Friday, August 12, 2016

Movie Reviews: Sausage Party, Florence Foster Jenkins, Pete's Dragon, Anthropoid

Gleason, Indignation, Microbe and Gasoline

Posted By on August 12, 2016, 7:59 AM

click to enlarge sausage_party.jpg
A jam-packed weekend of new releases offers family-friendly entertainment, animation that is decidedly not family-friendly, historical drama and one human epic of a documentary.

The raunchy animated feature Sausage Party  (pictured) is better when it's just providing broad laughs than when it's reaching for religious allegory. Gleason's documentary story of an ex-NFL player and his family dealing with his ALS diagnosis makes for an unfiltered, beautifully devastating portrait of love and pain.  Anthropoid combines suspense and a potent look at the cost of being a patriot in a little-known story of the World War II anti-Nazi Czech resistance. James Schamus does an impressive job of adapting Philip Roth's Indignation into a story of fate and the futility of trying to buck a system that doesn't want you in it.

MaryAnn Johanson enjoys the farcical elements of the fact-based Florence Foster Jenkins before the story gets too maudlin. Director Michel Gondry applies his fanciful talents to some pretty familiar teen-boy coming-of-age tropes in Microbe and Gasoline.

In this week's feature review, Pete's Dragon delivers a charming re-make that justifies the idea of re-makes.

Also opening this week, but not screened for critics: Blood Father, with Mel Gibson as an ex-con dad trying to protect his teen daughter from drug dealers; and The Fight Within, a faith-based drama set in the world of mixed martial arts.
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