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October 25, 2013
Vol. 55 No. 7

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Movie puts twist on old tool

Comedy is difficult to pull off. Writers, directors and even actors who often improvise have quite the job coming up with new material to keep audiences interested, and what audience wouldn't be interested in a movie where actors play...themselves?
"This Is the End," a film written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, hit the DVD and Blu-Ray racks officially on Oct. 1.
An ensemble cast with many of Hollywood's most well-known, the film is about an A-list party that goes wrong when the apocalypse comes, killing off their friends and creating tense yet comical relationships.
Overall, the film is decent and received decent scores on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. It's a film that allows viewers to just sit down and escape to a funny and bizarre world when needed, preferably with a group of friends.
As mentioned previously, the actors portray themselves throughout the movie. Therefore, there's really not too much to point out about the acting as to whether it was good or bad.
Of course there are frequent moments within the film that are exaggerated and scripted, such as when Michael Cera is hyped up on drugs with two women in the restroom, but viewers should know beforehand that things like that are to be expected.
An important aspect of the film is the relationship between Rogen and Baruchel's characters, or real-life selves.
Rogen is a huge Hollywood star and old-time friend of Baruchel, who doesn't care for the Los Angeles lifestyle that consists of huge parties and hard drugs.
Throughout the beginning of the movie, Rogen tries to get Baruchel engaged in the party, but Baruchel just doesn't fit in.
No matter how silly or unrealistic the movie's plot becomes, that kind of relationship is heavily relatable; a friend trying to introduce another to a different lifestyle.
It is appreciated when writers throw in the little things that bring viewers closer to real life, intentional or not.
The most comedic part of the film is when the celebrities start dying off.
Death itself isn't very funny, and some find it quite vile when others laugh in circumstances involving fatal consequence, but this is an exception. Rihanna, Aziz Ansari and Kevin Hart are well-loved and enjoyed celebrities around the globe, but there is something just satisfying about seeing them die in an exaggerated way on the screen.
It proves that celebrities aren't untouchable and that things can happen to anyone.
As this film isn't meant to be serious, viewers can see the special effects not being top-notch, but it is still one of the more significant complaints.
Even if it's not an "Avatar" or a "Batman" film, filmmakers could have done a better job with effects such as fire, blood and other CGI effects in general, especially during the apocalypse scene.
Viewers may also be offended by the material in the film. Not only is there a mess of drugs, blood and vulgarity, but there is an entire scene dealing with the context of rape.
Viewers should be prepared to encounter these topics before purchasing the movie if they are easily unsettled.
It is very rare to see movies in which actors played themselves, and for the most part "This Is the End" executes this well, with the exceptions of graphics and slightly crossing the line with content.
This film is a good choice for a movie night with friends if viewers want to laugh at the simple irony of celebrities dealing with one of entertainment's most popular plot devices of the decade.

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