Sausage Party (2016) Review

Sausage Party (2016)

Directed by Conrad Vernon & Greg Tiernan

Starring: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton, Salma Hayek

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The film, a parody of Disney and Pixar animated films, follows a sausage who tries to discover the truth about his existence and goes on a journey with his friends to escape their fate.

My Opinion:

Yep – Seth Rogen & Co have been smoking way too much weed now. They should probably get help. However, they’re making lots of money so why would they stop? Needless to say, don’t watch this movie if you’re easily offended. I’m offended by people who watch movies they know are going to be offensive & then get all offended. Think of all the most un-PC humor you’ve ever seen in South Park & multiply it by 1,000. I just watched Ted 2 the other day & was shocked at the jokes they got away with but Sausage Party makes Ted 2 look like Snow White. Or… A Disney movie with a bear! The Jungle Book?

My point is: I’m not easily offended and like a lot of humor that’s not PC but Sausage Party probably crosses the line a bit too much at times & almost made me uncomfortable (for the record, I admit that I quite like the Ted movies & prefer them to this). There were jokes that worked & jokes that didn’t but, overall, the movie just didn’t work as a whole. The story was weak but I suppose you can’t expect much from a movie made purely to use as many food-related sex jokes as possible. However, I did like the message. Yes, there’s a message just like in any Disney film. This movie reminded me of Zootropolis– it felt like they came up with the film’s message first & then wrote a story around it that didn’t quite fit.

I did like our main characters of Rogen’s sausage & Wiig’s buns and their desire to come together. I enjoyed all the dirty stuff & really liked the film’s, um, climax. Not sure what that says about me. Michael Cera’s deformed little sausage was pretty funny. Edward Norton’s bagel & Salma Hayek’s taco were also highlights of the film. I realize how dirty this all sounds but that’s the point of the film. Wiig’s blatant vagina bun was hard to watch at times, especially when she talked. Watching a talking cartoon vagina for an hour & a half is bizarre. The douche was seriously irritating, though, and the many many (many) douche jokes were far from fresh. Between the talking vagina, the douche & the racial (food) stereotypes, I felt a little uncomfortable.

I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t get some laughs out of this movie – I just laughed far less than I was expecting. Plus half the time I was probably too scared to laugh at the more “iffy” humor. If anything, Sausage Party makes me appreciate old episodes of South Park a bit more as they feel more cleverly written than this film which relies too heavily on cheap jokes. Anthropomorphic food having sexual relations is pretty damn hilarious, though! Yep – that shit did crack me up. But I’ve always had a thing for anthropomorphic food & used to do a series on this blog called “Anthropomorphic Cuteness” (check out this post with a funny clip from The Amazing World Of Gumball – it’s better than all of Sausage Party). I’d only recommend this movie to lovers of things like South Park & Family Guy. There aren’t enough laughs to really make it worth a trip to the cinema, though – you can probably wait to watch it at home.

My Rating: 6/10

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Bad Neighbours 2 (2016) Review 

Bad Neighbours 2 (2016) (aka US Title: Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising)

Directed by Nicholas Stoller

Starring: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Chloë Grace Moretz, Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
After a sorority moves in next door, which is even more debaucherous than the fraternity before it, Mac and Kelly have to ask for help from their former enemy, Teddy.

My Opinion:

There’s seriously no need for me to blather on & on for this review – If you liked the first film, you’ll like this one. It’s the exact same movie again but with a sorority instead of a fraternity. It’s not perfect and the first one is of course better, as is the case 90% of the time with all these comedy sequels, but you don’t exactly go to movies like these expecting Sunset Boulevard or something anyway (yeah, I reviewed that yesterday – I’m diverse!). 😉 There are worse ways to spend 90 minutes but you don’t have to rush out to the cinema to see this one unless you really love comedies like these (I went on the cheap day!). I actually quite enjoyed the first movie, as far as modern comedies go, but I haven’t found anything truly funny since The Princess Bride. And Wayne’s World! (Ha! Showing my age). You can find my review of the first movie HERE if you desperately want to read it.

Seth Rogen & Rose Byrne are exactly the same as they were in the first one. There were some decent jokes & they once again had some funny sex scenes (like the opening scene – the movie started out quite promising but lost its way). Well, there was one difference: I think they were possibly even worse parents this time than in the first film! That poor kid. You should enjoy this fine if you’re the age of the sorority girls but us old parents get a little stressed out if we think a kid in a film isn’t being looked after. I’m still freaked out that they left her alone in the house in the first one (they had a baby monitor with) & that the air bag stunt could’ve killed her! But, let’s move on – this is a fictional comedy not meant to be taken seriously… (But, really, you shouldn’t smoke weed around your kids! WTF). Okay. I’m done. Moving on.

