Episode 57 – 2016: The Top 10

After a long hiatus, The Cinematic Tangent returns to talk some of the noteworthy films of 2016.

Episode 56 – ‘Live By Night’, ‘Silence’, and ‘A Monster Calls’

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.

Episode 55 – ‘The Lord of the Rings’

The Cinematic Tangent finally sits down to talk Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

‘Christmas with the Kranks’ – 12 Days of Christmas Movies

For some unknown reason, people love Christmas with the Kranks, and every year I end up watching the film despite my attempts to avoid it. Few movies make me cringe like this one – the Kranks (Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis) are a perfectly reasonable couple who wish to escape the cult of Christmas by spending time together on a cruise. Their fascist neighbors have other plans; through disturbing and illegal acts of coercion, the neighborhood systematically makes the lives of the Krank family a living hell until the couple agree to conform to society and celebrate Christmas like all good people must do.

Be it the abuse of police power or invasive caroling, the tactics used by the pro-Christmas forces are nothing short of horrific. I shiver instead of laugh as a maniacal block captain Vic Frohmeyer (Dan Aykroyd) brainwashes an army of children to protest the Krank’s refusal to decorate their home with an inflatable Frosty the Snowman. The justification for this idiocy is Frohmeyer’s looming fear that his neighborhood will lose some asinine award for Best Decorated Street. And to the movie, that seems perfectly reasonable. Continue reading ‘Christmas with the Kranks’ – 12 Days of Christmas Movies

‘Elf’ – 12 Days of Christmas Movies

I usually avoid Will Ferrell comedies like the plague – visions of the god-awful Old School dance in my head. But Elf is the exception to the rule, partially because Will Ferrell’s inherently odd brand of visual comedy lends itself well to a director like Jon Favreau, who is nothing short of a master when it comes to conjuring genuine displays of sentiment.

When you mix the steady hand of Favreau with the shameless comedy of Ferrell, the end result is something absurdly funny and bizarrely warm, which is a surprise for a film that seems to be so open and honest about the asinine nature of its premise. Buddy (Ferrell) is an orphaned human raised by elves in Santa’s North Pole, blind to the truth of his origin. It’s a concept that, on its face, is worthy of only ironic laughter. But, thanks to Ferrell’s unwavering dedication to the role, I buy into it every time I watch it – even though I know I know it’s all a joke. Continue reading ‘Elf’ – 12 Days of Christmas Movies

‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ – 12 Days of Christmas Movies

The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of those films that makes me cry each and every time I watch it, unless it’s just on in the background while I’m busy expressing my teenage angst through poetry and wearing black clothing.

In all seriousness, it’s one of those movies I’ve watched long before I had teenage angst and, speaking now as a mostly grown man, its appeal to me is different but equally powerful as it ever was.

I used to like the film simply because it was charmingly odd; it’s a darker project for Disney to get behind, and at the time I had never seen anything like it. I hadn’t heard of Henry Selick, and stop-motion animation as a concept seemed radical – to think you could create an entire film by taking a series of snapshots! Continue reading ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ – 12 Days of Christmas Movies

Episode 54 – The 2016 Films We Missed

Despite technical difficulties (sorry!), CinTan talks Hell or High Water, Demolition, Kubo and the Two Strings, and more.

Review: ‘Don’t Breathe’

2-5-starsThe film opens on the unsettling scene of an unconscious girl being dragged down the street by her hair; the surrounding scenery shows the cracked sidewalks and overgrown backyards of an abandoned neighborhood somewhere in the suburbs of Detroit. It’s a brilliant hook, one that sets an intense tone for the unnerving home-invasion flick that follows.

The story focuses on three down-on-their-luck millennials (Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, and Daniel Zovatto) who have taken up burglary in hopes of stealing enough to start a new life. Despite targeting a blind Gulf War veteran (Stephen Lang), the trio are instantly sympathetic due to the extreme nature of their personal circumstances, coupled with an effort to preserve life during the course of their criminal activities. In a strange way, writer/director Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead) is able to paint them as underdogs worthy of our support – a feeling that is later confirmed when the blind vet becomes a hulking psychopath, murdering one of our heroes with his bare hands. Continue reading Review: ‘Don’t Breathe’

Episode 53 – 2016 is Scary

With Don’t Breathe hitting theatres, Brad and Chad look back at some of the notable horror films from this year – The Witch, Green Room, and The Forest.

Review: ‘Swiss Army Man’

.5 starsIn a brilliant opening laden with dark comedy, a man looks out at the ocean as he struggles to kill himself with a necktie, haplessly unable to get the job done. Luckily, the corpse of a well-dressed man washes up onto the beach, releasing a series of nasty farts to prove he’s dead. It’s then that our protagonist robs the cadaver of its belt and moves to continue his suicide attempt – the scene is hilarious, sad, and intriguing. And it was the first and last moment of Swiss Army Man that I found the least bit interesting. Continue reading Review: ‘Swiss Army Man’