NEW THIS WEEK
In this deceivingly cutesy-looking hard-R cartoon from the makers of Knocked Up and Superbad, the food in the local supermarket comes to life. All the products are excited for the promise of coming home to “The Great Beyond” with the human customer who purchases them. When Frank (a Seth Rogen-voiced hot dog) discovers the horrifying truth that one day they will all be eaten, he and his fellow shelfmates go on a quest to save the food inside the store from the vicious human threat.
We Said: “The jokes fly by at such a rate early on that you're likely to miss some by laughing so hard, and there are so many more in the background for those paying attention. Eventually the one-note sexual humor does grow tiresome […] but there are other moments of brilliance.” Rating: 3 out of 5
The Good: I gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had with Sausage Party. The idea of a hard-R kids-movie-looking animated film is ripe with comedic possibilities. For the most part, Sausage Party takes advantage of the concept, using its bright happy look to comically contrast its increasingly dark plotline. In addition to being one of Seth Rogen’s best films in recent years, Sausage Party is also deceivingly smart, with a lot of social commentary in places I really didn’t expect. A lot of the gross-out vulgar jokes also really landed for me, possibly because of the movie’s firm commitment to going as far as possible with its boundary-less animated format. With shocking jokes, insane plot twists, and an opening musical number from the composer of Beauty and the Beast of all things, Sausage Party is filled with surprises from start to finish.
The Bad: While a great many of the shock jokes get the laugh there going for, at a certain point it does become a bit tiring to have every punchline be as offensive as possible. Eventually you just grow desensitized to it all, and it loses some of its power. Some of the characters and plotlines are really funny, but don’t get as much screentime as they probably should have, whereas others seem to go on for far too long. In addition to its pacing problem, Sausage Party also seems to be a bit impressed with itself, further dampening its comedic possibilities by preaching to you about its ideals.
Overall: Sausage Party is an incredibly strange and clever movie, filled with all the gross-out gags about sex and drugs you’d expect from Seth Rogen and friends. It can at times get exhausting to keep up with it, but ultimately the laughs are worth it. If you’ve ever found yourself chuckling at an episode of South Park, then Sausage Party is the movie for you.
This reboot of the classic 90’s martial arts franchise sees Jean Claude Van Damme return, this time as a mentor figure to the character he originated - Kurt Sloane (now played by Alain Moussi). When Kurt’s brother is brutally killed in the ring by Dave Bautista’s merciless and undefeated fighter Tong Po, Kurt begins training harder than ever in a quest for Vengeance.
We Said: “What's apparent pretty early on is the people behind Kickboxer: Vengeance have a deep love for the original and celebrate it and all of its macho-ness.” Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Indignation tells the 1950’s set story of Marcus (Logan Lerman), a young Jewish man who has just arrived in Ohio to begin attending college. The coming-of-age film follows him as he develops a romantic relationship with the rich and gorgeous Olivia (Sarah Gadon), and a contentious disagreement with the university’s dean (Tracy Letts) over the role of religion in academic life.
We Said: “[Indignation] is a fascinating look at a brilliant young man coming into his own in a time that doesn't seem prepared for him, and [Writer/Director] Schamus handles the material with the respect it deserves.” Rating: 4 out of 5