The hard-R animated comedy has a storied history (see: Fritz the Cat, Southpark, and Heavy Traffic), but is not a particularly populous genre, and it is easy to see why. Animation is both expensive and time-consuming, so it is extra challenging for an R-rated animated film to recoup its investment when compared to the more family-friendly fare of studios like Pixar or Dreamworks. But, none of that seems to matter to the creative forces behind Sausage Party, a coarse animated comedy from the minds of Seth Rogen and his crew, and which was directed by the team of Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon. Though the movie leans heavily on foul language, offensive stereotypes, and blatant sexual innuendo, there is also a surprising intellect behind the plot elements and thematic statements. The end product is a wonderful mixture of crass sex jokes, pop culture reference, and foul language – all of which serves a story that brings far more to the table than the standard hard-R comedy.
Widely touted as “The Best Poker Movie Ever Made”, Rounders barks the lingo of the degenerate gambler with a practiced fluency. The scenes spent at a poker table exemplify the emotional roller coaster that every lover of the game has experienced. But amid the bad beats, 3-outers, and pot splashing, the film offers something more meaningful than a fly-on-the-wall perspective of a high-stakes poker bout. Nestled between the turn and river cards, Rounders challenges the viewer with a pointed question: are you doing what you love to do, or are you doing what others think is best for you? Continue reading “Classic Review Friday – John Dahl’s “Rounders” (1998)”