Now Showing on Cable: “Paul”

Opening on Cinemax this weekend was “Paul”, 2011’s Alien comedy starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Seth Rogen.

“Paul” is the story of two British UFO fanatics who come to America for Comic-Con, then plan to take a mini cross-country tour of famous UFO hotspots across the southwest.

They don’t expect to actually encounter an alien though.

Especially one that talks like Seth Rogen.

While driving their rented RV to visit Area 51, Pegg and Frost nearly have a collision with another automobile, which winds up spinning off the road afterwards. Examining the wreckage, they’re shocked to find an actual extraterrestrial.

Paul, as he calls himself, is not just voiced by Seth Rogen. He acts like Seth Rogen. He’s a wisecracking smart ass who smokes, cusses, gets baked and speaks fluent “dude”. He has a variety of alien related powers, like invisibility, telepathy, and healing powers, but he acts like a normal geek. He continually makes light of the absurdities of the situation… Cracking plenty of Alien jokes along the way.

Paul has recently escaped from Area 51. He’s been held against his will ever since his spaceship crashed here decades ago. He’s been kept alive so that he can be debriefed for his knowledge, but recently began to suspect he was due to be killed and autopsied, so he escaped.

Now he’s on the lam, and trying to find a way home.

So Frost and Pegg bring him along in their RV, picking up Kristen Wiig along the way, and earning a small horde of pursuers, most notably a team of government agents comprised of Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, Joe Lo Troglio, and led by Sigourney Weaver.

Rogen’s little green dude is pretty funny… as is the movie overall. They load it up with tons of geek references, famous movie quotes, pop culture references and of course, Comic-Con. I enjoyed it… it’s lighthearted and funny. Never asks a lot out of you, and gives you plenty of chuckles during its run time.

It was a little too light for me to A range grade it, I thought, but I had a lot of fun with it, and it’s definitely worth checking out!

B+

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31 thoughts on “Now Showing on Cable: “Paul”

  1. I thought this was ok. It’s got a great cast and a sorta funny plot. It just started relying on fart gags earlier than I’d have liked. I think I was just expecting a bit more from it.

      • Just when I see Simon Pegg and Nick Frost together my mind goes to the awesome Spaced, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Granted, Paul wasn’t a Cornetto film, the thought of the two of them in anything is usually enough for me.

        Adding in the likes of Bateman, I thought they’d knock this out of the park.

      • Spaced was excellent! Short lived but it stands there among the best of Brit TV. You need to check it out if you’re any kind of pop-culture/tv/film nut. It is very English, but the best “sitcom” you’ll ever see.

  2. Big step down from “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”. Expected better. That being said, this is one of only a couple comedies(including “Bridesmaids”) worth mentioning for all 2011! The other is the far funnier(but critically shortchanged) “The Rum Diary”! I know Comic-con was the big hook for you here, but I hope these guys get back in stride next time!

    • YO!

      I didnt shortchange “The Rum Diary”, I know THAT! (You’re right, others did, big time) I LOVED that flick though. Gave it a big old A… had to talk myself down from the + range, too. LOL

      Meanwhile, yes, this is nowehere near the calibre of those other two flicks.

      • You did A+ “The Rum___”! And rightly so. What dialogue, what characters? And to think Depp’s “Pirates__” last year made a billion! No accounting for taste.

      • Yeah, I love the hell out of that flick. I need it on blu soon – if its not already out it should be coming out soon. I just thought it was great.

        But I realize that a lot of it is that I relate to the main character in lots of different ways.

        In retrospect, I’m glad I did A+ it. There’s plenty of times where I make a grade and feel like I swung and I missed because no one else agrees. On that one, though, I feel like I’m one of the few that got it right, and eveyone else can go take a soak.

        Thanks for the support on that one… FINALLY I find another big fan.

    • Yeah, I dont think it was trying that hard though. I think it succeeded at what it was shooting for, you know? Just an easy, fun kind of flick. It wasn’t trying to be the world’s next blockbuster comedy or anything

  3. I enjoyed this movie a lot but I can’t help but think if Edgar Wright had been at the helm it would have easily been in the A range! I loved the way they spun Paul’s back story with his influence on pop culture. That was a moment of brilliance but overall the movie was very fun.

