Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Imaginos Double Feature (Spoiler-Free Movie Reviews): "This is the End" and "R.I.P.D."

Alright, gang! The summer movie season has born fruit and we're gonna let you know just how they taste! (Hey, the analogy sounded like it worked in my head, so I'm going with it.)

"This Is The End"
With the entire cast playing exaggeratedly douchey versions of themselves, the film follows Seth Rogen, Jay Barouchel, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill and Danny McBride as the attempt to whether the apocalypse. Now, as yet another entry in the Apocalypse movie craze from last year, it'd be easy to write this one off. Not to mention that this film had nothing but hilarious trailers during its initial press hype, so that automatically makes a lot of us weary as that sometimes means that all of the funniest stuff was in the trailer. Surprisingly enough, that wasn't the case.

The film is surprisingly well written and it actually has a lot of surprises to its credit. The first 20 minutes of the film alone took me by surprise, despite knowing what the movie was about. And the number of cameos by other stars of the core cast's level and above took me by surprise as well; Aziz Ansari, David Krumholtz, Paul Rudd, Emma Watson, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Channing Tatum to name a few  and you all will likely be able to name even more after watching it (Emma Watson makes some interesting appearances and let's just say I'll never be able to look at Michael Cera the same way again after this).

It's pretty clear that everyone involved was pretty cool with each other outside of the film and that everyone was very enthusiastic about and while filming it. And in my opinion, it definitely adds to the fun of the film. I'd say that if you're a fan of any of the core cast in any fashion, this movie is definitely worth checking out. I laughed my ass off and "Oh shit!"-ed on more than a few occasions. This movie is definitely more than it seems and is worth at least one viewing. Hey, an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes must count for something, right?

P.S.: If you're Catholic or another form of Christian but can't deal with humor in relation to your beliefs, this movie might not be for you. Just a warning.

"R.I.P.D. (Rest In Peace Department)"
Now, this is definitely one of those movies that is exactly what you think it is. But the thing of it is, this movie's strengths don't lie in its premise (though it's definitely high-concept and cool in its execution), it's strengths lie in the characters.

Starring Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Mary-Louise Parker and Kevin Bacon (he was a surprise for me because I never saw him in ANY of the trailers or promotions for this movie), the film centers of Reynolds and Bridges' characters (Reynolds playing a recently deceased cop and Bridges a sheriff that lived during the days of the Old West) who, in exchange for a little padding on their records when it comes time for their final "Judgement", agree to protect the world of the living from souls that slipped through the cracks. Now, there are the standard tropes to endure due to it being entrenched in the buddy-cup genre (but I'll avoid listing them off for the sake of "spoilers"), but all in all, they don't hurt the film as it makes fun of them as well.

While this film was based off of a Dark Horse comic series, I can't speak on how faithful it was because I never read the series (or heard of it, for that matter, but that's another topic for another time). But I will say that the movie was absolutely entertaining and I think that it was all thanks to the characters. And as a fan of high-concept films populated by interesting characters, I enjoyed a great deal more than I expected. "R.I.P.D." is definitely the kind of movie that fans of films like "Ghostbusters", "Men In Black" and buddy-cop comedies in general will love.


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