Sausage Party: a surefire way to get rid of the munchies

[ur 3.5]

Has there ever been a film as patently conceived of while stoned as Sausage Party?

While most of us would have had a bit of a giggle at the thought of sentient food reacting with horror at the prospect of being eaten – and then probably gone and ordered some pizza – Seth Rogen went and made a movie out of it.…

War Dogs does a good job of keep it on the leash

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

How many more biographical crime comedy-dramas do we need to see about sun-tanned bros and their embodiment of the worst excesses of free-market capitalism?

Based on Rolling Stone reporter Guy Lawson’s “Arms and the Dudes”, War Dogs relates the “based on a true story” account of how two twenty-something small-time arms dealers ended up the recipient of a $300 million military contract to essentially outfit the Afghan army to fend for themselves; the shortcuts they took and the laws they broke to try fulfill the order, including more than 100 million rounds of AK ammo.…

Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates: lazy title, some good gags

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates is the type of film that needs no introduction — well, maybe a brief one.

Two lovably amped-up bros, Mike (Adam DeVine) and Dave Stangle (Zac Efron), roped into bringing dates to their sister’s wedding to keep them out of trouble, are tricked into bringing along supposed “nice girls” Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick) on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.…

Ghostbusters: don’t fear the reboot

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

Has any film provoked as big a backlash before its release as the new Ghostbusters?

Sure, Batman V Superman wasn’t exactly eagerly awaited  — not least on this very site (and associated podcast) — but it seemed no sooner had this film been announced than the Internet rose up and declared, “Ain’t no bitches gonna hunt no ghosts” (actual quote).…

Elvis & Nixon, if not quite kingly, certainly won’t leave you feeling crook

3 Stars (3 / 5)

How do you a find a new take on not one but two of the most imitated figures in modern history?

From Forrest Gump to Bubba Ho-Tep, Secret Honour to X-Men: Days of Future Past, not to mention the cavalcade of films that bear their names, Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon are probably better known to us as personas than in person; partly by design, of course. 

Adult Life Skills neatly sidesteps the trap of the twee

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

Adult Life Skills is one of those low-key, quirky dramedies that, if executed poorly, has the potential to be be near enough unwatchable.

Fortunately, as executed by first-time writer-director Rachel Tunnard and her more than able cast, the film is instead a mopey, mirthful study of making magic out of mundanity.

Hail, Caesar! loses itself on the Hollywood backlot

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

Everyone loves a good movie about the movies.

Hollywood’s fetish for self-mythologizing1 lends itself to tales of stardom2 and scathing satire3 alike, but few films imbue Tinseltown with the same glow or seeming reverence as the Coen Brothers’ latest.

The Big Short goes long on edudrama and it pays off – magnificently

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

You wouldn’t think the recent global financial crisis would be the stuff of comedy, but The Big Short makes it funny – and educational, and genuinely moving.

Directed and co-written by frequent Will Ferrell collaborator Adam McKay (Anchorman, Talladega Nights) and with an all-star cast, including Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, and Ryan Gosling, The Big Short makes for a highly entertaining (and instructive) study of greed, fraud, and three groups of people who sought to profit from the meltdown before it happened.…

Irrational Man is the cinematic equivalent of artisanal popcorn

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

Woody Allen has got it made.

Despite the allegations against him that have come to light in recent years – I bring this up only to say that I don’t have a stance to take – he gets to jet off once a year to wherever takes his fancy and shoot a film there with, it seems, any actor who takes his fancy; though mostly young, attractive ones of late.…

Les combattants (Love at First Fight) is a romcom at war with itself

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

All’s fair in love and war, as the saying goes, and in Les combattants (AKA Love at First Fight) those two things aren’t so far apart.

The directorial debut of Thomas Cailley — he also shares writing duties with Claude Le Pape — this French-language film is a romcom but only in the most superficial of terms.…