Sunday, July 7, 2013

This Is the Ed (Rhoades)

The Last Word on
“This Is the End”

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

My wife is reading a book called “The Age of Miracles,” in which the world is coming to an end. And I just watched “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,” a touching romance with Steve Carell and Keira Knightley facing … well, you know what.
Now we have a new movie called “This Is the End,” a funny romp in which a frat-boy array of Hollywood stars encounters the apocalypse.
Like those doomsayers say, the end is near … because “This Is the End” is playing this week at Tropic Cinema.
In this wonky premise, a bunch of young actors are partying at James Franco’s mansion when they learn that the world is falling apart outside.
Taking refuge inside Franco’s fortress-like house, the guests battle cabin fever, each other, and dwindling food supplies that reduces Emma Watson to eating ketchup packets and rats. Also, as an aside, they’re forced to examine the true meaning of friendship.
The real-life actors in this not-so-real story include Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, Channing Tatum, Craig Robinson, Aziz Ansari, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Danny McBride, Rihanna, the Backstreet Boys, even Jason Segel in an uncredited role.
Written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, it’s based on a short film called “Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse.” However, this feature version was plumped up with plenty of “Pineapple Express” type jokes. Make sure you’ve got the kind of funny bone that enjoys humor about genitals, drugs, and religion.
Keep in mind, Rogen and Goldberg have been affectionately called “connoisseurs of bad taste.” Also, “juvenile and sophomoric.” And worse.
Fanboys are having a mixed reaction. One example: “Just saw it. Unbelievably funny.” Another example: “Just came back from watching this mess … what a disappointment.” And still another: “It’s non-stop laughing from the opening scene to closing.”
Trying to classify “This Is the End,” one mystified film critic termed it a “stoner/celebrity culture/end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it comedy.” That’s pretty accurate.
Rogen’s posse deserves credit for submitting to this excruciating self-parody. What another observer called “insightful skewering of a celebrity-obsessed culture.” That’s pretty accurate too.
In the end, it’s a funnier-than-usual bromance in the Judd Apatow style. And that’s my last word.

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