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Sunday, October 13, 2013

This Is The End Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
The end may be near but the party’s just beginning when the hit comedy This Is The End comes to Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and Digital from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. James Franco (127 Hours, Pineapple Express), Jonah Hill (Moneyball, Superbad), Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, Pineapple Express), Jay Baruchel (Knocked Up, Tropic Thunder), Danny McBride (TV’s “Eastbound & Down,” Due Date), and Craig Robinson (TV’s “The Office,” Hot Tub Time Machine) star in this apocalyptically hilarious movie about six friends trapped in James Franco’s house as the world around them comes to an end. Written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, creators of Pineapple Express and Superbad, This Is The End is filled with raunchy and irreverent humor, shocking special effects, as well as surprise cameos, with appearances by Rihanna (Battleship), Michael Cera (Juno) and Emma Watson (Harry Potter series).
Film (3 out of 5 stars)

Jay Baruchel is not a fan of the Los Angeles lifestyle, but he is in LA visiting long time friend Seth Rogen. After a trip to Carl's Jr. the duo head back to Rogen's house for some pot, video games and leg wrestling. Jay would be happy to spend the weekend with more of the same fun, but Rogen convinces him to go to James Franco's housewarming party. Jay doesn't fit in in Los Angeles, and he doesn't want to be part of Rogen's circle of friends, but he reluctantly agrees.

Guests at the party include Rihanna, Michael Cera, Mindy Kaling, Aziz Ansari, Jason Segel, Kevin Hart, and a tardy Paul Rudd. Jay and Seth go to the store for cigarettes and the end of the world begins. People around them are sucked into the sky through rays of blue light and chaos ensues. Back at Franco's house the party is still going strong and everyone assumes a minor earthquake is to blame for the commotion.

Soon a sinkhole forms in Franco's front yard and party guests start dying quick and violent deaths. Left behind are Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, James Franco and Jonah Hill. They barricade the doors and attempt to wait out the danger inside. As it becomes clear that the apocalypse is underway, the men evaluate why they were left behind. The friends share food and insults and cuddle together in a living room sleepover when the noises outside become too scary to deal with. When circumstances result in them needing to leave the house they realize that there still might be a way into heaven, and out of the disasters on earth.

It may not sound like it, but this film is definitely a comedy – and a raunchy one at that. If you've ever been disgusted by a Seth Rogen film, this isn't for you. The cast who were willing to participate is impressive and includes a few special guests I intentionally failed to mention because the reveal would be ruined. It's bloody, gross on many levels and probably written while Seth Rogen was high. This type of humor does not usually suit me, but This is the End was much better than I expected. The special features are even better than the movie itself, and are almost as long.

The writers of Pineapple Express and Superbad bring you an apocalyptic film starring an impressive group of actors playing themselves – hopefully exaggerated versions of themselves.  This is the End shows you a side of some of your favorite actors you've definitely never seen, and led me to wonder how accurate some of the personalities were. While it's not a big stretch to play yourself in a movie, it surprised me how many actors were willing to poke fun at themselves.
Video (4 out of 5 stars)

This is the End is presented on Blu-ray in 1080p high definition with a 2.40:1 ratio. It is mastered in 4K for maximum picture and expanded color. Although the film is a comedy it has many visual effects and computer generated images that play well on the Blu-ray. For most of the film, Southern California is on fire. This leaves a dirty red haze in the air. Combined with dim lighting the film is intentionally gritty. Blood is seen in many hues from a comically bright to dark and realistic. For a comedy, the filmmakers treated the effects like it was a sci-fi/horror flick and it's created a good looking product.
Audio (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

This is the End is presented English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French (PAR), and English Audio-Description Track 5.1 Dolby Digital. Dialogue ranges from scared whispers to screams but is always intelligible without volume adjustment. A majority of the film takes place inside James Franco's home, and the drama unfolding outside has a deep and directional feel.
Extras (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

With over 90 minutes of special features, this is an incredibly detailed list of extras. You need to watch the film to understand the context of many of them, but I enjoyed most of the extras more than the film itself. There are so many, I actually did start to get bored with them though as they became repetitive.

The Blu-ray disc contains the following special features:
  • Commentary – Audio Commentary with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg – an amusing commentary where the co-directors give filming details, and tell anecdotes about the movie. They point out many details that I missed during the original viewing.
  • Directing your Friends – Co-Directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg talk about how easy and difficult it was to direct people they are friends with.
  • Meta-Apocalypse – The cast discusses playing themselves and the differences between their characters and their real life personalities.
  • Let's Get Technical – A featurette about the stunts including using fire, car wrecks and filming from a severed head's point of view.
  • Party Time – A featurette about the party at Franco's house and assorted death scenes.
  • The Cannibal King - An extended look at Cannibal King Danny McBride and his “pet” Channing Tatum.
  • The Making of “The Making of Pineapple Express 2” - A look at shooting the sequel within the movie.
  • Jay & Seth vs. the Apocalypse – The Original Short Film with Jay and Seth at rock bottom facing the end.
  • Line-O-Rama – The actors and their multiple passes at three scenes, available individually or with the play all feature.
  • This is the Gag Reel – The actors crack themselves up trying to deliver their lines in the lengthy gag reel.
  • Deleted Scenes – Eight lengthy deleted scenes that can be selected individually or with a play all feature. A few of the deleted scenes are amusing, most should have definitely been cut out.
  • This is the Marketing – Marketing Outtakes, Aziz Haunts Craig, James and Danny Confessional, Jonah Confessional, Jay and Seth Confessional, The Cast, and Redband Sizzle Trailer that must be selected individually, leaving me to wonder why everything else got a play all.
  • Previews – Preview trailers for White House Down, Elysium, The Kings of Summer, Insidious: Chapter 2, In a World...., and The To Do List.
  • The DVD includes:
    • Audio Commentary
    • Directing Your Friends featurette
    • This is the Marketing.
Summary (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

This is the End is rated R for crude and sexual content throughout, brief graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use, and some violence.  The film is full of raunchy humor, but I have to admit it that it is funny.  Fans of Rogen will surely not be disappointed, and the film includes a few surprises I intentionally failed to mention.  The final score for the film was pushed up higher thanks to the significant amount of special features that were obviously pre-planned combined along with the set's good audio and video presentations.  

Order your copy today!


4 comments:

  1. Umm, this review is missing a very important sentence about Rhianna and Mindy Kaling. What the heck, man?

    ReplyDelete
  2. No it isn't. Spoilers about who may have died in the movie and expressing happiness that some of them got killed in the movie shouldn't be part of a review. I used my editorial prerogative to keep this review focused on the movie! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. You censored us! I object! =)

    ReplyDelete

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