Tag: bill hader

Sausage Party

by on Mar.26, 2017, under Movie Reviews

sausage partySausage Party is not your typical Pixar-inspired feel good animation love fest. No, this one is rated R for very good reasons and is NOT for the family. That aside, the film is as brilliant as it is crude, and believe me, it’s plenty of both…

The story is set mostly in a grocery store, where at night the products of said store come to life and have their own aspirations and adventures. The goal of these items including food, soap, paper towels, basically anything you can buy, is to get picked up by one of the “gods” (humans) and taken away to the promised land beyond the doors of the supermarket to live happily ever after. Only the truth of it is, these poor sundries have no idea that they’re being set up for consumption, a fact that is revealed to them later to great dismay.

The humor in this film is both low-brow and high-brow at the same time. Many cultural references are placed throughout the film, like how bagel and falafel don’t get along so well in the beginning and how this is creating tension between these different types of food. Now, you might not understand what I mean at first, but if you place bagel within the Jewish cultural landscape compared to falafel from the Middle East, you’ll see what I’m getting at. There’s a lot of subtle nods like that permeating the film in a way that I know I’ll have to go back and watch again to pick up on all the references I missed the first time around.

And I will watch this film again as it is super funny and had me laughing nearly throughout the whole thing. The humor is truly brilliant, at moments tongue-in-cheek while at others totally overt and just bashing you over the head with absurdity. A good example is the orgy at the end, which is of course the “climax” if you will, of the film which was so over-the-top ridiculous you can’t help but get lost in it, laughing out loud all the way.

The actors must’ve had a blast making this one; they’re a lot of fun to listen to and watch through their characters. The crazy ass lineup in this one includes Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill (both of which helped to write the film as well), Kristin Wiig, Michael Cera, James Franco, Bill Hader, Salma Hayek, Anders Holm, Nick Kroll (who is brilliant as “Douche”), Danny McBride, Paul Rudd, Lauren Miller and believe-it-or-not, Edward Norton.

This movie is a blast to watch, I can’t remember the last time a film that made me laugh so much. Definitely check out Sausage Party, but not with the kids!

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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Trainwreck

by on Apr.10, 2016, under Movie Reviews

trainwreckWritten by and starring Amy Schumer, Trainwreck marks her big screen debut directed by Judd Apatow. And what a debut it is with the film borrowing somewhat from Schumer’s real life (at least if her standup is any indication) to put her character’s raw, brazen personality front-and-center for all to see.

She drinks, sleeps around, works as a writer at a soul-less job and never stays in a relationship. All that changes when she’s given the task of writing a story about sports doctor Aaron Conners (Bill Hader). They hit it off and start a relationship only to have it go off the rails when Amy’s old habits come back to haunt her and she ends up pushing everyone away. Don’t worry, despite the turmoil, there’s a happy ending.

While it’s not an original story, it’s one that’s well written, interesting, funny, and kept my attention the whole time. Schumer’s humor and style are laced throughout the film and work well to keep a laugh worked in while exploring themes such as family, growth, and how times change. There are some strong character arcs in here as well with both Schumer and Hader’s characters figuring out some life lessons along the way.

Put another notch in Apatow’s belt since he produced and directed a fine film to add to his continually impressive library of work. The film is well constructed and paced. The emotional tone ebbs and flows with a nice natural rhythm as they only peppered in the dick jokes without shoving them in your face all the time while maintaining a solid narrative that tied everything together nicely.

The lineup is impressive and entertaining as the cast includes a number of other standup comedians and talented actors. Schumer is really enjoyable in the lead role and Hader reminds me once again just how flexible and solid he is. The cast includes Colin Quinn, John Cena, Tilda Swinton, Randall Park, Brie Larson and the hilarious Dave Attell whose one-liners make the film worth the price of admission alone.

If you appreciate Apatow’s and Schumer’s brands of comedy, you won’t be disappointed!

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2

by on Jun.30, 2014, under Movie Reviews

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 picks up where the first film left off with our hero Flint Lockwood trying to make the world a better place with his inventions, only this time he’s trying to land a job working for his idol Chester V. Flint gets the opportunity to work for Chester V only to find out later that the motivations for him landing the job weren’t quite what he thought…

Flint finds himself back on his hometown island and learns that the invention that brought him fame (and ultimately a device he thought he had destroyed) is still working and has transformed the island into something of a reservation for new breeds of creatures based on different types of food. Fun! He also learns that his hero Chester isn’t quite the person he portrays himself to be and that his intentions aren’t exactly admirable.

This is obviously a movie geared towards kids but that adults will be able to enjoy as well. Cloudy 2 has a lot of the silly humor that the first film featured along with a storyline that’s nothing new but does what it’s supposed to do in terms of getting the audience through the plot points as it should. Yes, there’s a happy ending of course with the good guys winning and the bad guys getting their due. The dialog is written well and has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments along with some emotional moments.

The design and animation is a blast with some great animation and beautiful visuals. My favorites were the food creatures like the taco dinosaur and the hamburger spider monster. Good stuff.

The actors were all great lending their vocal talents to their 3D animated counterparts. The lineup includes Bill Hader and Anna Faris returning in their roles as Flint and Sam alongside James Caan, Andy Sawberg, Neil Partick Harris, Terry Crews, Kristen Schaal and Will Forte as Chester V (who seems to be somewhat modeled after both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates).

If you have kids or not and enjoy fun 3D animated films, there’s a good chance you like this one…

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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Men In Black III

by on Jun.01, 2012, under Movie Reviews

Ok, so it’s not as good as the first one, but it’s way better than the second one…

10 years have passed since we last visited J and K and while Will Smith is looking pretty much the same, Tommy Lee Jones is looking like a more exaggerated form of his curmudgeonly self. The story hasn’t changed much: saving the universe, deporting nasty aliens, blah, blah, blah. So this time, the story is more focused on J and K and their distant-yet-caring relationship as well as a secret that J is starting to learn about from K’s past.

Often a time-jump mechanic in the storyline is put in when there’s no other idea where to take the concept, in other words it’s often a crutch. So is the case here; however, it’s used effectively and even though it all plays out in a manner we’ve seen many, many times before, it’s still fun to watch and dare I say even a little heartwarming at the end.

The effects go back and forth from looking cool and genuine to looking really fake and cheesy (watch out for those digital projectors my fellow filmmakers, they show a lot more detail than the old school film chains). The alien invasion scene looks particularly CG such that I had trouble focusing (or caring) what was happening with Will Smith’s character at the time.

The performances are decent, standard as you’d expect although I have to say I found Will Smith’s performance to be a bit annoying as he played J like a real asshole for the first 30 minutes of the film, just kind of angry and arrogant, hard to like. Josh Brolin has his Tommy Lee Jones impression down, that’s for damn sure. As for Tommy Lee Jones, well, he’s Tommy Lee Jones, ’nuff said. Some other great talent in here that includes Jemaine Clement (who’s really fun to watch as Boris the Animal) as well as Emma Thompson and Bill Hader.

Fun stuff to see in the theater and makes up a little for the second one. Directed by Barry Sonnefeld.

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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