On DVD & Blu-Ray: November 8, 2016


I feel like, by today's standards, there is very little that can truly offend me or anyone else for that matter. Whether it is our culture that has desensitized us to the point of indifference when it comes to matters once kept to the privacy of people's homes or the fact we'd like to think we're more progressive for not being ashamed of the natural things humans do-there is an argument for either side. The point is that whether you are blasé or still blush when it comes to talking about sex in public the consensus, at least at this point in my life which naturally dictates my group of friends and peers being of similar mindsets, is more or less that we need to get over ourselves and stop making such a big deal over what everyone has. We should be more like the Europeans. A penis is a penis and in Sausage Party a sausage may as well be a penis. If one falls into the camp of shying away from such conversations and believe that a certain amount of mystery should still exist between people then you'll likely want to shy away from this new Seth Rogen production as well. Taking the premise from any number of children's movies (The Brave Little Toaster, Toy Story, Secret Life of Pets) where when the humans ago away the inanimate objects come out to play Rogen and writing partner Evan Goldberg have ran with that idea, but this time with food, which of course comes to meet a terrifying end-yes, more terrifying even than Sid. It's a premise ripe for parody and a genuinely funny idea if what you're aiming for is a twisted, dark tale that not only tells the story of what it might be like if food were living, breathing beings, but per usual also includes some musings on life and what it all means. It's grocery shopping with shades of existential analysis. Of course, that all seems a little silly when talking about a movie that has a talking douche as the main baddie, but alas-that is where we are today. Some may scoff, some may simply laugh it off, but such minds and twisted ideas have always been present in society-they just likely haven't been able to reach as large a platform as Sausage Party has and thus the discussion around every new generation's looser morals and lack of respect for what was once holy only grows louder. Sausage Party isn't wholly indicative of society today though, it's simply indicative of one aspect of society and ends up essentially being a discussion about how that society can co-exist peacefully whether one believes in keeping certain aspects and ideologies private or not. Video review here. Full review here. B-

Though Morris from America initially feels as if it will hit on something refreshingly cool that hint of uniqueness slowly wears off as it becomes apparent the film is little more than a fish out of water tale that serves only to make the more central coming-of-age story that much more awkward. What allows the film to maintain this somewhat refreshing momentum are the performances and chemistry between star Craig Robinson (The Office) and newcomer Markees Christmas who plays the titular Morris. This father/son dynamic rescues the film from what is otherwise an oddly constructed sequence of events that puts Morris in league with a young German girl named Katrin (Lina Keller) who plays with Morris' feelings at once seeming as if she'll be his gateway and his salvation in this foreign land while at another being largely indifferent and vague about her intentions. While the tertiary relationship that is established when the film begins works effortlessly it is in attempting to construct this central young love fable that isn't meant to be so that Morris learns life's lessons the hard way that never fully clicks. In light of this it is something of a shame the film ends up spending more time on the Morris/Katrin dynamic than it does either that of Morris' relationship with Robinson's Curtis or even his German tutor, Inka (Carla Juri), who Morris develops a trust with that he hasn't been able to find outside of his father. The film also seems to want to upend the conventions of typical coming-of-age tales, but isn't sure how to do so other than by making its protagonist less of an introvert than these characters usually are and combating that character trait by changing the standard high school environment to that of a German youth center that isn't keen on accepting the hip-hop loving Morris. In the end, the film still finds itself in the position of adhering to such genre conventions by having Morris overcome his fears and insecurities in a public display of his true talent that finally gives way to some type of acceptance. Morris from America, much like Morris himself, doesn't seem to really know what it is. It has numerous influences and ideas, but it's not sure how to meld these attributes into its own thing. Full review here. C

Based on the novel by Philip Roth and adapted and directed by first time feature director James Schamus Indignation tells the story of Marcus, a working-class Jewish student from New Jersey in 1951, who attends a small Ohio college, where he struggles with sexual repression and cultural disaffection, amid the ongoing Korean War. Though I haven't read the source material the trailer, inclusion of talent like Logan Lerman, and the praise it received out of Sundance this year have my interest piqued and I honestly can't wait to see what this one has in store as it never opened in any theaters in my neck of the woods. I'll have a review up on my Letterboxd page after viewing it, which will hopefully be this week if not tonight. 

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