Since Christmas 2010, I've been slowly expanding my Blu-ray collection. For a few months, I didn't buy any (I'm boycotting…
Who's up for a close encounter?
For the past 60 years, a space-traveling smart-ass named Paul has been locked up in a top-secret military base, advising world leaders about his kind. But when he worries he’s outlived his usefulness and the dissection table is drawing uncomfortably close, Paul escapes on the first RV that passes by his compound in Area 51. Fortunately, it contains the two earthlings who are most likely to rescue and harbor an alien on the run.
Paul was directed by Greg Mottola and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost who also wrote it. It centres around them, playing 2 Sci-Fi nerds, on a road trip across America to see various famous 'alien' landmarks, and to attend a Sci-Fi nerd convention. During this trip, a real alien who happens to have an extremely crude personality and foul mouth escapes from top military base he's been hanging around in for the last 60 years. He ends up hitching a lift with our 2 heroes in their RV, and chased by federal agents across America. And so on.
Being a Pegg/Frost comedy, the first thing anybody does when watching is compare it with Sean of the Dead or Hot…
"Paul" will never be mistaken for a great film, but it is hard not to appreciate it for its myriad references to science fiction films, engaging performance by Simon Pegg, and laughs, most satisfyingly generated by Kristen Wiig. The film lacks depth (not that it needs any), and its parts never really gel; but it is an amusing 90 minutes.
Hot Fuzz and Shaun Of The Dead are two of the funniest movies of recent years. Aside from the perfect partnership of comedy legends Simon Pegg and Nick Frost,the reason these films were so great was both Edgar Ramirez's direction and the fact they are so British. Seriously could the Yanks deliver a film like Shaun? Could they fuck.
This is where"Paul" misses the mark. Yes it has all the Pegg/Frost hallmarks but lacks that Britishness that endeared them to fans everywhere. The film may well have the lads playing typically English sci-fi geeks, but it feels American. And that's part of the problem. Pegg's charm always shines through. Whether it's with a mouthful of expletives or a sarcastic put-down,…
50% good, 50% terrible. Paul has two key ingredients needed to be good; and those are obviously Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. And then it has some decent enough support from its cast, it SHOULD be a great comedy film, yet it falls short due to the inevitable fusion of British and American humour which in all honesty, only sometimes goes together well.
Doesn't really go well here, but the British duo do sometimes shine through and make parts enjoyable. Paul will never be a classic film; but is perfectly harmless (mostly) and occasionally fun. Comparisons to Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are only natural, and probably unfair; since this will never match up to those.
I watched this in Thailand, waiting a really long time for a late bus. there was Thai subtitles. I was sweating and covered in bug bites. there was stray dogs and geckos and no wi-fi. all I ate was chocolate I bought at the duty-free airport. we still had a 12 hour bus ride ahead of us back to bangkok.
I thought this movie was ok.
It was bound to happen eventually: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost at last stop making minor comic masterpieces and give us Paul. In the hands of lesser comedians this would most likely be seen as perfectly fine, but from guys with such a pedigree behind them it's a disappointment (and further suggests Edgar Wright, not involved in this, is the real talent behind their success). Paul is one of those films with a terrific log line, great promise on paper, but can never escape the shadow of being entirely, frustratingly, average on screen.
Why, then? Chiefly it has to the script; for a comedy, it just isn't nearly funny enough and, again, that's a surprise for Pegg & Frost. It's perhaps…
The least that one can say about Paul is that the filmmakers clearly love cinema. Like Rango, Paul makes a game out of “name that reference”, however Frost & Pegg don’t weave their geek pandering into the script so much as design the plot completely around it. Although the effort is reasonably affable for an hour or so, by the last third things become tiresome while retreading the same punch lines and jumping tirelessly from set piece to set piece. Whereas Hot Fuzz gave us showdowns in eerily empty streets and a miniature town, Paul‘s action scenes consist of routine car chases and monotonous gunfire. As great a director as Mottola has proved to be, one sort of wishes that Edgar Wright’s hyper-kinetic visual flare was present in order to bring some personality to the myriad of routine action sequences. Still, despite it’s faults, it’s hard to consider your time wasted while watching an ensemble this talented.
Not as funny as "Shaun Of The Dead", but I think I preferred it to "Hot Fuzz" Classic Pegg and Frost again.
The mileage you get out of Paul will depend on your love of mainstream-ish science fiction movie nostalgia. Eventually, enough smart references to Star Wars, Close Encounters etc broke down my barriers, and I started to like Paul. Devoid of those touchstones, however, Paul doesn't have a huge amount going for it. Really liked Jason Bateman, but it's a crying shame he has virtually no on-screen contact with our heroes. Would have loved to see those comedic sparks.
Also, I love Pegg and Frost as much as the next guy, but this is another example - like World's End - that their films seem more enjoyable when it's them against the world, rather than being at odds with each other.
Now that's a comedy cast.
I remember Jason Bateman, Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig being involved, but I forgot all about Joe Lo Truglio.
This is chaotic, very funny & bursting with playful sci-fi nods. A replayable buddy road-trip comedy with a winning collaboration in Pegg, Frost and Rogen and a further proof that Greg Motolla is a fine comedy director.
I saw this during its theatrical run and got a kick out of it. It is, after all, a love letter to the sci-fi geek culture of which I've identified as a member for most of the last quarter century. It's fair to say that Paul engages in a lot of fan service, but then, Paul's entire premise is fan service. If you can get past the premise, the bombardment of shout-outs and homages shouldn't be much of a turn-off.
The question then becomes, what else is there to Paul *other* than fan service jokes? Admittedly, not much in the way of story (it's too straightforward to offer any surprises), but the camaraderie between the key characters is…
A Movie a Day: Day 28
Basic thought of the film:
Take an Alien, and get Seth Rogen the job of voicing it. Who ever though this up was a Genius. First off i am a huge fan of Seth Rogen, from Freaks and Geeks, to Knocked up, to his most recent endeavors. The man is a comedy god. It works well with Paul, because he portrays the opposite of we usually think of intelligent life from out of this world. We follow an Alien who has been here for awhile and just swears, is dirty and rude. (kinda reminds me Roger from American Dad, yet a lot less sexual).
Also a big fan of the shooting locations, As i…
There's an impressive amount of comedic actors I like in this movie, and it was written by Pegg and Wright, directed by the guy who did Superbad, but it did not work. I didn't hate the film, and I thought some scenes/jokes were good, but it's far below my favorite Simon Pegg films. Why is that?
One of the most difficult tasks in reviewing movies is to analyze not the great or complex movies, but the ones that fail that, on the surface, appear to have potential. The ingredients are here, but something went awry. In thinking about why I did not think this was a great comedy, besides the jokes, I go to the characters. Simon Pegg and Nick…
- The A-Team
- The Adventures of Tintin
- All Quiet on the Western Front
- The Amazing Spider-Man
- Apocalypse Now
- Distant Drums
- Springfield Rifle
- The Charge at Feather River
- The Command
A list of films that incorporate the Wilhelm Scream. I haven't seen all of these so if you can help…
- Stranger Things
- The Battery
- Berberian Sound Studio
- Breakup at a Wedding
I read the web-publication Filmmaker Magazine regularly. They publish each month a VOD-calendar with their picks and I have used…