Tango & Cash Review

Tango & Cash movie posterSynopsis
Raymond Tango (Sylvester Stallone) and Gabriel Cash (Kurt Russell) are Los Angeles’ two top cops. When they are convicted of a crime they didn’t commit, they must work together to clear their names.

Review
Sylvester Stallone and Curt Russell are two of the biggest action stars from the 1980s. It was only a matter of time before they would team-up for their own film. Tango & Cash takes the best of cheesy 80s action flicks, mixes them together and turns it up to 11.

What is the best way to get a feel for the main characters? Put them in a chase scene of course! Both Stallone and Russell get their own individual car chase scene to start off the film. This accomplishes two things: 1) it offers an exciting note to begin the film, grabbing the audience’s attention, and 2) shows how different the characters are. The exhilarating start is needed because the next few scenes are spent setting up the movie’s conflict and it isn’t for a little while before there is another action scene. More importantly, it showed how the characters contrasted, that they have two very different styles of doing their job as a police officer.

Like any buddy cop film, Tango & Cash lives or dies from the chemistry between the two lead actors. Stallone and Russell, even in 1989, are experienced action stars and they put that experience to good use. They are so much fun together that it’s a shame they have only made one film like this together. The way they hurl one-liners off each other is nothing short of amusing. Almost every scene had me smiling at the interactions between two of them, even drawing out a good chuckle every now and then.

Music isn’t normally something I have found to be too noteworthy in a cheesy action flick such as Tango & Cash, so I was surprised when this film’s soundtrack really stood out to me. It is very noticeably 80s and really captures the sound of that era. The movie’s theme in particular had me jamming out.

As I said, this film takes some of the best parts of 80s action movies and puts them all together. There is very clear inspiration from other movies, particularly Stallone’s and Russell’s other action films. As a result, Tango & Cash doesn’t offer any kind of experience you wouldn’t find in a dozen other action films. Thankfully, the team-up of Stallone and Russell at least keeps it fun, preventing it from becoming dull or stale.

I thought Tango & Cash was GOOD 🙂 It has a lot in common with Sylvester Stallone’s and Kurt Russell’s other action films from the 1980s but the duo are so entertaining on screen that you forget about that and have fun anyway. You couldn’t ask for more from a simple popcorn flick.

Favorite Quote
Officer 1: Who in the fuck do you think you are!?
Officer 2: He thinks he’s Rambo.
Tango: Rambo is a pussy.

Trivia
Tango & Cash was released in US theaters on December 22, 1989, making it the last film theatrically released in the 1980s.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Andrei Konchalovsky – Director
Randy Feldman – Writer
Harold Faltermeyer – Composer

Sylvester Stallone – Lt. Raymond Tango
Kurt Russell – Lt. Gabriel Cash
Teri Hatcher – Katherine ‘Kiki’ Tango
Jack Palance – Yves Perret
Brion James – Requin
James Alaimo – Lopez
Michael J. Pollard – Owen
Robert Z’Dar – Face
Edward Bunker – Capt. Holmes
Geoffrey Lewis – Capt. Schroeder
Michael Jeter – Skinner

If you are interested in participating in the Ultimate 90s Blogathon, hosted by Kim from Tranquil Dreams and myself, there is still time to join in. You can find all the information here.

Zootopia Review

Zootopia movie posterSynopsis
Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin (voice)) is a small bunny with big dreams of becoming the first bunny police officer of Zootopia. When she makes it onto the force, she is assigned parking ticket duty. Aspiring for bigger things, she takes a missing mammal case, which is leads to a much bigger conspiracy.

Review
I would consider myself a Disney fanatic. However, I will admit that Zootopia wasn’t very high on my things to see. I would have seen it in theaters for sure, but not opening night if my buddies weren’t going (yes, I’m just now getting to this, but I’ve been preoccupied lately). I’m glad they asked me to tag along because missing this film would have been a very big mistake. Zootopia is one of Disney’s best movies to be released in years, and that’s saying a lot considering their quality lately.

Every Disney movie has some sort of message incorporated into the story. Zootopia has two: don’t be afraid to follow your dreams and don’t judge someone on what they look like. The former is pretty typical Disney. The latter is a little different. When making movies dealing with racism, filmmakers have to be careful not to make the message heavy-handed or too preachy. That never happens in this film. It is brought across in a way is easy for the younger audience to understand but it can still be appreciated by the older audience. Both messages weave together flawlessly.

Anthropomorphic animals are nothing new, especially from Disney, but the world is more fully developed than anything before. There are different regions for the different environments, such as the rain forest or arctic, there are different sizes for things like doors, vehicles, and food. Everything is well thought out and done in a way that makes sense. It’s a unique set up that isn’t really seen in other movies.

To go along with the different environments, the animation is very colorful. The jungle environment has deep greens that make the vivid flowers stand out; the city itself is very vibrant, really popping. As Judy is traversing the city, the film has the perfect opportunity to show of how amazing computer animation has come since Toy Story. The inhabitants of Zootopia are just as rich as the city they inhabit. I loved many of the character designs. Seeing so many animals brought to life, walking around on two legs and living in a civilized manner was very fun to watch.

Not since The Lego Movie have I laugh that hard or as much at an animated movie. It had a high laughs-per-minute count. Jason Bateman may have had helped that quite a bit since he is most often in comedy films but it had some clever writing, too. There were many pop culture references, like The Godfather and Breaking Bad, that are sure to please fans of those franchises as well.

I think what really had me hooked on this movie, though, was that it is a buddy cop movie at its core. Although one of them isn’t technically a cop, Judy and Nick were working together to solve a case, so that is pretty much the same thing, right? Like all good buddy movies, Judy and Nick have very different personalities which make them such a good pair.

I thought Zootopia was GREAT :-D. Between the character design, design of the city itself, and the vibrant colors, this movie has some of the best animation to date (I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot lately…). Not only are the characters well fleshed out but the city of Zootopia is as well. However, what really sets it above other films is how it deals with a delicate topic like racism with such finesse and tenderness. I can’t think of any other movie that can compare to Zootopia, and Disney once again hit it out of the park.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Byron Howard – Director / Story
Rich Moore – Director / Story
Jared Bush – Co-Director / Story / Screenplay
Phil Johnston – Story / Screenplay
Michael Giacchino – Composer

Ginnifer Goodwin – Judy Hopps (voice)
Jason Bateman – Nick Wilde (voice)
Idris Elba – Chief Bogo (voice)
Jenny Slate – Bellwether (voice)
Nate Torrence – Clawhauser (voice)
Bonnie Hunt – Bonnie Hopps (voice)
Don Lake – Stu Hopps (voice)
Tommy Chong – Yax (voice)
JK Simmons – Mayor Lionheart (voice)
Octavia Spencer – Mrs. Otterton (voice)
Alan Tadyk – Duke Weaselton (voice)
Shakira – Gazelle (voice)
Raymond S. Persi – Flash (voice)
Maurice LaMarche – Mr. Big (voice)