diane Morgan) is a fake British TV host who has appeared in a number of specials over the last decade.

After making her debut in Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker’s comedic news show Weekly Wipe in 2013, the character went on to star in a number of drily hilarious, documentary-style BBC specials of her own, like Cunk on Britain. For her big streaming debut, Cunk’s now hosting a new satirical docuseries that showcases her sardonic humor and deadpan naïveté, while taking on a much larger subject: all of human history.

Cunk on Earth keeps every joke and every episode fresh and original. It’s thanks to its unique sense of humor that you will actually learn something along the way, which is what makes Cunk on Earth so special. You will take away so much more than a few cheap laughs. While the show is certainly not intended to be a serious educational tool, it’s simply impossible to turn off Cunk on Earth without having learned something.

Read more.

Skip: Not Dead Yet

Not Dead Yet finds Gina Rodriguez floundering in a Sixth Sense-adjacent role as a quirky obituary writer who “hydrates with wine” and learns lessons from ghosts. What did Haley Joel Osment say? “I see dead shows”?

Here’s Laura Bradley’s take:

“Rodriguez and Jane the Virgin pulled off a miracle when the CW comedy debuted in 2014. The telenovela adaptation, in which a young woman becomes pregnant after a mix-up at her OBGYN’s office, could easily have come off silly or hollow. Thankfully, Rodriguez is a wellspring of charisma who, under the right circumstances, can exhibit a kind of humanity that seems to reach out from the screen from her eyes. So, why is Not Dead Yet—another high-concept comedy starring Rodriguez as a depressed obituary writer who starts seeing dead people—so damn lifeless?

Not Dead Yet creators David Windsor and Casey Johnson, who signed a three-year overall deal last year with ABC, previously co-executive produced This Is Us for three years and co-created The Real O’Neals and Don’t Trust The B—— In Apartment 23. Given those resumes, it’s not too hard to imagine the show morphing into its best self, given a full season to find its footing.

Even then, however, the show will face its hurdles. It’s visually forgettable, with production design that feels more phoned in than anything else—especially compared to a series like its ABC neighbor Abbott Elementary, which makes such good, subtle use of its costumes. Still, if just one more window cracks and just a little more light shines in, it might just be worth seeing what happens if we run toward it.

Read more.

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