The fast-approaching World War Z and This Is the End are polar opposites - tonally speaking - yet both apocalyptic movies have prompted divided responses, during the buildup to their theatrical release. Director Marc Forster and star Brad Pitt's WWZ adaptation has stirred up controversy over its departure from the source material, with a troubled production and lackluster marketing "helping" to heap on more negative buzz. Similarly, This Is the End either looks brilliant and hilarious or crude and dull-witted, depending (partly) on your general feelings about past comedic offerings from actors like Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill and Danny McBride.
Earlier this week, World War Z and This Is the End were screened for select movie bloggers, journalists, celebrities and everyday moviegoers; surprisingly, though, the general reaction in each case is overall positive (so far...).
/Film has rounded up several Twitter reactions to the This Is the End screening that Sony held in Los Angeles this week. Fore brevity's sake, we've only included a few of the responses from our fellow online movie critic/blogger types, below:
"I am floored by how good THIS IS THE END is. In the words of James Franco: 'So good'. There is some unbelievable monster design in THIS IS THE END. Straight up metal album cover stuff. It's super self-referential, but if you like the actors it works. If you don't like the actors it's probably torture." - @devincf
"THIS IS THE END was extremely funny and absolutely worth seeing. Has one of the funniest scenes I've seen in a long time. [Will] need to see THIS IS THE END at least one more time. Audience tonight was laughing so loud I couldn't hear some of the dialogue." - @colliderfrosty
I freely admit to not being a fan of the first This Is the End red band trailer, but since then my outlook has improved based on the subsequent trailers and the... unconventional marketing for the Hollywood self-obsession raunch-fest. Still, if you read the fine print on these early reactions, it doesn't sound like this movie is going to win over any devoted members in the anti-Rogen/Franco/Hill/etc. camp.
To learn more about the film, be sure and check out our coverage from the This Is the End set:
- ‘This is the End’ Set Visit Report: Celebrity Deaths, Franco’s Crib, & More Blood!
- ‘This is the End’ Cast Interview: Apocalypse, Grisly Deaths, & Playing Themselves
- ‘This is the End’ Interview: Seth Rogen Promises Crazy Creatures & Epic Comedy
World War Z
Those who caught the surprise World War Z screening were mostly regular people, TV personalities, etc., but there were some online movie reviewer/journalist types on hand. Here are their thoughts (via CBM):
"World War Z: a big, solid zombie movie. Makes up for in scope what it lacks in blood. It jettisons most of the book. It's really its own thing. Some third act issues but otherwise [it's solid]." - @ScottIGN
"So after all that fuss, 'World War Z' turned out to be a surprisingly effective zombie thriller. The CGI zombies aren't great but there is plenty of practical stuff they're not showing yet. There is no way in hell this thing should have cost even close to $250 million." - @mjsamps
"World War Z will probably be the most intense movie you will see this summer...I was shocked it was that good. So much for those re-shoots... [It was good because] it was a different take on Zombie films." - @Latinoreview
Similar to the This Is the End reactions, these WWZ responses are encouraging; yet, the off-hand comments about the third act problems - even after the original cut was completely overhauled - and shaky effects suggest these, likewise, might be best taken with a grain of salt (to mention nothing about the WWZ film's questionable box office prospects). Nevertheless, I will gladly eat crow if Pitt's zombie blockbuster proves to be a worthy variation on the sub-genre.
This Is the End opens in U.S. theaters on June 12th, 2013.
World War Z opens in regular and select 3D/IMAX theaters on June 21st, 2013.