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The World's End(2013)
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. 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.
For more about The World's End and the The World's End Blu-ray release, see the The World's End Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on November 14, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Rosamund Pike, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan
Director: Edgar Wright
» See full cast & crew
The World's End Blu-ray Review
You've got blue on you...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, November 14, 2013
Is there a genre Edgar Wright and cohorts in crime Simon Pegg and Nick Frost haven't tackled? Victorian period romance, I suppose. Otherwise, it's all fair game for the Cornetto Trilogy boys. Shaun of the Dead cut a swath through horror and the house that Romero built, years before the New Zombie Renaissance. Hot Fuzz fired "two guns whilst jumping through the air" with slick style, shooting up '80s and '90s action classics, police procedurals and buddy cop flicks. And now there's The World's End, a hilarious send-up of sci-fi actioners, alien invasion movies, arrested development comedies, and even disaster blockbusters and post-apocalyptic wasteland epics. No genre is sacred; no genre is safe. Just the way Wright fans like it. The World's End isn't as pitch perfect as Shaun of the Dead -- if you never warm to Pegg's insufferable manchild, you'll have a much harder time warming to the rest of the film -- but it's sharper and a wee bit smarter than Hot Fuzz, closes out the trio's trilogy of genre comedies with gusto, and delivers some of the biggest laughs of the year. Enough to declare it the best comedy of 2013? Absolutely.
Thirty-eight-year old Gary King (Pegg) is deep in the throes of arrested development, obsessed with the good ol' days when he and his inseparable band of high school troublemakers -- Steven Prince (Paddy Considine), Oliver "O-Man" Chamberlain (Martin Freeman), Peter Page (Eddie Marsan) and best friend Andy Knightley (Frost) -- attempted to complete the Golden Mile: patronizing all twelve pubs in their hometown, Newton Haven, in a single night. The five teens failed to finish the Mile, of course, and soon after went their separate ways. Haunted by the glory that could have been, Gary tracks down his old chums twenty years later, cons each of them into returning with him to Newton Haven and, finally, at long last, put right what once went wrong. Twelve pubs. Twelve pints. There's just one problem. The fair folk of Newton Haven are acting awfully strange. How strange? As the gang soon discovers, the townspeople have been replaced by identity-swiping alien robots hellbent on what can only be described as a weirdly peaceful hostile takeover. Now, with the help of Oliver's sister Sam (Rosamund Pike) and a local named Basil (David Bradley), Gary and his friends have until dawn to thwart the body snatchers' plans, go toe-to-toe with the aliens' charming leader (Pierce Brosnan) and save the planet. For Gary, though, it's all secondary to the real task at hand: completing the Golden Mile.
Never one to repeat himself, Wright strikes a completely different tone from anything he's done before, refusing to dip into what could easily become a very familiar bag of tricks. The World's End is brash, brazen and bound to a cocksure swagger that's all King, and yet all at once breezy and effortless. One-liners fly fast and fierce. Instantly quotable quotes litter the streets. Clever pop culture riffs await. Rapidfire rants and diatribes erupt at every turn. A welcome dose of heart enters the fray in the nick of time. Subtle genre satire births even more subtle genre satire, and that's not even counting the more obvious jabs filmfans will immediately skim off the surface. When I wasn't busy laughing, I found myself sitting back and simply marveling at the sheer craft of it all. There's far more to End's comedy beats and action beatdowns than meets the eye, and carefully concealed in-jokes and references are hidden everywhere... at least for those willing to search them out through multiple viewings. (My favorite? Mild spoiler alert: take note of how closely the progression of events of the boys' first Golden Mile trek coincide with their present-day, alien-infested run. Wright practically maps out the entire movie from the outset.) My go-to comedies are always gifts that keep on giving, and I can't imagine exhausting The World's End any time soon. I haven't come close.
