Ant-Man and the Wasp first reactions: 'Charming,' 'lots of heart,' and 'a freaking blast'. It should come as no surprise that Ant-Man and the Wasp, the next installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe following Avengers: Infinity War, is the talk of the town after the first screenings for critics on Friday night. Entertainment press are hailing the film for its "charm," special effects, action sequences, and "cool and creative surprises" -- which is a good sign for director Peyton Reed. With 2015's Ant-Man, Reed came in to replace original director Edgar Wright and helped rework the movie off an earlier story treatment. With Ant-Man and the Wasp, which sees Evangeline Lilly's Hope van Dyne finally suiting up alongside Paul Rudd's Scott Lang, Reed has been involved since the beginning. The film sees Scott dealing with the fallout of Captain America: Civil War, while Hope and Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) are determined to rescue Hope's mother, original Wasp Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), who's been trapped in the Quantum Realm. During this tumultuous time, Hannah John-Kamen's "Ghost" steals Pym technology, granting her the ability to phase through solid objects. As producer and president of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige teased in a recent featurette, Ant-Man and the Wasp "connects directly" into the still mysterious Infinity War sequel, Avengers 4. "The characters are going to be very important going forward," he said. So here are some of the biggest takeaways, based on the first reactions to the movie: there are two post-credit scenes (one of which might be "the best part of the whole film," according to one critic), there are no traditional "villains," the story is "small scale" (pun intended) and "self-contained," it's "the perfect comic chaser to the doom and gloom of Infinity War," the Stan Lee cameo can't be missed, Michael Pena's Luis is a scene-stealer, "Paul Rudd sings karaoke," and fans shouldn't be "expecting to get answers to questions from Infinity War." Ant-Man and the Wasp hits theaters on July 6. (Entertainment Weekly)

Marsai Martin -- best known for playing daughter Diane on the hit series "Black-ish" -- might be on her way to being the next mega-rich child star ... with a little luck. The 13-year-old actress will star in an upcoming film titled "Little," and according to her contract -- obtained by TMZ -- she's guaranteed to bank $200,000 for her role ... with a possibility of an additional $300k based on how much money it hauls in. Not only is Martin starring in the film, she's listed as an executive producer as well. It gets better, potentially, for Marsai -- if "Little" is a big enough success to land a sequel ... she'll score another $400k and up to $600k in box office bonuses. That's a cool MIL for the sequel if you're keeping track. Marsai will get way wealthier if there's a third installment of the "Little" franchise -- $800k guaranteed and up to $900k in bonuses. Pretty sweet deal for a teenager. (TMZ)

Kobe Bryant's ex-teammate is going to bat for the future NBA Hall of Famer ... with Matt Barnes telling TMZ Sports Kobe will end up in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences someway, somehow. Remember, Bryant was just denied entry into the exclusive club, despite winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Short for "Dear Basketball." Barnes was at an Athletes vs. Cancer event at Skybar on Thursday where he told us Kobe's bounced back from far worse Ls in his career ... and he expects to see the same thing with the Academy membership. "They're gonna make it tough on him, but I know he's a hard worker," Barnes told us ... "One way or another, he'll end up in there." For the record ... Kobe did win two NBA championships AFTER losing two (he finished with five rings total) ... so, sounds like Barnes might be on to something here. (TMZ)


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