Astrology: Film: ‘This Is the End’ (2013)

Columbia Pictures

In this Los Angeles slice of life – starring James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera and Emma Watson playing themselves – something wicked this way comes. This Is the End says hello to the Apocalypse, which ushers in Plutonian themes of death, spiritual transformation and, even as the world goes dark, lots of manipulation and control, doled out primarily by McBride.

The proceedings start off harmlessly enough. Baruchel, uncomfortable with Hollywood’s vibes, is in town visiting his buddy Rogen. They head over to the housewarming hosted by Franco. Conveniently built like a fortress, Franco’s home turns into a refuge as the beam-centric Rapture announces itself and all players quickly transition into survival mode.

As co-written and co-directed by Rogen and Evan Goldberg, This Is the End is suffused with a death-can-be-fun vibe, and pays tribute to classic horror movies, including Hill’s able fielding of The Exorcist’s possession scene. Baruchel wields a cross made of a pancake turner secured to tongs. Hey, it’s rough times for everyone: you improvise.

For all its rough-hewn antics, the movie creates clear skyward-ascending and earth-descending pathways, and some characters are called upon – in the face of the genitalia-obsessed Beast – to make conscious choices about how they’ll spend the afterlife. The movie is jokey throughout, but manages to put ego-fueled actors’ plight of picking immortal film roles into perspective.

Astrology Film Rating: ♇ (Pluto)

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