110 of 120 people found the following review helpful
I was a bit hesitant about seeing Paul from the critical reviews and from the trailer, but found myself enjoying it quite a bit when I took a chance and saw it. There's a lot to see in Paul, and much like Galaxy Quest (1999), Paul both mocks its subject matter while at the same time treating it with both understanding and great affection. A lot of talent went into Paul and it shows. Directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland, TV's Arrested Development) and written by Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, TV's Spaced) and Nick Frost, Paul hits all the right comic notes, skewering its target audience knowingly and lovingly.
What makes Paul work is that, at its heart, it's the ultimate scifi road trip. Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost), two major scifi/comics/UFOs fanboys from the UK, are visiting the US on a pilgrimage of sorts, hitting the biggest scifi/comics/gaming convention on the West Coast and making the grand tour of all the famous UFO-lore sites (Area 51, Roswell, 'The Black Mailbox', etc) in a huge honkin' RV. While on the road out in the desert, they witness a car spin out of control and crash. When they hurry to see if they can help, they come face to face with the classic little green alien with huge head and enormous oval eyes. Except that he's smoking a cigarette, introduces himself as 'Paul', and talks like Seth Rogen (mainly because he's voiced by Seth Rogen, absolutely the perfect choice for this role). Paul tells Graeme (Clive's fainted) of his need to escape the government people coming after him and the road trip is on.
The cast is great. Pegg and Frost are perfect in their roles as fanboys who've been buddies since childhood and have never really grown up, Frost's Clive hoping to finish his breakthrough novel and Pegg's Graeme doing the illustrations for it (the triple-breasted alien woman on the cover is a running gag that keeps getting funnier). Rogen gives Paul his personality, quite literally, making him a fairly unique creation: the stoner/slacker alien who's gone native in a lot of ways but has decided it's time to phone home (largely because the powers that be have apparently decided to quit merely picking his brain and remove it instead). Jason Bateman is great as the deadpan Agent Zoil, the 'man in black' hot on Paul's trail. Bill Hader and Joe LoTruglio are excellent comic foils as his low-grade backups, Agents Haggard and O'Reilly. Jeffrey Tambor is a scene-stealer in his role as the arrogant fanboys' icon, Adam Shadowchild. Kristen Wiig adds a lot to the comic mix as Ruth Buggs, a repressed Christian fundamentalist (she wears a t-shirt with Jesus shooting Darwin through the head) whose close-encounter with Paul ends up liberating her in a completely over-the-top way (think Jessica from True Blood, just with aliens instead of vampires). And there's a major cameo that's held in reserve until the climactic scene, but once it's revealed, your reaction will be "Of course! Who else?"
Another fun part of Paul is picking up all of the movie references, and Paul contains a _lot_ of them, sometimes in lines that are either quotes or parodies of quotes, sometimes in scenes or visuals, from just about every major scifi movie imagineable. Star Wars, Star Trek, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Aliens, Back To The Future, E.T., Predator, Starman. You name it, it's probably in there somewhere. My personal favorite is a scene with a country & western band in a biker bar, playing their version of about the last thing you'd ever expect to hear in that context. I really want to get the DVD when it comes out so I can go back and catch all the ones I missed the first time.
There are a few places where things do drag a bit, usually where the toilet/grossout humor (it's Seth Rogen after all) goes on a little too long. But for the most part Paul keeps things going fast and furious, and the cast are so into their roles that even when you can sense the joke coming, it's still funny when it hits you.
Highly recommended for anyone who loves sci-fi/alien films and for anyone who's ever been a fanboy of anything.
153 of 180 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2011
So heads up
If your christian faith in god is so weak that you cannot handle a computer generated alien making jokes and presenting logical facts regarding your faith and its almost complete lack of science.... this movie is not for you.
If you cant handle a smart ass little alien who drinks, smokes dope, and tells dirty jokes...this movie is not for you.
If you have no humor at all and find things in a "comedy" offensive...this movie is not for you
if you find two gross British nerds taking the trip of a lifetime and doing what they love un funny or offensive...this movie is not for you
If you find large explosions or the men in black overly scary and offensive... this movie is not for you.
If you enjoy crude humor, atheist overtones, large explosions, smoking dope, telling dirty jokes AND some nerdtastic adventures... this movie is for you.
I went into this flick not expecting much but I left happy and I cant wait to buy it!
47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2011
As of writing, this film isn't out in Canada, however a CAM version of the UK release is out, so I am reviewing it based on the version I saw.
When it comes to Brit comedy, nobody does it quite like the Frost/Pegg duo. Both are phenomenal actors and seeing them on screen is a charm. So when I saw the trailer for "Paul" with The Green Hornet,, I must say I was very excited. And I must say, the film didn't disappoint. Is it quite on the same level as the Blood and Ice Cream movies? Definitely not, but it's a great piece of brain popcorn and I believe you will definitely love it.
