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This Is the End

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If you want to make a film about guys dealing with their feelings and insecurities, you have to gussy it up with gross-out comedy, sci-fi/horror/fantasy trappings, or sports. Or a confrontation with mortality. Or, in the case of This Is the End, all of the above.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg make their directorial debut with this comedy about the apocalypse coinciding with James Franco's housewarming party. (Fortunately, This Is the End is funny — enough so to see a second time to catch the dialogue drowned out by audience laughter.) A who's who of young talent, most of whom die before your eyes, are trapped in Franco's new home. After the opening cataclysm, our survivors include Franco, Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson. Oh, and there are devastating cameos by Emma Watson — who, if given an ax and some zombies, could be our next Milla Jovovich — and Michael Cera, who plays a coked-out monstrosity.

The film forces these and other celebrities to confront what exactly they contribute to society. And End offers enough to chew on that it might inspire similar parties — a chance to unwind with your favorite people and hammer out the specifics of what makes a person worth caring about. Let us hope that yours won't end with demons and pits of magma.

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