This is the End (DVD/Blu-Ray)

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This is the End (DVD/Blu-Ray)

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Review of "This is the End (DVD/Blu-Ray)"

published 19/08/2013 | goldenbat666
Member since : 02/01/2010
Reviews : 227
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After a two-year break I'm itching to get typing again. May be rusty but be nice! Film reviews to trickle in :)
Super
Pro Some excellent comedic moments, good actors, and guess who's back??
Cons Not the most consistent comedy film - there aren't enough laughs to push this to a 5/5
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"This is the End"

Two important lessons to be learned from watching this film: that Jay Baruchel was in Clint Eastwood's Oscar winning boxing drama "Million Dollar Baby" (completely missed that), and that The Backstreet Boys are all alive and kicking, possibly getting geared up for a reunion. Watch the film, and you'll know what I mean.

If the apocalypse ever comes in your lifetime, perhaps it won't be a good idea to hang with a group of actors in your last moments on Earth. As "This is the End" shows, actors are self-confessed softies who only pretend to be tough for their roles - and this is a paraphrased sentence from Craig Robinson, one of the film's stars. As the day of reckoning outlined in the Bible gets underway, this isn't about a group of brave guys trying to save the world. It's about how they struggle to even save each other from themselves.

Jay (Jay Baruchel) and Seth (Seth Rogen) are old buds who meet up to spend the best weekend of their lives. And their interpretation of this involves hours and hours of gaming plus smoking marijuana. Seth in fact has been invited to James Franco's (James Franco) house-party packed full of Hollywood stars, one that Jay isn't particularly keen to attend, since he feels he doesn't fit in with that kind of fancy crowd. But they decide to go eventually, as who can really turn down an invite to a swanky gathering like this?

And oh what a fun party this is. James Franco's house (not actually his house in real-life but let's just go with it) is, needlessly to say, nothing short of an awe-inspiring creation, a real modern bachelor pad. Decorated with some outrageously stupid and somewhat hideous "art" there is plenty to be laughed at just by looking at the house itself. Franco lives just down the street from Channing Tatum, Seth says, possibly hinting at a cameo (wink, wink); one that certainly pays off. Inside it's a game of who's who in facial recognition - Mindy Kaling has some disturbing things to say about her desires for Michael Cera, whilst Cera himself seems to be more invested in singer Rihanna's bottom, for which she deservedly gives Cera a satisfying slap across the face. Emma Watson is also there hanging out, chilling by the pool, whilst Christopher Mintz-Plasse is understandably wildly annoyed when Cera blows some cocaine in his face. Also on the guest list are Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Aziz Ansari, Kevin Hart and David Krumholtz.

Everything was going so well - until the world literally starts shaking. Once everyone steps outside, they see what's happened to Los Angeles. Everything is on fire, buildings have been destroyed, and the ground is splitting, swallowing those unlucky few into the lava-filled core of the Earth. Cera becomes hilariously impaled on a steel pike although in the end, a few survive, including Seth, Jay, James, Jonah (Jonah Hill), Craig (Craig Robinson), and unfortunately for some, Danny (Danny McBride) too. (Basically those who starred in all the stoner movies you can think of). Not knowing initially what caused this catastrophe, this group of misfits has no choice but to barricade themselves in James' bachelor pad, conserving on supplies, hoping for some kind of miracle or rescue. Days go by without much good news, and as if things couldn't get any worse, they begin to realise that whatever is roaming outside isn't a creature from his Earth.

So the world is ending, there is some kind of monster that is gobbling up anything that moves, and with this backdrop of mass panic, the cast's self-mocking humour, examining their various platonic relationships work to the maximum whenever anyone runs in conflict with one another. There are some brutal verbal attacks on the actors' various unsuccessful films, including straightforward jabs at the terrible "Your Highness" (they discuss whether there should be a sequel: and the answer is a resounding "no") and "The Green Hornet" (remember that film where they tried to turn Rogen into a superhero?), whilst Oscar nominated Jonah Hill receives some abuse himself for being quite the thespian in the midst of all the comedians. Rogen and Franco also get up to developing their hilarious idea for a sequel for their successful stoner comedy "The Pineapple Express" - let's hope this project gets to see the light of day.

The underlying theme here is that Jay, a Canadian actor not quite adjusted to the Hollywood lifestyle and culture, sees increasing distance from his one-time Canadian actor friend Rogen who seems to have "sold out" to popularity and celebrity. A lot of the dialogue was improvised by the talented cast, and in the many face-offs and explosive, hysterical verbal arguments their gross-out gags start spilling out and don't know how to contain themselves. Among the highlight is McBride, as the one man who wasn't even invited to the party in the first place, but just stumbled into Franco's bathtub for the sake of it to get up to no good.

Obvious nods to "The Exorcist" are fully in play here, as one of the friends goes through an unpleasant episode of demonic possession after a particularly unpleasant, hideous..."encounter" with an evil being (an "Evil Dead" spoof?). Whenever the film starts to feel a little stale and repetitive, it is ready to bounce right back into action using either some very effective foul humour or a string of guest appearances they have lined up. Watson on a swearing rant wielding an axe is a particularly memorable moment.

Essentially everyone is playing slightly exaggerated versions of themselves, which makes is very easy for the audience to completely accept and embrace them for who they are. Stripped from luxury, having to resort to the bare minimum, their idea of barricading their sanctuary is to duct tape the hell out of the walls and windows. With six mismatched but endearingly eccentric individuals squabbling over who gets to eat the last chocolate bar they'll ever get to see, here is a deceptively simple yet entertaining film that constantly yearns to be more in terms of scale. With a well-placed Whitney Houston hit-song, it wraps up, only to top itself up in its unforgettably glittering finale. As with many comedy films there are scenes that don't quite work, but the huge laughs in the midst of The Revelation is quite an achievement in itself.

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Comments on this review

  • Deesrev published 07/12/2013
    Very well reviewed xXx
  • Anti_W published 01/09/2013
    Well reviewed as always. I've been wavering on whether to watch this one (especially since 'The World's End' came out a few months later), but your review has convinced me to give it a chance when it comes on DVD.
  • muppetbabe published 22/08/2013
    Nice review x
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Product Information : This is the End (DVD/Blu-Ray)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Classification: 15 years and over

DVD Region: DVD

EAN: 5051159193353

Production Year: 2013

Main Language: English

Actor: Seth Rogen

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Listed on Ciao since: 17/08/2013