Written by Steve Richards

I’d seen the trailer. I’d seen the promos. I know who Seth Rogen is. I thought I knew what I was getting when I went to see Sausage Party. I got what I expected, but the inappropriate dial was turned up to 11.

Sausage Party is a raunchy laugh fest that doesn’t hold back on any type or extent of joke, making it a one-of-a-kind enjoyment.
So the food talks. That much you could have gotten from the trailer. What you couldn’t have gotten is the food sings, the ethnic foods are stereotyped, and EVERY food is horny. We also learn food curses a lot, smokes weed, and can be resilient.

Obviously the fact Sausage Party is an animated film is key in making it unique. With that freedom anything you can think of, and draw, is possible. The film’s stable of writers, highlighted by Seth Rogen, took that strategy and ran as far and fast as they could with it. 
While a lot of the jokes are just cursing and potty humor (RIGHT UP MY ALLEY), there are also a bunch of jokes on the smarter side.

Alright. Maybe “smart” isn’t the perfect word to describe those jokes, but I would say not everyone in the theater will understand them. This pleasantly surprised me, mainly because I did understand them. The best example I can give you is an ethnically based running joke between two of the main characters in the film.

Speaking of ethnically based jokes, Sausage Party has no fear of going there. We’ve got tacos, tequila, grits, firewater, Ramen Noodles, Twinkies, and sauerkraut all featured – and they sound exactly what you would expect them to sound like in this type of film. This is certainly one of the reasons the movie is rated “R”, but I can respect it because it’s done in a playful way. And by that I mean a bunch of animated foods are making the jokes, so how the hell can I take it too seriously.
The voice cast is loaded. In addition to Rogen, Michael Cera, James Franco, Bill Hader, Salma Hayek, Jonah Hill, Nick Kroll, Danny McBride, Edward Norton, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd and Kristen Wiig all make appearances. The best compliment I can offer is you don’t really notice the actor because you’re busy laughing at their character.

I should mention I didn’t really like Nick Kroll’s character. I thought it was a little overbearing at times. But we’re talking about an animated comedy and the rest of the movie made me laugh so who cares.
I was talking to someone after the movie and the phrase “pay off” came up. There definitely is one at the end, and it’s about five minutes long, so you find yourself laughing hard from beginning to end. There’s also a speech near the end of the film that may actually translate as a message with real meaning, but a sausage gives it so good luck having it stick with you.

In all Sausage Party really is a good time and worth seeing in theaters, but you better have the right sense of humor going in. If so, get your fill.

OFFICIAL RATING 7 out of 10
 
 

Written by Ben Beck

Take the original Pete's Dragon; remove the sing-a-longs, update the dragon and increase the emotion and you've got a new and updated take on the original Disney classic.  It's a wonderful update that will fill your hearts and have you believing in dragons. 
Pete's Dragon is a reimagining of the original 1977 Disney classic of the same name and is an adventure of a young boy left orphan in the woods of the Pacific Northwest but happens to make a new friend named Elliot along the way... who, oh yeah, is a large green dragon.  The film stars Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World, The Help), Wes Bentley (American Beauty, The Hunger Games), Karl Urban (Star Trek, Lord of the Rings), Oscar winner Robert Redford (A River Runs Through It, Quiz Show) and Oakes Fegley (This is Where I Leave You) as Pete
I have to start by saying that the original Pete's Dragon is one of my all time favorite Disney live action films.  I grew up watching it, singing along and still remember the first time I ever saw that movie.  So the idea of a reboot of a film that is so beloved to me is a conflicting thought.  I love new movies and feel some movies rightfully deserve to be updated... but is this one of them?  Should I see it and if I do, will it ruin my memory of the original?  The answers....Yes, Yes and HELL NO!  If anything, seeing this recreation of the film caused me to relive the wonderment I had all over again.  If you were with me in theaters, you may have even seen a tear or two come out from under those 3D glasses, but I will swear that it was just someone cutting onions in the theater... hey that's my story and I'm sticking to it! 
The CGI creation of Elliot the dragon along with the star studded cast of this film great elements that really draw the audience into the theaters to see this film, but the movie as a whole really stands out, especially when it comes to the cinematography of the picture.  The setting of the Pacific Northwest wooded area is an area with breathtaking views when seen in person and the creators of the film really do a great job in capturing those views for the screen.  But the cast I just mentioned cannot be ignored.  Every member of the cast, from Howard's mother-like figure all the way to Urban and his protagonist ways, are very warm.  While some may seem a little underutilized at times, the ensemble plays very well together.  And Oakes Fegley, who is still a relative newcomer when it comes to acting in feature films, really sells the character of Pete and portrays very well the reactions of someone who is returning to civilization for the first time in years.  And yes, while we all know full well that Elliot isn't real (*sob*), his interactions with the lovable dragon really make you believe that he is.  My biggest fear going into this film however was Robert Redford taking the place of the Mickey Rooney-like character in the story.  Rooney portrayed that character so well in the original that it would be hard to replace him.  But much to my surprise, Redford was an absolute delight and with the exception of the two main characters of Pete and his dragon, provides a great amount of the heart that this film is bursting with. 
Do you have to have seen the original 1977 Pete's Dragon in order to enjoy this film?  Not at all (although I still recommend it) as this film definitely stands out on it's own.  The story is similar to the original purely as to pay it's respects, but the modern retelling with updates to the tale make complete sense and this film really stands out as a film that, while from a major studio like Disney, still has the heart and emotion of a smaller, independent film. 
Kids will love this film and I can almost guarantee that adults will too.  It's a Brazzle Dazzle retelling for all ages to enjoy and I highly recommend it! 
OFFICIAL RATING 8 out of 10