I like Chloë Grace Moretz and liked her fine in this but don’t really think that dumb comedies suit her – she should stick to stuff like Kick-Ass & Let Me In. Zac Efron is a bit better in this type of thing. He doesn’t do it for me (gross! he’s a kid!) but girls who like him will be happy to know he’s shirtless & in tiny shorts for lots of this movie.

I don’t really know what to say here. It’s honestly the same movie again. In any other genre, I’d probably complain about that. But, meh – it’s a dumb comedy. Who cares? As long as you get a few chuckles out of it (I did). I did like that this movie has three normal (and slightly nerdy) girls who become friends & decide to start their own “fun” sorority (as opposed to air-headed dress-like-sluts sorority). They decide to do this after leaving a frat party they call too “rapey” & they don’t want anyone calling them a ho. (What’s the plural of a ho?! Hos doesn’t look right but Hoes are garden tools. Hmm. It has to be Hoes, though). Anyway – RIGHT ON with all that! I don’t understand all that college bullshit. It’s just a shame that three girls I’d almost want to hang out with myself at first turn into over-the-top nightmare neighbors for the sake of the movie’s unoriginal plot. They’re probably even worse than the boys in the first film. Oh well. I liked this movie okay & it had its funny moments but it’s unlikely that I’d watch either of them again. Now I must go & call social services on the parents….

My Rating: 6.5/10

**Oh! And I just realized that I can add a scene from Bad Neighbours 2 as an honorable mention in my recent list of My Top Ten Period Scenes In Movies! What is it with Chloë Grace Moretz & period scenes?? She’s Period Proud! 🙂

Kung Fu Panda 3, The House Of Magic, Rio 2 & Muppets Most Wanted Movie Reviews

I have four quickie kids’ film reviews for you today! I promise they’ll be quick. Why? Because I barely remember three of them.

I’ve just seen Kung Fu Panda 3 so that review will be a little longer than the rest. You see, I get a little annoyed when I look at the pages on my blog & see that I still have some movies that I watched but never reviewed on the 2014 page & the 2015 page (never mind the 2016 page! I’m way behind). It’s especially annoying that the only movies that I actually went to the cinema to see but then didn’t review were these three 2014 kids’ movies. They were so “meh” that I guess I couldn’t be bothered.

So, here we go! I’ll finally say something about them two years later. I’m limiting myself to one paragraph each for the three older ones (plus my kid’s opinion on each). But let’s start with the longer review for the most current film (and by far the best of the four)…

Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)

Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson & Alessandro Carloni

Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, J. K. Simmons, James Hong, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen, David Cross, Bryan Cranston, Kate Hudson

From: DreamWorks Animation

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Continuing his “legendary adventures of awesomeness”, Po must face two hugely epic, but different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to his home.

My Opinion:

I actually thought this movie was really good. As far as DreamWorks movies go, at least. I’ve stated here before how I see DreamWorks movies as strictly kids’ films while I view Pixar & most Disney ones as just being great films overall for every age group. Like, I wouldn’t feel weird discussing both WALL-E & Citizen Kane in the same breath. Except, I’ve not seen Citizen Kane… Never mind.

What I liked about Kung Fu Panda 3 is that, while it has a message as does every kids’ movie, it didn’t let the message get in the way of the movie being fun and actually making kids laugh. The previous movie we went to as a family was Disney’s Zootropolis (aka Zootopia) & I did NOT expect to think a DreamWorks film was far better than a Disney one! But that’s the case this time.

Kung Fu Panda 3 hasn’t forgotten that, first & foremost, it’s meant to be aimed at kids. I felt that Zootropolis completely forgot this while trying to drive its message home with a convoluted plot and uninteresting characters. But Kung Fu Panda 3 isn’t dumbed down for kids, either, which is a big pet peeve of mine. Kids aren’t stupid & shouldn’t be treated that way. The jokes were all age-appropriate without being dumb but also not being too grown-up like things such as the Godfather references in Zootropolis.

