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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Edgar Wright
Cast:
Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, David Bradley, Pierce Brosnan
Writing Credits:
Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright

Tagline:
Good food. Fine ales. Total Annihilation.

Synopsis:
20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hell bent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King, a 40-year old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their home town and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub, "The World's End". As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind's. Reaching The World's End is the least of their worries.

Box Office:
Budget
$40 million.
Opening Weekend
$8.790 million on 1551 screens.
Domestic Gross
$25.971 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish DTS 5.1
English Descriptive Video Service
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish

Runtime: 109 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 11/19/2013

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Actor/Writer Simon Pegg and Writer/Director Edgar Wright
• Audio Commentary with Actor/Writer Simon Pegg and Actors Nick Frost and Paddy Considine
• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Edgar Wright and Director of Photography Bill Pope
• Trivia Track
• “U-Control” Storyboard Picture-in-Picture
• Deleted Scene
• Outtakes
• Alternate Edits
• “Completing the Golden Mile – The Making of The World’s End” Documentary
• Four Featurettes
• “Filling in the Blanks: The Stunts and FX of The World’s End” Featurette
• Animatics
• Hair and Makeup Tests
• Rehearsal Footage
• Stunt Tapes
• VFX Breakdown
• “Bits and Pieces”
• “There’s Only One Gary King – Osymyso’s Inibri-8 Megamix”
• “Signs and Omens”
• “Edgar and Simon’s Flip Chart”
• Trailers and TV Spots
• “TV Safe Version”
• Galleries
• Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


The World's End [Blu-Ray] (2013)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 18, 2013)

Most trilogies follow a standard path with consistent characters and a logical narrative arc. Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s “Cornetto Trilogy” ignores those usual requirements, though. This series of comedies began with a horror tale, 2004’s , and then continued with a cop adventure, 2007’s Hot Fuzz. A sci-fi effort called The World’s End finishes this threesome.

These movies share the same director and writers, director as well as some actors, but they come with different characters and don’t connect to each other in terms of their stories. What does the “Cornetto Trilogy” mean? Each film refers to a different flavor of Cornetto ice cream, so there’s your supposed “trilogy”!

That’s certainly a goofy notion for a “trilogy”, but it suits the off the wall comedy of the different films. End starts in 1990, as we meet five young men who attempt a pub crawl across their small English town. The challenge comes from the scope of the endeavor, as they try to down a pint in each of the 12 local establishments.

They fail, but this evening stays with group leader Gary (Pegg), now 40-something and stuck in the past. Not much has gone well for Gary over the last couple of decades, and he believes that if he gets the gang back together and they complete the crawl, somehow this will help him move on with his life.

None of the others much want to accompany the immature Gary, but he convinces them anyway. Back in Newton Haven, Gary leads his pals Andy (Nick Frost), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine) and Peter (Eddie Marsan) on their night of massive drinking.

Along the way, things take an odd turn, as something seems “off” about Newton Haven. Beyond the standard “you can’t go home again” issues, the inhabitants appear… different. It turns out that Newton Haven holds a secret, as aliens operate a secret invasion in the quaint town. This may leave Gary and company as the last hope for humanity.

On the surface, End comes across as a cousin to Shaun, and the newer film’s trailers abetted that concept. The ads kept the nature of the alien menace vague enough that fans may have thought End presented another zombie tale. It doesn’t, of course, but even without the undead, its combination of “altered” humans and action elements means it provides obvious similarities to the 2004 effort.

Happily, End stands on its own, as those connections remain pretty superficial. The narrative operates in a different manner, as its focus on the five guys and their collective past allows it much more of a “midlife crisis” theme.

Perhaps I’m showing my age here - I’m about as old as this film’s actors - but those components allow End to “speak” to me more than its “Cornetto Trilogy” predecessors, and probably more than it should. After all, the average sci-fi comedy doesn’t attempt more than laughs and maybe a little excitement.

To be sure, those elements dominate End, so don’t expect it to be some mopey treatise on middle age. However, it comes with enough reflection and melancholy to add a little extra dimension to it and give it a bit of emotional heft it otherwise might lack.

It also features a downright terrific cast. Pegg does his best work as the immature Gary; he eagerly embraces the role’s superficiality but ensures that our lead grows along the way and doesn’t stand as simple caricature. The others add to their parts as well and leave us with the impression of the guys as a true band of friends, not just actors at work.

Though End emphasizes comedy, it blends action well. The latter side escalates as the film progresses; it takes a while before the sci-fi aspects of the story clearly emerge, so we’re well into the movie’s running time before the battle ensues. When it does, it fits the plot nicely and retains a good sense of humor. The fights become oddly believable but still funny.

Pacing seems satisfying – well, until the end, at least. If I had to pick a weak link in End, it’d come from the climax, as the final showdown between humans and invaders seems too chatty and pedantic. I don’t want to say more than that so I can avoid spoilers, but where the film should embrace action, instead it turns into a verbal debate that doesn’t quite satisfy.

