Posts Tagged ‘Paul’


Paul movie image Universal Lot - Simon Pegg and Nick Frost“Paul,” the new comedy from “Sean of the Dead” duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, is a something-for-everyone movie. Sci fi, check. Buddy comedy, chase scenes, fish-out-of-water and romance? Check, check, check and check.

Pegg and Frost play British sci fi nerds exploring “the less touristy side of the American Midwest.” Starting at nerd central, Comic Coin, they plan to RV it to every UFO landing site they can find—the Black Mailbox, Area 51—but their trip is sidelined when they come across an actual alien, Paul (voice of Seth Rogen), a foulmouthed ET on the lam. For sixty years after crash landing on earth he lived at an army base thinking he was a guest. When he realized he was a prisoner, he says, he made a run for it. Pursued by federal agents (Jason Bateman, Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio) and the angry father of a girl they accidentally kidnap (Kristen Wiig) they try and make it back to Paul’s mothership and his ride back to the safety of his own planet.

“Paul,” which was written by Pegg and Frost, lacks the laugh-out-loud-every-two-minute rhythm of their previous movies, “Sean of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz,” but it has a lot of heart. Pegg and Frost have great chemistry—they’re kind of the Laurel and Hardy of geek culture—and are absolutely likeable in the leads. They are responsible for 90% of what makes “Paul” so agreeable.

The alien is amusing and way less of a frat boy character than the trailer would have you believe. They’ve also given him a cool backstory—he was the model for all big eyed pop culture extraterrestrials and consulted with Spielberg on the making of ET—and while Rogen’s voice work is OK and the computer face rather expressive, he’s not as much fun as Pegg and Frost. Ditto Wiig who is stuck with running gags involving Charles Darwin—born again Christians beware! You will not be pleased—and loads of creative swearing that never tickles the funny bone.

Despite its downsides—some misfired gags and a conventional story structure—“Paul” is satisfying not because of its homage to “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” or the excellent call-back to “Aliens” but because of the relationships and the bonds that form between the characters. I can’t help but think that “Paul” might have had more of a funny edge had “Sean of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” director Edgar Wright had been at the helm, but as it stands “Paul” is an enjoyable diversion.

Hollywood aliens probe for your funny bone In Focus by Richard Crouse METRO CANADA Published: March 18, 2011

paul_movieUsually, on-screen E.T.s are presented as either nurturing, evolved beings from another planet, sent here to help mankind, or vicious world domination types, intent on colonizing or destroying Earth. But movies often encounter a third kind of movie alien, the goofy intergalactic visitor.

In this weekend’s Paul, nerd superstars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play Brit sci-fi geeks on a pilgrimage to some of America’s UFO hot spots. Along the way they help Paul (voice of Seth Rogen), an irreverent alien with a taste for silly gags and Bob Dylan jokes, get back to his home planet. Think of it as E.T. for frat boys and you get the idea.

In the world the movie creates, the idea of a wisecracking alien makes perfect sense, but adding an E.T. doesn’t always fit so well. Take Meatballs Part 2, for instance. The addition of Meathead, a grey, rubber-skinned alien sent to Camp Sasquash to earn an Earth merit badge, hardly improves on the original Bill Murray classic.

The fun -loving aliens of Earth Girls Are Easy are put to better use. The movie’s plot is best summed up by manicurist Valerie (Geena Davis) as she enlists her friend Candy (Julie Brown) to give the aliens a makeover: “A UFO landed in my pool and they captured me but we made friends and I fed them Pop-Tarts and… we’ve got to cut their hair.”

Once shaved, the former red, blue and yellow-furred wookies look a lot like Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans and are ready to hit the L.A. clubs in search for love. They may be aliens, Candy says, “but they can still be dates!”

In Phil the Alien, Rob Stefaniuk plays a stranded space-shape-shifter who hides in plain sight on Earth as the singer of a Christian rock band. Best line? “I’m staying with a beaver,” says Phil, “down by the brook.”

One of the most memorable movie aliens is Mathesar, the haute-contre voiced Thermian leader played by Enrico Colantoni in Galaxy Quest. Learning everything he knows about Earth from television transmissions, he turns to the cast of a cancelled sci fi show to help save his planet.

Favourite scene? When one of the actors, Gwen DeMarco (Sigourney Weaver), explains that TV shows are not “historical documents” she says, “Surely, you don’t think Gilligan’s Island is a…”

“Those poor people,” Mathesar interrupts, moaning in despair.