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Title: Paul
Starring: Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Seth Rogen, Jason Bateman
Directed by: Greg Mottola
Written by: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost
Studio: Universal
Rated: R
Runtime: 109 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: 8/9/2011

Movie: :4stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Extras: :4stars:

HTS Overall Score:87

Graeme and Clive are two best friends living a life long shared dream of taking holiday in the United States and touring famous UFO sites. The two begin their journey by taking part in one of the biggest nerd conventions; ‘Comic Con’. Once at the convention, these two friends hit as much of the show floor as possible and and finally make way to the autograph table of their favorite author Adam Shadowchild (Tambor). It is at this point that we learn that Clive is actually a writer and Graeme is an artist that does the art work for Clive’s newly finished piece of literature. After a brief discussion, the duo are quickly brushed to the side by their greatest influence so they decide to retire for the evening back at their hotel room.

The following day, Clive and Graeme hit the road in a rented RV to start exploring the famous UFO sites that include Area 51, Roswell and several other locations that they have been planning since they were kids. After one of their early stops on their trek, the men are intimidated by a couple of rednecks inside a local diner. As our two Brittish heroes leave the diner, they accidently back into the truck belonging to the before mentioned rednecks and leave quite a dent in their foes truck.

Later, several hours down the road, the boys are being followed by a vehicle traveling furiously to catch up with them. Convinced that the rednecks from the diner are running them down in order to extract revenge for hitting their truck, Graeme and Clive try to speed up to lose them, but they soon breathe a sigh of relief when they see that the vehicle in pursuit is just a car in big hurry. However; their relief is short lived when the car crashes in front of them and tumbles off to the side of the road. Quickly stopping to render aid, Graeme and Clive are confronted with the one thing in the universe that could deter them from continuing their trip to see famous UFO sites…. Paul…

We all have favorite films that we really like and could watch at any time. Some of mine include; ‘Hot Fuzz’, ‘Army of Darkness’, ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ and now ‘Paul’. This is the type of movie that doesn’t take itself seriously by any stretch of the imagination and is one that will likely have a huge following over time. Nick Frost and Simon Pegg have an uncanny way of creating characters from movie to movie that will make you forget about their prior buddy films. Graeme and Clive are nothing like Nicholas and Danny from Hot Fuzz who are also nothing like Shaun and Ed from ‘Shaun of the Dead’.

Written by Pegg and Frost, Paul is nothing more than an old fashioned road trip movie; two friends traveling and learning things about themselves and one another while picking up new friends along the way. Director Greg Mottola, whose other directing credits include ‘SuperBad’ and ‘AdventureLand’ has created a fun and believable movie utilizing great special effects and a thoughtful approach to capturing this adventure on film.

I do feel it is necessary to give special mention to the character of Paul who was voiced so wonderfully by Seth Rogen. I am not a huge Seth Rogen fan, I think some of his movies are funny but his characters are very one dimensional. A lot of that has to do with Rogen’s appearance and mannerisms however; with Paul, though the voice is the same, Rogen has been able to create an incredibly funny persona that is tied to the alien itself. Every time that Paul was speaking, I was thinking about Paul and not Rogen and I think that it speaks volumes to the way that Seth absolutely owned that character. It is my opinion that ‘Paul’ simply would not have worked with any other actor.

Rated R for language including sexual references, and some drug reference.

Video: :4.5stars:
‘Paul’ is presented in 1080P MPEG-4 AVC with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and the results are impressive. Resolution bounces between perfect and great with outstanding definition and clarity. The tiniest details are prevalent through just about every scene from the individual strands of the actor’s hair to brilliant design of Paul’s eye. Black levels are deep and inky giving many of the desolate night scenes a sense of realism as the night sky illuminates from the glow of the moon to the varying shades of blue and eventually to black. I could not detect any hints of crushing or any video deficiencies to speak of. Fleshtones are perfectly natural and the detail and realistic look that the filmmakers were able to achieve with the CGI character ‘Paul’ is simply amazing.

Audio: :4.5stars:
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sounds nearly as amazing as the video looks. At heart, Paul is a road trip buddy comedy so there is quite a dependency on dialogue. That being said, there are some wonderful scenes that give the viewer’s room a shake or two. LFE is used very thoughtfully but not too liberally giving explosions and crashes the proper amount of authority when presented on screen. The surround presentation itself is very satisfying as voices have perfect imaging over the various channels and ambient sound and off-screen action comes perfectly from the proper direction. Dialogue reproduction is perfectly clear and every word can be heard without getting lost in whatever may be going on in the scene at a given moment. While this is not a reference level audio presentation, it is top notch.

Extras: :4stars:
  • Audio Commentary
  • Bloopers
  • The Evolution of Paul
  • Simon's Silly Faces
  • Who the Hell is Adam Shadowchild?
  • Galleries
  • Credits
  • Between the Lightning Strikes: The Making of 'Paul'
  • RV Doorway: The Cast of 'Paul' On-Location
  • Runaway Santa Fe: An Interview with Nancy Steiner
  • Smithereens
  • 5th Date Level Direction: The Cast on Greg Mottola
  • Mexico Zero: The Locations of 'Paul'
  • The Many Pauls
  • 'Paul' the Musical
  • The Traveler Beagle
  • DVD & Digital Copy
Overall: :4.5stars:
Pegg and Frost have become a comedy duo that I truly am impressed with; not only for their on screen antics but for their writing ability as well. Each of their movies is easily able to stand apart from their previous works making it really hard to decide which one I like the best. Add Rogen’s performance to the mix and what you have is a very funny film with believable characters and a lot of heart. I will definitely be watching Paul a couple of times over the coming days and several times over the coming years. If you are fans of Pegg, Frost or Rogen, I highly recommend that you pick up Paul and give it a spin on August 9th when it hits Bluray.

Recommendation: Rent it!
Official Blu-Ray Reviews Scoring

733 Posts
Great review, I am a huge fan of Pegg and Frost, everything from Spaced to Shaun of the Dead and this movie did not disappoint.
It is a good fun road trip movie with great performances and I look forward to owning this on bluray when it comes out.
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