Even with that minor misstep, I really like The World’s End. It gives us a clever take on its genre and brings us a well-constructed tale with humor and flair. I might be in the minority, but of the three “Cornetto” films, it’s easily my favorite.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus A

The World’s End appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This wasn’t a killer transfer, but it seemed very good.

No real issues related to sharpness. A few wide shots seemed just a tad soft, but those popped up infrequently. Instead, the majority of the movie looked concise and accurate. Jagged edges and shimmering failed to appear, and edge haloes remained absent. Source flaws also caused no distractions.

Colors were fine. The movie usually favored an amber tint or bluish hues, all of which made sense within the flick’s themes and design. The tones looked fine within those parameters. Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows demonstrated good clarity. Overall, this ended up as a positive image.

I also felt pleased with the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of World’s End. The film’s action pieces offered the most dynamic elements. Sequences with fights and chases opened up the soundfield well and gave us a nice sense of involvement. Music showed good stereo imaging, and the flick used the surrounds well. The back speakers worked as reasonably active participants and placed us in the action.

Audio quality proved strong. Speech was natural and distinctive, without edginess or other concerns. Music appeared lively and dynamic, and effects fared well. Those elements sounded full and rich at all times. Low-end response was quite good and brought out a nice sense of depth. This turned into a positive package.

Packed with extras, the Blu-ray starts with three separate audio commentaries. Titled the “writers commentary”, the first comes from actor/writer Simon Pegg and writer/director Edgar Wright. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story and characters, cast and performances, themes, hidden meanings and influences, sets, locations and visual design, action and stunts, music and audio, various effects and a few other areas.

From start to finish, Pegg and Wright contribute an active, informative chat. Their remarks uncover layers of the production and film while they keep us entertained the whole way. Everything here works and makes this a terrific track.

For the “actors commentary”, we hear from actor/writer Simon Pegg and actors Nick Frost and Paddy Considine. All three sit together for their running, screen-specific take on the same topics as Wright/Pegg but from a different POV.

This tends to be a more comedy-oriented piece, as the actors impersonate others and joke around a fair amount; in particular, Martin Freeman becomes the butt of barbs due to his newfound fame as Bilbo in The Hobbit. We still learn some decent details and have fun along the way, but the track's not nearly as informative as its predecessor.

Finally, the “technical commentary” involves writer/director Edgar Wright and director of photography Bill Pope. They chat together for their running, screen-specific discussion of camerawork, shot selection/composition and related choices, why they didn't shoot digitally, visual design, sets and locations, and other related topics.

Often tracks like this tend toward the dry side of the street, but the ever-loquacious Wright ensures that this doesn't become the case. While Pope chimes in occasionally, Wright carries the piece and turns it into another involving chat. Like the actors’ commentary, it's not as good as the first track, but it's still a worthwhile and enjoyable listen.

Two more features also accompany the film itself. A Trivia Track tells us about music, locations, technical details, story, themes and connections, cast and crew, performances, and a mix of other production notes. After three commentaries, inevitable repetition occurs – indeed, some of the facts pop up in all four locations – but the trivia track offers a good array of topics. It comes with an unobtrusive format and adds to our knowledge of the flick.

Finally, U-Control provides a storyboard picture-in-picture feature. As one might expect, this means that art pops up on a pretty much constant basis throughout the film. This turns into a nice way to compare the boards with the final footage.

The next few areas cover cut footage. One Deleted Scene appears and runs for 55 seconds. It shows the guys in a Newton Haven B&B before the start of the pub crawl. It seems entertaining but inconsequential.

Under Outtakes, we get a 10-minute, 44-second compilation. Many of these fall into the blooper category, but we get a few alternate lines as well. Those help make it a bit better than most collections of this sort.

With Alternate Edits, we view four minutes, 32 seconds of footage. These cover eight scenes and give us minor changes to existing sequences. Nothing significant occurs but it’s fun to see the differences.

A documentary called Completing the Golden Mile – The Making of The World’s End lasts 48 minutes, six seconds and offers info from Wright, Pegg, Considine, Frost, producers Nira Park and Eric Fellner, and actors Pierce Brosnan, Eddie Marsan, Martin Freeman, Rosamund Pike, and Luke Bromley. “Completing” covers the movie’s story and characters, its roots and development, influences and themes, cast and performances, Wright’s impact on the production, and the notion of a trilogy.

Rather than attempt a broad documentary that covers all aspects of the film’s creation, “Completing” sticks almost exclusively with story, characters and cast. I like that concentration, as it allows for more introspection than we’d usually encounter. All involved get plenty of time to discuss these creative areas and we end up with a satisfying program.

