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How It Ends Review | Sundance Film Festival

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We’re now getting to the point where lots of the films that were made during lockdown are starting to be released and How it Ends is a pre-apocalyptic comedy/drama that sounded really good on paper and was one of my most anticipated films for the entire Sundance Film Festival but the finished product is just a complete waste of potential and lacking anything interesting or exciting.

How It Ends is set the day before an asteroid is set to destroy the world and Liza, played by co-writer and co-director Zoe Lister-Jones, is invited to one final wild party before the world ends. But after her car gets stolen and wanting to tie up loose ends she has with family and friends before the apocalypse, she journeys across Los Angeles by foot. She’s not alone though as she’s accompanied by her quirky, metaphysical younger self played by Cailee Spaeny. The two of them tour across the city running into a whole host of familiar faces along the way before the world is set to be destroyed.

The film starts off fairly interesting and it began with a few jokes that I found quite funny and it immediately sets off with this quirky tone and for the first twenty minutes or, so I was quite entertained by it. The film has quite a short runtime of just 82 minutes and so the first quarter of this film was intriguing and set it up to be a really interesting film.

But that’s when it starts to go downhill. Once Liza and her younger self begin their journey across LA it very quickly becomes clear that the rest of the film isn’t going to be anything exciting or entertaining at all. The rest of the film just became a series of socially distanced celebrity cameos. The two lead characters would turn a street corner and bump (not literally) into another familiar face that you might recognise and then proceed to chat to them for a few minutes.

They meet some interesting characters along the way including Olivia Wilde, Helen Hunt and Bradley Whitford who looks like he’s just walked off the set of his other pandemic-made film Songbird. And very quickly, these short snippets get tedious and dull as the majority of the jokes don’t land and it just becomes uneventful when you’ve got the same sort of thing happening over and over again.

On paper this film sounded quite similar to 2013’s This Is the End which actually really surprised me with how good it was but the reason why that film worked and How It Ends doesn’t it because This Is the End was actually a lot of fun and really entertaining. How It Ends had so much potential to make a really fun pre-apocalyptic film with lots of celebrity cameos but instead it just became scene after scene of unfunny encounters with another random actor that you might recognise from a couple of other things.

Whilst it’s impressive that they managed to shoot this entirely during the pandemic, it is very clear that this is the case. Every time the two leads encounter another person they’re always standing a couple of metres apart and sometimes the blocking and framing wasn’t particularly good, probably due to the nature of everyone involved trying to adhere to social distancing rules.

How it Ends had so much potential but it just took all the fun out of the end of the world. It sets itself up to be a really enjoyable and entertaining time but ultimately it doesn’t deliver on any of that and is frankly quite dull to sit through. It’s not the worst film made during the pandemic but it’s definitely not the best.

★★☆☆☆

How it Ends premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival in the Premieres section.

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Comedy

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story | Roku Channel

Explores every facet of Yankovic’s life, from his meteoric rise to fame with early hits like ‘Eat It’ and ‘Like a Surgeon’ to his torrid celebrity love affairs and famously depraved lifestyle.

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Genre:

Biography, Comedy, Music

Release Date:

November 4, 2022

Director:

Eric Appel

Cast:

Evan Rachel Wood, Daniel Radcliffe, Rainn Wilson

Plot Summary:

Explores every facet of Yankovic’s life, from his meteoric rise to fame with early hits like ‘Eat It’ and ‘Like a Surgeon’ to his torrid celebrity love affairs and famously depraved lifestyle.

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Comedy

Clerks III | Official Trailer

Dante, Elias, and Jay and Silent Bob are enlisted by Randal after a heart attack to make a movie about the convenience store that started it all.

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Genre:

Comedy

Release Date:

September 2022

Director:

Kevin Smith

Cast:

Rosario Dawson, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes

Plot Summary:

Dante, Elias, and Jay and Silent Bob are enlisted by Randal after a heart attack to make a movie about the convenience store that started it all.

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Comedy

Heartstopper Review | An Irresistible Gay Teen Drama

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Heartstopper

Based on Alice Oseman’s beloved graphic novels, Netflix’s bite-sized adaptation of Heartstopper continues to kick the door wide open for queer stories on the small screen. In the same vain as Young Royals and Dear Victor, Heartstopper’s exploration of queer teen romance is just as endearing, if not made more real and lovable by some incredible performances by Joe Locke and Kit Connor who play the show’s main high-school sweethearts.

Heartstopper owes its incredible binge-factor to its main focus on the story of two British teens at Truham Boys School, Charlie (Locke) and Nick (Connor) and how their entanglement perfectly represents the highs and lows of young romance. Manoeuvring alongside our main characters’ connection are some other, deeply adorable queer-centric stories – from a pair of secret lesbians at the nearby all-girls grammar school, to the perspective of a trans girl navigating life outside Truham; all of which tangle throughout the show’s eight chapters, giving a genuine take on teen love and friendship during the digital age.

Photo: Netflix

While Euphoria is a ridiculously over-the-top representation of high school life with actors well-in their twenties playing teens, Heartstopper instead follows leads and supporting characters that feel like real teenagers, which doesn’t help the waterworks when it comes to some incredibly emotional moments in the show.

What the show decides not to focus on is sex and swearing, which is usual when it comes to these kinds of stories. Instead, Heartstopper goes down a more wholesome route, diluting some of the web comic’s more serious topics in favour of a more family-friendly teen drama. That’s more than acceptable, but it may leave the show not exactly suitable for everyone for how young it is leaning, despite how charming it is. It’ll be interesting to see how the web comic’s strong fanbase take to these changes, but it feels like a good move for the most part.

That being said, Heartstopper brilliantly doesn’t leave out realistic aspects that come to growing up queer in Britain; our main characters are never far from bullies or trolls. With how young the show’s audience is targeting towards, this feels like a great move on showing how to approach these pressures that make-up everyday life for teenagers.

Overall, Heartstopper is easily destined to prove a success for Netflix; from the authentic feel of all the friendships and relationships depicted to the enjoyable ride that comes with all eight chapters, this show is a welcome addition to the increasingly queer canon that is flying into the mainstream.

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