Paul Rudd is Ant-Man, and Michael Pena is awesome
Despite lacking a dominating villain – it’s Marvel’s weak spot – Ant-Man is a wry pleasure. Paul Rudd’s performance ups the material and the dollop of visual effects add tremendous scope. Michael Pena gives Ant-Man a comedic jolt which he may not top. Ant-Man is kickstarted into instantly, growing to a gloriously goofy suburban brawl to cap itself off. Great fun at the movies for sure.
While many of the Marvel films have been so-so in terms of their video performance, Ant-Man’s digital cinematography is a refreshing outlier. Mostly the work of Arri Alexas, the fidelity is striking. In terms of pulling facial definition from its characters, Ant-Man may be Marvel’s leader. Some great lighting schemes help.
There are times when the feature is showing the flatness common to Marvel’s assembly line of super heroes. Much of the work inside Darren Cross’ laboratories are dull. Color timing, which shifts into pale blues, doesn’t add punch either. Much of Ant-Man swings through a legion of oranges, some bright, some blah. This sums up flesh tones too.
Luckily, there are black levels to help. While density is slightly lacking, depth is sufficient to carry Ant-Man through its numerous nighttime scenes. Cinematography casts hard shadows which the disc reproduces without fault. They must be hiding noise too. There are no artifacts to take notice of.
Busy a film as this is, Disney’s compression holds. This is hardly a surprise anymore. None of the films in the Marvel line have shown problems. Consistency remains impressive.
DTS-HD 7.1 powers this blockbuster track, as active as can be expected and a touch more. Ant-Man takes voices and spreads them through the soundfield, especially prominent during the final battle – necessary to match the laser blasts coming from the same direction – and then into the sub atomic realm. Directionality takes over, this between explosions and some eccentric overall sound design.
Ant-Man makes the miniature enormous, giving small time fights the same sonic wow factor as full size scuffles. Audible joy is featured as water chases down Lang in shrunken form or marching ants throb in the subwoofer. Flying ants track all over the soundfield when featured. For those needing a burst or two of low-end power, the safe crack is sizable and a party escalates the bass lines with a club track. Dynamic range is extensively used to best sell the scope.
Star Paul Rudd and director Peyton Reed pair up on a feature commentary and chat over eight or so minutes of deleted scenes too. The additional bonuses are not as exciting, even if a gag reel has some highlights. A 14-minute making of is marketing gunk and Let’s Go to the Macroverse, detailing special effects, is too short to grasp the complexity of what they accomplished. WHIH Newsfront has a few clips of added story building for the universe-curious.
Click on the images below for full resolution screen captures taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered in any way during the process.