Tag Archives: Tangos Thoughts

#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.



#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.

#BatmanVSuperman – A Tango’s thoughts review

Whoa.. first off, let me just say that it has most certainly been a while. Sorry about that, but I just got stuck, all caught up in my creative writing. Working hard toward being recognized as a published writer alongside my reviewing of films. But on topic of films, let us just boot this one up in high gear and get the show on the road!
First up, on this second of winds, is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Let’s see what Hank thought about that one…
BvS Banner

First of all, I simply must begin review by calling out one of my own, older, posts… that’s right, you called it. And as I stated back then, in Ben Affleck… As Batman?, the choice in casting was a solid choice and by the gods, was I right! Ben Affleck was, to put it the easiest of ways, Ben Affleck’s Batman was Awesome! Sorry, Keaton, but you’re only my #2 favorite Bats now, ’cause Ben’s moving on up to 1st!

Second. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman? I was very skeptical at initial announcements here, are some of you may recall, but I’m not so skeptical anymore. Granted, Wonder Woman’s place in this film was not grande at all, so there’s really not enough ground to stand on in regards of an argument either with or opposed, but I’m definitely going to go with my gut on this one and call it. Gal Gadot is a good, if not even great, Wonder Woman.

Cavill is just as solid as Superman as he was his last go of it, so there’s really not much to say here, apart from one thing. Clark Kent, or Kal-El, or Superman or whatever you want to call him, he needs to get off his high horse a bit. Being a grande idol basically everyone looks up to is not due process to behave so selfishly when it comes to a woman. You’re supposed to be better than us, Superman. What happened?
Cavill Superman Gadot Wonder Woman Affleck Batman
As for the film itself, well… I didn’t hate it, and that’s a good thing, right? But I didn’t love it either, so….. nah, I’m calling it for what it is, a disappointment. Sure, it was great to see Batman and Superman duking it out there for a bit, but that’s about it. The fight scene between Johnson’s Hobbs and Diesel’s Toretto in Fast Five was on all accounts a more epic fight scene than this. The miniscule ammount of JLA member teasers was obismal and downright hypocritical given the title of the film and all. Also, there was either no red thread to tie the narratives together, or there was too many read threads to follow, given it a slurry, chopped off, messy finished product. The visuals were great, though. There was nothing wrong in that department, but Zack Snyder isn’t really known for substance or subplots or character building, but rather a visually perfect piece of cinema, and in that manner… I’d say he did it. The film was beautiful to look at. But, as it was for Man of Steel, so shall it be for Batman v Superman. The negatives overshot the positives by just a smidge. I’m going to stamp this with an ‘Approved’ garnish, but that is dependent on two things. One of which being, that whatever faults the movie had, it still had Batman and Superman in a brawl. And the other being, that even if it fell right in between ‘love it’ and ‘hate it’, it’ll still be a piece of my collection when it hits blu-ray.

But that’s all I got for you on this one, but hey… it sure is good to be back! I won’t be tackling Deadpool on here, mainly because I’m a huge DP fan myself, so I know what pressure it lies behind to do a product like that justice, so I’m not even going to attempt any such thing, for you or for myself. But hey, there’s other stuff coming so stay tuned…