This is the End
I remember seeing the original short, Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse, several years ago when it hit the internet, and I thought it was amazing. That was before Seth Rogen was as famous as he is today, and, well, Jay Baruchel wasn’t and still isn’t all that famous. When I heard they were going to turn it into a feature length film though, I was kind of underwhelmed by the idea because that meant a big studio getting it’s hands on something so quirky. But then once trailers for This is the End started to hit, my excitement was dialed up to 11. First off, I freaking love Danny McBride and Craig Robinson, and neither of them really get the attention they deserve. Craig Robinson because he only recently came to the forefront after his character on The Office got more popular, and Danny McBride because his crass sense of humor and style doesn’t really gel with some people. But the cast seemed really strong and if it was just a longer version of Jay and Seth I was going to be all in. And while This is the End does bring plenty of laughs, it sort of feels like the actors had more fun making it than I had watching it.
There’s no need to go into the plot because there really isn’t one. Everyone plays themselves (or at least a “Hollywood-ized” version of themselves) and then the world ends, and we spend the next hour and a half watching them try to survive. There’s a lot of truth to the circumstances. Jay and Seth have been friends for a long time, but ever since Seth moved to LA and got famous, his friends have changed and he’s kind of changed too. That’s all true. James Franco, Danny McBride and the rest of the guys are his “new” friends, and Jay doesn’t really get along with them. And honestly, I would have loved to see that movie. Take out the apocalypse and the cheesiness and this would have just been a fun “bro-mance” (I hate myself for using that word) kind of movie, and I really think it would have been better for it. The movie tries a little too hard to get across some kind of message about friendship and good deeds, and it all falls a little bit short because of the ridiculous circumstances of the film. But in a more realistic setting, this movie could have had the same kind of heart as a movie like This is 40.
But really the biggest problem with This is the End is that I felt like an outsider watching a bunch of friends goof around, and really, that’s kind of what this movie was. I’d make an analogy about how really we’re just like Jay in the film, wanting to fit in with people we don’t know and laughing along with all of their jokes because we want them to like us, but that would be putting way too much effort into a review for a movie as silly as this.
-some genuinely funny moments and ideas
-kind of like watching a 90 minute long inside joke
-drop in moments don’t really land
here’s the original short if you haven’t seen it.
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian
Well, It’s finally over, and my thoughts on the final book and series as a whole are relatively short. I still think that Battle of the Labyrinth was the strongest in the series, but this is a (mostly) satisfying conclusion to the epic tale of Percy Jackson. The character really grew on me by the end; he had to make sacrifices, he chose the hard path, and in the end he fought for what was right. With all of the comparisons I’ve made to the Harry Potter series, Percy Jackson does have a leg up in one department. Percy is a much stronger character than Harry.
HOWEVER, not all is neat and tidy in the world of the Olympians. The reveal at the end is vague and interesting enough to pique my interest in the next series of books, but it kind of kills the resolution of this series. It doesn’t feel like there’s a complete story in these five books, it’s more like I just finished a movie only to find out that there’s a sequel coming at the end. That leaves a pretty bitter taste. And for my biggest complaint, no matter how much the characters keep repeating it, there’s no damn way that Luke went out like a hero. He got himself into that mess by being a selfish, cowardly brat in the first place. He doesn’t deserve praise for finally doing the right thing after a year of always doing the worst thing. I get that the author is trying to teach kids that it’s never too late to do the right thing, and I’m all for that, but come on. Luke facilitated the return of the worst being in the history of forever and got thousands of people killed in the process. He doesn’t get a pass just because his last act was fixing the problem that he himself created. That’s ridiculous.
-I liked the stuff with Nico and Hades
-satisfying love triangle resolution
-over-reliance on dream sequences
-“final” battle is too drawn out