Monthly Archives: June 2015

#Kingsman – A Tango’s Thoughts quick-review

Well, after a lot of word from a lot of acquaintances, I finally saw it. The “spy-movie that changed the spy-movies forever” or something to that effect. So here you go, some of my thoughts on Kingsman: The Secret Service.

Kingsman white banner

The action-centric spy innovation written by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn (who also directed) was without a doubt a fun film to watch. I had no idea it was an adaptation until I read about it after seeing it but during the watch, it did give me somewhat of a comic book-feel, which I see as a good thing when it comes to adaptations. So far so good, I’d say. However, I have to say this…… Colin Firth? In an action movie of this intensity? Not in a million years would I have seen him doing this type of role. He was actually the main thing that kept me from watching it. Sure, he did a good job in The King’s Speech and a decent job in Love Actually, but ‘cmon? Colin Firth in an action movie? I just didn’t see it. Next time, though, I’ll think differently, ’cause that man has proven his worth ten times over!

As for the movie itself… as I said, I had no idea that it was an adaptation so I have no idea of how close it stands to its source material so my commenting that would be just as graceful as me dipping my nuts in hot fudge. It just wouldn’t serve any purpose what so ever. I will say this about the film though, it was interesting. Where it strays from other “regular” spy movies, it still had that sense of elegance to it that feels required. It also had great action and a good deal of humor to complete an ensemble of traits that makes this film a good to semi-great movie experience. It’s far from the greatest movies I’ve seen but it is even further away from the worst and it most definitely gets the Tango’s ‘Stamp of Approval’.

And yes, I know I didn’t say anything about Jackson’s Valentine or Egerton’s ‘Eggsy’ or even Hanna Ahlström’s princess-buttsex scene in the end, but this is a quick-review, not enough time to go through all my thoughts right now, but there may be enough to talk about in this film to give it a spot in the ever so delayed webisodes down the line. Will it make the cut? I don’t know, you just have to follow me and find out, but until then…


#JurassicWorld – A Tango’s Thoughts review

In 1993, Stephen Spielberg brought us Jurassic Park, a spectacle of tension, drama, adventure and wow-ing special effects that holds up today. Now, 22 years and two somewhat failed sequels later, we are finally back where it all begain, Isla Nublar. First off, let me just say that comparing this movie to the original is a dead end. It’s not possible nor should it even be attempted to do so, because the two are two completely different films. With that said, is it a worthy sequel? Let’s take a stroll down Tango Lane to see some of my thoughts on the 2015 spectacle that is Jurassic World.

Jurassic World light banner

It’s 20 or so years after the incidents on Isla Nublar in the first film and the park is open for business. Various dino-attractions are attracting people from all over the globe but just as it is with everything else, after a while the wow-factor seems to be on a downward slope and the only way to attract more people is to genetically create a new species of dinosaur. Enter the Indominous Rex, the main “villain” of the film. Albeit a magnificent beast, the name ‘Indominous Rex’ seems like somewhat of a ploy to be able to call it ‘i-Rex’, much like basically everything technological today is called i-something or other. Anywho, as sure as winter is colder than summer, this I-Rex gets loose and starts wreaking havoc on the island. The basic dinosaur-versus-man scenario, nothing new. But knowing that that was what it was about, I’m okay with it. It works, even after 22 years. It was awesome when I saw Jurassic Park as a 10-year old and it was awesome now as a 32-year old. The main thing that differed the two (somewhat the same) stories was the feel of it all. Where Jurassic Park had a tension build-up climaxing in an event, like a horror film, Jurassic World felt like a more hands-on, action packed monster movie. Like I said in the beginning, the two are two completely different films. They both work great as what they are and they both serve the purpose they were made for.

Now, on to some of the characters. The film starts out with two kids, Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins), leaving for the park. They are the nephews of Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) who’s in charge of Jurassic World, which gives us a reason to care a little bit more about them than the rest of the visitors. They both work their parts great in the film, with an interesting character arc for Zach, the oldest, as he starts out as a distant teenager with an I-don’t-care-attitude but proves himself a good brother toward the end. They had some memorable moments in the film, nothing that felt needed but their part kept us somewhat more invested in Claire.

Jurassic World Bryce

Claire, the career-driven, non-stop workaholic. If the park’s not doing well, she’s not doing well. She starts out a stuck-up know-it-all who doesn’t seem to care about nothing but numbers, but she ends up being one of my favorite characters in the whole movie and Bryce Dallas Howard does the part with a magnificent brilliance. I have never been a huge Bryce-fan but I am definitely holding her in a much higher regard after seeing her performance in this film. A fantastic performance throughout. Put her in more shit, Hollywood!

Jurassic World Chris Pratt

As for the main character (yeah, I’ve heard people say he wasn’t really the main character, but I saw him as just that!), Owen, he was just perfect from start to finish. From the first scene where he’s seen “controlling” the raptors to the very last, everything about this character was badass! This is the one character in the film that actually could Not have been played by no one other than Chris Pratt. He had the attitude, the mannerisms, the smirk, everything you would’ve missed if it weren’t present. Kudos to Chris for what I think is his best performance yet in his career!

Jurassic World Owen Raptors

Now, in the months leading up to this film I have heard (and been a part of) a lot of discussions about Owen being able to control the Velociraptors like some sort of Raptor-whisperer and it had me thinking that they couldn’t possibly make that particular bit work. Now after seeing the film, I have to say, it worked amazingly well. It was extremely well done, with him having imprinted on them when hatching, how he managed to calm them down through a bond similar to what one might have with its dog. As a dog person myself, I really saw how it could work and I am glad that they had it in there, ’cause it wouldn’t have been the same without it. You know why when you see the film yourselves.