This movie is basically the plot of E.T. with the humour of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, and it works! Of course you can't go wrong with that combination. Although Edgar Wright didn't direct the film, and the film feels very different from the mentioned two, this film actually manages to have the same level of charm and entertainment as those two. Also, the film has a wide range of good actors- including Jason Bateman, Jane Lynch, and even David Koechner!
Two British nerds, Graeme and Clive, are on a road trip across the US, which they have been dreaming of as kids. They've been dreaming of this as kids, and the highlight so far has been Comic Con San Diego. They
even have met Adam Shadowchild. One night, while in Area 51, Nevada, they witness a car crash, and come across the foul-mouthed alien slacker Paul. But this ain't no District 9 or E.T. Paul is, as mentioned above, is a slacker, and a loud/foul mouth. He is being chased by US government agents, and Graeme and Clive have no choice but
to take them with him. Along the way, they pick up a religious chick, an old lady who was wronged by Paul, and it all becomes one wacky and zany adventure.
This is definitely an adults-only version of E.T., and one that manages to entertain all the way through. Tonnes of gross moments and WTF moments as well as belly laughs and crude humour. Seth Rogen is
surprisingly great as the said alien Paul, his voice is surprisingly fitting. He was great in his past year's The Green Hornet, and he does amazingly well here. Pegg and Frost are their usual charming selves,
and manage to make a great team. But the highlight of the movie was Kristen Wiig- she was HILARIOUS!!!! Every line from her mouth was gold, and she definitely stole the show. This movie also had lots of heart too, and there is a VERY touching scene near the end I will not spoil.
Overall, this definitely is not Wright material, but if you go into it with an open mind, you will enjoy this movie like I did. Definitely recommended for sure.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2011
I love this movie, the witty, dry, silly comedy from Hot Fuzz and Shawn of the Dead were back in full force. A great no brainer movie with a lot of heart, just like summer movies should be. Although I agree that if you are offended by movies that question religion, steer clear of this one.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2011
Suspend disbelief and judgement and just enjoy this great movie written by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, Paul starts off at the San Diego Comic Con and goes on a spoof filled ride across UFO land. Irreverantly written, it is filled with nods to landmark scifi films of the past and glorifies convention geeks of all kinds. LOL! sums this film nicely.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
What had happened was, I got spoiled by Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and director Edgar Wright's three prior screen excursions. Spaced: The Complete Series,Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz [Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy] all featured characters who - no matter how bizarre the stuff going on around them was - were likable enough and believable enough that you got invested in them. SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ were this trio's take on, respectively, the zombie sub-genre and the cop buddy film. The TV show, SPACED, was their nerdgasmic homage to pop culture. With PAUL (but without Wright), Pegg and Frost take on the sci-fi genre and fail to soar. I'm rating PAUL a better than average 3 out of 5 stars. I liked it. I didn't love it. PAUL doesn't have the smarts of their other collaborations. Or the brilliant, irrepressible sense of humor.
Clive Gollings (Frost) and Graeme Willy (Pegg) are two affable Brits who've crossed the waters on holiday. The film opens with their having a grand time of it at the San Diego Comic Con, after which they embark, via RV, on a leisurely road trip with pit stops to various UFO landmarks along America's heartland. Life imitates nerdy wishful thinking when, one evening, Clive and Graeme stumble onto Paul, a little green extraterrestrial what had done a bunk from a top secret government facility, wherein he had been kept prisoner for the past sixty years. And them relentless government agents are in hot pursuit. Paul doesn't want to probe anyone as much as he desperately wants off this God's little rock. Clive and Graeme become his unwilling accomplices.
If Paul and Spielberg's E.T. had attended the same school, Paul would've been the one chillin' in the back of the class and playing the fool, while E.T. would've been seated in the front, conscientiously jotting down test notes from which Paul can later copy. Paul is the sort of "hip" alien we see more of nowadays, the alien with attitude. He wears flipflops, he smokes, he swears amiably... he is, God help us, a wisecracking slacker alien, and impeccably, digitally rendered. Today, I miss E.T. and his unassuming grace more than ever. And everytime I heard Seth Rogen's deep voice coming out of Paul's beak, I just kept getting thrown off.
