Saturday, June 22, 2013

Review -- 5 For & 5 Against: "This Is the End"

This Is the End, Featuring Everyone
If you read my pity party post last weekend, then you you'll be glad to know that yes, I am over it. Part of that has to do with not only how quickly the work week seemed to go despite how slow we are, right now (Oh, don't worry - this is our regular slow season; this particular NPO isn't going away any time soon). And while I did just as much yard work (if not more) today as I did last weekend, I also got to actually see a Summer movie that was on my list, and spend some time with my friend, Mike. Again, the movie's been out for a week and a half, the big reviews are out and any spoilers I might spoil have already been leaked (though I promise to alert you to them as always).

While there have been movies about the End of the World for almost as long as there have been movies, it seems to me that comedies about the End are few and far between. Last year's Seeking a Friend for the End of the World was less than hilarious, though 2009's Zombieland was very much so. Kubrick's comedic genius is quite evident in 1964's Dr. Strangelove and Roman Polanski's 1967 horror-comedy The Fearless Vampire Killers does end with the vampires taking over the world. Then there's Ivan Reitman's 2001 alien invasion comedy Evolution. Basically a Sci-Fi re-hash of Ghostbusters and a massive fail, Evolution  could have been so much better than it was, though I don't know of anyone who remembers seeing this movie, but me and my friend Laura. So that's five off the top of my head... if I'm missing any, please let me know.

Based on an NSFW short film/faux trailer made by stars Seth Rogan (doing his best MacCauley Caulkin in the photo above) and Jay Baruchel called Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse (see it here - again, NSFW), This Is the End is an End-of-the-World Stoner Comedy featuring every young(ish) comedy star working today, playing and parodying themselves. James Franco; Jonah Hill; Danny McBride; Craig Roberston; Michael Cera; Emma Watson; Mindy Kaling; Christopher Mintz-Plasse; Paul Rudd; Aziz Ansari and the Backstreet Boys make up just some of the dozens of celebrities who find themselves facing an apparently Biblical Apocalypse, complete with the Rapture. Mike and I both liked This Is the End, though he more than me. Here are my 5 For and 5 Against, this time starting with 5 Against:

5 Against:

5. Danny McBride remains as annoying as he always is in every thing I've ever seen him in. And while the movie is constructed to make us hate him, I always hate him. He's rarely, if ever, funny.

4. The movie's second act, despite including an hysterically bad home-made sequel to Pineapple Express, drags a bit. Co-directed by Rogan and Evan Goldberg (Superbad; The Green Hornet), the two just don't seem to know when a joke has run out of steam.

3. SPOILER (highlight to view) -  Urine drinking! Ugh!

2. Again, why include jokes/scenes/visuals in the trailer which don't end up on screen? 

1. While giving some memorable performances, Aziz Ansari and Paul Rudd are terribly under-used. Especially Paul Rudd, who is never even given the chance to be naked. Paul Rudd should be naked at least once in every movie in which he appears (though is seems like he usually is). I know that at my sweet (and quite unsane like me) Mia would agree. Admit it... you do, too. Oh, Paul...

5 For:

5. The well-executed, occasionally cringe-worthy and quite often hilarious CGI.

4. Well-used isual and dialog references from Ghostbusters; Left Behind; The Exorcist; Jurassic Park; Rosemary's Baby and probably dozens more apocalyptic movies.

3. Rhianna gets swallowed into the Abyss.

2. SPOILER (highlight to view) -  Heaven Has Roller Coasters!!!

1. Michael Cera, delivering the movie's funniest performance as what is essentially the 'Anti-Cera.' The scene where Baruchel walks in on Cera in Franco's bathroom is the most uncomfortable belly-laugh you can imagine. And it just gets more hysterically offensive as it progresses.

The very 'Hard R' rated comedy is probably the funniest comedy I've seen in a while. **1/2 (Two and a Half Out of Four Stars). This Is the End is rated 'R' for Apocalyptic Violence; Gore; Language; Sexual Situations; Male Genitalia; Drug Use and Gross-Out Humor. 

And once again, as with the last movie I saw with Mike, there was an very inappropriately aged child brought in by (presumably) his parents. What the...?!?! Have fun explaining all the sexual references the adults found funny to your 9-year old and telling him not to use profanity, a-holes. Then call Family Services and relinquish your parental rights, because you are horrible parents.

More, anon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like Evolution.

I saw WWZ and it was actually very good for a zombie movie. It had it's faults but you really didn't notice them, My 16 year old nephew and his friends loved it. My review on monday.