le 24 septembre 2015
PAUL  [Blu-ray] [UK Release] Pure Pegg and Frost . . . Very Very Funny! Who's Up For Close Encounter!
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost 'Hot Fuzz' and 'Shaun of the Dead' reunite for the comedy adventure 'PAUL' as two sci-fi geeks whose pilgrimage takes them to America's UFO heartland. While there, they accidentally meet an alien who brings them on an insane road trip that alters their universe forever. For the past 60 years, an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) who takes them on an insane road trip. As they struggle to return Paul home, the little green man might just take the outcasts from misfits to intergalactic heroes. From the director of 'Superbad' Greg Mottola, and with a stellar supporting cast, including Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Blythe Danner, Joe Lo Truglio, John Carroll Lynch, David Koechner and Sigourney Weaver. 'PAUL' is a must-own Blu-ray comedy adventure, not to be missed! Includes 2 Versions of the Film: Original Theatrical and Extended Unrated Version.
FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: 2011 National Movie Award: Won: Best Comedy. 2012 Annie Award: Nominated: Character Animation in a Live Action Production Michael Hull and David Lowry. 2012 Visual Effects Society Award: Nominated: Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture. The film contains numerous references to other science fiction films, especially those of Steven Spielberg, as well as to general science fiction fandom. One of the many taglines was: "Who's up for a close encounter?"
Cast: Mia Stallard, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jeremy Owen, Jeffrey Tambor, David House, Jennifer Granger, Nelson Ascencio, Bobby Lee, Jane Lynch, David Koechner, Jesse Plemons, Seth Rogen (Paul voice), Jason Bateman, Sigourney Weaver, Bill Hader, Joe Lo Truglio, Mark Sivertsen, Joe Berryman, Kristen Wiig, John Carroll Lynch, Steven Spielberg (voice), Mike Miller, Lori Dillen, J. Todd Anderson, Brett Michael Jones, Diego Deane, Blythe Danner, Corey Drake (uncredited), Devin Faraci (uncredited), David Fernandez Jr. (uncredited), Jamin Fite (uncredited), Brent 'Clutch' Gaubatz (uncredited), Larry Goldstein (uncredited), Zack Kennedy (uncredited), Paula Labaredas (uncredited), Patrick Lee (uncredited), Kevin G. O'Connor (uncredited), Sylvia Adelina Padilla (uncredited), Phoebe Price (uncredited), Erick Ramirez (uncredited), Chris Rymer (uncredited), Joy Sudduth (uncredited), Kyle Sundgren (uncredited) and Joel Thingvall (uncredited)
Director: Greg Mottola
Producers: Debra Hayward, Eric Fellner, Liza Chasin, Natascha Wharton, Nira Park, Robert Graf and Tim Bevan
Screenplay: Nick Frost and Simon Pegg
Composer: David Arnold
Cinematography: Lawrence Sher
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English: 2.0 Dolby Digital and English: 2.0 Audio Description Track (only available on the Theatrical Cinema Version)
Subtitles: English SDH
Running Time: 94 minutes and 99 minutes (unrated version)
Region: Region B/2
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Universal Pictures
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: The film follows Graeme Willy [Simon Pegg] and Clive Gollings [Nick Frost], two geeky lifetime friends finally embarking on a years-in-the-making journey across America that starts at the San Diego Comic Con and is meant to conclude in Roswell, New Mexico. Before they get there, they witness a car crash, out of which crawls a rather congenial alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen). After some shock and awe at the appearance of a real, live spaceman, Paul explains to the guys that he needs help getting across the country in the hopes of catching a ride back to his planet. As Paul's existence serves as proof that Graeme and Clive have been right about aliens all along, it doesn't take much convincing to get them to help.
Although many of the film's jokes are based around the duo's fish-out-of-water Britishness in the middle of the American mid-west, it's very apparent throughout that 'PAUL' has been written with the American audience firmly in mind. And you get lots of in your face "alien anatomical probe" jokes, a hint of slapstick, a mild fascination with adult swearing, and characters repeatedly questioning whether Graeme and Clive are a gay couple. The duo also heap on the references like there's no tomorrow: nods to Close Encounters, E.T., and a bucketful of Star Wars dialogue are tossed in throughout, but few of them pack the as much subtlety or surprise as the ones they've devised in their collaborations with Wright (although a hat-tip to Aliens is perfectly timed). It's as if Paul was in front of cameras on the first draft thanks to Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's reputation.
