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’

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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’

BONUS Episode – (Belated) Christmas Merriment!

Better late than never (maybe)! The Cinematic Tangent talks Christmas films: Bad Santa, The Santa Clause, Gremlins, Scrooged, Love Actually, Die Hard, and other holiday classics.

Episode 22 – ‘Gone Girl’, ‘Love Is Strange’, and ‘The Boxtrolls’

David Fincher returns with Gone Girl, which is stirring up a fierce feminist debate. Is Love is Strange aware that it’s supposed to be a movie? And does The Boxtrolls fill the void created by the unfortunate demise of Pixar?

Episode 21 – ‘The Maze Runner’ and Young Adult Cinema, ‘Chef’, and the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

Are you bored with all this ‘young adult’ cinema yet? Is Chef the best movie of the year? And sure, the Ninja Turtles are awesome, but will the new movie give you shellshock? This and more on the latest episode of The Cinematic Tangent.

Episode 16 – A ‘Godzilla’ Sized Failure

Chad almost loses his mind while ranting about the new Godzilla (2014). The guys talk Gojira films, monster movies, and Peter Jackson’s King Kong. Plus, there’s some talk about 2014 cinema. Will anything surpass the bar set by The LEGO Movie? If X-Men: Days of Future Past turns out to be bad, is the entire summer blockbuster season a bust?

 

Episode 13 – ‘300: Rise of an Empire’

The worst film of 2014 comes early. Brad and Chad talk the 300 follow-up.