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Justin Hanvey

The World's End (2013)

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I can't wait to see it again. It might be my favorite of the three, but I'd have to watch TWE and Hot Fuzz each several times in succession to accurately make that judgment. Poor me.

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Jeffrey mentioned the Star Wars reference, but how can it be that no one has mentioned the hilarious Casablanca parody when Gary sends Sam away to safety and ultimately to Stephen as well?

 

And I loved it, especially the genre blending.  Now I really need to see Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

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Saw this last night and laughed a lot, although I agree with those who say the ending fell flat.  In fact, I agree that the first half of the movie, before the twist, was the best part and that there could have been a great story there without the "twist."

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At least as good 2nd time around.

 

So. Much. Better the 2nd time around. This is an impressively layered, exquisitely constructed comedy. Notes from last night's second viewing here.

Edited by Overstreet

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At least as good 2nd time around.

 

So. Much. Better the 2nd time around. This is an impressively layered, exquisitely constructed comedy. Notes from last night's second viewing here.

 

 

 

Great thoughts.  I'm down with it.   :)

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At least as good 2nd time around.

 

So. Much. Better the 2nd time around. This is an impressively layered, exquisitely constructed comedy. Notes from last night's second viewing here.

I appreciate your comments about this, and I appreciate your token comment about Paul's heavy-handed caricatures against Christianity, sight unseen. I get rough on you, but I appreciate it when you walk the balance and I don't give you enough credit for that. THAT SAID...

HERESAY SPOILERS...

I have read from interviews that the film's journey to 12 bars also represents the 12 steps of AA, and their clinging to a "higher power." I found that fascinating that Pegg did that, and was wondering if you think he equated such submission to the "higher power" as departing from one's "free will." As somebody who has never attended an AA meeting, but finds great value in AA's twelve steps in other areas of life, I find this to be overreaching to some extent.

ETA: The Twelve Steps, Courtesy of Wikipedia:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Edited by Nick Alexander

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...and was wondering if you think he equated such submission to the "higher power" as departing from one's "free will." 

 

 

Well, as the only "higher power" in this film is a corporate force that pressures people to conform to a false, surface-focused ideal of perfection, I can't say I have any qualms about the "heroes" of the film fighting back against that.

 

The thing is, they aren't heroes, and they know it. They're flawed, messed up, and broken. Their climactic showdown scene is both a condemnation of false religions AND an affirmation that they are, when all is said and done, buffoons.

 

But they (rightly) assert that it's better to be lost and fumbling toward true freedom than it is to submit to a tyrannical higher power that asks them to sign on for unhealthy conformity.

 

If Wright, Pegg, and Frost all believe that all religious faith is a form of unhealthy conformity, that makes me sad for them. But it doesn't take away the wisdom at the heart of these movies. The fact is that the loudest and most visible manifestations of almost all religious faiths do incline themselves toward a form of unhealthy conformity — the very fact that they are the loudest demonstrates an unhealthy attraction to abusing power and pursuing change through force rather than sacrifice — so it comes as no surprise to me that these guys might (and I say "might" because this film doesn't make it clear) include the Christian Church ... or at least the Church of England ... among the offending forces.

 

Insofar as they affirm the value of choice, of relationship, of brotherly love, of freedom, and of enjoying the gifts of this wild world with wisdom and responsibility, they are, whether they like it or not, pointing the way toward the wisdom that comes from God — and thus, toward the one Higher Power that affirms their intuitive fumblings toward freedom, the one Higher Power who has gone as far as anyone could ever go to give us freedom, to banish our enslavement to limiting and crippling forces, and to recommend love over slavery. 

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Overstreet.  This post  ^^^^    has its own fair share of wisdom..     :)

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I watched THE WORLD'S END as the climax of a "Cornetto Trilogy" marathon, and I think that was something of a mistake. THE WORLD'S END doesn't benefit from coming directly on the heels of the near-perfect, high-octane HOT FUZZ, which is a staggeringly intricate, astonishingly jam-packed laugh rollercoaster.

 

Still, THE WORLD'S END is a fun, enjoyable film, and I'll probably enjoy it more when I see it again, isolated from the rest of the trilogy. Still, right now, I can't shake the feeling that the story construction is probably the weakest of the three films, tragically under-utilizing its INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS conceit, and that, while the ensemble is as good as ever, Wright's visual gags are not as sharp as those in his three prior films.

Edited by Ryan H.

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Ryan.  Having only seen it once, I would probably align myself with what your saying here.  Although, as mentioned, I quite liked how it dealt with its themes.  Yet, I've been thinking it through and I wonder if the film might not rise up with the others on further viewings.  I'm guessing the story structure might be smarter and more complex than I had originally seen.  