It's a bit darker than Wright's usual comedies too, with a self-centered hero-in-the-making that verges on unlikable (intentionally), a lovable lug who's abused and manipulated by a poor excuse for a friend, and a story that doesn't guarantee its entire ensemble will make it out in one piece. Shaun of the Dead edged nearer and nearer to heartache as it hurtled along, pulling back at the last minute with an "all's well that ends well" finale after some sad business during a grim last stand. The World's End is a riot to the bitter end -- don't you worry -- but it doesn't flinch or back down, sidestepping a traditionally happy end-cap in favor of something much, much more satisfying. (Not to mention wholly unexpected.) I'd even go so far as to say the third act approaches Python-level brilliance, not just subverting a dozen sci-fi tropes, but one-upping them altogether. Compare Oblivion's climactic showdown to End's. There's no contest. Wright's face-off and endgame is richer, more thought-provoking, more intelligent, and possibly even more poignant science fiction. It just so happens to be hilarious. God forbid. Add to that a killer cast, terrific visual effects, a fantastic soundtrack, and thrilling, blazingly choreographed action scenes and you have something more than the best comedy of the year; you have one of the best science fiction films of 2013.
The World's End Blu-ray, Video Quality
The World's End invades Blu-ray with a faithful, first rate 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer that's as striking as any Cornetto fan could hope for. Those concerned that a disc jam-packed with special features might result in a problematic, underwhelming presentation can cast all worry aside. Significant artifacting, banding and other eyesores are nowhere to be found, and detail is unhindered. Edges are crisp and clean, without any pesky ringing; fine textures are revealing, with exacting closeups and plenty of grime to go around; and grain is intact and pleasant on the whole. Noise gets a bit out of hand in a few shots, but none of it proves distracting, even when all hell breaks loose. Colors are bright and bleached, as they're meant to be, but black levels remain deep and ominous, skintones perfectly saturated and delineation is excellent. All told, The World's End looks fantastic.
The World's End Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Universal's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track doesn't play by standard comedy rules. Big, bold and bombastic, the film takes any and every advantage of the entire soundfield, firing off directional shots and launching sonic attacks as if the end of the world really was imminent. Low-end output exudes power and punch, throwing the full weight of the LFE channel behind every body blow, explosion, eruption, blast of light and grisly robot assault. Not to be outdone, the rear speakers leap to attention as well, deploying subtle and not-so-subtle ambient effects, convincing cross-channel pans, and an enveloping 360-degree experience. Dialogue and dynamics follow suit; voices are perfectly clear, intelligible and grounded in the mix, and the quietest whispers and faintest sounds are as carefully prioritized as the most desperate war cries and heartiest blasts. The World's End delivers the AV goods.
The World's End Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The World's End Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
With The World's End, Wright further establishes himself as one of the preeminent comedy directors working today. The presence of Pegg and Frost ups the ante, of course, and their smartly cast co-stars certainly help. The final(?) entry in the trio's unofficial Cornetto series is a blast from start to finish; a wee bit better than Hot Fuzz by my estimation, and almost as flawless as Shaun of the Dead. Opinions will vary I'm sure, but there's a lot here to love, and a lot more to laugh at across multiple viewings. Universal's Blu-ray release arguably tops the feature film, with an excellent video presentation, a terrific DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track and hours upon hours of special features, including three audio commentaries, two high definition production documentaries and much, much more. One of the year's best films arrives with one of the year's best Blu-rays.
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The World's End Blu-ray, News and Updates
• This Week on Blu-ray: November 19-26 - November 17, 2013
For the week of November 19th, Universal Studios is bringing both The World's End and 2 Guns to Blu-ray. Other titles include Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story, Alexander Sokurov's Russian Ark, John Carpenter's classic actioner Assault on Precinct 13, Violet & Daisy, ...
• Exclusive Giveaway: The World's End & The Cornetto Trilogy - November 13, 2013
Blu-ray.com and Universal Studios Home Entertainment are offering five members the opportunity to win a copy of Edgar Wright's Cornetto Trilogy, which features Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End. Both the Cornetto Trilogy and The World's End arrive ...
• The World's End Blu-ray - September 26, 2013
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has officially announced the Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet combo pack release of director Edgar Wright's The World's End, starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike, David Bradley ...
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