5 Friends. 12 Pubs. 1 Apocalypse. And a hell of a Blu-ray release.
The World’s End is a fine and fitting finale to the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, bringing back all of our favourite stars for one last blast, this time tearing up all things alien and sci-fi (and The Matrix) on its way towards the end of the world.Just like the story itself, it feels like a reunion with old friends, who have gone their separate ways in the intervening years. Certainly I can understand why fans had high hopes for it, but perhaps those should be tempered somewhat in light of the decade that has passed, and everything that has changed in the interim. After all, Pegg, Frost and Wright have come a long way since their work together on the Brit TV comedy series, Spaced.Here they have clearly matured somewhat, eschewing their more passionately frivolous comedic antics of old in favour of an oftentimes sobering tale of unfulfilled, broken lives; adults who never grow up; alcoholics and addicts; and therapy. Stemmed from a reunion pub crawl idea that Wright came up with a long time ago, coupled with the story from an old Christopher Lee sci-fi flick called The End of the World, the feature is more serious than you would expect from this trio, even with the smatterings of drama in both Shaun’ and ‘Fuzz. But it does suit their older selves, catering for a group of hardcore fans who have also, undoubtedly, aged right along with them.
Blood and Ice CreamThe World’s End comes to Region Free UK Blu-ray complete with a largely stunning 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation in the movie’s original theatrical widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1. Detail is impressive throughout, allowing for excellent clarity on fine objects, facial close-ups, clothing weaves and background textures, whilst the longer shots also stand up to scrutiny. Largely devoid of any digital defects – banding, blocking, edge enhancement, artifacting or unruly DNR application – there’s nothing really to complain about. Well, maybe there’s a hint of instability in the noise department, but it’s hardly worth mentioning. The colour scheme is strong and rich, allowing for bright and vibrant tones where necessary – the neon blue ‘alien’ colour striking out amidst the rest of the relatively natural tones – and black levels are suitably deep, without betraying any shadow detail. Overall it is a thoroughly praiseworthy video presentation which easily lands in the reference category.
If this is the end, then it looks and sounds bloody amazing.
The accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is also superb, standing out from the crowd largely thanks to the fact that this comedy is far more ‘eventful’ than the norm, with plenty of explosive segments, punchy action sequences, thumping fight scenes and snappily cut montage-moments. The all-important, razor-sharp and lightning-fast dialogue comes across clearly and coherently throughout the piece, whilst the score provides a welcome accompaniment that gets room to breathe across the surrounds. Effects are myriad, taking in all of the aforementioned elements to round out a track that is far more bombastic than you might expect from what is, ostensibly, a Brit comedy. Almost nudging into demo territory, this is a great track.
Sprinkles on topEverything but the kitchen sink is thrown into this Extras package, as fans have only become accustomed to when it comes to the Cornetto entries. There’s three Commentaries – the best being a hilarious Cast Commentary with Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Paddy Considine, and the second best being a more informative contribution from Writer/Director Edgar Wright and Co-Writer Pegg, and the third being a Technical Commentary from Wright and his DOP, who look behind the scenes at how it was shot – and then there’s a whopping 48-minute-long Documentary, Completing the Golden Mile: The Making of World’s End, which covers pretty much every stage of the production process; Filling in the Blanks: The Stunts and FX of The World’s End takes a further half-an-hour to look specifically at this aspect of the movie, VFX Breakdown adds to this with 9 minutes of additional effects background, and Animatics breaks down a couple of scenes.
Like Shaun and Hot Fuzz, The World's End comes with an exceptional set of extras.
The Storyboard PIP track allows you to see the storyboards whilst watching the film; Edgar & Simon’s Flip Chart offers a quarter-hour look behind writing the screenplay; and then we get a whole bunch of mini-Featurettes that run little more than a couple of minutes in length – Director at Work has the cast wax lyrical about Wright; Pegg + Frost = Fried Gold does the same for the two leads; Friends Reunited is just a fluffy, EPK mini-version of the main Documentary; Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy briefly looks at the three films; Hair and Make-Up Tests shows the preliminary ideas; Rehearsal Footage shows the cast warming up; Stunt Tapes breaks down three of the bigger action sequences; There’s Only One Gary King: Osymyso’s Inibri-8 Megamix is a music remix montage; and Signs & Omens reveals the film’s secrets, although the Trivia Track probably does a better job of that, whilst the movie’s running. There’s a single unexceptional Deleted Scene, and two sets of Alternate Takes, although the 11 minutes of Outtakes do spark a few extra laughs. Talking of laughs, the spoof TV Safe Version (which is just 4 minutes long!) is pretty hilarious, and the disc is rounded off by a number of Trailers and TV Spots and a series of Galleries. Phew!
The EndShaun of the Dead’s bloody red Cornetto, Hot Fuzz’s police-themed blue, and now The World’s End’s sci-fi/alien-themed green. You may prefer different flavours; you may find that the mint-green sticks out from the rest as being the slightly lesser of the trilogy, but they still come together as a great comedy package; one which will, as a whole, undoubtedly be remembered as a future modern classic trilogy in the genre.
The Region Free UK Blu-ray release is outstanding, with stunning video and audio presentation and a boat-load of extras, making this a must-have purchase for fans of the film, or those who want to finally complete their Cornetto Trilogy. Highly Recommended.
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