Friday, January 31, 2014

The Cinematic Tangent - Episode 7: 'American Hustle' and Movies Based on True Stories



Brad and Chad debate American Hustle. And are films based on reality obligated to tell the real story?



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The Cinematic Tangent is a casual-format podcast all about movies. Your hosts, Chad Michael Van Alstin and Bradley Redder, invite you to sit back, crack open a beer, relax, and get ready to think film. This is a talk show featuring film reviews, news, and general commentary, minus all the snobbery you typically expect from critics. These hosts are just two working-class guys who are passionate about the cinema arts, and they couldn’t keep quiet about it any longer. Give it a listen if you're tired of formalities.

Instant Reaction: In a World... (2013)



In a world where comedy is becoming uninspired and derivative, a new hero has arrived to breathe life into a genre long thought dead. Her name is Lake Bell... Hopefully you added appropriate emphasis and pauses while you read that.

Ok, let me explain my cheesy intro. In a World… is a comedy with a rather unique concept, one that’s sure to please film buffs: Since the death of voice-over legend Don LaFontaine, the cliché words “in a world” have never been uttered during the opening of a film trailer. But a new wind is about to blow. It seems Hollywood is ready to revive the phrase which, as we’re told, is an extremely big deal for anyone who sweet talks a mic for a living. Every hilariously-egotistical voice actor in the business dreams of a chance to fill the shoes of the late LaFontaine, and if not, at least this is a fresh idea for a comedy.

In a World… is unexpectedly original and super charming, putting the talents of writer/director/star Lake Bell on display in glorious fashion. If this is a sign of what’s to come for Bell, we may finally live in a world where someone other than Wes Anderson has the exclusive rights to make quirky comedies for hipsters. But only time can tell us for sure.

Directed by: Lake Bell
Starring: Lake Bell, Fred Melamed, and Demetri Martin

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Movie Review: All is Lost (2013)


I’m known for liking experimental films that sacrifice entertainment value in order to explore something interesting. I knew what I was getting into when I sat down to watch All is Lost, a film featuring Robert Redford trapped on a sinking boat. I expected to see largely only Redford on screen for the entire film, and I even expected some stretches to be uneventful. But what I didn’t expect was that I would be bored to death for the entire duration, only to have the film conclude itself in the worst way imaginable.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Movie Review: American Hustle (2013)


There’s something glorious about the chaos of American Hustle, a screwball comedy-crime drama that’s both hard to watch and unbelievably compelling at the same time. Director David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter) has crafted one of the most fiercely entertaining films of the year; it’s both intense and downright hilarious from beginning to end, taking pride in its ability to live in the present as much as possible.

The energy level that Russell is able to maintain on screen is astonishing. American Hustle takes you on a ride and doesn’t let go, keeping you drawn in throughout all its insane twists and turns. I was never sure how I should react to what I was seeing, but I think that’s the point. The movie teases the audience, compelling you to laugh or empathize with its characters, only to tear away your fleeting reaction in the next frame. It’s as if Russell is scolding us for attempting to feel anything deeper than what’s presented. Every serious moment is followed with something comical; every moment of humor is wrapped in a layer of depression, and that’s just how it’s supposed to be.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Instant Reaction: Drive (2011)

Drive is one of those movies that is slow from start to finish, but has made it a matter of fashion to be as such. Despite its shallow, simple story, the film delivers some truly genuine emotion, thanks to the romance between co-stars Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. But it’s more than just the acting that hooked me; when contrasted with the slow pacing and the unusual soundtrack, the moments of graphic violence are so shockingly out of place that they must carve a spot for themselves, compelling you to see the complete amalgam as a work of visual poetry. My brain has trouble reconciling how a film like Drive can be so methodical, yet hit you on a purely visceral level. I can’t get it out of my head.

Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, and Bryan Cranston

Movie Review: The Lone Ranger (2013)


Is The Lone Ranger really the worst film of 2013?

Read My Review:
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The Cinematic Tangent - Episode 6: 'Her' and Bible Movies



Is product placement in movies out of control? Is Her the best movie of the year? Oh, and have I told you about my friend Jesus Christ? 

The Cinematic Tangent is a casual-format podcast all about movies. Your hosts, Chad Michael Van Alstin and Bradley Redder, invite you to sit back, crack open a beer, relax, and get ready to think film. This is a talk show featuring film reviews, news, and general commentary, minus all the snobbery you typically expect from critics. These hosts are just two working-class guys who are passionate about the cinema arts, and they couldn’t keep quiet about it any longer. Give it a listen if you're tired of formalities.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Xbox 360 Review: Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW


Adventure Time is one of the most creative, ingenious, and completely awesome cartoons to ever grace television. Considering that, it may come as a shock to hear that this video game adaptation, Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW, is anything but. All of the charm and crazy, random humor from the cartoon is absent, and instead gamers are delivered a repetitive, boring dungeon crawler with so little charm that you wonder if the title was meant to be ironic. Why the hell does this game have me exploring dungeon after dungeon, completing inane quests and doing the same thing over and over again? Honestly, I don’t know.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Cinematic Tangent - Episode 5: 'Walter Mitty' and James Bond





PLEASE NOTE: A large portion of the original recorded conversation was removed due to a technical error.

Brad and Chad talk The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and the future of Bond films. 


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    The Cinematic Tangent is a casual-format podcast all about movies. Your hosts, Chad Michael Van Alstin and Bradley Redder, invite you to sit back, crack open a beer, relax, and get ready to think film. This is a talk show featuring film reviews, news, and general commentary, minus all the snobbery you typically expect from critics. These hosts are just two working-class guys who are passionate about the cinema arts, and they couldn’t keep quiet about it any longer. Give it a listen if you're tired of formalities. 

Movie Review: Despicable Me 2 (2013)



The moments of genius are devoured by minions.

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Blogcritics