EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


October 2, 2013

New on DVD: End-of-the-world comedy, animated classic

Yesterday’s new DVD releases include a comedy about the end of the world and a classic animated tale from under the sea.

—“This Is the End,” Grade A-minus: Hollywood celebrities try to survive the end of the world. Seth Rogen stars.

There’s every reason in the world to hate “This Is the End,” which makes an unapologetic assault on everything from religious beliefs to sexuality with humor that’s pitch black in tone. And it takes gross-out material so far beyond conventional social limits that it makes “The Hangover” look like a Nickelodeon movie. It lewdly kicks what’s acceptable right in the political correctness.

What makes this movie work is the take-no-prisoners script by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. No one’s career or public persona is safe from comic attack. Rogen even talks about his past film failures, particularly “The Green Hornet.” You will never be able to think of Emma Watson or Michael Cera the same way after what he’s put them through in this film.

—“The Croods,” Grade C-minus: If this is an example of what’s supposed to be prehistoric comedy, then the genre should be allowed to become extinct.

There’s the potential for humor, but it never develops beyond a few sight gags that will entertain the preschool crowd. The movie follows a family of cave dwellers — The Croods — who only venture out long enough to search for food. They are afraid of anything new, the dark and, apparently, any joke that doesn’t have to do with one of them falling down.

The only member of their group with an adventurous heart is Eep (voiced by Emma Stone), but she would have to defy her protective father, Grug (Nicolas Cage), if she wants to see the world. “The Croods” would have worked if the humor and animation had been more evolved.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Photos of the Week