Still, a Simon Pegg and Nick Frost "first draft" probably still packs a good punch and witty script. Although the guys are probably a bit too old for the roles they've written and the characters read more like 30-somethings than 40-somethings, they're more than able to make Graeme and Clive a likable set of hosts. Even better, they've surrounded themselves with a supporting cast that's comedic fool proof, some of whom may contribute more to Paul's success as a film than the dynamic duo, if only because Graeme and Clive aren't that different from the pair's "usual" roles. Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio play a pair of bottom-rung FBI agents, and it's impressive how both actors are both funny and convincing as their characters turn from slapstick to ridiculously bloodthirsty in their desperate attempts to capture Paul before their supervisor, the cold-blooded Agent Zoil ([ason Bateman]. Kristen Wiig and Blythe Danner contribute the funniest female character and most emotional heft, respectively, that Simon Pegg and NickFrost collaboration has seen to date. Most importantly, Seth Rogen nails the role of Paul. On the surface, Seth Rogen is almost too easy a pick for a pot-smoking interstellar party guy, but he finds the right sort of affable attitude that holds the whole movie together. Paired with the visual effects, he's a character worth building a film around, and an integral piece of the film's charm.
As director, Greg Mottola brings a similar "anything goes" attitude as Paul to the table, feeling free to lounge around to whatever joke or setting the script dictates without too much fuss or setup. Sometimes it works (the explosion of a farmhouse seems startlingly large scale) and sometimes it doesn't (the movie often feels like it plays its cards too early, telegraphing jokes and plot developments). Still, 'PAUL' is a fun ride: the film may be firmly caught within the grasp of Earth's gravitational pull, but it's still a funny, entertaining trip from one side of the country to the other.
The Unrated Adult Cut: The Unrated Adult Cut of 'PAUL' runs about five minutes longer. Extensions include more of Graeme and Clive talking to Adam Shadowchild, an added bit in the hotel that turns a throwaway joke from the theatrical cut into a running joke, the pair waiting for their RV at the valet service with a hilarious one-liner from Bobby Lee, more action for Kristen Wiig in the bar scene, and a longer speech from Tara, plus other new lines here and there. There's also one substitution and that is the conversation between Haggard and O'Reilly after Clive asks "May I ask what you're searching for?" All in all, I feel like the two cuts are essentially equal: if you've seen the film in the cinema and you are a massive fan like me, I'd watch the Unrated just to see the additions, but if you're a newcomer, then I whole heartedly recommend you watching the Unrated Version first, as it is much more risqué and if you are feeling generous and in the mood, then go and watch the Theatrical Cut later.
Blu-ray Video Quality ' 'PAUL' is granted a 2.35:1 aspect ratio with a 1080p encoded transfer that is accurate, and as a result, maybe somewhat less eye-popping than viewers may be expecting. Greg Mottola's film features a light, handsome sheen of film grain and a warm colour palette that limits the amount of depth the image is capable of. However, fine detail is consistently and absolutely exceptional at all times amd the interior of Graeme and Clive's RV is a wealth of varied and perfectly-defined textures and an excellent reminder that this is indeed a brand-new high-definition transfer. Please Note: Playback Region B/2: This will not play on most Blu-ray players sold in North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Learn more about Blu-ray region specifications.
Blu-ray Audio Quality ' Unlike the picture quality, the sound is pretty low-key until the third act, and centred mainly around the dialogue. Until then, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is mostly used on David Arnold's charming orchestral score, which is nicely spread across the sound field. When the film starts ramping up, the track has no problem with the larger bangs and booms of explosions, helicopters, gunshots and more. Again, not exactly demo material if you've just bought a fancy new system. 'PAUL' is trying to play it mostly small-scale, but there's no faulting the mix for accurately reproducing the filmmakers' mostly reserved intentions. The 2.0 Audio Descriptive track which as I have pointed out, is only available on the Theatrical Cinema Version and English captions for the deaf and hard of hearing are also included.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Special Feature: Extended [Adult] Feature: Includes footage not shown in the Theatrical Cinema Version release.
