2016 #14 – Sausage Party (dir. Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon)

“What if the gods are doing this to us because we touched tips? It wasn’t even that…I mean, it was fine. It’s not like anyone writes home and says, ‘Oh God, I had the best tip.” – Kristen Wiig as Brenda Bunson in Sausage Party.

Sausage Party (2016)
Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Starring: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton, Salma Hayek
Written By: Evan Goldberg, Kyle Hunter, Seth Rogen, Ariel Shaffir
Running Time: 88 minutes (1 hour, 28 minutes)
Genre(s): Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Fantasy

I remember there being a lot of buzz when the trailer for Sausage Party was first released. An animated film with talking food that looks kid-friendly, but is anything but? I, like many others, was really excited for this movie. Unfortunately, it left me feeling cold and disappointed.

Sausage Party is about a sausage named Frank (Seth Rogen) and his girlfriend who is a hot dog bun named Brenda (Kristen Wiig). The two are ready to go to “the great beyond” (outside of the supermarket doors) until havoc erupts, leaving the two of them out of their packages with no where to go. All the while, Frank learns some truths about “the great beyond” that leave the fate of his friends potentially in his hands.

I think this had all the makings of a good film. The cast chemistry is there (pretty much all of these actors have worked with each other before in many films) and the concept of having an adult animated comedy is pretty refreshing in itself considering it’s not something that is usually present in Hollywood.

But the humor in Sausage Party is so one-note. It is as if all of the writers learned about sex, swearing and unfunny ethnic stereotypes for the first time in their lives and decided to go for the low-hanging fruit every single time they want to make a joke. By the time the movie gets to the infamous orgy scene, it feels tired and just been there, done that.

And that ending? Talk about tacked on and ridiculous, which says a lot considering this is a movie about talking supermarket products. The film also has a lot of religious allegory going on it, but it is not nearly as deep as it thinks it is when it tackles these themes.

Ultimately Sausage Party tries its hardest to push the envelope of what it can get away with rather than come up with successfully funny jokes and a good plot and for that, it suffers a lot. 2.5/5.

2016 Personal Ballot (updates are in bold)

Best Picture
Hell or High Water
Sing Street
The Jungle Book

Best Director
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
David Mackenzie – Hell or High Water
Jon Favreau – The Jungle Book
John Carney – Sing Street
Jeff Nichols – Loving

Best Actor in a Leading Role
1. Denzel Washington – Fences
2. Joel Edgerton – Loving
3. Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
4. Chris Pine – Hell or High Water
5. Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool

Best Actress in a Leading Role
1. Sally Field – Hello, My Name Is Doris
2. Ruth Negga – Loving
3. Taraji P. Henson – Hidden Figures
4. Emily Blunt – The Girl on the Train

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1. Ashton Sanders – Moonlight
André Holland – Moonlight
Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
Ben Foster – Hell or High Water
5. Trevante Rhodes – Moonlight

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1. Viola Davis – Fences
2. Janelle Monaé – Hidden Figures
3. Lucy Boynton – Sing Street
4. Naomie Harris – Moonlight
5. Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures

Best Original Screenplay
1. Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan
2. Sing Street – Simon Carmody, John Carney
3. Hello, My Name Is Doris – Michael Showalter, Laura Terruso

Best Adapted Screenplay
1. Moonlight – Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney
Fences – August Wilson
3. Loving – Jeff Nichols
4. Hidden Figures – Theodore Melfi, Allison Schroeder
5. The Jungle Book – Justin Marks

Best Film Ensemble
1. Moonlight – Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, Alex Hibbert, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Janelle Monaé, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali
Hell or High Water – Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham, Marin Ireland, Katy Mixon, Dale Dickey, Kevin Rankin, Katy Mixon, Margaret Bowman
3. Fences – Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Saniyya Sidney
4. Hidden Figures – Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monaé, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Glen Powell, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge
5. Sing Street – Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Jack Reynor, Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Kelly Thornton, Don Wycherley, Ben Carolan, Mark McKenna, Percy Chamburuka, Conor Hamilton, Karl Rice, Ian Kenny

Best Original Score
1. Moonlight – Nicholas Britell
Loving – David Wingo
3. The Jungle Book – John Debney
4. Hell or High Water – Nick Cave, Warren Ellis
5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – James Newton Howard

Best Original Song
Sing Street – “Drive It Like You Stole It” by Gary Clark
2. Sing Street – “To Find You” by Gary Clark
Sing Street – “Up” by John Carney, Gary Clark, Graham Henderson, Carl Papenfus, Ken Papenfus, Zamo Riffman
Hidden Figures – “I See a Victory” by Kirk Franklin, Pharrell Williams
5. Sausage Party – “The Great Beyond” by Evan Goldberg, Kyle Hunter, Alan Menken, Seth Rogen, Ariel Shaffir, Glenn Slater

Best Production Design
1. Passengers – Guy Hendrix Dyas, Gene Serdena
2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Stuart Craig, James Hambidge, Anna Pinnock
3. Hidden Figures – Missy Parker, Wynn Thomas
4. Sing Street – Tamara Conboy, Alan MacDonald

Best Cinematography
1. Moonlight – James Laxton
2. Hell or High Water – Giles Nuttgens

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
1. Deadpool – Bill Corso
2. Sing Street – Barbara Conway, Sandra Kelly

Best Costume Design
1. Sing Street – Tiziana Corvisieri
2. Hidden Figures – Renée Ehrlich Kalfus
3. Captain Fantastic – Courtney Hoffman
4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Colleen Atwood
5. Loving – Erin Benach

Best Film Editing
1. Moonlight – Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders
2. Hell or High Water – Jake Roberts
3. The Jungle Book – Mark Livolsi
4. Sing Street – Andrew Marcus, Julian Ulrichs
5. Deadpool – Julian Clarke

Best Visual Effects
1. The Jungle Book – Andrew R. Jones, Robert Legato, Dan Lemmon, Adam Valdez
Passengers – Pete Dionne, Sebastien Gourdal, Erik Nordby
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Tim Burke, Pablo Grillo, Christian Manz, David Watkins
4. Deadpool – Alex Burdett, Jonathan Rothbart, Ryan Tudhope, Alex Wang
5. Hell or High Water – Jeremy Cox, Scott Hastings, Daniel Holt, Michael Prawitz

2016 Ranked (updates are in bold)

1. Moonlight (dir. Barry Jenkins)
Hell or High Water (dir. David Mackenzie)
Sing Street (dir. John Carney)
Loving (dir. Jeff Nichols)
5. The Jungle Book (dir. Jon Favreau)
6. Fences (dir. Denzel Washington)
7. Hidden Figures (dir. Theodore Melfi)
8. Deadpool (dir. Tim Miller)
9. Hello, My Name Is Doris (dir. Michael Showalter)
10. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (dir. David Yates)
11. Captain Fantastic (dir. Matt Ross)
12. Passengers (dir. Morten Tyldum)
13. Sausage Party (dir. Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon)
14. The Girl on the Train (dir. Tate Taylor)


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