Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

Marvel’s first film of 2023 and the very first of Phase 5 of its masterplan, is this threequel in the popular Ant Man adventures. This is what you need to know.

After rescuing Janet Van Dyne from the Quantum Realm (a picoscopic universe far below our own), Scott Lang has decided to play it cool, spend more time with his daughter Cassie and his partner Hope Van Dyne, and her parents. Hope is frustrated because her mother won’t open up about her traumatic experience in the underworld, and Cassie is spreading her intellectual wings with the help of sneaky mischievous Hank Pym. Unfortunately, this involves building a portal to the Quantum Realm. Two seconds later they’re all sucked into the microvoid and the film begins.

And what a film. I mean, batshit crazy doesn’t cover it. Essentially its a CGI fest with very little model work or set design. Instead its a massive world of ridiculity, including cows with snails heads, a man with a spinning fire dynamo for a head, a glob of sentient pink goo who looks like a cross between Seth Rogen’s character from Monsters vs Aliens and Murf from Star Trek: Prodigy, various tribal females, a man that can read minds and Bill Murray. Theres even a man with broccoli for a head, which Hank Pym subtly points out with the script genius of “that man has broccoli for his head”.

The plot is devilishly simple considering the chaotic nature of the film. A stranger called Kang wants Janet to tell him where the time-core of his ruined spaceship is so he can escape to the real world.

However, we soon learn that this stranger cannot reach our universe, because he wants to utterly destroy it, much like he has done a million times before. He even informs us he has killed many Avengers before. EH?

Paul Rudd shines as Scott Lang, carrying the film on his shoulders with plenty of silly quips, Marvel-style, but with enough dramatic clout to ensure everyone is engaged. Similarly, despite being a little sidelined, Evangeline Lilly is fantastic as the Wasp. The older leads, Micheal Douglas and Michelle Pfieffer, spend the whole film having a ball, clearly not knowing what is going on and trusting their director.

Its hugely enjoyable even though your eyes are subjected to some of the silliest visuals you’ll ever see. This isn’t Dr Strange mental, this is another level. Think the clone wars mixed with some of the most outrageous anime you’ll ever see.

A particular highlight is when AntMan finds himself doubling / quadrupling exponentially, leading to an entire room full of AntMans. Antmen? Their pyramid building solution is genius…especially considering thats what REAL ants do…

Kang the Conqueror is (spoilers) the new Big Bad, introduced what seems like ages ago in Loki. I was always worried he wouldn’t stand up to the likes of the memorable Thanos…but i am proved wrong. He is menacing, ruthless and terrifying. The MCU is quivering before him.

Kevin Feige has already stated that this is the gear shift in the MCU. Phase 4 was distinctively soggy but now that the quantum-mania has begun, my pulse is skyrocketing.


The Shattered Conscience

Time to come clean. I feel as if i need to write this down. Maybe in some small way i will feel better as a result. The last week has been very trying. I was pushed to the very brink of my personal sanity. And, remarkably, this isn’t to do with work.

Quite simply, i was dealt with a horrible set of cards. At the time, upon the slap of the first card on the table, i broke. My sanity shattered like ice, my mental framework reduced to zero. Maybe even negative numbers.

I don’t want to go into the gory details. A good man once said, “one should never dwell on his troubles, lest they consume him’. Well i am trying to take the advice of this stellar man to my heart.

The end of my tale is sad one. I am not writing this from a balcony in Fuengirola, overlooking the mediterranean and spotting weird south spanish birds. I am instead drowning my sorrows in multiple litres of Diet Coke and watching my comfort TV shows. (i’ve finished Doc Martin and Ghosts, so i’m now binging Star Trek: Prodigy. You see, i heard that a certain person and actress dear to my yound adulthood has more of a presence than a cartoon hologram….Kate Mulgrew, i have been waiting for your return since the end of the 90s).

