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This is the End (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 30, 2013 by  



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“The film is rather wild, crazy and ridiculous…but I enjoyed “This is the End” because of that!  It’s so unusual, yet fun and it features many celebrity cameos as well.  If you are looking for a crazy film to watch, definitely give this apocalyptic comedy a try! 

Images courtesy of © 2013 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: This is the End

FILM RELEASE: 2013

DURATION: 107 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 2:40:1, Engish 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French, English Audio Description 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, English, French

COMPANY: Sony Picture Home Entertainment

RATED: R (For Crude and Sexual Content Throughout, Brief Graphic Nudity, Pervasive Language, Drug Use and Some Violence)

Release Date: October 1, 2013

Directed by Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen

Screenplay by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

Based on the short film “Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse” by Jason Stone

Produced by Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, James Weaver

Executive Producer: Jay Baruchel, Evan Goldberg, Barbara A. Hall, Kyle Hunter, Nathan Kahane, Ariel Shaffir, Jason Stone

Music by Henry Jackman

Cinematography by Brandon Trost

Edited by Zene Baker

Casting by Francine Maisler

Production Design by Chris L. Spellman

Art Direction by William Ladd Skinner

Set Decoration by Helen Britten

Costume Design by Danny Glicker

Starring:

James Franco as James Franco

Jonah Hill as Jonah Hill

Seth Rogen as Seth rogen

Jay Baruchel as Jay Baruchel

Danny McBride as Danny McBride

Craig Robinson as Craig Robinson

Michael Cera as Michael Cera

Emma Watson as Emma Watson

Mindy Kailing as Mindy Kailing

David Krumholtz as David Krumholtz

Rihanna as Rihanna

Martin Starr as Martin Starr

Paul Rudd as Paul Rudd

Channing Tatum as Channing Tatum

Kevin Hart as Kevin Hart

Aziz Ansari as Aziz Ansari

Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Christopher Mintz Plasse

THIS IS THE END follows six friends trapped in a house after a series of strange and catastrophic events devastate Los Angeles. As the world unravels outside, dwindling supplies and cabin fever threaten to tear apart the friendships inside. Eventually, they are forced to leave the house, facing their fate and the true meaning of friendship and redemption.

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For filmmakers and writers Evan Goldberg (“Pineapple Express”, “Superbad”, “The Green Hornet”) and Seth Rogen (“Pineapple Express”, “Knocked Up”, “The Green Hornet”), the two have wanted to create a film in which the actors play themselves.

In 2007, Goldberg along with director Jay Stone would create the short “Jay and Seth versus the Apocalypse”which was posted on YouTube and would lead to Stone and Goldberg to shop the project around and by 2011, a feature film adaptation of the short was made.

The film would star Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride and would also feature Jason Segel, Emma Watson, Michael Cera, Rihanna, Mindy Kailing, David Krumholtz, Paul Rudd, Channing Tatum, Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari and many more.

The apocalyptic/comedy film which was budgeted around $32 million, would go on to earn over $116 million and receive positive reviews from American film critics.

And now “This is the End” will be released on Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack in October 2013.

“This is the End” begins with actor Jay Baruchel visiting his friend, actor Seth Rogen in Los Angeles.  Jay is not a big fan of living or being in Los Angeles and just wants to hang out, smoke weed, play video games and eat snacks with his buddy.

But Seth wants to take Jay to actor James Franco’s home, who is having a housewarming party.  Jay doesn’t want to go but for Seth, he’ll do it.

And when the two arrive, it’s a celebrity party with James Franco, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Rihanna, Jason Segel, David Krumholtz, Emma Watson, Mindy Kailing, Kevin Hart and many other people who are getting drunk or high.While everyone is having fun, Jay feels uncomfortable.

Needing some cigarettes, Jay asks Seth to take him to a convenience store and when they go, beams of blue light carries people up to the skies, while chaos takes place all around the city as car accidents are happening all over the place and the group  end up running to Franco’s home.

When both Seth and Jay come running back inside Franco’s home, Jay tries to explain to people what happened but they think he’s high on drugs.  When Jay tries to have Seth back him up, Seth acts as if he saw nothing.  Thinking that there is an earthquake, people at the party start running out they see Los Angeles in flames.

Immediately, Michael Cera is impaled and the ground starts to open alll around theme and many people including the celebrities fall to their death.

The only survivors from the party are James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and Craig Robinson and try to seek safety inside James Franco’s home.

The group then plans their survival strategy of living with limited food and water, drugs and a functioning revolver from the movie “Flyboys” and try to protect themselves by barricading the home with paintings and duck tape.

The following morning, as the group wakes up, they find Danny McBride cooking almost all the food that they have., wasting their supplies.  The group are upset at him for using up all their food and told them that they needed to save the food until they are rescued.  Danny doesn’t believe them until they see a man trying to come in from a hole in the wall, asking for their help and he ends up being beheaded.

As the group tries to make the best of their time doing drugs and filming a sequel to “Pineapple Express”, various conflicts begin to take place in the home they start to distrust each other.  Meanwhile, Jay believes what is taking place is the Apocalypse as described in the “Book of Revelation” in the Bible.  And the blue lights that brought people up is the rapture as the good go to heaven and that demons are now on Earth.

Will any of these actors survive the Apocalypse?

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VIDEO:

“This is the End” receives a mastering in 4K and presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio).  But the majority of the film is shot indoors and the lighting is meant to be dim and the outdoor scenes are at night.  With that being said, it’s not a film where one can expect to see vibrant colors but the CG elements of the film look great.  From Los Angeles in flames, blue lights carrying people up to the sky.  Really good use of CG in this film, from creating the chaos and apocalyptic surroundings to a huge demon.  The balance of CG and the actual film worked very well.

