Sausage Party, which sort of made its premiere at SXSW this year, is one film I purposely missed out on theatrically this year. I know I’m not alone in my way of thinking. The overall consensus is very split on this one too. Either people seem to love it or others outright hate it like our boy Bron Anderson here. I have not heard anyone say they are in the middle of the road in regards to Sausage Party. Nevertheless here it is ladies and gentlemen. From the team that brought you Superbad, Pineapple Express, This is the End and Neighbors comes the highest grossing R-rated animated film of all-time, Sausage Party, now on the next-generation 4K Ultra HD format courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. So what the hell is it all about? That’s the question of the hour and I’m not sure you’re going to like what I have to say about it all. Follow me down folks.
First things first, you can say what you want about the film, but Sausage Party is definitely not short on star power. Not at all! The voice talent features a who’s who of today’s comedy stars, including Seth Rogen (This is the End), Kristen Wiig (Ghostbusters), Jonah Hill (Superbad), Bill Hader (Trainwreck), Michael Cera (Superbad), James Franco (Pineapple Express), Danny McBride (“Vice Principals”), Craig Robinson (This is the End), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Nick Kroll (Date Night), David Krumholtz (I Saw the Light), Edward Norton (Moonrise Kingdom) and even Salma Hayek (Here Comes the Boom). Directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, Sausage Party is based on a story by the perverse minds of Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Jonah Hill adapted into a screenplay by Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
The CG animated film follows Frank (Rogen), a hot dog who leads a group of supermarket products on an “existential” journey to discover the truth about their own existence and what happens when they become “chosen” to leave the grocery store (referred to here as “The Great Beyond”). Yes, you read that correctly. Our main character here is a hot dog. The film has a very consequential, even somewhat religious undertone tone to it all too. It’s both raunchy and offensive to all while at the same time very heartwarming and endearing. How can it be all those? it just is! You got an f’n problem about that? Ha ha.
So Frank and his band of misfit friends which includes other sausages, hot dog buns, a bagel, a taco, a spiritual guide (cleverly portrayed by a bottle of Firewater spirits) and more struggle to not only come to terms with reality, but to also escape the evil clutches of the film’s villain. Are you ready for this? You sitting down? The movie’s villain is a feminine douche product. I kid you not! I couldn’t make up something like this. He reminds me of a vile Bane-like character who consumes his enemies and preys off the weak to become ultra human and strong. Wait until you see how he defiles a poor, helpless dying juice box. Never in my life have I felt bad for a juice box like that before.
The resulting product here is one hell of an offensive, but good time. Who knew there were so many jokes to be had at the expense of a food’s name and so on. Truth be told I’ve haven’t slumped so far down in my chair in embarrassment during an animated film since 1999’s South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. There’s no reason for it other than the vulgarity and offensiveness of it all. You can literally take your pick as to what to blush from in regards to the movie’s vulgar language, onscreen antics, racist remarks, drugs (even a kazoo as a bong) and endless (and I do man endless) sexual references/jokes and more. There’s even like a 5-minute orgy scene that will make even the most sexually confident person feel a bit dirty and perverted. The flick ultimately ventures too deep for me into what’s actually real by film end, but again it is what it is…a Pixar (or in the case of this feature a Dixar) animated comedy for ADULTS. If you let your children watch this, you’re the absolute worst parent there is. Under no circumstance should a kid be viewing this. FYI.
Despite my “beef” with Rogen over what he said about our military when American Sniper was released or how much I hate Preacher I have fun with this film after repeat viewings now. I’ll tell you why. Watch the extras down below and soak in all the fun had with the voice cast in making this. Then watch this film again. You’ll appreciate it so much more. It’s a blast. From the one-liners and improv moments to the voices of familiar faces bringing the most ridiculous of food and household products to life on your viewing screen. Let’s take Sammy Bagel Jr. for example. He’s voiced by Edward Norton. Watching the film for the first time I would have never ever guessed that. He cracks me the F up. However, the real star of the show is Salma Hayek who brings to life a lesbian taco. Wow! I did mention the five-minute orgy up above too. Wow again! You don’t have to take it too seriously to have fun with it, but once again there’s no denying the moral dilemmas and conflict within it all that you’ll find here. Like I already said and I’ll say it again, Sausage Party is Pixar (think Cars but with food) for adults and you’ll want to wash your filthy mouth out with soap after taking it all in. It’s really that dirty and offensive. LOL.
