Photo by Jay Maidment

When last we left the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was at the end of the shared grieving process that was Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. While that film contained at least one character from other Marvel properties and introduced a possible new recurring character, it was mostly a pause in the grand overall storyline of the MCU.

Now it’s back to regularly-scheduled programming with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which – at long last – collides the movie and TV sides of the MCU as the beginning of its Phase 5. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is now a local folk hero in San Francisco, as his exploits with the Avengers as Ant-Man make him popular wherever he goes. His life is good with his girlfriend Hope/Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) and daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton), along with mentor Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his wife Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer).

All of that and more is thrown into peril when an experiment with quantum mechanics by Cassie winds up sucking all five of them into the quantum realm. There they discover a vast world full of innumerable strange flora and fauna, one where pretty much everybody is afraid of a man named Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors). A confrontation between Kang and the main group is inevitable, as each hopes to find a way to make it back to the “real world” on Earth.

Directed once again by Peyton Reed and written by first-time feature screenwriter Jeff Loveness, the film accomplishes the feat of staying true to the goofiness of the previous Ant-Man films while still providing lots of great action and moving the overall story forward. The inventiveness of the characters – and the people/voices playing them – is constantly entertaining, whether or not you’re familiar with the comic book stories from which they originate.

Despite the story taking place almost entirely in a location necessitating an overwhelming amount of CGI, the imagery holds up throughout. Perhaps it’s because everything except the humans is computer-generated, but the graphics never “feel” fake, which makes all the difference in accepting the story at face value. Even better, the main showdowns feature the actual actors facing off instead of ones where the CGI does all the work.

Also helping matters is the (re)introduction of Kang, previously seen in the Disney+ series Loki. As played by Majors, he is menacing in all the best ways, charismatic enough to be appealing but mean enough to want to see his demise. And Majors doesn’t try to overplay his hand; instead of hamming it up, he uses subtle facial expressions and hand gestures to show that Kang doesn’t need to do much to exert his power.

Each of the main actors are once again a delight to watch. Rudd is the ideal everyman, even when doing superheroic things. Lilly is a great counterpart, complementing Rudd while showing her own strengths. Douglas and Pfeiffer are not just along for the ride, using their Oscar-nominated acting skills to class up the Marvel film. Newton, now the third version of Cassie, is a great addition to the cast and fits in very well.

The first of three MCU movies in 2023, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania bodes well for Marvel's plans for the future. There can be a lot of fatigue going through the seemingly never-ending superhero saga, but if they continue to be of this quality, fans will keep flocking back to movie theaters.


Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is now playing in theaters.

Paul Rudd and Jonathan Majors in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Photo by Jay Maidment

Paul Rudd and Jonathan Majors in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

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'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

Cafe with made-to-order mini-doughnuts to open near TCU in south Fort Worth

Doughnut News

Little doughnuts are rolling into south Fort Worth via a new doughnut cafe. Called Batter & Beans, it'll serve doughnuts, coffee, and more, and it's opening at 3548 South Hills Ave., south of TCU in Westcliff Center.

They'll be right around the corner from Cafe Bella [which it should be noted recently won Best Neighborhood Restauant in CultureMap's 2023 Tastemaker Awards].

Batter & Beans will be a family-owned collaboration between Matthew Whip, a partner at Ernst & Young, and his brother-in-law, who worked for a restaurant group in Michigan and brings the food knowhow.

They'll be doing miniature doughnuts, similar to the Pittsburgh-based Peace, Love, and Little Donuts chain (which has one location in Texas, in Southlake).

They're aiming to be open by early fall.

"We'll be doing fresh, made-to-order mini cake doughnuts plus premium coffee we're sourcing out of Chicago, from Metropolis, a small-batch artisan roaster," Whip says. "We're originally from the Chicago area, and that's always been my favorite roaster, and they also roast coffee for Yolk, which has a location in Sundance Square."

The cafe will also offer fresh lemonade, iced tea, and ice cream, for neighbors who want to stop in for a treat at night.

Whip and his family first relocated from the Chicago area to North Texas in 2018, then moved down the street from the shop last year. It's a small storefront, about 920 square feet, and they're currently in the final stages of design and permitting.

"There's lots of kids in this neighborhood, and I think a place with mini doughnuts would do well," Whip says.

It was only after they signed on to do the shop that they learned from a neighbor that the space they're taking had good doughnut karma, with a longtime history as a doughnut shop, most recently a place called Donut Palace. Sadly, it closed during the pandemic. Now the doughnuts will return.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus navigates marriage pitfalls in You Hurt My Feelings

Movie Review

Anybody who’s been married or in a long-term relationship knows that it’s almost impossible to be completely honest with his or her partner. There are always going to be moments – whether for the sake of expediency, in a show of support, or other reasons – when one person withholds their true opinion so as not to hurt the other person’s feelings.

That idea is the central tension point of You Hurt My Feelings, which follows Beth (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a writer/teacher, and her husband, Don (Tobias Menzies), a therapist. Beth is in the middle of trying to get her first fiction book published, a process that is causing her unceasing anxiety. Don sees a series of patients, including a constantly-bickering couple (played by real-life husband and wife David Cross and Amber Tamblyn), and a few lapses cause him to question his commitment to the profession.

When Beth and her sister, Sarah (Michaela Watkins), accidentally overhear Don telling his brother-in-law, Mark (Arian Moayed), that he doesn’t like Sarah’s new book and is exhausted having to tell her otherwise, it sends Beth into an emotional spiral. The aftermath winds up pulling in not just the two couples, but also Beth and Don’s son, Eliot (Owen Teague), dredging up feelings that all of them normally try to keep hidden.

Written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, the film is a funny and genuine look at how even the best couples can run into pitfalls. By most measures, Beth and Don get along fantastically well, supporting each other unwaveringly and showing their love in a variety of ways. When the story puts them at odds with each other, there’s never a question that they belong together, as even their arguments are tinged with exasperation instead of anger.

Holofcener complements the story of Beth and Don with a nice variety of side plots, including Eliot trying to start his own writing career while working at a weed store; Beth and Sarah’s mom, Georgia (Jeannie Berlin), offering up support and criticism in equal measures; and more. Don’s patients and Beth’s students offer an opportunity to expand the two characters’ personalities outside of their marriage while also adding a few other funny roles.

While perhaps not the most insightful film about marriage that’s ever been made, it is still highly enjoyable thanks to Holofcener’s writing and the strong performances. Filmed in New York City, the particular feel of that urban landscape and the way it affects the lives of the characters also plays a big part in the success of the film.

Louis-Dreyfus, as always, is a delight to watch. A kind of spiritual sequel to her previous collaboration with Holofcener, 2013’s Enough Said, the film gives her plenty of room to show off both her comedic and dramatic skills. Menzies makes for a steady presence, showing good chemistry with Louis-Dreyfus and a preternatural calm in therapy sessions. Watkins, Moayed, Teague, and Berlin all fit in seamlessly.

You Hurt My Feelings is not a world-changing kind of movie, but rather a solidly-told story about how relationships can be complicated. With actors who are easy to like and Holofcener’s reliably great filmmaking, it’s a movie for adults that’s nice counter-programming to the glut of summer blockbusters.


You Hurt My Feelings is now playing in theaters.

Tobias Menzies and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in You Hurt My Feelings

Photo courtesy of A24

Tobias Menzies and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in You Hurt My Feelings.