Kam On Film: ‘Sausage Party,’ ‘The Fight Within,’ and What’s New In Theaters

Sausage Party

Sony Pictures

Rated R for ethnic and off-color humor, graphic sexuality, drug abuse and pervasive profanity

Groceries Seek Salvation In Raunchy Animated Comedy

Frank (Seth Rogen) finds himself frustrated sitting on a shelf at Shopwells supermarket where he’s cooped up in a shrink-wrapped package with seven other sausages. They pass their time speculating about what awaits them in “The Great Beyond,” meaning the vast unknown just past the cash register on the other side of the door.

They’re all very eager to be bought because of an unfounded belief in a rumor that the store’s customers transport their groceries to a heaven-like utopia to enjoy lives of neverending bliss. And Frank has another reason he wants to leave, namely, a crush on Brenda (Kristen Wiig), the curviest of the girly Glamour Buns.

Then, when they’re all about to be purchased during the blowout 4th of July sale, Frank learns from a returned jar of Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) that they’ve been operating under a mistaken assumption all along.            Truth be told, food simply gets taken home and devoured by the humans.

So, Frank sounds the alarm, warning, “The Gods are evil and they kill us!” Unfortunately, the news falls mostly on deaf ears, since the majority of his friends are simply way too brainwashed to catch on and resist.

However, he and a few intrepid souls do question their blind faith and make a break for it, including Brenda, Sammy Bagel, Jr. (Edward Norton), Teresa the Taco (Salma Hayek), Lavash the Pita bread (David Krumholtz), Grits (Craig Robinson), Twinkies (Scott Underwood) and fellow sausages Barry (Michael Cera), Carl (Jonah Hill) and Troy (Anders Holm). What ensues is a rollicking, raunchy exploration of religion, sex and political issues from the perspective of these anthropomorphized, foul-mouthed grocery items.

For example, Middle East concerns are reflected in the bitter badinage over aisle space between the bagel and the pita bread, a thinly-veiled reference to Jewish and Palestinian tensions. Race in America is touched upon when Grits complains about “Crackers” in a tirade during which he bellows, “They call me Mr. Grits!”

Still, most of this expletive-laced adventure is dedicated to the sort of sexual innuendo designed to titillate testosterone-sodden males. Frank’s explicit flirtations with Brenda are actually matched by lesbian Teresa’s equally-tawdry appeals (“I have crotch feeling for you!”).

Co-directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, Sausage Party is a hard to pigeonhole, adult-oriented cartoon. It’s certainly a coarse and crude teensploitation flick which relentlessly earns its R-rating. Most reminiscent of a couple of other equally-outrageous animated adventures, namely Team America (2004) and South Park (1997), this is a take no prisoners comedy which will undoubtedly resonate with fans of such politically-incorrect shock-fare.


Very Good (3 stars)

Running time: 89 minutes


The Fight Within

GVN Releasing / New Life Cinema

Rated PG-13 for sports violence and brief menacing

Born Again Boxer Torn Between God And Ring In Touching Tale Of Redemption

Logan (John Major Davis) and Mason (Mike H. Taylor) have been doing their best to move on with their lives since the death of their father (Dan Severn) a couple years ago from a heart attack. But that has proved easier said than done, since their dad, Rich “The Destroyer,” had been the mixed martial arts heavyweight champion.

Upon his retirement, Rich had opened a gym which he left in his will to both his sons. However, while Mason had been willing to assume the reins of the business, Logan found himself looking for something more meaningful in life, despite the fact that he’d exhibited promise as an MMA cage fighter.

In fact, he’s the only person who’d ever beaten Hayden Dressler (Matt Leddo), the otherwise undefeated middleweight champ. And with Hayden aching to avenge that loss, a decent payday might be in the offing.

Nevertheless, Logan has turned a new leaf, between studying Ethics in college where he’s made the acquaintance of Emma (Lelia Symington), a cute, Christian classmate from the other side of the tracks. She proudly wears her faith on her sleeve and talks freely about her calling to mission to orphans in Mozambique.

Between Emma’s beguiling beauty and his curiosity about God, Logan finds himself falling for her hook, line and sinker. Soon, he’s ready to leave the rough fight game, the only world he’s ever known, behind.

Trouble is there’s a big promoter willing to sponsor a rematch with Hayden who has been teasing him about being afraid to enter the ring with him again. Furthermore, Mason has hinted that he sure could use a share of the purse to stabilize the gym financially. Only after receiving sage advice from a homeless old man (Wesley Williams) about what Jesus would advise does Logan grudgingly agree to the showdown.

Thus unfolds The Fight Within, a faith-based variation on Rocky directed by Michael William Gordon. Although the movie doesn’t really break any new ground in terms of romantic, overcoming-the-odds sports flicks, it remains recommended as Evangelical fare that’s more entertaining than heavy-handed.

Solid proof that you can get the girl, the prize money and salvation, provided God’s on your side.


Very Good (3 stars)

Running time: 90 minutes




Kam’s Kapsules

For movies opening August 12, 2016


Florence Foster Jenkins (PG-13 for brief suggestive material) Meryl Streep handles the title role in this biopic about a New York City socialite-turned-tone deaf opera star who cultivated a loyal following despite singing off key. Cast includes Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg and Christian McKay. .


Hell Or High Water (R for graphic violence, pervasive profanity and brief sexuality) Modern Western about the pursuit of a couple of sibling bank robbers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) by an aging Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges) and his half-breed partner (Gil Birmingham). Featuring Kevin Rankin, Katy Mixon and Dale Dickey.


Pete’s Dragon (PG for action, peril and brief mild epithets) Oakes Fegley plays the title character in this remake of the 1977 Disney classic fantasy about the adventures of an orphan befriended by a dragon (John Kassir). With Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Karl Urban and Wes Bentley.


Anthropoid (R for violence and disturbing images) Fact-based World War II saga recounting the top secret mission to assassinate Nazi General Reinhard Heydrich (Detlef Bothe), the architect of Hitler’s Final Solution. With Jamie Dornan, Cillian Murphy, Brian Caspe and Karel Hermanek, Jr. (In English and German with subtitles)


Blood Father (R for graphic violence, pervasive profanity and brief drug use) Mel Gibson stars in the title role of this action thriller about an ex-con’s attempt to protect his estranged, 16-year-old daughter (Erin Moriarty) from the drug cartel that wants her dead. With William H. Macy, Diego Luna and Michael Parks.


Emily & Tim (Unrated) Romance drama, narrated by Kathleen Turner, deconstructing the tumultuous, 50-year marriage of an alternately loving and antagonistic couple. Ensemble cast includes Alexis Bleidel, Phylicia Rashad, Thomas Mann, Andre Braugher, Kal Penn, Dominic Fumusa, Zosia Mamet, Drena De Niro and Olympia Dukakis.


Ghost Team (PG-13 for profanity, sexual references and drug use) Ensemble comedy about a jaded, copy store clerk (Jon Heder) who lead a rag-tag team of misfits on a search for proof of paranormal activity. With David Krumholtz, Melonie Diaz, Justin Long and Amy Sedaris.


The Lost Arcade (Unrated) Inspirational documentary about Chinatown Fair, the legendary game arcade located in Manhattan’s Chinatown which served as a community shelter for a diverse group of kids from all around the city.