This Is the End and Monsters University

monstersuniversity  

Over the last week, I saw This Is the End and Monsters University. Guess which one I saw with my son.

I am not a fan of stupid guy movies/stoner comedies. Films like The Hangover, Superbad, anything Harold & Kumar, most (if not all) Adam Sandler films, etc. leave me entirely uninterested. After seeing Seth Rogen on his promotional tour of talk shows, however, I was intrigued by this film. I enjoy films where actors play themselves in crazy situations. I think Wes Craven's New Nightmare (Nightmare on Elm Street VII) is the best film in that franchise (after the first film) mainly because of the delightful conceit of the actors playing themselves.

This Is the End is laugh out loud funny. Get past the dick and fart jokes, and this collection of actors are pretty riotous, obviously improvising most of the dialogue of the film. James Franco should always play himself; he is far less wooden in his own skin. Jonah Hill is delightfully funny (and does a great send-up of The Exorcist). Seth Rogen is the constant straight man, allowing everyone in scenes with him to steal the show. Danny McBride is disgusting, but he's meant to be. Craig Robinson and Jay Baruchel are two actors I didn't know before the film, but they have many funny moments between them. Michael Cera is ridiculous, and Emma Watson is fantastic. And I don't want to ruin it, but I'll never look at Channing Tatum the same way again. Be warned - there are a couple of gigantic penises in the film. Definitely not a film for kids.

Monsters University is Pixar's sequel to Monsters, Inc. from 2001. You follow Mike and Sulley through their days at college, where they first meet each other and hijinks ensue. You also discover how they end up at Monsters, Inc. It is a highly enjoyable film, though not in the way that I was expecting.

I found Monsters, Inc. to be laugh out loud funny. Gut busting at times. I found myself laughing less in Monsters University, but enjoying the story more. You cheer for the underdog monsters in the scaring competition. I enjoyed the Revenge of the Nerds "non-scary monster fraternity" vs. "all the other fraternities" scenario that was played out. Overall the story is great, and it's pleasing to visit with these familiar characters all over again.