I have to admit that Kung Fu Panda 3 was even enjoyable to me as an adult who probably wouldn’t watch many animated films not made by Disney or Pixar if I didn’t have a kid. I do love Jack Black (I don’t care about the haters!) and think he’s been perfect as Po in all these films. I think all the characters are strong & really like the setting and the look. In this one, the baby pandas are adorable & even had grumpy me going “aww”. The baddie in this one was also pretty cool, as were his storyline & all the chi stuff. Plus I’m a sucker for the color green. Here’s the baddie:

I’d even go so far as to say that I like the Kung Fu Panda movies the most out of all the ones made by DreamWorks. I find Shrek a little overrated and I’d say that the How To Train Your Dragon films are possibly their “best” work but they’ve never really clicked with me at all (or the kid). But all three of us have enjoyed each of the three Kung Fu Panda movies.

My Rating: 7/10

My Kid’s Opinion: She liked this movie a lot & giggled through the whole thing. She was far more enthusiastic about this one than she was after walking out of Zootropolis, which she called “not very good”. Her favorite part was Po doing his “chitty chitty chat chat” thing that she’s been annoying us with ever since (thanks a lot, Jack Black!). She also loved the baby pandas, especially when they ate everything in sight. She’s not watched the first two films since we went to see them but this one has renewed her interest (and mine!) in watching those again. I’d happily pick them up on DVD now – I think this is a very solid trilogy from DreamWorks.

The House Of Magic (2013) (US Title: Thunder And The House Of Magic)

Directed by Jeremy Degruson & Ben Stassen

Starring: Cinda Adams, George Babbit, Murray Blue, Kathleen Browers, Joey Camen, Grant George, Shanelle Gray, Nina Grillo, Kyle Hebert

From: nWave Pictures, StudioCanal

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The House of Magic is a 2013 3D Belgian-French computer-animated fantasy-comedy film. The film focuses on an abandoned young cat who seeks shelter in the home of an old, retired magician with his automatons and gizmos.

My Opinion:

I admit to not fully remembering the plot of this strange little Belgian/French film (which was in English but I assume originally in French?) two years later. But I clearly remember the kind old magician, the cat he adopts, and the man’s REALLY cool magical toys (automatons and gizmos) such as that adorable lightbulb dude in the photo at the very top of this post. I also remember some great songs being used quite prominently (The Lovecats by The Cure & the always catchy House Of Fun by Madness). It’s not some big Disney, DreamWorks, etc production and that does show but I still thought that the characters, the music, and especially those inventive toys were pretty damn good! I wonder if those who made this have gone on to do more animated films? I’d like to see this sort of thing with a bigger budget. It’s a very sweet & charming film from what I remember. I wouldn’t complain at being made to watch it again.

My Rating: 6/10

My Kid’s Opinion: She doesn’t now remember much of this but does remember all those really cool toys that I mentioned above. She said she’d like to watch it again too (fine with me – I’ll pick up the DVD if I see it).

Rio 2 (2014)

Directed by Carlos Saldanha

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro, Andy García, Bruno Mars, Jemaine Clement, Kristin Chenoweth, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx

From: Blue Sky Studios

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
It’s a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids after they’re hurtled from Rio de Janeiro to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets his father-in-law.

My Opinion:

Wow. I really remember very little of this except that I think it was about saving the rainforest, right? I don’t remember the first one either – I only know that these Rio movies are very bright & colorful and have some big musical numbers that are okay. This is from Blue Sky, whose movies are quite similar to DreamWorks in that I see them strictly as films aimed at kids and only truly enjoyed by kids. The only Blue Sky one I really liked was The Peanuts Movie but that’s because I’m obsessed with Peanuts & the movie stayed very true to its spirit. Don’t get me wrong – these Rio movies aren’t bad. They’re very pretty to look at & not the worst way to spend a couple of hours with your kid but I don’t think they’re very memorable. I’d have to say that the Ice Age films are a stronger series from this studio as the characters are better. Also, could they get a more annoying set of voice actors for Rio? Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Leslie Mann & Kristin Chenoweth(!!)?? Ugh. I think I remember Eisenberg’s bird kids in this being quite cute, though…

My Rating: 5.5/10

My Kid’s Opinion: She says she liked this although she couldn’t remember the specifics of it now. She said “I liked the pink frog!” (Ugh. Kristin Chenoweth.) I think it’s proof that the Rio films are pretty & enjoyable enough while being watched but are ultimately forgettable.

Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

Directed by James Bobin

Starring: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, The Muppets

From: Walt Disney Pictures

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
While on a grand world tour, The Muppets find themselves wrapped into an European jewel-heist caper headed by a Kermit the Frog look-alike and his dastardly sidekick.

My Opinion:

I grew up with The Muppet Show so I of course love The Muppets. Who doesn’t?! The Muppets movie in 2011 (2012 here) was pretty good. It was fun and managed to kind of capture the spirit of the original show (plus I like Amy Adams). But I found Muppets Most Wanted really disappointing even though it was great, as always, to see these beloved characters. The problem was the messy, boring story and the fact that I really didn’t like the main real-life stars. Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell & Tina Fey? How do you go from Amy Adams to some TV stars? Never been a fan of any of them (in fact, who is Ty Burrell anyway? That prick in Dawn Of The Dead??). I just think they made a real mess of this movie – I’ll stick to watching my DVDs of the original show.

My Rating: 5.5/10

My Kid’s Opinion: She remembers this one more than I thought she would! She remembers the plot & the evil Kermit with the mole. She likes The Muppets & says she liked this movie. Maybe I should give it another try…

This is her favorite Muppet-related thing. I agree:

**I’d like to finally take this opportunity to draw attention to a favorite blogger of mine here who does fantastic paintings of The Muppets (and loads of other awesome artwork with a focus on pop culture – but I first started following him because of The Muppets). Please have a look at Scott’s site at Mojoswork.com. You can see all his Muppets artwork HERE.

Scott – I’m sorry it took me two years to finally get around to doing this review! Let me know if you want me to add any more info or if you want me to include a specific Muppets image you’ve done. 🙂 Oh! Scott does a lot of wrestling & sports stuff as well and I thought his History Of The WWF was absolutely amazing despite knowing nothing of that sort of thing myself (MIB – you should really check this out).

I figure I should end this with some Madness since I have House Of Fun in my head after talking about The House Of Magic. I miss this era of music!

Steve Jobs (2015) Review

Steve Jobs (2015)

Directed by Danny Boyle

Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin

Based on Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.

My Opinion:

My husband dragged me to this movie. Are any fun movies going to come out at any point? I hate this time of year! They always drag out all the “worthy” films at this sort of time. I need braindead veg-out movies for the crazy holiday season. Like… Road House! I wrapped some presents last night while watching Road House for the first time. Holy shit that movie is f*%king hilarious. Why did no one tell me how awesomely bad that movie was?! I think it may be my new yearly Christmas-present-wrapping movie. Anyway, Steve Jobs was better than I was expecting for a “biography” film about an unlikeable guy & technology gobbledygook.

This movie was a hard one to get into at first but, by the end, I really liked how they chose the run-up to three big product launches to tell his story. To my satisfaction, any gobbledygook technology talk was kept to a very bare minimum. The movie really doesn’t show you anything of the beginnings of his career, though (or the final years & his biggest products).

If you want a very detailed & in-depth look at the career of Steve Jobs, I wouldn’t say that this movie is the place to start as it only highlights part of his career. I have no problem with this, though – you can read books about all that. This movie focuses much more on his personal life and his behavior toward work colleagues and, especially, his relationship with his daughter. I find this sort of thing much more interesting and was happy that the movie chose this direction and that it had some great performances from everyone involved.

I’ll state the obvious & say that Michael Fassbender looks nothing whatsoever like Steve Jobs. Not that I’m going to complain about getting to look at hottie Fassbender but it was a little distracting & I can’t say that I at all felt like I was watching “Steve Jobs” up on that screen. Maybe it didn’t help that I knew nothing whatsoever about Steve Jobs (and still don’t, I suppose – but I can say that this movie definitely doesn’t try to make you like him). Fassbender did a very good job as always, though – I guess it’s not his fault that he’s just too hot.

The true highlights of this film were Kate Winslet and, surprisingly, Seth Rogen. Oh yeah – and Jeff Daniels was very good too! Nice seeing him again as I can’t think of the last thing I saw him in. Speed?? Which makes me think of Keanu Reeves. Which makes me think of Patrick Swayze in Point Break. Which makes me think of Road House again. Seriously – if any of you haven’t seen Road House, you NEED to. Sam Elliott is such a stud. Anyway, Winslet, Rogen & Daniels are all truly fantastic in Steve Jobs so I certainly can’t fault any of the performances. There’s some damn fine acting in this. Unlike in Road House…. Good lord!

Summary:

Steve Jobs is a very good film but it’s not for everyone. It’s one you should watch if you are a fan of any of the actors as they’re all at the top of their game here. Just be aware that it focuses only on the relationships that Jobs had with the most key people in his life and that you see only a pretty small portion of his years on this Earth.

The direction that the film chose, to have everything revolve around three product launches, may not work for everyone but I thought it was a simple yet very effective way of telling his story. His life DID revolve around his work (so far as I can tell from what very little I know of him) so I think it was a very fitting way to tell his story. The people in his life had to fit around his primary focus, which was his career and his products. I should also point out that this movie very much felt like a play, which some will love & some will hate. I have to say that I liked this film more than Sorkin’s The Social Network and it’s the best thing Danny Boyle has done in a while.

Steve Jobs admittedly deserves a slightly higher rating than I’m giving it but I have to admit that, while it’s good, it’s very unlikely that I’d ever watch it again. Unlike Road House! That’s a multiple-watcher!

My Rating: 7/10

Review written on my iPhone

This Is The End (2013) Review

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This Is The End

Directed by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg

Starring:
James Franco
Jonah Hill
Seth Rogen
Jay Baruchel
Danny McBride
Craig Robinson
Michael Cera
Emma Watson

Running time 106 minutes

Plot Synopsis:

Well, I think everyone knows by now that the actors listed above play themselves (or fictional versions of themselves, at least). While at a party at James Franco’s house, the final apocalypse begins…

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My Opinion:

This looked quite funny (and I LOVE apocalyptic movies – see my Top Ten here), so I figured I’d check it out even though I’ve never been overly bothered about this little group of actors. So… Do you need to love these actors to enjoy the film? Well, I think it would certainly help but I did still enjoy it anyway. And I have a tiny bit of a crush on Jay Baruchel, who I liked most in a movie I don’t THINK had anything to do with this group (She’s Out Of My League). The two main movies that most everyone in This Is The End seems to have been in are Pineapple Express (think I finished that in about three sittings) and Superbad (don’t remember a THING about that other than the “McLovin” thing). Anyway, in my opinion this movie is at least funnier and more memorable than those two were. Or anything else from this group. So… You’re gonna get a fairly balanced review, I think, as I don’t absolutely worship these guys. 😉

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I don’t think I’m giving anything away that isn’t in the trailers by saying that some of the appeal of this movie is watching celebrities getting killed in humorous ways. I think, like me, most of us love celebrities as much as we hate them. Or is that just me?! So I found that entertaining and would have liked to see more of it. There are some fairly impressive cameos – It would have been even cooler to have a few more celebrity deaths that were as inventive as the first one.

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As to be expected, there’s lots of crude humor and lots of drug-taking and lots of humor involving all this drug-taking. Basically, it’s like all their other movies but I found the actual concept and story a lot more fun than something like Pineapple Express.

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I saw this three days ago and, to be honest, I’m struggling to remember specific things so I’m not sure what else to say. There’s a scene involving a porn mag that’s quite funny and probably the highlight of the movie. Oh – the music was (mostly) good! Never going to complain at a bit of Black Sabbath! Also don’t mind some Cypress Hill & KRS-One. So other than an annoying boy band & Whitney Houston, fairly decent soundtrack. Oh yeah – and at one point a character calls someone a “duplicitous taint” and I was like “I need to remember that because I think I know a certain someone who would probably appreciate that. (The IPC…). Lol! But I didn’t quite remember because I’m getting old and senile and I’m now not sure if that’s exactly what was said but I know the second word is right. Anyone feel free to correct me if I got that wrong. Okay, I’m rambling now – time to finish this review. 😉

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Summary:

This Is The End is rude, crude, and fun. If you love this group of actors, you’ll probably worship this movie. Great job on the pretty original idea of having them play “themselves” in the middle of one messed-up apocalypse. But, overall, I found the whole thing quite forgettable. As much as I enjoyed it while watching it, I can’t see it being one I’d watch again anytime soon. As far as comedies go, I’m very picky but the few I love I could watch over & over again. This Is The End isn’t one of those for me but neither are any of the other movies from this group of actors. For me, at least – I know I seem to be in the minority on that.

My Rating: 7/10

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Scene After The Credits?: No, there’s nothing after the credits. It’s the kind of movie where I expected something.

Cameos?: I know some people will want a list of all the cameos in This Is The End. As I didn’t know several of the actors anyway, here’s a good link with the list: BuzzSugar

My Top Ten Apocalyptic Movies – Does this make the list?

Movies Seen In 2013 – Where does this rank?