In the Featurettes area, we discover four pieces: “Director at Work” (2:33), “Pegg + Frost = Fried Gold” (3:28), “Friends Reunited” (3:46) and “Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy” (5:13). Across these, we hear from Wright, Pegg, Frost, Fellner, Pike, Considine, Marsan, Park, amd Freeman. We learn about Wright’s work on the set, cast and performances, story and characters, and connections among the “trilogy” films.

This section should’ve been titled “promotional featurettes”, as all four existed to sell the film. That makes them mostly pretty forgettable, especially if you already saw “Completing”, as much of the same footage shows up here. “Cornetto” has some good material since it shows us the elements that link the three films, but otherwise, these clips become eminently skippable.

Filling in the Blanks: The Stunts and FX of The World’s End runs 27 minutes, 40 seconds and features Wright, Pegg, Marsan, Frost, Freeman, Considine, Pike, Pope, stunt performers Greg Townley and Samuel Mak, fight coordinator Damien Walters, visual effects supervisor Frazer Churchill, prosthetics designer Waldo Mason, special effects supervisor Chris Reynolds, concept designer Oscar Wright, production designer Marcus Rowland, choreographer Litza Bixler, animatronics supervisor Matt Denton, data wrangler Jack Hughes, hand puppeteer Brian Herring, key prosthetic artist Barrie Gower, and animatronic model designer Joshua Lee. The show covers actor training, cinematography and production design, action and stunts, various effects, and other technical areas.

Though it starts a bit goopy with praise, “Blanks” soon becomes a good examination of its subjects. It helps that we find plenty of video material to demonstrate techniques and technologies; those elements add real information value. The components mix together to gel into a useful show.

A bunch of short elements ensue. Animatics covers “Prologue” (2:59) and “The Catacombs” (8:17). Here we filmed storyboards accompanied by audio. Since we can view these alongside the final movie, these don’t seem especially useful.

Under Hair and Makeup Tests, we locate four minutes, seven seconds of… hair and makeup tests., We watch various actors as they pose and turn around to let us see their “looks”. Rehearsal Footage offers six minutes, 20 seconds of material that focuses on action choreography; we view the actors as they practice for the fight scenes. Both are enjoyable, though “Rehearsal” seems much more fun.

Next we get three segments Stunt Tapes. These look at “Bathroom Fight” (3:22), “Twinbot Fight” (1:53) and “Beehive Fight” (3:31). The tapes mix storyboards with video footage of the stunt folks as they demonstrate the choreography for the various battles. While not as interesting as “Rehearsal Footage”, this still becomes a cool compilation.

During the VFX Breakdown, we find an eight-minute, 39-second reel accompanied by commentary from Fraser Churchill. We view the techniques used to create many of the movie’s effects and learn the specifics from Churchill. Though his remarks tend to be somewhat dry, I like our ability to view the various steps of effects completion.

Bits and Pieces runs three minutes, 23 seconds and delivers a little hodepodge. It concentrates on alternate takes, which makes it a fun way to see different stabs by the actors.

For a sort of music video, we go to There’s Only One Gary King – Osymyso’s Inibri-8 Megamix. It lasts four minutes, 36 seconds and presents movie clips accompanied by a techno song. Don’t expect much from it.

Hidden messages come to the fore in the seven-minute, 51-second Signs and Omens. Mainly it shows us the ways the film meshes pubs, characters, connections and other themes. After the commentaries and the trivia track, we already know a lot of this, but I like our ability to get a quick recap here.

For a glimpse of the writers’ planning process, we head to Edgar and Simon’s Flip Chart. It runs 13 minutes, 18 seconds and lets Pegg and Wright show us the initial character/story concepts for the film and compare them to the final product. Expect a good look at their early ideas in this enjoyable overview.

More alternate footage arrives within TV Safe Version. It runs three minutes, 41 seconds and gives us a few shots with less “offensive” options. Most of these cover altered profanity, though we also get changes like “play-the-file” for “pedophile”. The alterations look/sound ridiculous – which makes them perversely amusing and a nice addition to the disc.

Five Galleries ensue, all presented as slideshows. We find “Production Photos”, “Animatronics and Prosthetics”, “Theatrical Posters”, “Concept Art” and “Hero Pub Signs”. I like the material but the interface stinks, as it allows the viewer no control over the images. The shots move at their own pace, so you can’t make them proceed more quickly, go back or pause. The lack of options robs the galleries of convenience and turns them into more of a chore than they should be.

The disc opens with ads for Machete Kills, Kick-Ass 2, RIPD, Jobs and 2 Guns. We also find three trailers and three TV spots for End.

A second disc gives us a DVD copy of End. It includes the writers commentary, the “Completing” documentary, and all the trailers and TV spots.

The finale to the so-called “Cornetto Trilogy”, The World’s End offers a winning action-comedy. It emphasizes the laughs and delivers a fun, fresh take on its territory. The Blu-ray gives us very good picture and audio along with a stellar roster of bonus materials. Everything works well here and this becomes a recommended Blu-ray for a fun movie.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main