The World’s End (2013)


That’s Why I Drink Using a Crazy Straw.  Not So Crazy Now!

The World's End (2013)When this movie was out in theaters, I was very excited to see it.  It was the third outing for a director I love, two writers I love, and two actors I love.  I even saw this movie while it was still in theaters.  And then I forgot to review it.  My notes must’ve gotten covered up on my desk and I eventually just forgot that I hadn’t done it yet.  I’ve even reviewed the other two movies in the trilogy in preparation for this review!  Then, when this movie came out on DVD on Tuesday, I went to repost my review to let people know if they should buy it, only to find that I had failed you all.  Well no more!  Today, I bring you my late review of The World’s End, written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, directed by Edgar Wright, and starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, David Bradley, Michael Smiley, Pierce Brosnan, and Bill Nighy.

Gary King (Simon Pegg) sets his sights on getting the band back together, recruiting his old high school friends – Andy Knightley (Nick Frost), Steven Prince (Paddy Considine), Oliver “O-Man” Chamberlain (Martin Freeman), and Peter Page (Eddie Marsan) – to finish the 12 bar pub crawl that they attempted and failed 20 years earlier.  The other friends have all grown up and none are interested in making the attempt, but Gary manages to persuade all of them anyway.  But when the group arrives in Newton Haven, they find that things have changed.  Is it because they’ve all grown older, or is it because the town has been taken over by alien robots?  Who can say, really?

The problem I had with this movie is that it was part of the Cornetto trilogy.  On its own, I imagine I would’ve thought it was fantastic.  I guess I still did, but the problem is that Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were superior.  So it’s the worst of the Cornetto trilogy, but still one of the best comedies of this year.  It’s a lot of the writing that makes these movies so enjoyable.  They’re chock full of fantastic wordplay and the stories are so well thought out that they you have to really pay attention to the little things to see all of the hidden jokes.  But I greatly appreciate some good wordplay.  Their Peter/Paul run was good, Dr. Ink was great once I figured it out, the white lie of his mother’s death line was hilarious, and many of the selective memory jokes were all the reasons that these movies stand apart so well.  I also appreciated all the ways Gary misunderstood what people were saying to him, like when he said, “What the fuck does WTF mean?”  But I think the thing I always appreciated most about these Cornetto movies is how they foreshadow everything that’s going to happen in various different ways; be they from off-handed remarks people make to the names of the bars and the order they’re in.  They’ve always been expertly hidden in their movies.  I know that I had to watch Shaun of the Dead a second time before I truly saw the brilliance of the movie.  This movie does the same thing, but part of the problem is that I expected the foreshadowing because of their other two movies, and it can kind of spoil the outcome.  Though the outcome isn’t the biggest twist in the world, so it isn’t that big of a loss.

Another thing that sets the Cornetto movies apart from most comedies is that they are legitimately good examples of the movie types they’re parodying.  Shaun of the Dead is one of my favorite zombie movies.  Hot Fuzz is one of my favorite action movies.  And now The World’s End would definitely fit towards the top of my science fiction movies.  They have some great special effects and some fantastic action as well.  Where else might you see Simon Pegg Rock Bottom someone and Nick Frost deliver a People’s Elbow?  Then there’s a big fight where Nick Frost lays a beating down on a room full of robots and Simon Pegg fights like Jackie Chan in the Legend of Drunken Master.  I’m 100% behind all of this!

No surprises here, but I still love all the people I loved before I even started watching this movie.  And I started loving those I was indifferent to.  Simon Pegg is still fantastic.  He did a great job of being funny and always appearing jovial while still seeming like there was some depression hiding just beneath the surface.  Nick Frost was losing me towards the beginning of the movie when he was straight-laced and generally being a dick to Simon, but once he starts slamming down the shots he got back to the Nick Frost I love.  Also, this movie has the second James Bond in one of the Cornetto trilogy (Pierce Brosnan.  Hot Fuzz had Timothy Dalton) and the first one to have a Bond girl (Rosamund Pike).  Interesting fact, but not interesting enough to give me something else to say about it.

I would say that The World’s End is the weakest of the three movies in the Cornetto Trilogy, but with the level of competition offered by the other two that’s not saying much.  The World’s End is a great movie on its own, but it can be somewhat hindered by the comparison.  The story is good though it gets a little heavy handed at the end, but how well it’s planned out and how well the jokes are written can easily overcome that minor problem.  It’s also got some really good action scenes and a phenomenal cast.  This is still definitely a movie that’s worth seeing.  In fact, it’s good enough to just go out and buy.  The World’s End gets “I still think nothing that has been suggested in the last 10 minutes beats ‘smashy smashy egg men’” out of “There’s only one Gary King!”

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Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)


This is my worksheet from Video Review # 20, for those that prefer reading for some reason.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)There really was no reason for today’s movie to come around.  No one requested it and I didn’t particularly want to see it.  But RedBox forced me to see it with my eyes when they put it up on the screen while I was perusing their selection, and then my finger forced me to click it because that mother fucker is haunted.  Then my car forced me to see it because it drove me home.  I think the biggest blame should be place on my DVD player, who decided to play it after I put it in.  It had the option to not play it.  I’ve seen it do it before.  But they did make a sequel to this movie that I also have no interest in, but I’m well aware of the fact that I’ll RedBox that one as well when it comes out.  So let’s talk about Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, based on a novel by Rick Riordan, written by Craig Titley, directed by Chris Columbus, and starring Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Sean Bean, Kevin McKidd, Catherine Keener, Steve Coogan, Pierce Brosnan, Joe Pantoliano, Uma Thurman, and Rosario Dawson.

