Review: ‘Paul’ on Blu-ray

Believe this or not faithful readers, but I am a fanboy. I know right? Who would have thought? I am also willing to bet my bottom dollar that the majority of you who come to this site are too. When PAUL was released this year, I was torn. On one had it starred Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (A combination you can never go wrong with) but on the other I had to choose my movies wisely given the rise in ticket prices and it opened to some less then enthusiastic reviews. After watching it, I understand why. This was a film made by nerds for nerds and since we are all nerds here, we are in for a real treat. If not then Paul may not be for you.

I am sort of glad I did not see this in the theater. Because I know I would have been the only one in the audience understanding the many pop culture references made in the film, meaning I would have been the only one laughing like an asshole. It requires the audience to have the vast amount of cinematic knowledge that most of us nerds and geeks just happen to possess. This is a love letter sent directly to the nerd masses from writers SImon Pegg and Nick Frost.

and by love letter...I mean anal probing

 

THE MOVIE

Our movie begins at the most appropriate event imaginable, the San Diego Comic-Con (A set that had excellent accuracy). We follow two Englishmen named Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost). They are life long best friends living their dream of visiting the world famous convention and also road tripping across the Mid-west to the nation’s most notable alien sighting spots.

While on this nerdy adventure they get a little more then they bargained for when they accidentally cross paths with a vulgar and foul-mouthed extraterrestrial named “Paul”. Agreeing to hitch him a ride, they begin to bond with the alien who only wants to go home. With at least one competent government agent, two dimwitted ones, a christian father with a shotgun, and even a couple of rednecks hot on their trail, can they get Paul to his destination safely?

Paul is, at its core, a bromance. A nerdy bromance, and it is fantastic. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are as good a pair as they have ever been. Though certainly not their best film, they still work well as the artist/writer pair out to fulfill their nerdy dreams. Of course the real star of this film is the CG animated Paul, voiced by Seth Rogen. His dialogue is witty and his character (as rude and obnoxious as he can be) is likable and charming right from the start. The cg animation may look phenomenal but it is Seth Rogen’s flawless delivery that makes you like, and relate to, Paul. Jason Bateman (Agent Zoil) does a great job of playing the relentless agent out to find the escaped alien. While Kristen Wiig (Ruth Buggs) is hilarious as the sheltered, awkward, love interest who indulges her new found freedom a bit too much.

F*cking Orcs...

Quoting films is one of my favorite past times, especially when hanging out with my friends since they usually get them. Paul uses such quotes as frequently as possible and it is one of the highlights of the film… to an extent. Seriously if you took a shot for every movie reference during this film you would be rushed to the hospital for alcohol poisoning in less than 30 minutes. Even I, someone who loves the proper use of movie quotes in conversation, has to admit they could have used a few less.

The effects are stunning, especially on the character Paul. At times he seamlessly blends into the environment and he is the number one reason you should get this on blu-ray. Even when he does not look so realistic, you still buy him as a character because of Seth Rogen’s awesome voice work.

THE EXTRAS

The blooper reel provided is, surprisingly, disappointing. Instead of bloopers most of it is just the actors laughing after saying a silly line. The funniest parts are when they mess up and start playing off it and then completely goof off. Watching Jason Bateman lecture the director on comedy and filming is pretty hilarious.

The making-of feature is really in depth and not only shows how fun the production was to work on but how much work went into it. It follows the production from the sketch Simon Pegg made during Shaun of the Dead to the post production process. Along with a multitude of additional behind the scenes features including, thankfully, a full feature on the evolution and animation of Paul.

FINAL VERDICT

Certainly not the best movie starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, but that does not stop it from being absolutely enjoyable. Not to mention a voice camio from Steven Speilberg (Yes, that is actually him) and a special cameo at the end of the film that I will not spoil here.

If you are a nerd then this was made just for you. An extra dvd copy, a theatrical and unrated cut of the film, and a complete set of extra features give you much more bang for your buck and I fully recommend the blu-ray.

 

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