 

But yeah.  I was expecting more with the Body snatcher conceit.  There were lots of fun things they could have done with that.

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I still prefer HOT FUZZ, but my 2nd viewing of WORLD'S END really increased my appreciation. 

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This was really good. I knew very little about the film going in, so the first sight of the blue ink was a complete surprise to me, and that was such a delicious moment.

 

I wasn't quite happy with King's big speech while it was going on. It was clearly trying to go in a constructive direction but felt a bit self-indulgent. However, it was completely redeemed by the ending, which showed us what that kind of devil-may-care attitude is good for. It's not about the freedom to get shitfaced and raise hell. It's about the freedom to fight the status quo whenever it offends against justice or mercy. It's about practicing charity without fear in the teeth of society's prejudices. It's the cleansing of the temple with the spirit of St. Francis.

 

And yes, the fact remains that King practices this philosophy by abandoning human relationships for incubi of his teenage friends, walking into a bar, and picking a fight. It's not fully coherent. That only makes things more interesting. Accept the mystery.

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Attica wrote:

: It think it mainly shows that he's overcome his alcoholism.

Yes, combined with his cleanshavenness, the general impression is that he's got his shit together now.

That being said, if all he wants is water, why does he have to walk into a bar (and provoke a fight) to get it?

 

I think Film Crit Hulk nails the answer:

 

SURE, GARY REMAINS THE SAME KIND OF GUY WHO WOULD START A BAR FIGHT AND NEED FOUR LOYAL FRIENDS AT HIS SIDE TO MAKE HIM FEEL AWESOME (OF COURSE, FOR THIS UNRESOLVED ISSUE THEY ARE STILL BLANKS!) BUT HE'S MADE THE CENTRAL STRIDES AT THE HEART OF HIS CHARACTER. IN THE END, HE IS LOOKING FOR A PUB FOR (WAS IT "A NEW DAWN" PUB OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT?) AND THEN HE MARCHES IN AND ORDERS A WATER. NOTE HOW EVEN THE CHOICE OF WATER IN THE FILM HAS ALWAYS BEEN IMPORTANT. IT'S NOT AN ACCIDENT THAT ANDY HAD BEEN ORDERING WATER ALL NIGHT INSTEAD OF CLUB SODA OR SOMETHING. BECAUSE WATER IS PURPOSEFUL. IT IS ABOUT SURVIVAL. WATER IS TRANSPARENT. IT IS CLEAR. PUT IT ALL TOGETHER AND WATER IS EVERYTHING SOBRIETY STANDS FOR.

 

WHEN YOU GO BACK TO EARLIER IN THE FILM YOU'LL REMEMBER ONE LAST MOMENT OF SYNCHRONICITY, WHEREIN ANDY TELLS GARY WHAT TRUE COURAGE IS AFTER BEING CALLED A WUSS ONE TOO MANY TIMES. ANDY SAYS THAT TRUE COURAGE IS GOING INTO A BAR AFTER A RUGBY MATCH AND ALL THESE MASCULINE GUYS WHO ARE DRESSED UP WITH WAR PAINT AND DRINKING PINTS AND BEING ABLE TO STAND IN FRONT OF THEM AND ASK FOR TAP WATER... WHICH IS, OF COURSE, THE THE EXACT ENDING OF THE FILM FOR GARY KING.

 

As usual, a super-long write-up, and I really wish the Hulk persona could be could be dropped at this point, but this is my favorite exploration of the film I've read so far.

 

 

That said, I'll join the praise for the fight scenes: very well done and entertaining. I saw a bit of influence of Hong Kong cinema or something, since they had an almost dance-like progression.

 

It's been so long since I've seen the Drunken Master films, but that's what they were going for here - especially much of Pegg's choreography, right?

 

 

 

At least as good 2nd time around.

 

So. Much. Better the 2nd time around. This is an impressively layered, exquisitely constructed comedy. Notes from last night's second viewing here.

 

 

Jeff, you say:

 

 

Some will see this movie as a critique of corporate culture. Others will see it as a critique of religion. They are, to some extent, the same thing.

 

Again, I think Film Crit Hulk points out a great component of how we are to read what this film is critiquing:

 

 

SO NOTICE THE LONG SCENE WHERE OUR LOVELY DRUNKEN FOOLS CAN'T SEEM TO AGREE ON WHAT THEY SHOULD CALL THESE ROBOTS. THEY TRY AND TRY AND NONE OF THE FUNNY NAMES STICK...

SO INSTEAD THEY CALL END UP CALLING THEM "BLANKS."

