Saturday, September 21, 2013

The World's End Discussion, Part 3

On September 8, Dave, Jeff, and Megan got together to talk about the latest Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg/Nick Frost venture, The World's End, based on some notes from Cat. (So far she hasn't given permission to publish those notes, so for now you'll have to reconstruct them for yourself based on our references to them and deductive reasoning.) This is the third part of that discussion. Keep your eyes peeled for Scott's cameo appearance.

Beware, though: absolutely no effort was made to avoid spoilers.



MR
Well let's jump over to the setting

JK
Sure!

MR
Creepy small town? A+

JK
Totally. I wonder if they are any places in Saskatchewan like that.
I thought it was interesting that the town was called Newton Haven. It sounded a lot like "New Haven," an idealized conformist utopia (that turns out to be a dystopia).

MR
I wanted to say it was called "Sleepy Hollow" cuz I couldn't remember the name of it but it certainly implied peacefulness.

MR
I love how this and Hot Fuzz completely lampoon the stereotype of the small town being somewhere where things are perfect.

JK
I liked how Newton Haven had "UK's First Traffic Circle." I wonder if this was intended to be one of the 'improvements' that the blanks had introduced (I wonder if there actually are any traffic circles in England). In the end, Sam actually makes a remark that the traffic circle confused her, an indication again that the 'improvements' introduced by the blanks aren't so great, aren't so 'human.'

MR
Hahaha I forgot that traffic circle joke.

Dave
Good observation Jeff.
I did like that line!

JK
Oh yeah, and Gary tells her to go right through it! Down with conformity!

MR
I have so much trouble figuring out the actual size of towns and stuff in movies.
Because here in SK, when I think small town, I think pop. 2000 people or less.
But the rest of the world is usually talking about somewhere with like 50 000 people in it or something.

SSB
I remember learning in elementary school that the population requirement to be a city was 5000, but in Ontario and stuff it's 75 000.

Dave
Serious!?

JK
Holy crap!
That’s huge!
There were definitely some small towns when I was in the UK, but Newton Haven did seem quite large, though not 'developed.'

MR
But the area that they're navigating to go to the different pubs looks fairly small.

JK
Yes, it does. The pub map does illustrate a rather small area.

Dave
Downtown core, with cottages all around.

JK
Actually, most UK towns/cities have a very small, olden-times feel in the downtown. Often called the 'old town ' e.g. Old Canterbury.

MR
Yeah, you're totally right about that, Jeff.
Actually it just occurred to me that this is sort of similar to the way that The X-Files treats rural America i.e. weird shit happens out there.
There aren't as many people around to see it.

JK
Totally true Megan!

MR
Let’s jump into the plot, though.

JK
Cool

MR
Cat thought the plot didn't go anywhere, but I think it just sort of got a little mired in fighting blanks.
I really liked the fight choreography, by the way.

JK
Even throughout all of the fighting, Gary still tried to satisfy his unfinished dream of all 12 pints.

MR
I know, I loved that.

Dave
I think it progressed and was important to telling Gary's story. Even in the face of the invasion, losing friends, and being in mortal danger of being "mulched" he still had to complete the Golden Mile.

JK
I loved how he got pissed off when that blank made him drop his beer!

MR
I think the thing that really encapsulated his character for me was when they get kicked out of the one place without being able to have a drink (because he’s banned for life) and he drinks the ones that people left outside on the patio.

Dave
It really shows how that challenge was all he had. And helped illustrate how his friends fit into his life.

MR
Yes!

JK
I loved that scene Megan!

JK
Is the Golden Mile the course of our lives? Our dreams and ambitions?

MR
The plot definitely wasn't, like, extremely complicated or anything, but I think it's better that it wasn't.

Dave
Yeah, I think it had its story to tell, and it did that effectively.

JK
True, a heavy plot probably would have obfuscated the theme of the movie.

MR
I'm going to reveal my criticism nerdiness right now, but Film Critic Hulk just wrote an excellent article not too long ago about how many blockbusters are way too complicated these days, which I generally agree with so much.

JK
I agree! Any of the latter instalments of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is a prime example.

Dave
Yeah, it’s an alien invasion, in the end how much do all the motives and methods of the bad guys really matter to the everyman? They would have been mired down trying to tell that story too.

MR
In this case there could've stood to be more development of the characters besides Gary King, but his character arc (or lack thereof) alone makes the movie worth watching.

Dave
I think that some characters could have been developed more, but didn't really need to be.

MR
I think they might've been able to combine Oliver and Peter or something.
But then they couldn't've had Oliver turned into a blank and Peter get his revenge on his bully.
So maybe not

JK
I am glad that you wrote your article on Apocalypse and Armageddon Dave! Newton Haven was Armageddon and the Apocalypse was the revelation about what makes us human.
Sorry, getting ahead of myself again.

Dave
Haha thanks Jeff.

MR
I'm not good at finding plot holes, but did you see any?

JK
None were obvious to me.

Dave
I think the plot was pretty water tight.

JK
And it probably helped that they didn't have a convoluted plot either!

MR
The only thing I can think of is: do their families still live in the town? What’s going on with them?

JK
Do you mean their parents and siblings, Megan?

MR
Yes.
You'd just think that if they do still have family there, they would have visited them before now.

Dave
I think Oliver might have had parents in town, but since he was the first convert it makes sense that he wasn't worried about them.
And maybe they did, but you generally don't bring your five old friends along to visit your parents.

MR
No, I mean like haven't they been there in previous years to visit? This has been going on for a while.

Dave
Oh right...

MR
I actually don't think it's a big deal or anything, and you can probably explain it away... like they might have only been back for short visits and not noticed anything.

Dave
Yeah, they never really noticed anything until Gary pulled that first kid’s head off.

MR
Yeah, exactly.

JK
You’re right

Dave
So moot point, haha.


Tune in next time for the thrilling conclusion!

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