Posts Tagged ‘E.T.’

Paul” — movie review
Today’s movie review is for the Sci-Fi, buddy, nerdy, road trip, comedy, extra-terrestrial parody / spoof “Paul” which was released in 2011.  The movie was written by and stars Simon Pegg as Graeme Willy and Nick Frost as Clive Gollings – two British friends who have come to America to visit a bunch of UFO sites in the Southwestern United States using an RV.  The two play life-long best of friends.
Along the way, they encounter a “real-life” alien by the name of Paul.  Paul is the alien who crashed in Roswell, New Mexico way back in 1947.  The “alien” was captured by the government and kept in secrecy in Area-51.  After 60-plus years of captivity, Paul gets wind the government feels they’ve gotten all they can from him and now intend to dissect him.  So, of course, he breaks out and tries to go home (shades of “E.T.“).
Seth Rogen is the voice of Paul, who is completely CGI.  Jason Bateman plays one of three FBI agents who are tasked with recovering Paul.  Sigourney Weaver is the head of the agency responsible for Paul and orders him captured or killed.  Kristen Wiig plays a right-wing religious fanatic who is “converted” by Paul.  She is also he love-interest for Pegg / Willy.
The alien is named “Paul” because when he crashed, he inadvertently crushed a young girl’s dog – named, you guessed it, “Paul”.  Blythe Danner plays the adult (60 years older) girl and Paul (the alien) wants to visit her before leaving so he can apologize.
So, is this movie any good?  Is it funny?  Does it work in any of the genres it’s trying to reach?  Yes!  Yes!  And, absolutely – ALL of them.
To be honest, I have not seen most of Pegg’s “big” roles.  Yes, I saw him in Mission Impossible and as Scotty in the three StarTrek re-boots and I thought he was pretty good.  I also saw him as the lead in “Absolutely Anything“, but I never got around to reviewing it (my bad).
Pegg and Frost are the two “live” leads / stars and they are both good to very good in their roles.  None of the acting (or other actors) is exceptional, but the movie works as the sum of its parts, not as a starring vehicle.  With one exception…  Unfortunately for the rest of the cast, but fortunately for the movie, the Rogen voiced Paul absolutely steals the movie in EVERY scene.  Paul is a smoking, drinking, cursing, sarcastic realist with nothing to prove to anyone and he would prefer going home to being autopsied.
Most of the humor is sophomoric, but it ALL works and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie (out-n-out laughed) several times and guffawed / chuckled even more.  I would caution anyone who is shocked by pointless, vulgar language that this is a movie you need to avoid.  I would advise turning on the system censors, but I think you’ll miss too much of the humor as even the cursing is made fun of.  The movie is rated “R” for language, sexual innuendo and drug use (they smoked weed around a campfire).
If you are one of those folks who are into cultural references, this is THE movie for you.  There are dozens, if not hundreds, of references to other movies, news, social trends, etc.  The only thing I’ve seen (recently) that’s been close was “Ready Player One” (which, curiously, I have also never reviewed — my bad, two).
Final recommendation:  Highly!!  The movie is (somewhat) predictable, but it’s a great trip.  In each of its genres it’s like walking up to your favorite roller-coaster:  you know every climb, every drop and twist, but you line up for the ride again because it’s just simple, entertaining, fun.
A final note:  prior to posting this, I have gone back to see some of the reviews of this movie and I am surprised how poorly it was received.  I gather Pegg and Frost are a team who have done some very funny movies in the past (which I have not seen yet) and this is not close to being their best work.  I guess I was just in the mood for some well done (if juvenile) social satire and this punched my ticket for the ride.  In any case, I now have a beacon pointing me to some “good medicine”.  (And after all, laughter IS the best medicine.)
On This Day In:
2019 Welcome Home
The Whole Community
2018 The Cells Are Right
Day 19: Broth
2017 Be Responsible
2016 Thinking About November 8th, 2016
2015 Lonely Teardrops
2014 Pleasurable Law
2013 Room For Justice
In The Minds Of Others
2012 Extinction, n.
2011 Snap!

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Earth To Echo (2014)  –  movie review
As all my regular readers know, I am a sucker for an endearing movie – particularly if it involves Science Fiction.  This one does, but it ain’t.  This movie is an almost good attempt to rip-off almost every kid based SciFi movie you’ve ever seen.  The poster is almost a legally actionable rip-off of E.T.   And it just starts there….
Basically, three socially awkward friends are about to be separated by their families moving to various parts of the country.  Their cell phones go wonky and they spend the evening / night trying to assist an alien rebuild himself and his spacecraft so he can go home  (“E.T. phone home…”).  In the spirit of other movies it’s also trying to rip-off, the movie is shot using selfie-style phone and Go-Pro footage to make it look first person.  It kind of works, but not really.  Just like most of the rest of the movie…
Without giving too much away, the cute little owl-lie alien gets to go home and the boys get to remain friends even though they are separated.  Oh, and there’s a girl thrown into the mix to add a bit of pubescent rom-com for good measure.
Acting?  It’s a kids movie.  Plot?  It’s a kids movie.  Special effects and action?  Okay.  Here it rises above mediocrity and actually has two halfway decent scenes:  one, a truck disintegrates and then is re-formed, and two, the alien ship gets built.  Other than that, it’s a kids movie….
Final recommendation:  moderate recommendation.  If you need a pleasant movie to watch with your niece or nephew – and they are between six and ten – this is a pretty good option.  It will entertain them and it won’t bore you to tears.
On This Day In:
2021 At Least Not Until Sunset
Rain On The Leaves
2020 At Least A Little Less
Two For The Post
2019 Promises, Promises
2018 You Mean There IS Something Else?
2017 Be Good
2016 Raise Yourself
2015 A Kids Movie Rip-Off
2014 Ready, Action!
2013 Responding To Challenges
2012 Abnormal, adj.
2011 Large Families
On The Brink

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