 

AND THAT'S WHEN IT ALL SNAPS INTO FOCUS AND THE CENTRAL THEME OF THIS DEVICE BECOMES CLEAR. THEY'RE NOT ROBOTS, THEY'RE BLANKS. THEY'RE PLAIN WHITE CANVASES. THEY ARE MERE SHELLS THAT WE CAN PROJECT OURSELVES ONTO, WHETHER THEY ARE OUR FEARS. OUR DESIRES, OUR HOPES, OUR HANGUPS, OR WHATEVER IS THE GREATEST CONFLICT IN OUR ADULT LIVES. THEY ARE BLANKS WHICH EMBODY THOSE FEELINGS. AND WHEN YOU REALIZE THAT, THE ROBOTS IN THIS FILM ACTUALLY BECOME REFLECTIONS.

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I've been thinking about this movie since I saw it a few months. It is, in my opinion, the most moving of the trilogy. However, I do have some reservations about the ending of the film, which is to say that I don't necessarily think it's bad, just not as good as it could have been. Overall, I thought it was stronger in the first half, but I need to watch it again.

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Darryl A. Armstrong wrote:

: I wrote:

: : Yes, combined with his cleanshavenness, the general impression is that he's got his shit together now.

: : That being said, if all he wants is water, why does he have to walk into a bar (and provoke a fight) to get it?

:

: I think Film Crit Hulk nails the answer:

Film Crit Hulk certainly nails the *thematic* significance of that moment, i.e. it nails what the writers and director were after. But (all these months later) I suspect my question was more in-universe than that.

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Darryl A. Armstrong wrote:

: I wrote:

: : Yes, combined with his cleanshavenness, the general impression is that he's got his shit together now.

: : That being said, if all he wants is water, why does he have to walk into a bar (and provoke a fight) to get it?

:

: I think Film Crit Hulk nails the answer:

Film Crit Hulk certainly nails the *thematic* significance of that moment, i.e. it nails what the writers and director were after. But (all these months later) I suspect my question was more in-universe than that.

 

Hey, I don't get to see nearly as many films or as quickly as I used to! mf_surrender.gif

 

But still, I think that answer holds true thematically and "in-universe." The point you raised about clean drinking water in a reverted society I think makes sense... Or could. Certainly, there was some clean water to drink throughout human history. And these folks wouldn't have forgotten how to boil water to purify it.

 

As to why he would do that, well, besides the thematic element, it would be a personal "quest" for him. Maybe not completely logical, but that was exactly the point of his speech that caused the "apocalypse" - we are special because we're strong-willed, illogical screw ups (or at least, we should fight for the right to be that).

Edited by Darryl A. Armstrong

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Darryl A. Armstrong wrote:

: As to why he would do that, well, besides the thematic element, it would be a personal "quest" for him. Maybe not completely logical, but that was exactly the point of his speech that caused the "apocalypse" - we are special because we're strong-willed, illogical screw ups (or at least, we should fight for the right to be that).

So it's utterly selfish, then, even if he dolls it up in the guise of standing up for the marginalized (but does he come to the defense of any "blanks" who *aren't* dead ringers for the idealized versions of his closest friends?). Just like his willingness to let the world (or at least civilization) be destroyed was utterly selfish.

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Darryl A. Armstrong wrote:

: As to why he would do that, well, besides the thematic element, it would be a personal "quest" for him. Maybe not completely logical, but that was exactly the point of his speech that caused the "apocalypse" - we are special because we're strong-willed, illogical screw ups (or at least, we should fight for the right to be that).

So it's utterly selfish, then, even if he dolls it up in the guise of standing up for the marginalized (but does he come to the defense of any "blanks" who *aren't* dead ringers for the idealized versions of his closest friends?). Just like his willingness to let the world (or at least civilization) be destroyed was utterly selfish.

 

I think the implication is that he is fighting for all blanks - those 4 are just the symbol. But I suppose that's an arguable point.

 

I don't think he let civilization be destroyed out of being selfish though. There was no indication that if he "won" the argument at the end they had an "off switch" to shut down all the technology that they had imparted already. ETA: If anything, that twist took me by surprise.

 

If he had been completely sober that might have occurred to him as a possibility, but not necessarily, and he certainly wasn't sober.

Edited by Darryl A. Armstrong

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Darryl A. Armstrong wrote:

: I don't think he let civilization be destroyed out of being selfish though.

True, he didn't realize at the time what the consequences of his actions would be. But once he did... well, what's the justification for being so cocky about it? I mean, he's got *actual friends* whose lives have been ruined by what he did, and he's abandoned them all so that he can go swaggering about with his "blank" friends. I'd think someone who had been directly involved in the obliteration of civilization might be a tad more contrite about it, or look for ways to atone or something.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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