The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Sausage Party with High Dynamic Range (HDR).
- Encoding: HEVC / H.265
- Resolution: 4K (2160p)
- Aspect Ratio: 1:85:1
- Clarity/Detail: From what I have read the source here is taken from a 2K DI. That’s unfortunate it could not be rendered at 4K instead of being unconverted, but it is what it is. However, that doesn’t mean images here don’t have ultra fine textures (cardboard boxes, concrete, wood grain) and impeccable, little details (blemishes, creases) because they do! The onscreen images and characters have extraordinary three-dimensional pop and some quite remarkable gloss and shine to them all.
- Depth: Depth of field is exceptional throughout here thanks to the pop of the characters in the foreground and blur of the backgrounds. I know we’re talking about an animated feature here, but there are plenty of examples where the backgrounds in the scenes seem to go on forever. I approve!
- Black Levels: The black levels are deep throughout, but more importantly natural throughout. I really liked what I saw here in way of how natural and authentic the darkness looks in scenes throughout here.
- Color Reproduction: Here’s where Sausage Party in 4K really excels for me. Now I’m not quite sure I would say this is a great example to show off HDR given how bold, bright and vivid the colors are here, but boy oh boy do they ever pop with crispness.
- Flesh Tones: This one I’m marking as not applicable due to the fact that this is an animated feature.
- Noise/Artifacts: There’s some slight, visible source noise in the print (most noticeable in the blues of the opening), but nothing in my opinion that will take away from your experience of enjoying what you see in this 4K Ultra HD presentation.
Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Sausage Party. On the flip side the included regular 1080p Blu-ray disc comes armed with a DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio surround track.
- Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), English Audio Description Track Dolby Digital 5.1, Czech Dolby Digital 5.1, French (Quebec) Dolby Digital 5.1, Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish VO Dolby Digital 5.1, Russian Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: English, Czech, Slovak, French, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Croatian, Arabic, Hebrew, Slovene, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Icelandic, Romanian, Greek, Turkish, Spanish, Serbian
- Dynamics: Sausage Party seems like a no brainer in the dynamics department. While my own experience with Sausage Party feels a bit front heavy there’s not doubt about it that this surround track becomes wild and engaged in the film’s explosive third act full of action and peril. With that being said nothing gets lost in the cross fire as the dialogue remains intelligible and prioritized while never getting buried under the bombastic score and jams at times. You probably wouldn’t guess it judging by the film’s cover art and concept of it all, but there’s actually a great soundtrack to be discovered here along with a pretty majestic score.
- Height: This one would not be a demo surround track I would use to introduce people to the wonderful world of Dolby Atmos. It’s used sparingly for height atmospherics and sound effects, but it doesn’t really come alive until the moments its utilized in events where things are falling from above like knives crashing down around Frank, food falling out of shopping carts onto the floor, toothpicks soaring through the air like arrows, a bag of chips exploding when opened, etc. Other than that it’s all atmosphere and not an aggressive force in any which way.
- Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel pummels you during the jam moments with handsome complements to the music, score and wild action sequences. Let’s not forget that one scene where the food falls to the floor in the grocery store.
- Surround Sound Presentation: Sausage Party did not engulf me like I was hoping. I wanted to be riveted by the surround soundscape of it like I was in Angry Birds, but alas I was not. The presentation was very top heavy for me, but Act 3 really kicked the onscreen events into overdrive and then all the sudden the rears really packed a punch as the atmosphere came to life and I finally felt immersed in it all. I just wish I felt enthralled like this throughout, but sadly I did not. The rear channels are primarily used for sound effects, atmosphere and the rare voices carrying through.
