Hank Tango presents..

As some of you already know, I’m planning a special event for this summer. Starting first week of June, with two or three installments a month, I’m going to review some of the movies that made the summer of 1993 special for me. Why 1993? Well, that’s a pretty easy question to answer. I was born in the spring of 1983, so by the time summer of -93 rolled in, I was 10 years old and that’s when I really started to appreciate movies as more than just the spectacle that they are.
Hank Tango presents
Some of these movies may not have held up as great over time, some of them may be absolute crap, and some of them may even be better now, as I’m older and have a completely different way of viewing the world.

These movies I will review are solely based on what I watched that summer, and I know that we got a lot of great films that year, like Jurassic Park, Mrs. Doubtfire or Tombstone, but they were all released after the summer has come and gone so they’re not eligible. We also had great movies like Philadelphia and Falling Down, but those weren’t movies I found interesting at all at that time. Let’s just say that they were too mature for me at that age, so I didn’t see them until years later. Do you see a pattern here? You understand my way of seeing these movies eligibility? Great.

Anyway, I just wanted to drop this little text here for you, like a more official thing than just a tweet, but hey… What’ya say we go watch a movie? Okay, will do!

See’ya..


#Krampus – A Tango’s Thoughts review

So I finally got around to watch that Xmas-film from last year, you know, the one about Santa’s evil twin brother Krampus. Yeah, that one, Krampus. And boy oh boy, was it a ride of a lifetime. Was it a good ride? Not so much….

Krampus Banner

The movie Krampus is about just that, Krampus. Those of you who’ve never heard of Krampus, look him up, he’s a legend living right next door to Santa. Anyway, Max is having a horrible time this Christmas and instead of sending his annual letter to Santa, he silently wishes that his family goes away. And what’ya know, his wish comes true as Krampus and his minions starts terrorizing the neighborhood. Sounds just corny enough that you could make a traditional holiday-themed story à la Home Alone, or interesting enough to make a decent horror-themed holiday film à la Gremlins, but Krampus fails at both attempts. Krampus has with him a legion of minions to do his dirty work, with everything from Ginger bread men to dark and distorted elfs to a homicidal Jack-in-the-box that bares a striking resemblance to It’s Pennywise, which in turn leads to movie to be all over the place. Sometimes you want to laugh but something “scary” happens, or the movie tries to scare you but it’s impossible to be scared by a ginger bread man, and so on, which gives the movie a sense of ‘I don’t know what the hell I wanna be’ and every attempt it makes at placing itself in a category falls short. Is it a scary movie or a family film? Honestly, it’s a failed attempt at both accounts.
Krampus and Max
As for the cast, they are all stereotypes you’ve seen a thousand times before. You have the workaholic father (Adam Scott), the uptight mother (Toni Collette), the angsty teen (Stefania LaVie Owen) and the gun toting “true blood American” that everyone in the world loves (David Koechner) and a whole bunch more. They all did a fine job with their characters, but none of them needed to go the extra mile because the characters themselves are stale and boring and even if the movie tries to establish a connection to them, we the audience missed the off-ramp and when they die, we don’t care.

The visuals, however, seemed great. From a howling blizzard to the CG cookie men to the Jack-in-the-box, nothing really looked bad…. right up until you get your first close-up view of Krampus himself. A solid mask of a withered man with a wide open mouth in a dark redish hood with horns is not what I would call scary. From a far, sure, but up close? Nope, not even a little bit.

No, this is not something I’d watch again anytime soon. Michael Dougherty impressed me as a director with 2007’s Trick ‘r Treat but this one falls short on almost every account, so there will be no stamp of approval this day, so I’m just gonna go ahead and call this one a flop.

Next up is….. I don’t know, I have to check what’s showing this weekend, but stay tuned for more goody reading soon enough.

Bye.


#TheJungleBook – A Tango’s Thoughts review

Okay, so as I mentioned over at my Facebook-page a few days ago, I did see The Jungle Book and I promised you all a review. There’s not really much I can say about it, but hey… a promise is a promise so I’ll give it a try… But first off, I just have to say that it’s been over 25 years since I’ve seen the animated version in its entirety and probably even longer since I read the book so there won’t be much in ways of comparisons. Instead, I’m just gonna drop some thoughts about This iteration. Okay? Okay.

The Jungle Book banner

The first thing I’m gonna have to talk about here is the visuals. They were absolutely amazing. If I had to give an award for the most beautiful film I’ve ever seen, this would absolutely be a top contender. The animals, the environment, it was all brilliantly done. Top notch graphics from start to finish. I saw it in 3D, which you all know by now that I personally can do without, but I have heard that this film was one of few that actually benefits from it, and for once I didn’t have anything to complain about. If it’s better with or without, I can not say yet, but this is an instance where I’ll gladly pay slightly higher admittance.

Secondly, I have to talk a bit about Neel Sethi, the kid who played Mowgli. That was a perfect cast. The kid embodied the Mowgli I’ve grown accustomed to and I’m pretty much 100% sure that Sethi have a bright future in the business ahead of him.

Thirdly, Bill Murray as Baloo? The very thought of it sounds amazing…. and it was. Bill Murray as Baloo is like popcorn at the movies, it was that good. He brought the perfect layed back-charm that we’d expect from Baloo, but he also brought a sense of stability to it that I didn’t expect. And of course, the humor. Casting choice of the year, I’d say.

As for the rest of the cast, they all did a good job with their characters. Ben Kingsley felt like the perfect choice for the grown-up, responsible Bagheera, Idris Elba brought the perfect ferocity to his Shere Khan and Scarlett Johansson did the best she could (how little it may have been) with her Kaa, but the one that stood out for me was Christopher Walken’s King Louie. We all know that Walken’s voice is as recognizable as Santa on Christmas, but he did something here that I was not expecting. I knew that it was him that voiced Louie, but I actually had to concentrate to hear it and that has never happened before. It was a more than welcome twist. The rest of the cast did just as fine, no complaints anywhere in that department.

To conclude, I’m gonna go ahead and give Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book the  Tango’s ‘Stamp of Approval’. It was by no means a perfect film, but there was few things to complain about. They could probably have put a little more work into the story, but the one we had worked and I left the theater a satisfied customer.

There you go, some of my thoughts on the latest iteration of The Jungle Book. Now, I’m gonna go ahead and rummage through my personal film library for some older films to watch, as I’m planning a ‘Summer of -93’ event. Be sure to check in later on for some good reads.