You see, i developed severe pain in my right foot. Which meant i couldn’t walk, Which means a trip to the airport and beyond was out of the question. Truth be told, i was worried. It could get worse. And i didn’t want to be in a strange place. I wanted the comfort of my own home, exiled by personal calamity or not. To rest, get my mind back on track.

Which is where you join me now.

I think i’m over the worst of it.

However, good news abounds, which has helped me greatly to cope with the damage. My younger bro went to a film festival down south and the feedback he recieved for his film “Stag’s Head” was apparently very positive. My blood-addled visage was used as the thumbnail – although i’m not making it about me.

If you haven’t seen it yet, see below. And if you enjoy it, make a comment. You can all help me feel better.

Oh…and i made up that quote. Yes, i’m following the advice of my practical side.

Crannog Bay (2023) – by Chaos Box

I know it’s generally frowned upon to self-promote and be all wishy-washy about projects i myself had a hand in, but let me assure you all i am not waxing lyrical about this just because i was in it, and had a hand in the story creation. My role is small and arguably minor, and so the real plaudits must get ladled onto my younger, better brother. Douglas – the director and writer of this scottish horror.

Crannog Bay features prominently the haunting visions felt by Chris (Josh Currie), as he drowns every night in a bay he can’t remember. He finds himself going to Crannog Bay in an attempt to understand his past. He doesn’t know there are nefarious happenings, both human and beyond…and his very life and legacy is at stake.

I don’t want to review this as i am biased, but i do emplore you to give it a shot. Its under an hour, fairly fast paced and features some absolutely stunning aerial photography. The monster may look like a 60s doctor who villain, but thats the idea. No budget, no limits. Welcome to Chaos Box. Hope you enjoy.

Feel free to comment or even if you have questions…i’m willing to answer.

If you like what you see…visit

Chaos Box presents…a scottish folklore horror. Don’t. Go. Back!

Marching in the Misery Parade

The drums have been beating for a long time now, and the portents of doom have been hovering in the air like vampiric midges. The atmosphere is encroaching as in a thunderstorm. Oppressive, like a heavy weight pushing your very soul into the soil; a vacuum of biblical proportions sucking the life essence out of our withered husks – we are all, quite simply, pooped. Like out of the back end of a gypsy cob (because they have the biggest turds).

Its 2023. The end of last year changed my life. And hopefully such incandescence will continue into this new year. No guarantees of course, but things are looking rosy, at least in the small ways that i pay attention to. I’m published in the upcoming Blakes 7 annual 2023 (coming soon from Cult Edge), i’m going to Malaga, then i’ve got a 40th with my best friends in the world, then i’m going to see Mike Wozniak in easter (tick tock, Wozniak o’clock), then i’ve got my own 40th, and sometime throughout i’ll be visiting Jurassic Drummond, airBnBing down to England for an amble-by-the-sea, then likely doing some other nonsense at other, unspecified dates.

Who knows what i’ll be doing workwise. The future of my company lies still in limbo, and my personal future with the company is at concrete as a bag of clouds…but as the famous phrase goes, every cloud has a silver lining. Except the firing of Henry Cavill as Superman. Nothing good will ever come of that travesty of cinema. I had to watch the excellent Enola Holmes 2 last night to counter a depressive funk brought on by too much Cavilline contemplations. No Witcher, No Superman. Thank Krypton we have his Warhammer movie to look forwards to.

But i’m not here to rant about the decisions of James Gunn, am I? No. This is just a rant about the decline of hope and the dissipation of aspirations. The kick to the teeth of optimism and the gut-punch of life undesired.

I’m writing currently so many things that i can’t even name all of it here. I’m working on two Pandora Man scripts (The Denton Iterations and Heartbeat of the World), trying to finish Dr Who: Accident and Emergency, and putting together thoughts for numerous speculative shorts such as “Humanity Extraction”, “Widdecombes Nightmare” and “The Tennoffusaur”. Keep an eye out!

Right, well, Happy New Year to my readers (i’ve noticed i have a few subscribers now, so thanks very much to you all!!) and i’m off to rejoin the parade. Where the fish are more intelligent than the staff.