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Why “The World’s End” is my favorite British movie of the past year

The World's End
I finally watched “The World’s End” this week (currently airing on HBO Go) and love love loved it. Have you seen it?

It really was a great ending to the “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” trilogy, starring Simon Pegg (who also co-wrote it with Edgar Wright, who directed all three).

If you missed this gem, it’s premise is simple: Six friends reunite 20 later to attempt one massive pub crawl – The Glorious Golden Mile – that they didn’t complete in their youth. In the course of hitting 12 pubs in their childhood hometown, they stumble upon the unsettling truth that they are surrounded by residents that are decidedly not human – and must fight for their survival.

It’s so British and so brilliantly written, so smart and funny and nostalgic. It made me ache for the 1990s in Britain again, when I first spent time there at uni (American translation: college). It will make you want to hunker down in a grandpa pub named something like the King’s Head or the Royal Arms on a winter’s day and order a pint (or two or more!) of real ale like Old Peculiar (or maybe that’s just me.)

The soundtrack is especially evocative – tunes like The Housemartins’ “Happy Hour,” The Stone Roses’ “Fool’s Gold” and Primal Scream’s “Loaded” are just golden. As a side note, if you do decide to buy the soundtrack, get the British version of it, which includes an additional 10 songs including The Sundays’ “Here’s Where the Story Ends,” Happy Mondays’ “Step On,” and Kylie Minogue’s “Step Back In Time.” Sigh.

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2 British films to watch for

I love a good movie trailer, but I have to say that I’m growing irritated by the extended time that commercials and trailers are taking up these days. Twenty minutes? Seriously? Are you with me?

But sometimes, it is great to spot something you’d actually like to see!

Last weekend, we went to the movies and saw “Frances Ha.” along with a couple of British films that I would love to see …

First up, “About Time” written by Richard Curtis of “Love Actually” and “Notting Hill” fame. It’s due out Nov. 8 in the U.S.

Secondly, Simon Pegg stars in “The World’s End,” which looks as good as “Shawn of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.” It’s due out Aug. 23 in the U.S.