On top of the Empire State Building, Zeus (Sean Bean) and Poseidon (Kevin McKidd) meet to discuss the theft of Zeus’ lightning bolt.  After checking in the cushions of the couch, Zeus decides that Poseidon’s demigod son, Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), must’ve stolen the lightning bolt, and unless Percy returns the lightning bolt before the summer solstice, a war between the gods will erupt.  Problematically, Percy has no idea that he’s related to Poseidon.  At least not until he is talked by a Fury disguised as his substitute teacher and rescued by his teacher, Mr. Brunner (Pierce Brosnan) – who reveals himself to be a centaur – and his best friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) – who reveals himself to be a satyr, and Percy’s protector.  Percy’s mom, Sally (Catherine Keener), tells Percy about how Poseidon knocked her bottom out and left her with Percy, since the gods aren’t allowed to interact with their demigod children, and then promptly gets killed by a Minotaur while dropping Percy off at Demigod Camp.  Percy must team up with Grover and the daughter of Athena, Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), to find out who actually stole the lightning bolt, and then he must decide if he wants to return the lightning bolt to Zeus, or give it to Hades (Steve Coogan) to save his mother.

When the movie you’re watching is preceded by a commercial for Space Chimps 2, you can kind of get an idea of what you’re in for.  This wasn’t a horrible movie, but it struck me as really dumb.  Maybe it was poorly conceived, maybe it was poorly written, or maybe I just know too much about Greek mythology to let some things stand.  This movie has the line, “Omnipotence has blind you,” right in the opening scene.  I know omnipotence doesn’t technically mean all-seeing, but my first thought was that he was saying, “Seeing everything has made you not see things.”  They also have a scene where Percy’s mom starts telling his backstory when they get into a car, and then cut to the end of the story as they pull into their destination.  Might we have been able to hear some of that information?  It probably would’ve been super boring, but it might have had some pertinent information.  And when they get started on their adventure, it’s all about finding three jewels to go into the underworld.  What a bloody waste of time.  My recommendation for how to get to the underworld?  Suicide pact!  There’s also a whole useless section of this movie where they get trapped in a casino because they’re made to think they love it there with some hallucinogens (a lotus flower) and underage gambling.  Drug use and gambling.  Fun for kids of all ages!  The biggest problem with this movie was the whole reason for the movie: the theft of the lightning.  None of the big gods seemed to even entertain the idea that anybody but Percy could have stolen the lightning!  You could’ve looked in on him and found out that he has no clue that gods are real and yet you think he was the only possible person that could have stolen electrostatic discharge somehow?

One thing I took a lot of issues with in this movie was the fact that Percy knew so many uncommon things about Greek mythology, but was completely unaware of the things everyone knows.  I would wager that most people don’t know what a demigod is like Percy knows (before he knows that he is one, mind you), but who doesn’t know what a centaur is?  And when they’re neck deep in Greek mythology and they walk into a place filled with stone statues of people, how do they not put together that Medusa is comin’ around?  They even know the tactic that Perseus used to defeat the Medusa, but they did not bother to explain how Medusa survived it the first time.  I’m not sure, but I think this movie came out after TWO version of Clash of the Titans, so they could’ve thrown us that.  And then Percy doesn’t know how Hydras work, being totally happy with himself for cutting off all of its heads before someone tells him that this makes two grow back in their places.  Isn’t that fairly common knowledge, especially for someone who knows a thing or two about Greek mythology?  Of course, no one in this movie really seems to have great knowledge on the subject.  His teacher announces that it’s exceedingly rare for someone to be born of one of the big three gods (Zeus, Poseidon, Hades).  Are you kidding me?  Zeus got his dick wet more than anyone in written history (Ironically since you’d think Poseidon was the one with the wet dick).  Zeus was the Wilt Chamberlain of Greek mythology!

I suppose the cast did fine enough in their performances.  Logan Lerman did fine, but Percy got on my nerves.  They give him a pen that turns into a sword early on in the movie, and he didn’t even go for the joke that he should just use it in pen form, since it’s mightier that way and all.  And he didn’t even try to write the Minotaur a citation or something.  Also, he finds out in the middle of the movie that he can absorb water to heal wounds and power himself up and he doesn’t spend the rest of the movie chugging Dasani like he was breathing?  And since he’s the son of the god of the sea, I’ll allow this movie that he can heal himself with water, but how is he able to pour water on other people to heal them?  They’re not the spawns of the sea!  She’s the daughter of Athena, goddess of wisdom.  You should heal her by hitting her in the face with a dictionary or something.  Also, he got over the death of his mom pretty quickly, didn’t he?  Grover just apologizes for sucking at his job and Percy moves on.  Kevin McKidd wasn’t in the movie very long, but I still managed to have problems with Poseidon as a character.  If they wanted us to like this character, they probably should’ve thought of a decent reason why he left his family beyond just he was losing his powers.  Would that have been so big of a sacrifice to spend the rest of your life with your family?  How about something like if you weren’t there to watch the oceans, shit started going crazy.  The Exxon Valdez, the Titanic, etc.  Also, they probably should’ve chosen someone other than Rosario Dawson to play Persephone.  If Hell is an eternity spent with Rosario Dawson, I’m about to go on a murder-suicide spree.  I’d probably get the suicide out of the way first, just because it seems easier, but then some people are getting all killed up.  Uma Thurman was WAY over the top in this movie, but thankfully she wasn’t acting in it very long before she became a prop.  Also, I thought it was just adorable that they made Joe Pantoliano’s character’s last name Ugliano.  Just in case our writing doesn’t express that you’re not supposed to like him, let’s toss Ugly into his name.  Then everyone will hate old Aidsrape Hitler Ugliano.

Find the video review here.

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!