June 18, 2013
While I was watching “This Is the End,” I kept thinking: is it me?
The reviews for this apocalyptic comedy have been out of this world. Critics have raved: It’s laugh out loud! It’s the funniest film of the year!
So why was I so stone-faced during its run?
I dare say “This Is the End” might be a guy thing.
I believe there is such a thing as humor that appeals more to men ... and then other humor that tends to crack up women.
The idea, of course, goes back to The Great Three Stooges Theory. The Stooges are held up as the nyuk-nyuk icons of male-centric comic appeal.
Certain recent movies have cemented this theory in my mind. “Knocked Up” left me utterly laugh-free (the men were juvenile and dim-witted, the women were whiny). So did “The Hangover” (and I’m talking about the first one, not even the reviled 2 or 3).
It’s not just the pushing-the-envelope, gross-out factor I find uninteresting. After all, “Bridesmaids” trafficked in some deranged humor, and I guffawed and chuckled and roared. But “Bridesmaids” had a different overall tone and actual human emotions underpinning all the jokes.
“This Is the End” leans a whole lot on simple outrageousness as comic fodder. The mantra seems to be: the weirder and the more extreme, the better. Having the stars, freaked out, kick a severed head around like a soccer ball? Not funny. Having an extended gag about one of the guys giving off a “rape-y” vibe where Emma Watson is concerned? Not funny.
“This Is the End” does have a genius high concept: a bunch of real celeb comic actors play exaggerated versions of themselves — enjoying a hip Hollywood party and then facing nothing less than the apocalyse.
And “This Is the End” had its moments, many provided (surprisingly) by James Franco, who gives the most full-bodied performance here.
Beyond that? Eh.
What did you think of “This Is the End”?
May 29, 2013
When I saw Benedict Cumberbatch glower into the camera in "Star Trek Into Darkness" and carefully pronounce his lines in an arch, theatrically overripe British accent, I got giddy. There’s just something about urbane...
May 24, 2013
Sometimes, getting the cover of Vanity Fair is NOT a good thing.
The buzz surrounding Matthew McConaughey’s debut in 1996’s "A Time to Kill" was pretty damned deafening. The...
May 15, 2013
If this whole film-director thing falls through, Baz Luhrmann could have a second career as a party planner.
The wing-dings he helped whip up for his "Great Gatsby" are roiling, riotous amusements.
May 8, 2013
No, kids, "Iron Man 3" is not as good as the original "Iron Man" —but that shouldn’t be much of a surprise. The original of anything is usually better than any sequel.
May 6, 2013
As I watched "The Big Wedding," I thought to myself, "How did all these good actors end up in this half-baked, shtick-filled movie?"
Sometimes, with a bad movie, you sense there might have been a good script...
May 1, 2013
I understand trying to please your audience, but this takes that notion beyond the norm.
The "Iron Man 3" that you’ll see when it’s released here next Friday will be different...
April 26, 2013
I have never been so happy to see Robert Downey Jr. in my life.
Let’s face it, it’s been an underwhelming few months in terms of movie releases.
But next week begins the full summer...
April 5, 2013
Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel made an indelible impression on me with their "At the Movies" debates. They loved movies, and they relished arguing their merits.
Their passion for the art form...
February 25, 2013
Forget the presenter’s dresses. Forget Seth McFarlane’s jokes. The real reason for all the hoopla, after all, is who gets an Academy Award, and the results Sunday night were a nice mix of expected wins and dramatic...
February 11, 2013
It's deja vu all over again. "Argo" just won another best-picture honor.
This time, on Sunday, it was the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for best film. Oh, and BAFTA gave Ben Affleck...
January 15, 2013
It’s filmdom’s version of that old Mark Twain quote: "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."
Every few years, showbiz pundits declare movie musicals dead.
January 10, 2013
The nominations for this year’s Academy Awards were announced this morning, and here’s how it all shakes out:
January 7, 2013
No more Ricky Gervais! What will we do?
The snark that ticked off half of Hollywood will no longer be the Golden Globes emcee when the ceremony returns Sunday. Having Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host is a...
January 2, 2013
Want to see a movie this week? Well, I hope you have a lot of free time.
You plan on catching "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"? Set aside 169 minutes — yes, two hours and 49 minutes. Hoping to...
August 24, 2012
It wasn’t a half-bad summer at the movies. Damning with faint praise, I realize, but every summer that offers more than emptyheaded action flicks comes as a pleasant surprise.
June 27, 2012
There are certain screenwriters and directors whose next film you just naturally look forward to seeing.