Category Archives: Comedy

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: “Ghostbusters (2016)” – We’re Ready To Believe Them

by Mike Reyes

While it’s not the perfect savior some hoped for, and not the total garbage fire its nay-sayers wish it was, Ghostbusters is a solid action / comedy that we more than welcome during the summer season. 

I absolutely dreaded seeing Ghostbusters. Ever since I’d heard Paul Feig was directing it, scripting it, and had carte blanche with what he wanted to do with it, I started having flashbacks to how much I despised Bridesmaids. It certainly didn’t help when the commercials and trailers to the film didn’t make it look appealing in any shape or form. Yet here we are: I’ve seen Ghostbusters, had time to digest the film, and speaking as a fan of the original franchise, I want more.

Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) used to be the best of friends, sharing an interest in the study of the paranormal. Then, life and the prospect of tenure got in the way, separating the two of them in their respective niches of respectability. Of course, that was all before the moment that both women realized that ghosts are real, and they’re mad as hell. With their discovery comes a herald of doom, some toys cooked up by the crafty and demented Jillian Holtzman (Kate McKinnon,) and some New York knowledge from Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones.) All of which leads to the biggest paranormal event that the world has ever seen, and only four women to answer the call.

Ghostbusters 16 HeaderBefore we go any further, I need to applaud Paul Feig, Katie Dippold, and the entire cast and crew of Ghostbusters, as they’ve taken so much guff from the online community in the past couple of months that it must have been difficult to handle it with such restraint. Yet you can see why they defended their work so staunchly, or at least I could after I sat down to watch a new spin on a childhood favorite. There were two roads this film could have taken: a straight up “characters and all” remake, or a reboot that liberally borrows from the original film, while being its own animal. Most thankfully, it’s the latter option that was chosen, and it has made all the difference.

Ghostbusters is not without its flaws, as the film takes a while to find its metaphorical groove. The weakest points of the film are the most Feigian of moments where the humor is more improv than script based, leading to scenes where the film drags and doesn’t score a laugh. However, it’s also Feig and Dippold’s touch that lead not only to the really funny moments in the film, but also the more serious and effecting moments in the film. There was even a moment that got me to feel a little emotional, as a heroic act turned into a full blown IMAX 3D spectacle that still kept sight of the most important weapon in the Feig / Dippold arsenal: their characters.

Ghostbusters Effects HeaderIn fact, if there was one big criticism that I have of Ghostbusters is that it has moments that almost beg for the respect of fans that are either here to see a Paul Feig movie or are here to see a Ghostbusters movie. This movie can be both, it just needs to make better decisions as to when to play to which strengths. There really didn’t need to be cameos from each surviving member of the original cast, though Sigourney Weaver and Ernie Hudson’s cameos are the ones I wouldn’t trade for the world, especially the former. Still, when this movie made me cringe, it was full on “do not want” mode, as the moments that don’t work are obviously products of the recent trends of awkward comedy that doesn’t know when to end at one punchline.

Yet for every botched joke or blatant callback, there’s a moment of fun and, dare I say, actual emotion and cameraderie, that makes up for it. This team is one hell of a ghost busting team. While I had a healthy amount of skepticism going into Ghostbusters, walking out I had a greater amount of respect. When I was a kid, I admired and loved watching Ray, Peter, Egon, and Winston bust some ghostly ass. As an adult, I still admire and love the original 1984 classic, and even its 1989 sequel. But this new cast of Ghostbusters really has me revved for the possibilities of an entirely new franchise. New adventures with new spectres and spooks that deviate from what we’ve already seen. More importantly, a sequel to this Ghostbusters film could provide us with a film that truly allows Paul Feig and Katie Dippold to delve into the darker aspects they scrape the surface of in this film, all the while providing the humor that this film brought to the table.

I want more Ghostbusters. I want more of Paul Feig’s sharp suited wearing direction, coupled with a sharper approach to his writing with Katie Dippold. I want to strap on a Proton Pack and fight alongside Abby, Erin, Jillian and Patty. Most importantly, I want more of the fun that I didn’t know I was going to have while watching this film, because I had tons of it once the film found its rhythm. Given the right encouragement, the next Ghostbusters movie could really break some new ground.

Go see Ghostbusters. Go see it in IMAX 3D, as it’s some of the most impressive usage of both filmmaking tools. It may be a bit messy and clunky at times, but it’s worlds away from what some would have you believe it is.  This movie deserves a healthy box office life, because I ain’t ‘fraid of no sequels.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Cocktails and Movies “Month of Funny” – Top 10 Satires

by Tim Barley

Movies showing that some people, issues and other movies are idiotic

Cocktails and Movies Not Another Teen Movie

Satirical movies are some of the funniest comedies that come out. They make us laugh, while subliminally teaching us a point about other aspects of life by parodying and poking fun of people, (especially celebs and public figures), situations (such as politics and government), and even other movies. And there are a LOT of those. The problem with satire, and especially parodies, is that it requires a deft touch so as not to come across as slapstick and stupid, thus ruining the intelligence that might be required to enjoy a great satire. Below is our top ten list of movies that make fun of everything from movies to government to our favorite celebrity models.

CocktailsandMovies “Month of Funny” – Top 10 Office Comedies

by Tim Barley

Office Comedies: Making Fun of Your CoWorkers

CocktailsandMovies Month of Funny Office Space Milton

Hello, Cocktailers! Welcome to our first Top 10 list!

This first list is dedicated to workplace comedies, which serve to help get us through the day. They also help to identify some of the characters that inhabit our everyday life. In the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a look at three more Top 10 lists for our Month of Funny.

Below are our top 10 favorite comedies about work life.

Cocktails and Movies Review: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” – Wes Anderson At His Grandest

by Tim Barley

The Grand Budapest Hotel takes Anderson’s usual character driven fare and amps it up with great action, mystery and beautiful, rich panache.

cocktails and movies grand budapest hotelWes Anderson’s films either drive people crazy or are seen as great accomplishments in filmmaking. Starting with the small but great indie film Bottle Rocket, the writer/director/producer has been able to create fanciful, articulate character-driven comedies disguised as light hearted dramas. Or dramas with a comedic flare. The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic…, The Darjeeling Limited, and Moonrise Kindgdom all revolved around quirky characters that inhabited quirky situations. With the The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson has switched it up a bit and built an amazing, complete story that just happens to be inhabited by quirky characters.