It would've been okay, though, if that had been the only bother. But it's not. I dunno. Is the secret ingredient Edgar Wright? Does he have to helm a Pegg and Frost picture in order for it to float our boat? PAUL is a surprisingly lackluster film. It's pretty concerning that the screenplay credits go to Pegg and Frost, because the quality of the writing falls several tiers below what I expect of them. Is this their stab at a mainstream audience? Or did Universal coerce them to cater their comedy to what's safe? I smiled occasionally, but laughed rarely. PAUL goes for the obvious gags. There's a particularly brutal running bit with Kristen Wiig's one-eyed, uber-religious character evolving into a rampant potty mouth. Maybe a scene or two with a naive soul letting rip with the cusswords may be funny. But the movie goes to this well time and again. I miss Kristen Wiig's deadpan sarcasm. What I don't miss is Sigourney Weaver's cameo in the third act. She isn't good here.
The stuff that works, it's because of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and their buddy chemistry. They make the film watchable. It's a pleasure watching these two long-time pals playing off each other. You sense the high comfort level there. And the few times that the film - or Universal Studios - allows them to be themselves, the results are a riot. I enjoy the shift in dynamics. This time out, Nick Frost expands beyond the idiot sidekick role. There's even a chance that his writer character may be the smarter of the pair. For his part, Simon Pegg is so self-deprecating and down-to-earth that you can't help but like him. PAUL has its moments, except that these guys have set their standards so high that you have to call them out when they submit mediocre work. And PAUL is far from their best. I frankly can't wait for Pegg and Frost to reunite with Edgar wright for THE WORLD'S END, the third of their "Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy," projected to be released sometime in 2014. Edgar Wright, look at you, dude, suddenly an indispensable cog. As far as PAUL, I say catch it when it's on cable. Alf has a lot to answer for.
This DVD gives you the option to play the film's theatrical version or the unrated version. It has the following bonus stuff:
- Audio Commentary on the theatrical version only, with director Greg Mottola, producer Nira Park, and actors Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Bill Hader
- Bloopers (00:10:53 minutes)
- Evolution of PAUL - the process of animating Paul (00:15:06 minutes)
- "Simon's Silly Faces" - this is pretty self-explanatory (00:01:22 minutes)
- "Who the Hell is Adam Shadowchild?" - a bit of the spotlight on Jeffrey Tambor's scene-stealing sci-fi author character (00:02:12 minutes)
- Galleries: Photos, Storyboards, and Posters
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Like a shopping list of all that is bad about Hollywood comedies, this movie seemed to have it all. Start with Seth Rogen and Jason Bateman - arguably the two most pervasive actors working today, add in some CGI and plenty of dope smoking and beer drinking, and toss in the well-worn buddy/road trip scenario. All that was missing was Judd Apatow's stamp of approval. The comparisons stop there, however, because that's the one conspicuously absent element in Paul.
Paul completely took me by surprise as one of 2011's best as well as a downright keeper of a movie. Clever, quick paced, chock full of pop culture/sci-fi references, and funny, with a dash of sentiment and some of the most brilliant swearing in any movie ever, Paul is a perfect example of what Hollywood can do when it truly puts its collective head into something.
Bateman goes a bit against type but Rogen is his same slacker self, as if the role was written specifically for him. This is the only negative about the movie, not because Rogen does a bad job, but because he is so over-exposed and the character of Paul is the least fulfilled of them all. Brit's Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (the movie is their idea and they demonstrate why cheeky is much more appealing than crude) do the heaviest lifting, but they are supported by a worthwhile cast. Notable is the cute and naïve portrayal of a former Jesus Freak-turned swearing novice by Kristen Wiig (good enough to forgive the gender equality stupidity and puerility of Bridesmaids) and a warm and edgy Blythe Danner as the pivotal character who first makes extraterrestrial contact decades before. There's also a lovely surprise in the form of an obvious cameo.
Paul not only makes you laugh, but it also brazenly skewers Christians fundamentalists (granted, that's like shooting fish in a barrel) and the whole geek culture of sci-fi with spot-on accuracy and nose-thumbing glee. Not bad at all for a movie that looked groaningly dumb during previews last year.
Paul is good enough that it gives me strength to keep trying comedies in the hopes that I might once again come across a true needle in the haystack just like it. Definitely recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2012
Was I ever glad I bumped up against whatever HBO channel was showing PAUL recently. I remember the theatrical trailers coming out last year and thought the film looked lame; boy, was I ever dense. PAUL is remarkably witty and energetic and fast-paced and downright charming. I've seen some of the other offerings by the Brit duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost; these two comedic writers and actors are as versatile as they are talented, and they're on their A Game here. And just the thought of Seth Rogan furnishing the voice of the ornery alien makes me giggle automatically. Throw in very entertaining performances by Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, Jane Lynch, and Kristen Wiig (just to name a few)--topped by a cameo by a certain sci-fi actress that pays off in spades--and you've got one whale of a tale about an alien that flees the G Men and enlists the aid of two nerds to get back home. The subsequent madcap adventures are a hoot, all augmented by the alien's irascible disposition.
Yes, it's predictable and often contrived, and the constant cultural parody flirts somewhat with becoming too thin, but Pegg, Frost, and Rogan carry the freight and deliver belly laughs by the bushel. In particular I enjoyed the zingers Paul hurls at those who insist extraterrestrials don't exist; he gives them all the proverbial middle finger. It's grand that so many darn fine comedies have been made as of late, and PAUL is certainly one of them.
--D. Mikels, Esq.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2012
I feel like Paul has gotten a bad rap. It coasted in and out of theaters, under the radar, and even now on Blu-ray, not many people are talking about it. It was very well advertised, but the continuous ads didn't seem to get the job done. I've heard quite a few times that it's not as good as Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's other two films, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, due simply to the lack of director Edgar Wright. That may not necessarily be true. I'm a huge fan of all three of those guys. I love, and own, both Shaun and Fuzz (as well as other films in their filmography), but I'll go out on a limb and say that I think Paul has slightly more rewatchability than both. I know that I'm in the vast minority, but it's just my opinion. It's not quite as all around solid as the other two, but I like it just as much, if not more. And let's be fair, Pegg and Frost wrote it with the same geeky appreciation that they wrote the other two. So it's along the same lines. Edgar Wright is a magnificent director, but his lack of presence did not hurt this film as much as it has been made out.
Greg Mottola has made a couple of my favorite teen films, Superbad and Adventureland, so I was happy to see him work with Pegg and Frost. From what I saw in the extras, they were all happy to work with each other as well, but I guess that doesn't say much. What I liked most about Mottola's other films, Superbad and Adventureland, was the Indie feeling that they had. Paul has the same feeling. It has a meek subtlety within the character interactions that contrasts with the kick ass action set pieces, that are very well filmed by the way. I'm also a huge Science Fiction geek, not to mention a Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jason Bateman and Bill Hader fan. Sigourney Weaver also lends herself to a great cameo, which may have a bit of heavy handed dialog, but still works. So needless to say, this one was more than up my alley. I'm both proud, and ashamed to admit that I got every reference in the movie. The homages, or rip-offs, depending on who you ask, are endless.
Everything from the regulars, like Star Wars and Star Trek, to the more obscure Close Encounters of the Third Kind and 2001: A Space Odyssey are referred to throughout the course of Paul. Even Indiana Jones, The Lord of the Rings, and a couple other non-Sci-fi flicks get brief winks. But this is essentially an homage to 70-80's Steven Spielberg. As for the characters, they drove it home for me. Of course Simon Pegg and Nick Frost brought their usual charm and comedic timing. Seth Rogen was also his usual persona. Let's just say that Paul is like E.T.'s bad older friend from down the street. He's rude, crude, and obnoxious, but this time around, his character is given a sense of heart amidst the vulgarity and foul language. He really grew on me throughout the course of the film. Not to mention, this is the best, and most slim he's ever going to look. So all you who couldn't fathom him being a crime fighter, or the lucky guy who had a one-nighter with Katherine Heigl, take comfort in the fact that he's not that repulsingly ugly in this one.
Everyone was good, but the real show-stealer (or show-thief?) was Kristen Wiig. She was funny all the way through, and Bill Hader was a treat as well. Wiig and Hader are the only reasons I still muster up the strength to watch SNL these days, now that Will Forte is no longer on. It's really a shame that they had so little confidence in this movie that they went and spoiled the cameos by Jane Lynch and Sigourney Weaver in the trailers. Actually, they spoil the cameos in just about every movie nowadays, so confidence probably had nothing to do with it. It bothers me, but I guess that's what puts butts in seats. The transfer is yet another top notch release by Universal. I'm no expert, but detail, colors and everything along those lines was great. It's not quite perfect, but I have no major complaints, and the audio kicks ass as well. I know that's not much of a critique, but like I said, it's top notch. The extras are pretty good as well. There is a fun Making Of featurette (about 40 minutes), as well as a collection of smaller featurettes (around 63 minutes), in addition to a commentary, blooper reel, and other unimportant suppliments. All in all, Paul is a fun little heartfelt comedy, and a solid Blu-ray release. I recommend it to everyone, but I highly recommend it to fans of Sci-fi.
22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2011
These types of movies are always a hit and miss with me, sometimes I love them and sometimes I'm wishing I never started it. There are some 'saw that coming' type things but overall I really liked this movie.
*NEWSFLASH* the show is rated R and my contain content you don't agree with!
If you are religious you may not want to watch this movie
If you don't like swear words you may not want to watch this movie
If you hate aliens you may not want to watch this movie
If you don't have a sense of humor stay away from this movie