Theatrical Cinema Release Feature Commentary with Director Greg Mottola, Producer Nira Park and Actors Nick Frost and Simon Pegg: This is the Theatrical cut audio commentary by Greg Mottola, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Bill Hader, and producer Nira Park. It may not be an all-time classic, but as is to be expected with this group of commentators, it is a funny, light overview of the film, without significant repetition or carry-over from the documentary and features. The group chats about the development of specific scenes and gags, unused jokes, and I like the line they dropped from the bar sequence, collectively eggs on producer Nira Park to make more comments, and take turns doing several silly voices. Greg Mottola and Nira Park never let the track devolve entirely, and do a decent job of returning the room's attention to the film.
Special Feature: Bloopers Galleries [1080p] [11:00] This is pretty much the same type of bloopers you see on numerous other gag reels, but Nick Frost and Simon Pegg kissing each other good night is actually pretty funny.
Special Feature: Between The Lightning Strikes: The Making of Paul [1080p] [40:05] It has a shaggy-dog feel in keeping with the feature. Not to sound like I'm criticizing the movie more than I am and it really is an enjoyable and funny film, but it is interesting to see how the film's few flaws (the broader, less-focused style and the built-on qualities of the film) stem from the movie's zig-zagging journey from idea to screen.
Special Feature: Behind-the-Scene Features [1080p] [63:00] Here we have 8 Separate features that flesh out individual aspects of the production, including the film's excellent ensemble cast, Greg Mottola's style as a director, the filming of the gigantic farmhouse explosion, and other behind-the-scenes goofiness. Honestly, if you only have time to watch one or two, then I'd go with the features over the documentary, which are funnier and feature more of the cast's behind-the-scenes antics, conveying a better sense of what it was actually like working on the film.
Special Feature: The Evolution of Paul [1080p] [15:06] This is set apart from the others as a post-production document about the CGI creation of the film's title character. It's a fascinating look at how much research and development went into making Paul seem like any other actor in the film, including a years-old effects test that has Pegg and Frost in far more extreme costumes and makeup. With so many films these days hitting theatres with weak or underwhelming CGI, it's pleasing to see how much work went into making Paul a convincing creature.
Special Feature: Simon Silly Faces [1080p] [1:20] Another gag reel-type feature, but this time it's just a montage of Simon Pegg pulling funny faces.
Special Feature: Who the Hell is Adam Shadowchild? [1080p] [2:09] An all-too-short funny look at Jeffery Tambor's side character as Adam Shadowchild the prolific sci-fi writer.
Theatrical Trailers: Domestic Theatrical Trailer; UK Trailer and Red Band Internet Trailer  [1080p] [7:30]
TV Spots US: Legend; Trouble; Two Grown Men ' Alternate; Who is Paul? and Evolved  [1080p] [2:25]
TV Spots UK: Extra; Pedigree; Aliens and Americas Most Wanted  [1080p] [1:59]
Finally, 'PAUL' works toward a combustible climax with various enemies out to nab the alien before he reaches his iconic rendezvous point, speeding toward an unexpected climax of confrontation, not overt comedic accentuation. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have faith in their plot, and that dedication keeps the film engaging and unpredictable, even while it lovingly pilfers from some of the most famous sci-fi blockbusters around. 'PAUL' for me is a totally hilarious funny film that had me aching with laughter and definitely aimed at people who don't take things too serious. As it is, I expect fans of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost will want to see this, as will fans of Seth Rogen. It's certainly worth purchasing, as each time you put the Blu-ray on, you will see something different every time, particularly for the fine high definition transfer and the generous collection of special features. I have read several American critics who have reviewed this film, and obviously they do not understand intelligent British humour, as they obviously prefer crass in your face American humour, that has to be spelt out what is funny, where us Brits can see what Simon Pegg and Nick frost is trying to achieve with brilliant coming humour and has now gone pride of place in my Blu-ray Collection and will give me endless hour of comic genius laughter. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller ' Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom