Category Archives: Animated

Cocktails And Movies Review: “Sausage Party” – A Weenie That Deserves A Good Roasting

by Mike Reyes

Sausage Party, you’re the wurst.

For 20 years, South Park has pushed the boundaries of animation, and the subject matter it tackles, to an amazing extent. We’ve seen talking douches, talking tacos, various parodies on religion, and even sex acts committed by things we’d never thought of as sexualized. The Matt Stone / Trey Parker created show has handled all of these topics with much humor and wit about them, and I have no doubt that they’ll continue to so. This is the main reason I was disappointed with the latest “comedy” from the pens of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, as they have tried to take their own shot at all of those ideas that worked brilliantly in 30 minute bursts, and have produced an hour and a half of few laughs, and a lot of groans.

Frank (Seth Rogen) and Brenda (Kristen Wiig) can’t wait to get into The Great Beyond! The hot dog and bun combo have been waiting for a long time to finally become one, and after being selected by The Gods, they’re headed to the moment they’ve always dreamed of. But is the world outside of the supermarket really as rosy and cheery as they think? Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) doesn’t think so, as he’s seen “The Great Beyond,” and it’s not exactly as advertised. Thus begins the quest of Frank and his new group of friends, as they wander the supermarket trying to find there way back to their shelves, in hopes that The Gods will select them again.

sausage-party-slice

Sausage Party thinks that it can be as vulgar and raunchy as it wants, and not craft an original story to tell. Yes, we’ve seen this sort of movie time and time again in the realm of children’s films, but that’s why it doesn’t work as a full feature. There isn’t enough new material to really poke proper fun at the films of Disney and Pixar. If you strip away the literal food porn, and the foul language, you could easily refashion this film into a kids’ flick akin to Foodfight. However, in its current form, Rogen and Goldberg crib so much from South Park‘s 20 year canon, they should really give Matt Stone and Trey Parker a writing credit.

That isn’t to say Sausage Party doesn’t get laughs, if anything the few laughs it does rack up manage to be quite fun. With Edward Norton’s Woody Allen impression fueling his character, Sammy Bagel Jr., and a couple of really funny gags involving the German food aisle help keep the film afloat for some segments. But not even a cameo by a certain food named
pop star could change the fact that Sausage Party would have done better if it was competing in the era of South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, and even then it would have probably been seen as more of a copycat than it would be today.

Sausage Party was a chore to watch, and with every obvious callback or visual gag that pokes you in the ribs, if only to say, sausage_party_ver9“Look at us! We’re naughty,” it went from bad to wurst. (This is the type of humor you should expect from this film, folks. Drink it in.) If you liked This Is The End, and you’re not asking for much from your talking food comedy, then I guess this movie would work. But if you’re looking for more than just a buffet of half warmed leftovers, served with an original song that sounds like a Disney number, as well as a mini-jukebox of light FM hits, then Sausage Party is going to come off a bit limp.

My Rating: 2/5

Cocktails and Movies Review: “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” – A Classic Romp In A Modern Context…For Kids!

by Mike Reyes

Mr. Peabody And Sherman polishes up an old apple… You’ll love it as much as your kids

Mr_Peabody_&_Sherman_PosterMr. Peabody And Sherman is one of those classic cartoons that fans love and Hollywood loves to remake. It’s also the fourth film adaptation of a Rocky and Bulwinkle associated property, coming after Boris and Natasha, The Adventures of Rocky and Bulwinkle, and Dudley Do-Right. There’s a lot of hate for the previous three, considering audiences at large either weren’t into the comedic stylings of said properties or those that were felt that their memories were tarnished. (Though I’ll still make a case for the goofy fun that is Rocky and Bullwinkle.) To a certain extent, those films might not have worked because they were live action adaptations of animated properties. After all, to translate a cartoon into reality is a task that essentially robs a property of some of the magical logic that inhabits the world of a cartoon. Certain things are unforgivable, certain things look silly, and some things even look incredibly stupid. If that’s not bad enough, there’s also the risk taking move of making said adaptation of a classic source material with the added dimension of modern humor. Some of it reads too vulgar, some times it’s dumbed down, and other times it just misses the mark of the actual spirit of the material. Thankfully, Mr. Peabody and Sherman manages to side step all of those pitfalls to deliver a fun adventure that works the mechanics of time travel and the jokes of Animaniacs into its very fabric.

Review: The LEGO Movie – You CAN Imagine A Better Movie

by Mike Reyes

I’d rather buy a freestyle LEGO set with the money spent seeing this disappointing, but mildly entertaining, kids’ film.

Emmett (Chris Pratt) is a normal Lego guy, in a normal Lego world. A world where President Business (Will Ferrell) owns everything, runs everything, and tells everyone to “follow the directions.” Unfortunately for him, this world seems to have forgotten he’s existed… at least until he’s found the “Piece of Resistance:” a piece with power foretold by Vetruvius (Morgan Freeman) to be the key to unlocking the world of conformity around them all. With the help of WyldStyle (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett), and a cast of standard “wacky, zany characters,” Emmett just might foil Lord Business’s plans to lock the world into a permanent status quo.

Cocktails and Movies Review – “Despicable Me 2:” Incurably Adorable

Yet Another Successful Trip With Our Inner Children at Cocktails and Movies!

cocktails and movies Despicable Me 2 MovieFatherhood, for the most part, tends to mellow even the most hardcore guys. In the case of former evil genius Gru (Steve Carell), it’s turned him into a Jelly/Jam entrepreneur that’s given up the world (literally) for his daughters. Instead of fighting off heroic forces, he’s fighting off boys who want the hand of his eldest daughter. Instead of trying to take over the world, he’s been recruited to save it. Most weirdly, instead of avoiding women, he’s badgered by his nosy next door neighbor (and to a certain extent, his own adopted kids) to start dating her “interesting” friends.

Cocktails and Movies Review: Monsters University – Graduate Studies in Humor

Monsters University Has Something For The Kids But Much For Adults

Pixar has a history of making funny animated movies that appear on the surface as kids’Monsters University cocktails and Movies films. But what sets them apart from other animation studios is that there is a whole lot more for the adults who have to drive the kids to the theaters. When you think of Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Toy Story and others, you find great movies that have adult themes and inside jokes for adults to enjoy as well.  And so, as you take your kids out for a movie this weekend, and you’re “forced to go to Monsters University, you won’t be disappointed. You may just enjoy yourself and be reminded about those fun years during college and how you mete your best friend(s).