When I was counting days inside the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, I used to like to imagine Armageddon as a great excuse to relapse on whiskey, and hoped one day I would get the chance, for whiskey is so so good. But if an alcoholic vows to drink again only when hell froze over, sooner or later he'd drive down into the flames on a stolen Zamboni. That's in the bible... if you know which bible I mean. Still, for some of us, the apocalypse is our last chance to reunite with our deranged lover in all her brown... intoxicating.... proof.
In other words, I would be the first to volunteer to leave the compound and forage, because maybe... maybe somewhere in the hellish mist of the Hollywood Hills... there might be unbroken bottles of sweet sweet booze. That's the comfort for a recovering alcoholic in the apocalypse. No demon can compare with that one, no scare or threat can stay that eternal thirst. Without that carrot lure I can't see ever stirring from my bunker. But I am the alcoholic thing in the black crib with the upside cross baby mobile ROSEMARY'S BABY dashboard. I am the third heat, the eternal thirst carved large as Asmodeus' initials into the EQUINOX oak tree soul. I guess we all have our reasons for wanting this damned parade to finally end, in a blaze of glory. That's one of mine.
But these guys--Seth Rogen, Franco, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, all playing themselves-- are more grounded than I am... which is odd, considering they don't seem to have girlfriends and the first thing they wish for (outside of weed) is a Back Street Boys reunion (nope, nothing gay here). Perhaps that's the secret to success: girls always Yoko up a band sooner or one of you goes to college, or leaves it. I can only imagine what would happen if I never moved to NJ or my buddy's parents didn't get divorced and turn him militant, or if I never became a hippy punk rock boozer. All these things killed our comic book making, super 8mm filming, dungeon and dragons module creating, and selling, and marketing company. Girls were but the coup de grace.
If I had known nerds would conquer the world, that the "Comic Con" would one day be a prestigious event, I might have never have choked down that first pilfered warm beer at my punk rocker friend's graduation party. I'm funny, too, man. Can't you tell? Why did I give it all up for a life of hipness, boozy abandon, and relationship-attempting? None of the dudes who wind up at Franco's seem to have any long term relationships, or kids, to worry about, and it's damned refreshing. At no point does any character say, "I can't leave without my children!" or "If Kathy's back there, I'm going to get her!" These guys don't give a shit!
The main star of THIS IS THE END though is the raw kinetic energy and flow of weird ideas that doesn't stop, just snakes forward from LAX to chillin' with buds to a party at James Franco's house all the way to.... The big budget CGI in the film isn't used for guns and nonsense. There's only one gun in the whole damned movie. Instead there's great towering demons to rival The Night on Bald Mountain sequence in FANTASIA, and Jonah Hell spewing green bile like a portly homoerotic Linda Blair, but no monster is quite as scary as Emma Watson with an axe. Or more balls-out-gonzo than McBride gone cannibal --the role of the year in the movie of the year. Like many Piscean artists and writers, I've always admired--from a distance--the McBride type. We Pisces never invite them to parties but they always show up, draining our bar but bringing us awful weird new drugs like angel dust, jimson weed, and crank and introducing us to carnivorous whores. You can't get rid of them, so you may as well enjoy their ferocity, use it before it destroys you. When the world ends and the savage monsters reign, we could use a man like Frank Booth again.
|Didn't need no welfare state|
If only life were just buds and booze, how simple and joyous! But instead how complicated and downer-ish it is to watch dudes from your crew marry and--unless you join their creepy 'we have kids' cult--never be seen from or heard through again. Maybe that's the real fantasy, that the world will end before maturity's inevitable bro-pocalypse wipes out your network. I hear it's just like falling asleep. Push... push... and then, I hear, lots of worry about the right schools. Dragged to recitals... pretending to give a shit about Little League. Oh the smell. Pass. I'll stay awake.
And that brings me to the stifled world of the couple's brunch where--if they had girlfriends with bourgeois hipster tastes--the dudes in END would be going on Sunday afternoon (after a nice early bedtime) instead of to Franco's on Saturday night (or if I was there and it was the 90s, both). I'm of course referring to the 2012 'couples' comedy IT'S A DISASTER.
David Cross is the stranger being vetted by his internet-met steady Julia Stiles' posse. He moseys around the nice house, drinks some Scotch with the boys, hears how they got problems of their own, blah blah. Suddenly, a neighbor comes in decked out in a hazmat suit. A dirty bomb has gone off downtown, poison gasses everywhere. Commence duct taping! And then the couple who are always super late try to come in, coughing and hacking and begging to be let it in. But the duct tape is on. What do you do?
Damn right you don't.
That kind of satiric moral querying is welcome when the less humanist decision is pre-empted, and the swinger couple (Rachel Boston and Kevin Brennan) slipping a subtle menage a trois come-on to Cross are hilarious; America Ferrara mixing all the drugs in the house together to create some homemade ecstasy--determined to get super high to face the end--she is my hero. While her beau seems to think ranting about conspiracies will turn the deadly real situation abstract enough to deal with, i.e. what you can deconstruct can't kill you, she's doing the right thing, the thing the old black jazz pianist on the cruise ship or Woody Harrelson does in the movie 2012, get lit bright as a Lincoln Center Xmas Tree.
Overall it's some good ensemble work, giving off the impression these people all know each other and respect one another's comedic rhythms, and if it all seems over before there's any special effects fire and brimstone to run up the tab, well, it makes up with in the kind of inner-hell only the relationship-anchored truly know.
So what, in the end, is the right scenario for you? A lot of us were hoping the world would end last December 21st, so we could skip that much-needed root canal, or get out from under our credit card debt. Now here it is a year later and we know we're saddled with seemingly immortal life. So pick your poison and live to die another day: going out with the bros is of course the more fun option than meeting the new girl's posse at a petit-bourgeois couples brunch, because the deeper you look the more you see how hard it is to grow when you can just blame your significant other for holding you back.
Unfortunately real personal growth only seems to come with pain, fear, and trauma. With the boys up in the Hills of THIS IS THE END, though, there's no one else to blame, no one to take the bottle out of one's hands and wag her finger, and so, convexly, no escape from the awfulness of one's own true self and one's own addictions. If that's not a reason to relapse I don't know what is, 'hic'.
|Oh how time flies / with crystal clear eyes|