The Cornetto Trilogy: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World's End
Review by Lauren
I'll admit, I've been a fan of Simon Pegg for awhile...but I hadn't seen the entirety of many of his cult films. I finally remedied that by watching Hot Fuzz with a friend a couple weeks ago and then purchasing Shaun of the Dead the other day. However, I was given the ultimate chance to revel in the awesome films of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost by going to my local AMC and watching The Cornetto Trilogy back-to-back. I've only done this once before, with the latest Batman trilogy, but I had a blast and I knew it would be fun. I was right! There is nothing better than enjoying great films surrounded by nerdy fans.
First off, what does the Cornetto Trilogy mean? Well, it's not like most trilogies where it's a continuing story containing the same characters. What connects these films is Cornetto, a type of ice cream popular in the U.K. Each film has a scene where the ice cream is shown, focusing on a new flavor each time. Shaun of the Dead has strawberry, Hot Fuzz uses the original, and The World's End has mint.
Beyond the ice cream, each of these films include Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as the lead characters (they are real-life best friends) and are directed by Edgar Wright (he directed Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World). These three guys are an awesome team and I'd see pretty much anything they did.
Seeing all the films in a row was great as you were able to watch the progression. I was able to realize that a particular comedic moment is used in all the movies, and each film also includes some of the same actors. For example, Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, Watson in the BBC Sherlock) is in all three movies...with a progressively larger role each time. In The World's End, he is actually one of the main characters.
Since Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are older movies, I'll say simply that you should watch them. I would like to focus more on The World's End since it was just released. To start, here is the basic IMDB premise:
Five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind's only hope for survival.
Included in this group of friends is obviously Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, but also Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, and Paddy Considine. Pegg's character, Gary King, is the only one of the group who has not grown up and improved his life. He decides to re-do the pub crawl and it quickly becomes his one goal for life, something he has to do despite the physical danger he puts himself in.
In case the premise above isn't obvious, The World's End is a sci-fi film. All the Cornetto movies are parodies of their genre: zombie/horror, buddy cop, apocalypse. While there is humor throughout the movies, I don't find any of them overly ridiculous. Yes, the plots are crazy and mostly unrealistic, but there are always plot lines that are realistic and utilize the actors' great skills. Pegg in particular shows that he can do emotion, as well as humor. Every single one of these movies has Pegg crying, which is a funny thing to notice or maybe even comment on, but I love it. I like that it makes these characters human. It shows that they don't always have their lives together and that there are people they love beyond anything. The moment in The World's End where Gary King begins to break down was wonderfully done. It brings so much of his personality together, without changing the crazy, free-loving guy you've grown to love.
Basically, this is a wonderful trilogy with some fantastic people in front of and behind the camera! There is a lot of cussing (and talking about sex) and some violence in all three movies, so if that bothers you, here is your forewarning. Otherwise, check these films out! They make great movies to watch with friends.
Now I wanted to share something I saw on tumblr recently. These are prints made by Joey Spiotto and I would love to own all of them. I would definitely frame and hang them up in my room.
These prints are obviously based off the classic Little Golden Books, but called a Little Cornetto Book instead. The author, of course, is always Edgar Wright (as he co-wrote each movie with Simon Pegg, and he's the director). Then, we have a lovely kid's style drawing in honor of each movie. Zombies, guns, and booze aren't kid-friendly, but they are certainly perfect for any child-like, geeky adult (like myself)!