Monday, June 24, 2013

This Is the End

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! When the rapture hits, I'm going to James Franco's house.  I'm sure he'll let me in when I point out how I always mention what a great actor he is in my reviews.



This Is the End – 5 out of 5


This is, quite possibly, one of the funniest films I have ever seen in my life!

This Is the End sees Jay Baruchel (playing himself) reuniting with his childhood friend Seth Rogen (also playing himself and pulling even more duties as co-writer and director with Evan Goldberg) for a pot-fueled weekend of catching up and video games. However, Seth recommends they head to James Franco’s house warming party (Franco is also playing himself—I think you see the pattern here). Reluctantly, Jay agrees but when the two head off from the party for a pit stop at a convenient store and a discussion how Jay is feeling uncomfortable at the party because the people there are not the types he likes to associate with, all insanity snaps around them as mysterious blue lights start to pluck random people off the ground and pull them into the skies. Jay and Seth rush back to the party only to find that all hell breaks loose—literally! The rapture has arrived and now Seth, Jay, James Franco, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride are stuck with little supplies and a horde of unholy nightmares waiting outside.


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Quick James Franco, use your powers of tremendous dramatic acting
to put out the flames!


Flat out, this movie is just abso-fucking-lutely hilarious! From beginning to end, this movie is side-explodingly funny with little slowing down the entire time. On the surface, this movie has the potential to be a gimmick that would wear out its novelty very early on—having actors play caricatured version of themselves during the rapture could have easily been a one-joke film that ends up beating the dead horse in a time paradox way where the dead horse has already suffered a tremendous beating before the beating actually starts. However, thanks to non-stop, fantastic performances from the main players (and all the cameo parts—but I’ll get to that later) and a witty, brilliant script from Goldberg and Rogen, the movie stays fresh the entire time.


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I suppose I could put a joke about how Kanye and Kim having a baby caused this
end of the world event but, so far, it's been said by exactly 1 million stand up comics
at every fucking open mic during this last week.


The comedy this film throws at you is more than just a bunch of pot, dick and rapture jokes. While the movie has all these (and they are hilarious!) they add even more with some witty, insulting banner between the characters that feels almost like they are venting their real frustrations at each other and are engaged in a real, albeit funny, arguments.


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Usually the arguments ended in white guy dancing.  So, everybody wins!


This Is the End also has some incredible slapstick moments that culminates in terrific scenes where dignity goes out the window. There was no hint at celebrity egos in this one as each and every player in the film allowed themselves to be mocked and teased or look like a screaming girl when the terror goes down. This lack of egos only helps the film have a legitimate and authentic feel to it—or about as real as a film about the rapture can be. Even more surprising is how there are celebrities making cameos that get killed off—I’m actually shocked that Rihanna (who sadly makes a cameo but, thankfully, doesn’t sing) didn’t pull a diva move to keep herself alive in the story. It could have been easy for any actor in this film to say, “I was in this and deserve this, so this shouldn't happen to me in this movie” and the film could have been a two hour circle jerk to a golden idol that is an actor's inflated sense of self-worth but the movie was so tongue-in-cheek and the actors and characters straight up making fun of themselves that such a thing never occurs.


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Michael Cera, on the other hand, is a Golden Idol all on his own.  Treasure him.


One of the special treats this film offers up the viewer is the insane amount of cameos that occur. Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Michael Cera are just to name a very, very small few. Each one (except Rihanna—she couldn’t act in Battleship and she REALLY could act as herself) is just a riot and some, ones I won’t mention for the sake of spoilers, are beyond words with the humor they brought.


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Fuck, I just remembered she DID sing at one point and did it without
Auto-Tune...the rapture suddenly seems easier to deal with.


One of the most interesting things about this film I found, was how serious they took the rapture part of this rapture comedy. All the events of the apocalypse occur with a serious undertaking and a side dish of the Ha-Ha's. The beasts of the underworld, the burning sets of carnage and the horrors that are brought from these things all look like they could be used in a serious film about the End Times. The dichotomy of the hell-spawned nightmares that torment our cast and the funny nature of our characters trying to deal with these awful baddies and scream like girls while doing it only intensified the hilarity. However, despite how all these elements feel like they belong in the next Roland Emmerich film, there’s still a familiar humor to them that keeps them just on the line of funny without branching too far into the real terror part.


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Well, it's not as frightening as the lack of jokes in The Sitter.


The best thing, in my opinion, of this film has to be that, with all the fire, demons, drugs and jacking-off jokes, there is a heart and charm to the film’s story layered within. Overall, with all the rapturing and rupturing of the laugh organ (that thing exists) there is a tension and heart-filled story about Jay and Seth’s friendship. Rogen and Goldberg did a magical thing and made this movie about their troubled friendship and the impact it took with their separate careers without you truly realizing it and being overwhelmed by a potentially needless sappy lovefest. They took a rapture movie with a bloated big-budget feel (and did I mention how great the special effects were?) and made it more about two friends finally getting their grievances off their chest and understanding each other more deeply right before their worlds come to an end. It was actually really sweet seeing Jay and Seth’s development throughout the film and a testament to the filmmaking of Rogen and Goldberg with how they made the film touching without taking away from the comedy.

This Is the End is just pure comedic genius. The premise is fantastic, the special effects really sell the story, the cameos are an icing on an already delicious cake and the comedy is non-stop. The film is fun, touching and hysterical. It’s going to be one of those movies I will watch over and over again. I can honestly say that this is one of the greatest comedies I’ve sat through in a long time!

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