Friday, June 28, 2013

It's a Disaster: Movie Review

The hilarious end of the world of 8 ill-prepared people.
I think the question on everyone’s mind is since when are end of the world movies actually good? In the past two years from “Melancholia” to “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” to “This is the End” we’ve had a number of solid to downright brilliant end of the world movies and now “It’s a Disaster” fits neatly in the middle. 2012

Directed by: Todd Berger

Screenplay by: Todd Berger

Starring: David Cross and Julia Stiles

It doesn’t really resemble the aforementioned films but it explores its characters just as well as “Melancholia” does, is almost as funny as “This is the End” and is as simply enjoyable as “Seeking a Friend.” Four couples gather for their monthly Sunday brunch only to discover that some kind of disaster is occurring and they’re not sure how to get out alive.

Photos courtesy of Oscilloscope.
Glen (David Cross) is our initial vantage point into this group. He’s Tracy’s (Julia Stiles) newest boyfriend who has had a string of bad luck with crazy guys. Tracy and the other three couples have been friends for years. Just as we’re getting used to the 8 different personalities, a disaster occurs. Well, we don’t actually know what, but a potentially crazy guy in a yellow hazmat suits shows up at the front door and informs them of the current situation in the world.

Their conversations that follow are hilarious. While some are desperately hanging onto the life they once knew, others are more concerned with how good satellite radio is, others are debating “duck tape” versus “duct tape”, and others are plotting how to save themselves and those they love.

The film takes place entirely in one house and we get to observe and laugh at the 8 different people who are now destined to live out their final hours in this one house together. It’s probably the cheapest end of the world movie, and if this even makes sense, it’s probably also the most realistic - at least in terms of how the characters act. These people all resemble people we all know.

The beginning of the movie opens with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture building in intensity reaching a dramatic crescendo when all of a sudden it ends before it’s over. The movie itself has the same structure. The better you know the characters and as they evolve over the hour and a half, the more interesting it becomes and then it ends before it’s over. It’s a good ending, but you’re left wanting more.

A lot of people are comparing it to “Carnage” (2011) – for the obvious simplicity reasons. I see it more as a low-budget, indie version of “This is the End” (2013) with significantly toned down dialogue and characters. Perhaps it’s best viewed as a combination of the two.

Who Might Like This: Anybody who likes character dramas; people who like end of the world comedies; and especially anybody looking for a combination of the two.

Best of 2013

Similar Titles:

Melancholia (2011) - Feelings of melancholia bursting through the brilliant colours of the Earth.

Carnage (2011) - The carnage left over after a verbal battle of wits.

This is the End (2013) - How to make a stoner comedy with a bunch of friends and turn it into a smart, shrewd and hilarious statement on humanity.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012) - Clever and witty dialogue turn this romantic comedy disaster into a charming comedy.