Sunday, November 6, 2016

Video review: "Sausage Party"

I have heard “Sausage Party” described as one of the best movies of the year, by people whose opinion I respect. I’ve heard it called a smutty smear of cinematic excrement. Both descriptions leave me puzzled.

Certainly, “Sausage Party” is foul-mouthed, foul-minded, foul-humored, just… foul. It’s in the “dirty animated movie” tradition of “Fritz the Cat,” “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut” and the like. Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Salma Hayak, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera and a host of other big names give voice to pieces of anthropomorphized food living in the grocery store who dream of one day being bought and taken home with humans.

To them, it’s their very reason for existence, their ticket to “the Great Beyond.” Little do they know that their destiny involves being chewed up and swallowed. Of course, they soon find out about their gruesome fate and set out to escape it.

Rogen and Wiig are the centerpieces as Frank and Brenda, who are a hot dog and bun with a burning desire to one day be together. Along the way there’s plenty of violence, cursing, and the whole thing culminates in a massive food orgy. Yeah.

Let’s put it this way: the villain is a real douche -- as in, the feminine hygiene product.

There are certainly some funny moments in “Sausage Party.” And the movie is more thoughtful than you might initially think, with some clever observations on how our political, ethnic and religious divides are largely constructed illusions.

In the end, though, it’s a breezily entertaining flick that will pass the time, but deserves neither the accolades or vitriol that have been heaved its way.

Bonus features are pretty good, though some of them are only available as digital downloads available through certain retailers. These include an alternative ending that occurs in the real (non-animated) world.

The DVD comes with a making-of doc, “Animation Imaginatorium,” as well as three featurettes. The Blu-ray adds another featurette, appropriately titled, “Shock and Awe: How Did This Get Made?” Plus a gag reel and “Line-O-Rama.”



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