- Dialogue Reproduction: For the most part the dialog was always loud, clear and intelligible throughout. I did not have any trouble hearing any spoken word. That’s always a good thing!
Sausage Party‘s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release comes loaded with bonus material, including behind-the-scenes featurettes, but no audio commentary (sad considering all the voice stars). We have a total of four featurettes, a gag reel, improv and a special Seth Rogen animation extra. As you’ll find out below all of these extras are rather fun to take in too. In addition to it all the feature film can also be viewed in 1080p HD with the inclusion of the regular Blu-ray in this set. As usual, the Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray releases also features an UltraViolet Digital HD version of the movie too. Just as an FYI the only way to watch the Digital HD copy in 4K is via Sony’s proprietary ULTRA 4K streaming app available only on Sony 4K TV sets. So with all that being said let’s take a closer look at everything you’ll find here down below.
- The Booth (HD, 9:28) – Fans get the opportunity to step into the recording booth with Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera, Nick Kroll, Edward Norton, Jonah Hill, Salma Hayek, Paul Rudd, Bill Hader and more to see how these comedy superstars brought their characters to life. This was done unlike any animated feature because there were so many people in the recording booth at one time just having fun, hanging out and making a movie. Funny enough Edward Norton was the first onboard and was essentially the casting director bringing in all the talent.
- The Great Beyond: Music of the Gods (HD, 4:01) – In this extra viewers can hear how the team persuaded famed composer Alan Menken to craft a musical number unlike anything he’s done before.
- The Pitch (HD, 2:33) – Here fans can watch a vintage interview where Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg discuss their pitching process and hint at the beginning idea for Sausage Party. I think this was circa the Superbad timeframe. Seth talks about how he can sell a movie named Sausage Party in a pitch. His advice is to keep the pitch short as possible.
- Shock and Awe: How Did This Get Made? (HD, 5:11) – Here’s the real shocker to everyone out there. In this extra you can learn how Seth Rogen and his team unbelievably created this story (Pixar quality feature for adults) and eventually convinced someone to make a “hard R” rated animated movie. They discuss about how difficult it was to get green lit and how studios wanted to cut it up so much. A lot of money was spent before even a distribution deal was made. This one is a bout ten years in the making. Amazing, huh?
- Seth Rogen’s Animation Imaginatorium (HD, 1:05) – Here the mighty Seth Rogen channels another famous king of animation. This short extra is pretty nostalgic and fun to take in.
- Good Food Gag Reel (HD, 7:29) – Here we have a series of “animated” outtakes complete with the voice talent behind-the-scenes flubbing all their lines and cracking up. It still cracks me up watching and listening to Edward Norton as a bagel (even eating bananas in these). These actors had a blast recording the orgy scenes as evident here. LMAO.
- Line-O-Rama (HD, 4:57) – This one seems like a staple from Sony releases. So here’s a series of alternative takes and various improv moments of the voice actors in the booth.
So what say you? Are you down with Sausage Party or not? I have a wicked sense of humor and I think it’s hilarious in short doses of course. Ha ha. However, let’s get ultra serious (do those two words even belong in a Sausage Party review?) as we recap things here. The film will and should offend everyone almost like the South Park movie once did. So I’ll put a check there. The 4K presentation looks great and the audio ain’t too shabby either. Check! On top of all that this 4K Ultra HD set has a subpar list of extras (sadly without an audio commentary), a Digital HD file of the film and the feature included on regular 1080p Blu-ray disc. All that’s missing now is that right price to grab it all at, eh? You know you want this in your collection. I did regardless of my “beef” with Seth Rogen and even raised the curve a little here for the final summary score.
Don’t Leave The Grocery Store Without It!
Sausage Party Was Perversely Released
on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray