After a long hiatus, The Cinematic Tangent returns to talk some of the noteworthy films of 2016.
It’s 2017, and the year already sucks. Because Donald Trump is President.
After a lengthy apology for The Cinematic Tangent’s unreleased blogs and lost episodes, Brad and Chad start the year fresh by discussing a couple of films sure to earn Oscar buzz – A Monster Calls and Silence. And one that won’t – Live By Night.
I remember going to the theatre to see Four Christmases on a date, and my reaction to the film hasn’t changed upon revisiting it now, eight years later: Why does this exist, and what does it offer me in terms of heartfelt moments and comedy?
The answer is “nothing.” Four Christmases is nothing but a series of terrible jokes about lesbians, fat kids, and white trash hors d’oeuvres strewn together by a premise designed to justify the lack of plot continuity. Brad (Vince Vaughn) and his girlfriend, Kate (Reese Witherspoon), are pressured into attending family Christmases this year – and since both of their parents are divorced, that makes four whacky families that we get to visit, each complete with their own set of potential laughs. Continue reading Day 8: ‘Four Christmases’ – 12 Days of Christmas Movies
“Ha! She’s so grumpy!”
The above statement essentially sums up the reaction you’re expected to have throughout Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever – the first (and last?) film to feature everyone’s favorite Reddit-created cat meme. If you’re anything like me, watching a movie that features Grumpy Cat living in a pet store, espousing cynical philosophy about the true nature of Christmas, doesn’t carry with it a whole lot of expectations in terms of quality.
And yet, somehow the Worst Christmas Ever ends up being the worst Christmas film ever. As we watch Grumpy Cat and her human friend, Crystal (Megan Charpentier), thwart a robbery at the mall, saving the life of some pompous dog apparently worth a fortune, it becomes apparent that things go off the rails during the plot’s setup, leaving no meaningful takeaways to be found. But, this won’t stop jokes from appearing on screen every three seconds, since every character in this movie is a cartoonish goofball who can’t go a split second without trying to make me laugh. In case you’re wondering, they all failed. Continue reading Day 7: ‘Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever’ – 12 Days Of Christmas Movies
By Bradley Redder
The Santa Clause has always been for me that movie that signals Christmas is here. Well, maybe not literally always, but at least since I was in 6th grade and watched it a minimum of once per day every day in December… Minimum meaning, yes, there were days when I watched it twice, sometimes three times in a single day. That seems insane to me now, but the fact remains: Christmas just isn’t Christmas without revisiting The Santa Clause.
Revisiting this film annually as an adult has been a much different and (surprisingly) rewarding experience. As a kid, I just saw the funny gags and overwhelming Christmas spirit, which are still there in abundance, but now, whether due to my growing up and developing a better understanding of human relationships, or perhaps having sat through the last fifteen years of depressingly sanitized family films, I see The Santa Clause as a really sharply written film that not only acknowledges that some kids may have messy home lives, but merges that reality with a welcome dose of fantasy to create a holiday film with just enough honesty to balance out its heavy sentimentality. Continue reading Day 6: ‘The Santa Clause’ – 12 Days of Christmas Movies
Christmas Vacation is a holiday tradition for me, and for that reason I am in no position to judge the film. There are certain movies we all associate with memories, and so they transcend quality and stand outside of criticism and comparative analysis. Regardless of what arguments we hear or better films we see, some movies will always have a special place in our hearts.
For me, Christmas Vacation is one of those films. I have watched it all my life, and I associate it with Christmas – and so, it always works. Nothing can change that.
This year I decided to be a little more critical as I watched it, if only for the purpose of this blog post. I can be honest and admit there are some flaws; in an alternate universe where quality matters, Christmas Vacation wouldn’t mesh well with the part of me who demands something well-crafted and coherent. That said, it’s still a genuinely funny movie, one that makes me laugh despite having seen it dozens of times. Continue reading Day 5: ‘Christmas Vacation’ – 12 Days of Christmas Movies
The Cinematic Tangent finally sits down to talk Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle-earth.