Rapture-Palooza Blu-ray Review
It was league night. Lindsey just got a strike and her and her boyfriend, Ben, were thrilled. And then the Rapture happened. For those that skipped Sunday school, a convenient news anchor underlines that the Rapture is the “literal, physical bodily coming of Christ in the clouds to snatch out of this world all believers.”
The non-believers and sinners, well, they’ll stay on Earth. Two such non-churchgoers are Lindsey (Anna Kendrick, who earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in 2009’s UP IN THE AIR) and Ben (John Francis Daly, BONES), Seattle natives just trying to make it another day while dodging screaming locusts, raining blood, cursing crows, and falling asteroids. Enter Earl Gundy (Craig Robinson, THE OFFICE), a politician from Idaho who goes by “The Beast.” Why? It could have something to do with his blowing up Chicago, Tokyo, London, and Orlando to intimidate the rest of the world—or that he’s the Antichrist. His latest plan involves seducing and marrying Lindsey, who clearly has no interest in walking down the aisle with Satan.
RAPTURE-PALOOZA is one of (at least) four apocalyptic comedies released in 2013, with the others being the star-studded THIS IS THE END (where Craig Robinson appeared as himself and turned into an angel), Edgar Wright’s THE WORLD’S END (which completed THE CORNETTO TRILOGY) and IT’S A DISASTER (with David Cross and Julia Stiles facing certain doom). Of these movies in their very specific subgenre, RAPTURE-PALOOZA stands out as the one devoid of laughs.
Directed by Paul Middleditch (2003’s A COLD SUMMER) and written by Chris Matheson (BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE/BOGUS JOURNEY), RAPTURE-PALOOZA is the kind of movie that thinks it can pull off laughs by having most of the cast throw out as many f-bombs as they can handle and letting Craig Robinson hurl out as many perverted lines as he can. (He attempts to serenade Lindsey with a song that begins with, “I wanna touch your booty,” and ends with, “And stick my—,” well, you get it.)
What could have been a funny movie to hold people over until THIS IS THE END and THE WORLD’S END hit theaters turns out to have about as much substance as a blade of grass. It’s like an elongated sketch that would have been booed off stage after the first dialogue exchange. Making the entire effort that much more unbearable is the supporting cast, who have done better works but prove useless here: there’s Rob Corddry (CHILDRENS HOSPITAL), Thomas Lennon (RENO 911!), Paul Scheer (THE LEAGUE), and Rob Huebel (HUMAN GIANT). (Ken Jeong has and will never be a welcome presence, but he plays God, for what it’s worth.)
The one plus is Anna Kendrick, who is always fun to watch even if the material is far below her talents. Instead of subjecting yourself to RAPTURE-PALOOZA, this reviewer suggests you spend the 85 minutes on Kendrick’s Twitter page, which is a trove of comedic musings and one of the finest things the Internet has to offer.
RAPTURE-PALOOZA BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: 2.35:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. Even though much of the post-apocalyptic sets and locations are tame in color, the video has an overall nice presentation, with clarity and detail throughout.
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Subtitles in English and Spanish. The audio transfer is very strong, with crisp dialogue and sound effects.
Audio commentary with Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry and Rob Huebel: This track is light on laughs, despite how hard Robinson, Corddry and Huebel try to make this an amusing listen for fans.
It’s Good to Be the Beast (8:06): This featurette focuses solely on Robinson, with the subject himself discussing the production and fellow cast members taking friendly digs.
Deleted Scenes (9:00): There are five here, which can be viewed separately or as a whole. They are: “Beast Songs,” “Beast Interview,” “Clark & Fry Smash,” “Little Beast Bedroom,” and “Beast Speech.”
Gag Reel (2:44): This brief collection features flubs from Anna Kendrick, Robinson, Corddry, and more.
Also included is UltraViolet.