This Is The End

Released in 2013 This Is The Endis an apocalyptic comedy written and directed by¬†Seth Rogen¬†and¬†Evan Goldberg¬†in their¬†directorial debut. The movie stars comedic actors and friends Seth Rogan, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill & Danny McBride as fictional versions of themselves who are at a party in Franco’s LA home when the apocalypse occurs. Also appearing in the movie are Emma Watson with camoes by Rhianna, Michael Cera, David Krumholz, Jason Segal, Channing Tatum, Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Aziz Anzari and the Backstreet Boys. Ok that last part made me want to vomit but the rest is good so let’s get on with the movie.

Jay Baruchel arrives in Los Angeles and is met at the airport by his friend Seth Rogen and they hang out at the latter’s house smoking pot, eating and just watching tv. Seth then makes Jay got to James Franco’s house warming party but Jay is uncomfortable as there are a lot of people that he doesn’t know well. As the party goes enjoy themselves, Seth joins Jay when he goes to a convenience store nearby. Suddenly they feel the ground rumble and blue beams of light appear from the sky and carry away some of the store customers. Amid explosions, car & other vehicle crashes they rush back to Franco’s house and warn the others. Everyone rushes outside because of a powerful earthquake and see the¬†Hollywood Hills¬†on fire. A huge crack appears in the ground which leads to a firey pit of lava and most of the celebrities fall in and died (Michael Cera has a hilarious death when a sharp broken pole impales him) and only Seth, Jay, James, Craig & Johan survive and they board themselves up in Franco’s house and ration the food, drugs & drinks. Unknown to the others Danny McBride has sneaked in and was passed out in a bathroom and he wakes up the next morning unaware of the crisis and makes a large breakfast. Initially he doesn’t believe their story but a survivor trying to get in is decapticated and his head rolls in the house, convincing Danny.

There are conflicts within the 6 of them as have little food but to pass the time doing drugs and filming a homemade sequel to Pineapple Express’. Emma Watson, who was at the party, returns back thinking it was a zombie invasion but due¬† to a misunderstanding, she believes the group is planning to rape her and leaves, taking their drinks. Craig is selected to go out to find more water but gets scared and returns soon, so the group dig a hole to the basement and collect big bottles of stored water. Craig’s experience causes him to believe Jay’s theory of the Apocalypse and that the blue beams are part of the¬†Rapture, taken good people to¬†Heaven. Danny causes friction by wasting some of the water and after a brief fight, he leaves but not before revealing that Jay was in town two months before at a¬†Four Seasons¬†concert, and was asked not to tell Seth, due to their strained friendship. As Seth becomes upset Johan, who till now idolized Jay, is punched by Jay when he tries to tell him that what he did was wrong. At night Jonah prays for Jay to die and a demon comes in and rapes him causing him to become possessed.¬†Craig volunteers to explore a neighboring home for supplies with Jay. Now¬†demonically possessed¬†and supernaturally strong, Jonah chases James and Seth while Craig and Jay flee a demonic bull. The group subdues Jonah, but during an¬†Exorcism¬†attempt, a fight breaks out between Seth and Jay due to their differences which cause’s a fire to destroy the house and Jonah’s body, forcing them outdoors. Outside a huge winged demon stalks them and Craig, regretting some of the mistakes he made in his life, sacrificed himself to save the other 3.

The plan succeeds but, unexpectedly, Craig is taken to heaven by the Rapture because of his good deed, giving hope to the group. James, Seth & Jay take a car and head to the city and are attacked by cannibals led by Danny with Channing Tatum¬†as his sex slave, capture them, James volunteers to sacrifice himself. Once again his sacrifice sees him selected for rapture and a blue beam of light starts lifting him – but James is reject in mid air as he taunts Danny and he falls to the ground and is eaten alive by the cannibals. Jay & Seth run away but find themselves in front of Satan – a huge demon with horns. Faced with sure death the two reconcile and Jay is pulled to heaven without Seth, so Jay grabs Seth and pulls him along. As dragging Seth along is preventing Jay from entering heaven, Seth sacrifices himself to save his friend, and is also taken by the Rapture. Craig welcomes Jay and Seth and explains that Heaven is where anything comes true. Jay wishes for the¬†Backstreet Boys, and the film ends with the band performing “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” for a heavenly party.

Hilariously funny and a bromance movie with a lot of dirty humour and silly stuff,¬† this is a great fun movie to enjoy. For me personally though, I can’t stand either Craig Robinson or Danny McBride and that did make me lose some of the enjoyment. Oh and the Bacteria Boys – what the fuck! Still a fun must see movie and I can easily give it 8 outta 10!

Iranian Expat Musicians Killed

Tragedy struck the music world with the shooting & murder of two members of the expat Iranian rock band The Yellow Dogs. The members of the band were from¬†Tehran,¬†Iran but sang in English and played Western instruments, citing¬†Joy Division¬†as an influence. Their music was not approved by Iran’s¬†Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, and was therefore Illegal. On 8-9 December, 2009 the band was interviewed by the U.S. government at the U.S. embassy in¬†Istanbul, Turkey and their comments about the¬†Iranian Green Movement Protesters, Iranian counter-culture, freedom of expression, trends in drug usage and music in the authoritarian state were reported in an unclassified U.S. State Department document later released by¬†wikileaks titled, “Iran/culture: So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star.” ¬†Siavash Karampour (vocals), Soroush Farazmand (guitar), Koory Mirzeai (bass) and Arash Farazmand (drums)

After playing in secret venues in Iran, they finally played their first above ground concert in Istanbul, Turkey and soon after ¬†they flew to¬†New York City to play their second legal concert in Brooklyn. Since then they’ve played mostly in the us around New York and festivals in Austin, Texas and one of their songs has made it to the soundtrack of the documentary on Iranian bands¬†No One Knows About Persian Cats.

On November 11, 2013, a shooting took place in Brooklyn that involved current and former band members. According to band manager Ali Salehezadeh, guitarist Soroush Farazmand and drummer Arash Farazmand, along with Ali Eskandarian, a musician friend who was not part of the band, were killed by another musician named Ali Akbar Mahammadi Rafie.  A fourth person was wounded. Raefa had been kicked out of a different band (Free Keys) the previous year an had a falling out with the members of The Yellow Dogs. The gunman and members of the Free Keys are said to have had an argument over money, though it was unclear why he attacked the Yellow Dogs bandsmen.