This is the End Review

If the world were to end, how would different famous people react? That is the age-old question This is the End looks to answer. The directorial debut of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the movie stars Rogen, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride and Jay Baruchel as themselves after the apocalypse hits and they are forced to stay in Franco’s house. Watch the trailer after the jump and then read my review.

This movie was a lot better than I expected. The premise sounds bad, with six famous guys locked up in a huge mansion after the world ends. But Rogen and Goldberg take this idea to some interesting places and it becomes a very funny and very thrilling apocalypse movie.

A big reason this movie is actually good has to do with the script. Rogen and Goldberg have designed their characters, even though they are actually the actors, to be full of one-liners and gross ideas, while still being terrified of what’s outside the house. For example, Franco is always carrying a gun, McBride eats all the food and Robinson can’t take a small cut to the finger. Obviously it gets much more R-rated than that, but some of the best jokes don’t involve sex or drugs. They stem from the fact that these are just a group of guys trying to survive.

As the trailer shows, this film is full of cameos. Most (but not all) happen in the first 20 minutes at a huge party at James Franco’s house, with everyone from Paul Rudd and Jason Segal to Rihanna and Mindy Kaling. Even Emma Watson shows up. Most of them play themselves, just a celebrity looking to have a good time at a party. But Michael Cera goes above and beyond as a very exaggerated but very funny coke head. His 10 minutes of screen time is some of the funniest of the whole movie and I almost wish he was around longer.

One thing that did surprise me is the special effects in this movie. The CGI monsters are very well done, looking like something you would see in a real science-fiction movie. They are big, fast and gross looking, which I was pleasantly surprised about. They also do some cool things with smoke and lighting, so that some scenes are actually suspenseful and scary. Of course most of the movie is jokes, but Rogen and Goldberg put just the right amount of scares in this to keep the movie moving.

There wasn’t any real performances that stood out from the main cast. I really enjoyed Robinson’s as the big teddy bear character. And McBride played the arrogant slob roll pretty well too. Hill and Franco, who are frequently made fun of for being Oscar nominated actors, probably are the most boring. And Rogen is just along for the ride, as if he forgot to give his character anything to do while writing the others lines.

It’s really Jay Baruchel who keeps the plot moving forward. He plays the straight man; a guy who doesn’t want to be at the party in the first place and the only one who can keep his cool the whole time. He is brave, bold and smart while the other guys just try to one up each other with stupid stunts (which isn’t a bad thing). While he didn’t offer a ton of laughs, I really enjoyed Baruchel’s performance.

This is the End should be a stupid movie but it isn’t. Rogen and Goldberg have proven themselves as directors with a film that is both very funny and very exciting. I think having the actors play themselves made a big difference to the story and it created many opportunities for the stars to poke fun at themselves and their movies. I am very excited to see what this directors duo does next and do recommend you run to the theater to see this.

Monsters University Review

Summer is officially here and that means there is a new Pixar movie for fans to flock too. This year, the animation geniuses try their hand at a prequel, explaining how our favourite monsters, Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan, met. Starring Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Charlie Day, Aubrey Plaza, Bobby Moynihan and Nathan Fillion, this new movie explores what life as a monster student is really like, in some very funny ways. Watch the trailer after the jump and then read my review.

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Man of Steel Review

Superman is one of the most recognizable characters ever created and he finally has a movie that I think captures the pure power of Kal-El. Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Russell Crowe, Man of Steel reboots Superman’s origin story and sees him faceoff against his greatest enemy, General Zod. Watch the trailer after the jump and then read my review.

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The Hangover Part III Review

The conclusion to the Hangover trilogy is finally here and it breaks the formula the first two movies set. Starring Bradley Cooper, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Ken Jeong and Zach Galifianakis, the story follows our three heroes as they try to track down the insane Chang. Watch the trailer after the jump and then read my review.

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