  4. I can agree with that. Paul is an enjoyable enough movie, though it isn’t a particularly memorable one. We saw it as part of a double feature at the local Brew & View for $5. It was worth it, especially for the boozy atmosphere.

  5. Saw on a rental and loved it. Made sure I got a BD copy of it for my collection. I guess I love this more than most people.

    • Yeah… I guess that’s the case.

      I’m surprised though, I thought most people would actually like it more than I did, but nope.

      So far you’re the first one who liked it in an “enough to buy it” way :D

  6. Haven’t seen this yet although it’s been on my netflix queue for ages. I guess I’ve never been on the Frost/Pegg bandwagon. I’ll give it a bump up due to your positive review though. Nice write up Dan!

    • Thanks Cap.

      I’m not the hugest fan, myself. Dont get me wrong… I like Shaun and Hot Fuzz. I just think theyre both kind of overrated. People go pretty nuts for them.

      This was pretty good, man, I mean, check it out, I think its worth a watch. Dont imagine its going to be on anyone’s all time favorites list though!

  7. I think I am alone here. I really found this film drab. The Pegg/Frost combo was not the same as it has been in the past, and I think that is because of the lack of Wright. Obviously this is just me thinking this.

    I found it all a bit too out to please the American General Public.

    For me it was average at best.

    Nice review though matey, you make a good case

    • Scott, I’m right there with you. Pegg/Frost are a great double act, but it seems they need the wit and direction from Wright to get the most out of each other.

    • No, I mean… I’m not out to argue the point, Scott, so what does that tell you?

      I would give it a little better than average, but mainly because of the high concept. Doesnt seem like something you see all the time. In terms of execution… youre right man, nothing to wirte home about really.

      But in terms of being out to please the American Public? Oh man, cant start harping on movies that do that… I’d have nothing left!! :D

  8. I never got and never will get the woebegone sighs over Wright’s lack of involvement on this picture. Wright doesn’t get “the most” out of Pegg and Frost; that’s an insult to both men as actors and comedians and, most of all, as a real-life duo making their friendship into performance on the big screen. The only thing the two get out of Wright is Wright’s auteurship, his technical and stylistic wizardry and his penmanship. (Which is to say they get a lot, but performance isn’t something that I think they rely on him for. They’ve proven themselves without his aid already.)

    In turn I think this thinking is equally unfair to Mottola. Mottola, all things considered, is no Wright, but he’s still a solid director with good narrative and comedic sensibilities. Should we complain when we see Leonardo DiCaprio directed by someone other than Scorsese? Should we bemoan every Guillermo Del Toro film that doesn’t feature Ron Perlman in some way? I think wishing for Wright here is almost somewhat spoiled. Yeah, I’d like it if he directed more stuff, too, but “Edgar Wright wasn’t involved” isn’t really a measured criticism one can make against a totally fine movie.

    I dug this. It didn’t knock me on my ass but it’s well made and well acted, incredibly funny when it wants to be, and it meets the goals it sets for itself. I think it could have used some trimming; it gets a bit sluggish toward the end. But beyond that, yeah, this is solid.

    • Well… You make very good points. I think you and I have traded off before on ACVF about how I’m not the hugest fan ever on Shaun or Hot fuzz, but a lot of people are. They consider them classics… and seeing as this movie was less than that, they imediately go to the missing element in the equation. I htink its as simple as that.

      I dont know what he’d have been able to do with this material to get more out of it… but I understand I guess how the people who were crazy about the Frost Pegg combo movies might see this one and think the reason it wasn’t as good was that they were working with a different director.

      Unfair? Yes. Unreasonable? I dont know, man, not so much. I get what they’re saying.

      • Hey, I get what they’re saying too, bud, but I still think it’s unreasonable. Can’t expect Pegg and Frost to work for Wright exclusively, and you can’t expect Wright to only work with Pegg and Frost. Look how well Scott Pilgrim turned out without the use of his two usual stars.

        I think people did go straight to what was different about the formula and found that Mottola didn’t measure up to Wright, but I’ve seen Wright’s films and I’ve seen Mottola’s films. Mottola’s good; Wright’s incredible. So I never expected Paul to directly and favorably match up with Shaun or Fuzz. Maybe it’s the weight of expectations in play here.

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