But once again, not the most vibrant of the films but good details on closeups and seeing detail on the clothing.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“This is the End” is presented in English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio.  French 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description Track 5.1 Dolby Digital.  As the film was given a 4K mastering on Blu-ray, its highlight would be its lossless soundtrack as the apocalyptic scenes are quite immersive.  Explosions, car crashes, ground rumbling, big demon attacking everyone, when the action is taking place, the surround channels and LFE are well-used.  Dialogue and music (during the part sequence) are crystal clear and for the most part, “This is the End” is an immersive film when it comes to the action scenes!

Subtitles are presented in English, English SDH and French.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“This is the End” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary with co-directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
  • Directing Your Friends – (6:31) Co-directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg talk about working with your friends.
  • Marketing Outtakes – (6:39) Outtakes for the marketing promotionals for “This is the End”.
  • Aziz Haunts Craig – (1:04) Aziz Ansari haunts Craig Robinson.
  • James and Danny Confessional – (1:19) James Franco and Danny McBride’s confessional.
  • Jonah Confessional – (1:18) Jonah Hill’s confessional.
  • Seth and Jay Confessional – (:57) Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel confessional.
  • The Cast – (3:45) The cast of “This is the End” talk about what the movie is about.
  • Redband Sizzle Trailer – (1:47) Redband trailer for “This is the End”.
  • This is the Gag Reel – (6:16) Outtakes from “This is the End”.
  • Deleted Scenes – Featuring eight deleted scenes.
  • Line-O-Rama – For those who have watched Seth Rogen films, line-o-rama features the improvised scenes (about 12 minutes long for all) and there are three scenes featured: Sleepover, We Don’t Know You Man! and Cum Battle!.
  • Meta-Apocalypse – (7:43) The cast talks about playing themselves (albeit exaggerated versions) on “This is the End”.
  • Party Time – (12:54) The making of the house party sequence with the many star cameos.  But also how the special effects were done for this scene.
  • The Cannibal King – (4:25)  Outtakes from Danny McBride and Channing Tatum’s scene.
  • Let’s Get Technical – (10:44) How various scenes were created and how the look of the film came about.
  • The Making of “The Making of Pineapple Express 2” – (6:20) The making of the “Pineapple Express 2” segment featured in “This is the End”.
  • Jay & Seth vs. The Apocalypse – The Original Short – (9:58) The original short that inspired “This is the End”.

EXTRAS:

“This is the End” comes with the Blu-ray, DVD and UltraViolet Digital Copy.  Also, included is a slipcover.

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Watching “This is the End” and seeing the various talent such as Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and Seth Rogen himself, you know you are going to get one heck of a crazy comedy and in this case, one of the wildest, hilarious films that I have seen but yet can also say, it won’t be for everybody.

The film has a self-deprecating humorous style as everyone involved are friends and they can poke at each other and have fun with it.

From the “gay” jokes that are featured with James Franco, the jokes of Jay Baruchel and his body, jokes about Jonah Hill’s demeanor and the fact that the actors are playing exaggerated versions of themselves also adds to the fun.  For example, during the party, Michael Cera is seen to be a guy who has a lot sex with females at the party and does a load of drugs.

But the jokes are very funny, not sure how much of it was scripted or improvised but there are some spontaneous reactions and words that come out of their mouths, especially from Danny McBride that are hilarious, so wrong but he manages to make it work.

The film also features a lot of star cameos from talents such as Emma Watson, Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, Michael Cera, Kevin Hart, Mindy Kailing, Rihanna, Martin Starr and many more.

And the use of CG elements such as the destruction of Los Angeles and a large demon flying around the city was well-done.

But now the bad, this film is not for everyone especially those who are religious.  The film does poke fun on the rapture and also a perception of heaven that may offend people.  So, for those who are sensitive about those type of things, this film is not for you.

“This is the End” is a film that features a lot of drug use, profanity and adult humor.  And there are some violence that are not necessarily realistic but there are scenes with a man’s head being cut off and the guys being scared and begin kicking the head around like a soccer ball.  It’s not scary at all but once again, for those who may be sensitive to those type of things,  may not want to watch this film.

As for the Blu-ray release, when I saw that it was mastered in 4K, I have to admit that I was excited but the film is shot in dim areas, during the dark and aside from the ending sequence and the interior of Seth Rogen’s living room, the majority of the film is shot in dim areas.  So, picture quality is not going to show off a lot of colors but the film does look good, especially during closeups.  The highlight for “This is the End” is its immersive lossless soundtrack.

During the action scenes, the film manages to utilize the LFE and surround channels very well, so may it be the opening sequence with the airplane or random cars crashing into each other or ground opening up and causing destruction and deaths all around, the action does sound great.  Dialogue and music featured in the film are crystal clear and for the most part, “This is the End” features a pretty awesome lossless soundtrack.  And the film also features a good amount of special features as well, including the original short “Jay & Seth vs. The Apocalypse” which inspired the film.

Overall, “This is the End” is a hilarious film that one can expect from Seth Rogen.  Some jokes may fall flat, others much better and may make you laugh.  But what I enjoyed are the most spontaneous moments that you don’t expect and the comments that sort of rib other fellow actors and it helps that this group are friends, so they can partake in all that and have fun with it.

The film is rather wild, crazy and ridiculous…but I enjoyed “This is the End” because of that!  It’s so unusual, yet fun and it features many celebrity cameos as well.  If you are looking for a crazy film to watch, definitely give this apocalyptic comedy a try!






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