Monday, 26 December 2016

DVD Roundup: Sacreligious edition

There aren't that many films out there that praise an atheistic view point of life, let alone one that portrays a lack of faith in organised religion through foul-mouthed, horny, anthropomorphised food stuffs. Created by Seth Rogen, Sausage Party still has all the puerile sex and drugs humour you'd expect from him, but sets itself apart from his part oeuvre by meditating on theology, and isn't afraid to let its protagonist, a hotdog, almost fail in his quest for the truth. If you thought Rogen couldn't come up with anything meaningful, you'd be proved wrong with Sausage Party, but don't expect that to stop him coming up with one of the most surreal and gratuitous endings we've seen in a long while. Check out our full review in the player below.

Directed by Todd Phillips, who previously worked on the Hangover series, War Dogs tone is a little bit troubling. Based on the true story of two men that made millions selling weapons to the US military, only to get caught out when they started selling illegal weapons, the film doesn't go nearly dark enough nor as funny as the original Rolling Stones article, and instead leaves us with a rather shallow commentary of the recent wars the US has involved itself with in the middle east. Check out our podcast review in the player below.

Bad Moms looked like a promising comedy when the trailers first dropped, following a group of stressed out mothers who rebel against the repressive pendantic pressures put upon them by other, seemingly perfect mothers. However, noticing its written by the people behind The Hangover (again!), it looks like this rebellion will mainly consist of drinking, swearing and drug taking, leading to maybe a predictable and insubstantial resolution.

Noel Clarke hit the big time when he starred in and wrote the screenplay for Kidulthood, an extreme look into the lives of teenagers in a poor area of London, indulging in sex and crime and drugs. Clarke followed up with Adulthood two years later, which he directed, and focused on his characters release from jail. Now, ten years after the first film we have its conclusion in Brotherhood, once again directed and written by Clarke. Although providing a thoughtful end to the series, Brotherhood seems to lack the charm of the previous two movies, and settle into the cliches of gangster flicks, including the flashing of wealth and nondescript naked women.

The sequel to 2011's The Mechanic, Mechanic: Resurrection looks for sure to be one of those dumb action movies that always seem to have sizeable, but casual, fanbases, based mainly on the fact that Jason Statham stars in it. I get it, some people just like action, and Statham is a popular name guaranteed to sell tickets, but Mechanic: Resurrection looks like a boorish money making opportunity, making $126 million on its $40 million budget.

Love it or loath it, The Purge series will leave an indelible mark on the history of cinema in relation of our current society. The Purge plays on our fear of other people, as well as an apparent desire to hurt indiscriminately, and each film, though not cinematic masterpieces, plays on a current moment of time, including protests on the 1%, Black Lives Matter and police brutality. The Purge: Election Year is maybe the most on the nose edition, being influenced by the recent US presidential elections, and its advertising campaign borrowed liberally from Trump's campaign ("Make America Great Again"/"Keep America Great"). Trust me, in 20 years time, these movies will be studied in history classes.

Woody Allen, though still respected in Hollywood, seems to be falling out of favour with critics and the audience, as he seems to constantly telling the same story. Cafe Society, set in the 1930's, follows Jesse Eisenberg as Bobby, an errand boy who manages to get two women lusting over him. Remarkably, Kristen Stewart has been called out for her great performance in what is staid, if amiable, typical Woody Allen film.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is a mockumentary that pokes fun at the self-congratulatory big screen "documentaries" of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and Katy Perry: Part of Me. Completely flopping at the box office, taking just $9 million against a $20 million budget, people that hadn't heard of The Lonely Island might of thought is was a pitiful, egomaniacal film about a singer they've never heard of. However, if completely inconsequential, the critics mostly loved it, describing it as a scathing satire that pokes fun at the cult of celebrity.

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