3 Films: A Student’s Guide For What to Watch and Where to Find it


Three Movies, From Three Different Places, Here Are Reviews For Sausage Party, Imperium and No Country For Old Men.

As a student it’s hard to find the time and money to go see a movie. Seeing a film is a fun past time that helps reduce stress and promotes creativity. However, ticket prices are increasingly going up and we have to be more selective about what we go out and see. Luckily there are other resources like iTunes and Netflix, where we can see great movies that allow us to escape our hectic lives for two hours. As a self-renowned film buff I have done the research and reviewed three films; one out in theaters, one available for rent on iTunes, and one streaming on Netflix. Hopefully this will help you narrow done your choice for what to spend your time and money on.

Sausage Party, Directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, Rated R, 81% Rotten Tomatoes, In Theaters, Pricing in Santa Barbara after 6pm, Weekends $10.50, Mon, Wed, Thurs $9.75, Bargain Tuesdays $7.50

I was really looking forward to seeing this film in hopes that it would have me rolling on the floor laughing and unfortunately it did not meet my high expectations. To put it simply Sausage Party is a very silly film. It opens with a grand musical number, that can easily match broadway in style, with every item in the store singing praise and thanks to all the humans that will come claim them. The movie shows the life of our food products as they wait in the grocery store for us to come and take them to “the great beyond”. However the food is unaware that “the great beyond” is our kitchens and their fate is to be eaten. It posits that the process of eating food, such as carrots, potatoes and chips, is murder and the food items all feel extreme pain during the consumption.

A few of the voices in this film are Seth Rogen (who also co-wrote the screenplay), Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Selma Hayek, Michael Cera and the list really goes on and on. It has an incredibly talented comedic cast and the personification of the grocery store items are extremely funny in the beginning but became somewhat trite by the end. The movie is barely 90 minutes and I feel like a solid 15 minutes could have been shaved off to tighten it up a bit.

Also, a lot of the humor is based on ethnic stereotypes which is a little uncomfortable at times. But in the film’s defense they equally stereotype almost every culture and subculture known to man so there is fairness in that. It still was a good time and the ending is really a spectacle that has never been seen before in the history of cinema. Just be prepared for extreme ridiculousness.

Imperium, Directed by Daniel Ragussis, Rated R, 83% Rotten Tomatoes, For Rent on Itunes $6.99

Daniel Radcliffe has been distancing himself from his iconic character Harry Potter for the past several years. Choosing roles that are outside of the box and less mainstream. In Imperium Radcliffe separates himself even further from “the boy who lived”. He plays a rookie FBI agent, Nate Foster, who mainly works behind a desk scanning emails for suspicious content. He is a nerdy loner who the other agents pick on and it seems as though no one in the department takes him seriously.

However when an experienced colleague (Toni Collette) asks him to go undercover as a white supremacist to infiltrate the neo-nazi movement whom she believes is planning a domestic terrorist attack, he finally has a chance to make a difference. This film is truly Radcliffe’s vehicle to show his acting chops and he does not disappoint. It is also an interesting look inside the world of white supremacy. We see the stereotypical skinheads portrayed in the fim but we also see the everyday people who don’t physically stand out. The men and women of suburbia with the 2.5 children and the dog in the yard who also hold these terribly dangerous beliefs. For example, we see a family friendly BBQ taking place at one of these homes, an all-american housewife is serving freshly baked homemade cupcakes and she is concerned that her beautifully frosted swastika design is not picture perfect.

Since this intense drama had a very limited release, playing in only a few select theaters in the country, it was also released on iTunes or VOD (video on demand) simultaneously. I love when films are distributed this way, it gives me the opportunity to have my own private screening in my living room and is cheaper than buying a ticket at the theaters.

No Country for Old Men, Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, Rated R, 93% Rotten Tomatoes, Streaming on Netflix

If you have access to a Netflix account and don’t want to spend any extra money but still want to see a good movie I recommend No Country for Old Men. It won Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 2008 and is based off of the Cormac Mccarthy novel.

The film stars Josh Brolin, as Llewellyn Moss a true cowboy and a man of few words, Javier Bardem, as the psychopathic Anton Chigurh which won him the Best Supporting Actor award for the role, and Tommy Lee Jones, playing the small town Sheriff Ed Tom, who struggles with trying to make sense of all the violence that occurs throughout the film. Personally my favorite character is Carla Jean, Llywelyn’s wife, who is helplessly sweet and faultless. She is played by the scottish actress Kelly Macdonald who flawlessly pulls off a southern accent.

This movie is essentially about how one choice can determine the fate of a man and the people around him. While out hunting Llewellyn finds a case full of cash and decides to take it, but there are consequences and this action leads everyone on a series of violent events. The film is aesthetically beautiful and the cinematography is breathtaking, this is especially true when they show the grand landscapes of the Texas plains. However, even though the film is suspenseful it is a slow build. A lot of the plot is unspoken. The directors, Joel and Ethan Coen, make you work as an audience member by not spelling everything out for you and truly using the art of film to tell the story.


About Author


Lia Durham

Lia Durham was born and raised in Santa Barbara. She is a Liberal Arts major with a concentration in Communication and Media. Her true passion lies with film. One of her favorite directors is Paul Thomas-Anderson. He has directed two of her favorite movies Boogie Nights and Magnolia. The way he is able to push the boundaries of storytelling really speaks to Lia. She would love to create movies of her own one day. For now she is happy with watching movies and writing about them.

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