Posts Tagged ‘Sigourney Weaver’

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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On last Tuesday evening, I watched the movie:  “Exodus: Gods And Kings” (2014).  The movie stars Christian Bale as Moses, the protagonist in the Bible’s book of Exodus, which describes the Hebrews release from slavery (“bondage”) by the Egyptians around 1400 to 1300 BCE.  The Pharaoh, Ramses, is played by Joel Edgerton.  I really intended to go see this movie at the theater because I am big fan of viewing “spectacle” special effects on the big screen.  Just as seeing a large picture of the Grand Canyon doesn’t do justice to seeing the Grand Canyon, so viewing a tidal wave on a 32 inch screen three feet away is not the same as going to the movies.  I think this is a revelation to movie goers at multiplexes.  They “think” they are seeing a movie on the “big” screen, when actually they are seeing most of the movies on the secondary screens and the viewing experience is actually viscerally different.  But, that’s a discussion for another day…
Exodus” is a longish is movie which takes time to develop a lengthy re-telling of a man’s conversion to faith.  Despite frequent “miracles”, Moses simply refuses to accept the power of God until the very end of the movie.  Some viewers will have a problem with this (the length of the movie) for a host of reasons.  For the person of faith, what does God have to do to make you believe?  For the average movie goer, “Man this movie is taking forever to get to the FX!”  As someone who struggled with finding (and keeping) faith, for most of his life, the movie’s slower pacing (in parts) did not particularly bother me.
Does the movie follow the story from the Bible or its most recent and popular depiction (DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments“)?  Sort of, but with fairly significant changes.  Do they matter?  If you are a Biblical literalist, yes.  And, they (the differences) may even be offensive.  If you are someone looking for a rational explanation for some of the 10 plagues / “miracles”, no.  Well, yes.  There is still no rational (i.e., natural) explanation for what happens, but at least the story tries to throw you a bone.  In either case, literalist or rationalist, my question would be:  what are you really expecting from a major motion picture?  You’re only expectations should be a “fair” treatment of the source material and entertainment.  I think this movie / adaptation tries – and mostly succeeds – to deliver both.
The acting is pretty good, but several of the “big” acting names have fairly trivial roles – Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley, to name just two.  The special effects are pretty good.  (Again, I regret not seeing this on a big screen.)  The movie, I think mostly due to variance from the Biblical story, is not as predictable as I thought it was going to be.  I frequently thought, “they did that well” or “that’s not what’s in the Bible“, and I think that is a good thing because it raises questions which make me want to go back to the source material (the Bible) and see if my memory or the interpretation is correct – or if the interpretation (movie) brings me new light to and new understanding of the Bible.  I personally feel anything which makes me go back to the Bible is a good thing.  But again, that’s a discussion for another day, too…
Final recommendation:  strong recommendation!  Good entertainment value without any sex and very little violence (considering there’s a couple of battles and a whipping scene).
On This Day In:
2014 Not In Any Sense
2013 The Circus On TV
2012 To Be Stronger
2011 Are You Sure?

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