This Is The End (UK - DVD R2)
Screw The Avengers this is mega Team-Up Marcus had the most fun with
While at a party at James Franco’s house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill and Craig Robinson (among many others) get to be at the forefront of the end of the world as L.A. begins to sink into hell. With the survivors locked up safe in Franco’s house, things go from bad to worse as demonic creatures begin lurking about and when Jay’s prediction that this could very well be the sort of apocalypse that’s written about in the Book of Revelation seems more and more correct, the group begin to work out ways to survive.
Okay, I’m an unapologetic fan of everyone in this flick. I don’t think Rogen’s “thing” has gotten old, I don’t think the stoner and dick jokes that many of these cast members thrive on have run out of stream and I’m not bored of the improvised style of dialogue delivery these guys deliver like masters. Those that are may want to avoid this one, as this seems to be a movie that splits the audience down the middle and given the cast are all playing themselves (well comedy spins on their celebrity personas at least) this may very well be Apatow’s crowd overload for many.
I lapped this one up by the double spoonful. From the strained friendship between Jay and Seth to the sleazy Michael Cera and everything in between. I laughed way more than I have done at many comedy movies for a fair few years and the scenes with the group considering who would most likely rape Emma Watson or Danny Mcbride and James Franco going at each other about Franco’s porn mags killed me in ways only my favourite comedies do. Also the late in the game cameo from a certain G.I. Joe was astonishing.
Rogen and Goldberg seem very much aware of how their friends are perceived. The in jokes about Franco wanting to be Rogen’s best friend is a nice nod to what made their relationship so good in Pineapple Express, Baruchel not quite being in the main L.A. crowd works very well and his odd relationship with Hill is hilarious. Danny McBride is treated like a god (as he should be) and he really is used as the the driver to a lot of madness that this end of the world tale plays in but despite all that in-joke-a-rama this doesn't just fall back and play as a spoof, instead it makes for one of the most feel good comedies of the year (despite everyone in it playing pretty horrid versions of themselves).
This may be a bit of a stretch but I’d say This Is The End is pretty damn close to the sort of fun Ghostbusters provided. It balances the monster elements well alongside its comedy slants and the characters still have to deal with the danger around them without the chuckles undermining anything. Of course This Is The End is not as family friendly as Ghosbusters has become and has a more of an adult edge but it still captures the fun and level headed approach to the sort of craziness Ghostbusters delivered on.
This Is The End feels like a logical step on the road that this slice of the Apatow pie was always going to take (even though Apatow isn't directly involved with this project). It’s almost like how all the Marvel films culminated in The Avengers. Seeing the Apatow crowd meet up in this funny as all hell team up movie seems to fit just as well as seeing all the Marvel heroes meet up and given how much I enjoyed this one, I can only hope after the next phase of movies the individuals churn out, they will once again meet up for another party movie where they all get to bounce off of each other.
I’ve just come out of the 4K mastered Blu-ray release for this as I picked it up on Monday, so hitting this DVD's standard definition was a hell of a come down. Anything that isn't a close up is super soft and colours feel really washy with the lack of sharp edges. Black levels are good enough and colours glow with all the fiery intensity the end of the world requires but standing this alongside the Blu-ray really shows the chasm between the two formats.
Skin tones run very hot with zero texture in anything less than a super close up. There’s not much in the way of depth to the image and details around Franco's home are lost in the backgrounds a lot of the time. This DVD simply looks okay for the format. None of the elements quite add up to greatness and the overall look of the standard definition release is sort of a creamy, grubby, glowing looking presentation that never quite looks right.
The audio mix is nice and punchy. The bass involved with the film’s soundtrack and the bedlam involved at the end of the world is felt throughout. Dialogue is crisp, there’s a good sense of space with the rears used to fill out the action sequences.
A lot of the time scenes are simply dialogue due to the structure of the comedy but when the regular interruptions from survivors or indeed demons kick the doors in they always pull the simple talking into a more powerful place. This one delivers bursts of full on thumping surround sound show off moments but largely relies on the cast talking as its focus.
The DVD comes with way less extras than the Blu-ray release and we begin with ‘Directing Your Friends (06:16) which is a good overview of the film’s making.
‘This Is The Marketing features seven of marketing spins used for the film including the redband sizzle trailer.
The commentary with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg is a blast. The pair are obviously close and it makes the track a whole lot of fun as they recount the making of the movie and the stories behind the scenes as the visuals spark their memories.
This Is The End is way up there in terms of my favourite flicks of 2013. I can see me re-watching it a whole lot as it doesn't seem the sort of thing I’ll get tired of re-visting as even on this third viewing I was chuckling at the big laughs and finding a lot of sniggers in the smaller throw away gags. This DVD is pretty grubby looking but has a solid audio track. The extras are good but like most of this DVD release, the Blu-ray edition has a lot more going for it if you want a much better overall package.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Release Date: 4th November 2013
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, English Audio Description Service, Dolby Digital 5.1 Italian
Subtitles: English, Engllish SDH, English Commentary Subtitles, Hindi, Italian Italian Commentary Subtitles, Polish
Extras: Commentary, Featurette, Marketing Material
Easter Egg: No
Director: Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg
Cast: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera. Emma Watson
Genre: Comedy and Sci-Fi
Length: 102 minutes
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