Wednesday, September 2, 2015

James Franco won't go away, neither will the Apocalypse

"This Is the End" careens back onto 2,000 theater screens. The crazed June-release comedy starring James Franco, Seth Rogen, Emma Watson and Michael Cera just will not die, even if its characters do

James Franco won’t go away, neither will the Apocalypse

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This film publicity image released by Columbia Pictures shows, from left, James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel in a scene from "This Is The End."  (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures - Sony, Suzanne Hanover)
This film publicity image released by Columbia Pictures shows, from left, James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel in a scene from "This Is The End." (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures - Sony, Suzanne Hanover) ASSOCIATED PRESS

Spurred by big ratings numbers for Comedy Central’s Roast of James Franco show-- and perhaps by an obsession with nice round 9-digit numbers, Sony Pictures is putting This Is the End back into theaters this Friday, re-opening the June 12 release on more than 2,000 screens. With a box office gross of $96.9 million, the apocalyptic comedy is this close to hitting the magic $100 million mark.

Written and directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen and set on a nice balmy night in the Hollywood Hills, the movie finds a whole bunch of actors, comedians, singers and show biz entities behaving like their real-life (well, kind of) selves, heading over to James Franco’s fancy new digs for a housewarming party. Once everybody gets there, and starts getting stoned, something like the Rapture kicks in – the heavens unleash fury, the ground opens up, and Michael Cera is caught in the bathroom having a three-way. The movie skewers the impossibly multitasking Franco in much smarter, cooler ways than that retro Comedy Central roast did, and the cast and cameos are great, including an ax-wielding Emma Watson, a shamelessly narcissistic Jonah Hill, a super-bad Rihanna, and some surprise appearances that are too good to spoil.

End of Days? Well, not yet, anyway. And if they can figure out how to do a sequel, Franco, Rogen and company will probably do it. Sony won't mind.   

Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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About this blog

Steven Rea has been an Inquirer movie critic since 1992. He was born in London, raised in New York City, and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Iowa City, Iowa. His column, "On Movies," appears Sundays in Arts & Entertainment, his reviews appear in the Weekend section on Fridays. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Read his most recent columns and reviews, here. He is the author of the book “Hollywood Rides a Bike,” and also curates the movie stars and bicycling photo blog, Rides A Bike.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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