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“This Is The End” – Early Review (POSITIVE)

June 5, 2013

Screen shot 2013-06-05 at 8.23.39 PMLast summer’s R-rated comedy hit was Seth MacFarlane’s directoral debut, “Ted”. A film about a pot smoking, walking, talking, living-breathing Teddy bear. A silly plot, that turns out to be a sincere, brilliant comedy focusing on pop culture taboos/stereotypes, that MacFarlane so brilliantly does on his hit comedy shows like “Family Guy” or “American Dad”.

Now, in the summer of 2013, where comedy has so far become a bit of a lackluster, Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg join forces in their first, dual, directoral debut, about a bunch of pot-smoking celebs, trapped in James Franco’s house, during the Book of Revelation’s end of days.

In this tale, the film follows six friends; you may know them best as Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, and James Franco, all of which are trapped in Franco’s house after a series of strange and catastrophic events devastate Los Angeles. As the world unravels outside, dwindling supplies and cabin fever threaten to tear apart the friendships inside. Eventually, they are forced to leave the house, facing their fate and the true meaning of friendship and redemption.

What I admire about this movie is the fact that each and everyone of the celebrities that play themselves in this movie have no problem being in on the joke about themselves. Let’s face facts, many people think James Franco is an over pretentious douche, that’s what the people think of him, but is he really like that? No. But, in this world, he is, because that’s what we expect him to be. Same goes for Jonah Hill, after his Oscar run for “Moneyball”, many of us thought maybe he the fame has gone straight to his head; being pals with Brad Pitt, who wouldn’t think that? That’s the Jonah we get, and he’s scream!

Rogen & Goldberg are terrific writers, but directing, that’s a whole other ball park, not to mention directing a movie that features some big budget visual effects! The biggest thing they did right with a genre picture like this, was the fact that it was a well-balanced horror-comedy. Horror-comedies are generally one of the most difficult subgenre’s to do right. Only a few come to mind that have garnered the top best prize in that category, “Evil Dead 2”“Ghostbusters”, & “Cabin in the Woods”“This is the End” is more of a “Ghostbusters”, than any of the other films I’ve mentioned. The scares are perfectly timed at the right moment, which fluently lead into brilliant hilarity. The scene where Craig & Jay are scavenging  food in an abandoned home sums up my point.

If there’s anything that’s wrong with the movie, perhaps some of the improvising pacing. These guys are master improvisers, and they make the best of it here, but there are a few scenes where you’re just looking at the clock wondering how much longer could this schtick go on? The scene where Danny McBride is discussing his jizz became tiresome really fast. Not to mention some of the visual effects are kind of hokey and phony looking at times, but hey, it seems like some of the creatures here are embracing the B-movie side of it all, and for that I thank you.

“This is the End”, will be the surprise comedy hit of the summer, its certainly a movie that could’ve absolutely disappointed, but it some how finds a way to pull a fast one on what the audiences are going in expecting. In the end it’s a funny romp about the end of the world, and how sometimes being with your buds can be all for the best (or worst).

GRADE: B+

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