Overall, I really don’t have anything negative to say about this film. There were dinosaurs (monsters, more like), drama, action, adventure, suspense, humour. There were a lot of nods to the original, including the old park. The theme song was used perfectly and it brought back some really intense nostalgia from hearing it the first time, which was a really good thing. The CGI effects in this film was just as great as the practical effects in Jurassic Park. Put all those separate parts together and you have yourself a Great movie. Jurassic World can stand proud as it receives the Tango’s ‘Platinum Stamp of Approval’. Best film I’ve seen so far this year. Let’s see if it holds that position for the rest of the year!

And now it’s time to watch a little something more down to earth, something a little bit more realistic. What it’ll be, I don’t know yet, but you’ll probably read about it here in the next few days, but until then…

#Wolf – A Tango’s Thoughts Horror review

Werewolves have long been a big part of cinema. What started with The Werewolf in 1913 (as far as we know) has howled its way through an entire century of cinematic entries and it doesn’t seem to be an end to how many different iterations there can be on the lycan beast of mythology. The lore and backstoriy has changed, twisted and revamped itself several times over time but the basics are mostly the same. A normal guy being turned, only silver can kill them and so on, and most of the films (at least in the ladder half of the century) are straight up horror-films, but in 1994 came a very different take on the lycanthropy legend. I’m sure most of you out there have already seen it, but without going into any deeper  specifics of the movie, here are some of my thoughts on Wolf.

Wolf poster

In the very first scene in the film, Will Randall (Nicholson), a senior-editor at a publishing house, is bitten by a wolf after hitting it with his car and he slowly begins to turn. It starts out as superhuman sensory perception during the day but the beast takes over at night, which is where we get the ever so popular scene where the protagonist (if you can call it that?) wakes up in the wild, not knowing how they got there, after he has brutally attacked and eaten a deer. After that we have the basic ‘learn about the legend from some old and wise person’ scene and this is one of the main things that differs from other iterations of the legend. According to paranormal scholar Dr. Vijay Alezai (Om Puri), in order to turn into a Wolf, there has to be something wild within from the beginning, meaning that you don’t always have to get bitten, sometimes the passion of the Wolf is enough. An interesting take to say the least. Randall is also given a silver amulet that will restrain the wolf inside when worn next to the skin. Definitely an intriguing take on the whole thing.

With this Wolf inside him wrestling to take over, Will is facing a demotion at work, loosing both his job and his marriage to his protégé Stewart Swinton (James Spader), leading to a brief physical altercation where Will bites Stewart in the hand. Needless to say, his life is taking a rapid turn for the worse but in the midst of this chaotic existence, he finds a refuge of sorts in Laura Alden (Michelle Pfeiffer), the daughter of the new boss that demoted him. The two have one of the most rumbling but intense romances I’ve had the pleasure of seeing on screen, as Will still wrestles with his turning into a Wolf and her being of a more rebellious nature, but during all of this, Will manages to rally himself and a few co-workers and threatens to lead a mass writer’s exodus from the publishing house, in order for him to get his job back. A very interesting story inside the story that really drives the entirety of the film’s plot a notch further.

The main thing about this film, which I couldn’t stop thinking about throughout the watch, was the entirety of it. With everything from the pacing to the editing to the setting. It all moves slow but intriguing and the music surrounding it all gives it a certain ominous feel that most horror films of the last 20 or 30 years have been lacking. It all almost feels like it was made for the movie goers of the 40’s and 50’s but it doesn’t feel old, more like an homage to the old classics. Definitely a brilliant piece of cinematic art. From the writing to the directing to the acting, there’s basically nothing wrong with it.

Wolf Jack Nicholson banner

Without dropping any more details about the film, I thought I’d round things off with a few thoughts on the production itself, starting with the actors. As far as the main Wolf, Will Randall, Jack Nicholson was the one and only choice for the part. Not only does he possess an immense amount of talent, but the sheer look on this guy’s face is that of a beastly nature. The man cringes his eyes and you’d swear that Hell is looking at you. Add to that some brilliant and beastly performed mannerisms and you have yourself the best Wolfman on screen to date. I shit you not, Jack Nicholson is the one and only actor I would ever want to play such a creature on screen and the way he did it in this film is way beyond magnificent!
James Spader’s Stewart Swinton is a douchebag and an outright dick to anyone that would ever stand in his way of success an the way Spader delivers his character is nothing but Spader-magic. Even back then, it didn’t seem the man could do no wrong and Wolf is not an exception. Brilliant as always!
And finally we have Michelle Pfeiffer. Wow, what a woman. Not only beautiful but oh so talented. From the very first line she has down to the very last, they are all delivered with an excellence unlike any other. She manages to take a somewhat uninteresting character and turn her into what drives the movie completely just by using her acting talents and that is saying a lot. A perfect performance from a perfect actress, ’nuff said!

Film was brilliantly written by Jim Harrison and Wesley Strick and along with the brilliant direction of Mike Nichols, this film can stand proud as the only Werewolf movie to receive the Tango’s ‘Platinum Stamp of Approval’. A brilliant work of art is what it is and without a doubt one of the greatest Werewolf movies of the last 50 years!
There you go, chalk that one up as Done! Now, it’s time for something else, but what that is is for you to tune in later to find out…..