This is The End

Weirdest episode of Undeclared ever.
"Nothing ruins a party like the end of the world."

Hello all, and welcome back to The Tagline! As Halloween approaches it seems only fitting that I should address the subject of demons and the apocalypse, and so following that theme I decided to finally watch This is the End, a film basically about the cast of Judd Apatow productions experiencing the end of days. The movie starts with Jay Baruchel arriving to hang out with Seth Rogen, and then going to a party at James Franco's house, despite Jay's reservations (as he isn't really into the whole 'Hollywood lifestyle thing' and Franco's party is totally out of control). After some weird encounters with Franco (who seems really obsessed with Seth Rogen) and Jonah Hill (who acts really fake nice to Baruchel) Seth and Jay go to a convenience store to get some smokes. There they experience a huge earthquake, and then witness people being carried away in columns of blue light. The two run back to Franco's house amidst the carnage, where no one has noticed. Then a giant rift opens in the Earth, and a whole bunch of people die, horribly, including Michael Cera, so that was pretty cool. In the aftermath, Rogen, Baruchel, Hill, Franco, and Craig Robinson are the only ones left in Franco's house (actually Danny McBride is passed out in the bathtub, but they don't know that). The group resolve to barricade themselves inside the house, and wait for help. As you might guess, help is not forthcoming.

Ladies and Gentlemen...Michael Cera
As time passes, the relationship between the main cast stuck in the house is strained (especially because James Franco apparently hates Danny McBride in the movie) also Emma Watson shows up and robs them after she hears everyone talking about how they have to protect her from being raped and she thinks they're arguing about who gets to rape her. Baruchel becomes convinced that a biblical reckoning is upon them, and the attack of demons and all the fire and death seems to confirm that (also people being raptured up into the sky). Baruchel concludes that none of them were saved because they are all pretty terrible people. Which the movie demonstrates to us that they are (well Jay Baruchel seems okay, he's just kind of a hipster douche). The group is eventually forced to venture outside briefly when they run out of water, and this only exposes them to greater demonic danger.

This is how I feel when I see Michael Cera.
I don't want to spoil it all for you, because it is quite funny to watch, but the point is that fictionalized, incredibly ridiculous versions of a bunch of actors, are caught in the middle of the apocalypse, and they do a lot of dumb, ridiculous, especially vulgar shit. At one point James Franco and Danny McBride get into a shouting match about where they can or cannot jizz, after McBride cums all over Franco's one remaining porno magazine (this is included in the assessment of their supplies) The humor on offer here reminded me a lot of Hot Tub Time Machine, in that I also expected that movie to be stupid and not funny, when in actuality it was stupid and VERY funny (see my feelings about HTTM and other John Cusack films here). My same caveat as with a lot of similar movies though: if you are easily offended, or don't find things that are kind of dumb funny, then definitely avoid this movie, because it's not exactly the most brilliant piece of cinema ever conceived (apparently it is based on a short about a similar subject that director Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen had made that I think is included in the DVD release) It's just funny to see actors tearing into each other, and also portraying ridiculous caricatures of themselves.

I feel like I had a really bad idea about what this movie's deal was going in, because the ads had been pretty thin (Sony's support of the film was fairly tentative for obvious reasons) and it saw a wide release for a really brief window. I didn't really understand that the movie involved literal brimstone and demons raping Jonah Hill, or a giant monster dog slicing a dude's head off. If I had I might've watched the movie sooner. I also expected the effects to be pretty weak, especially because they didn't show anything for most of the movie, but I was pleasantly surprised. I guess they limited how much they showed the demons so that when they did they could make it look good, and certainly with their 32 million dollar budget they had the opportunity and means to do that for at least a short amount of time. I also have to admit that there is clearly no better way to end a movie than with the Backstreet Boys performing in Heaven... I guess. No seriously this happens.

So if you like any of the actors in this movie, or even if you don't and just want to watch some really crude humor, totally give This is The End a watch. It's not that long and is consistently funny throughout. That's my wrap-up for today, make sure if you're interested you catch the Rifftrax Live Night of the Living Dead showing Thursday (tonight the 24th). It'll be playing in a bunch of theaters all over, I'm really excited to be going! (ticket and theater info here)

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