Monday, November 20, 2017
Things To Do

Review: 'This is the End' an outrageous way to go out

RECOMMENDED READING


This Is the End proves what we've always suspected: Seth Rogen is down with playing the same guy in movies each time, James Franco has a creepy man crush on him, Jonah Hill is Rosemary's baby all grown up and Danny McBride is a cannibal. Oh, yeah, and Michael Cera's sweet face masks a raging coke head sex addict who'd slap Rihanna's butt and dig the smack back.

Funny how everyone's true colors come out at Armageddon. Seriously, it's funny even if these show biz character assassinations aren't true. This Is the End isn't a documentary, thank god, or else we'd all be beamed to heaven or dunked in hell by now. It really isn't much of a movie in the traditional sense; even Harold & Kumar's similar adventures are more artistically tied together.

But you have to give props to This Is the End for being so ruthlessly outrageous about sex, celebrity, drugs and religious dogma, all subjects of worship in one way or another. Written and directed by Rogen and Evan Goldberg, this movie piles on bad taste and worse to an aberrant degree. How it dodged an NC-17 rating without trimming anything is a mystery Kevin Smith wants solved.

The movie hinges on the meta conceit that everyone is playing themselves, although using real names and a lot of weed are probably the only things true about their roles. Rogen is hosting his friend Jay Baruchel for a weekend in L.A.; they kill time getting high and gaming before dropping into a star-studded party at Franco's house. Wild times that'll get wilder soon.

Before you can say Irwin Allen, Los Angeles is plunged into biblical disaster, with blue rays of light lifting some people upward and yawning sinkholes sending others below. Real fire and brimstone stuff, with a horned and horny demon stalking whoever's left behind. A small circle of Franco friends — Rogen, Baruchel, Hill and Craig Robinson — stumble into survival mode, interrupted at key points by McBride and, of all people, Emma Watson. That's right, the Harry Potter chick.

This Is the End plows through and laughs at unsavory doomsday scenarios, from playing soccer with a severed head to a "rapey vibe" when Watson's around. Franco and McBride's tiff about carelessly deposited bodily fluids takes the gag too far then goes further, hilariously. There are no boundaries in this movie, so deal with it or leave.

But if you do walk out early, you'll miss the movie's sole redeeming social value, when the question is raised of why Rogen, Franco and the others haven't been pulled to heaven. Aren't they good enough? Golden rule enough? By taking this theological dilemma to its illogically toe-tapping conclusion, This Is the End declares there's velvet rope life after death, and devilish laughter, too.

Steve Persall can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall on Twitter.

Comments

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBoxingWelterweights: Alexander vs. Castillo7:30 p.m.FS1College basketballMaui Invitational semifinal1:30 p.m.ESPNLegends Classic third-place game3:30 p.m.ESPNUMaui Invitational consolation game4 p.m.ESPN2Legends Classic final6 p.m.ESPN2George Ma...
Updated: 2 hours ago
What to watch this week: ‘Marvel’s Runaways,’ ‘Godless,’ Thanksgiving specials

What to watch this week: ‘Marvel’s Runaways,’ ‘Godless,’ Thanksgiving specials

MondayDavid Letterman: The Mark Twain Prize, 9 p.m., PBS: A special celebrating the work of Late Night and The Late Show host David Letterman.SERIES PREMIERE: Big Hero 6 the Series, 8 p.m., Disney Channel: The new animated series takes place after th...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 21

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 21

Ice Skating at Tampa’s Winter Village: Even in Florida, you can get in the holiday spirit by ice skating on an outdoor rink in the park. Each 90-minute session includes skate rental. Stop by the cafe for themed drinks and holiday snacks. 10 a.m., Cur...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ has a Dia de los Muertos theme and is, well, lifeless

Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ has a Dia de los Muertos theme and is, well, lifeless

Disney-Pixar’s Coco was more enjoyable three years ago when it was titled The Book of Life and came from Twentieth Century Fox.Both animated features spring from Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos celebration, the annual "day of the dead" when departed rela...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 23

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 23

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens: More than 2 million twinkling lights transform the park into a holiday wonderland with Rudolph, Sam the Snowman, Christmas-themed entertainment and visits with Santa. Included with admission on select nights through D...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 22

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 22

Much Ado About Nothing: William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy gets an update by placing lovers Beatrice and Benedick against the backdrop of the Florida Keys as World War II is drawing to a close. Through Dec. 10. 7 p.m., American Stage Theatre Compa...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Tips for first-time Thanksgiving hosts (or really, any of us)

Tips for first-time Thanksgiving hosts (or really, any of us)

Take small bites.This may be the most crucial advice for Thanksgiving hosts who don’t have years of cooking and coordinating experience to provide the confidence that comes with leading the charge on the year’s biggest cooking day.It’s the first thin...
Published: 11/20/17
Musicians unite at AMAs in wake of tumultuous year

Musicians unite at AMAs in wake of tumultuous year

The 2017 American Music Awards marked a night of unison, positive vibes and American pride as musicians spoke about coming together in a year dominated by natural disasters, violence and divisive politics.Kelly Clarkson and Pink kicked off the three-...
Published: 11/20/17
Review: Et Cultura festival brings exceptional music, leaves room for growth in St. Petersburg

Review: Et Cultura festival brings exceptional music, leaves room for growth in St. Petersburg

It's a big idea, St. Petersburg's Et Cultura festival. You can't take it all in at once. You probably wouldn't want to.Yet in just two years Et Cultura has positioned itself as a cultural movement to be reckoned with in a city that loves and embraces...
Published: 11/20/17
American wines red, white and sparkling for your Thanksgiving table

American wines red, white and sparkling for your Thanksgiving table

You’ve dusted off Grandma’s good crystal for the Thanksgiving table. Or you’ve pulled out all your mismatched stems to have enough for every place. Now what to pour?For this most American meal, based on foods native to America — turkey, pumpkin, corn...
Published: 11/20/17