Saturday, March 19, 2011

Paul: He's Of Peace Always, and a Real Event

You notice these days that people are telling us not to trust aliens if they ever decide to come here?
On some radio shows, they figure aliens will be as arrogant and cruel as humans were towards their less civilized brothers, such as the Spaniards against the Aztecs and the Ack-Ack Martians in Mars Attacks!.
Recently, a lizard lady from space made Earthlings her slaves while she locked up her double-crossing human-loving daughter, while another alien wants to start a nuclear reaction to set up a portal to bring his people over...and kill us.
And let's not forget that alien invasion in Los Angeles that was stopped by Aaron Eckhart, Ne-Yo and Michelle Rodriguez.
Yeah, aliens. Just can't trust those arrogant critters.

But then there's Paul. He's grey with a big head held up by a small body. He's got eyes cuter than that Puss and Boots guy in those Shrek movies. What's so dangerous about him?
Nothing, really. At least that's what two British sci-fi nerds learn, and a lot more, in a new movie that would be considered The Complete Sci-Fi Cliche Assortment, but is also a good road movie.
It's written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, who revolutionized zombie movies with Shaun of the Dead a few years ago. They're the British nerds who decide to take a road trip after visiting Comic-Con. One night, they see a car in a rollover accident. When they look for survivors, they see a strange looking creature with a cigarette. That creature is Paul, who sounds just like Seth Rogan.

Anyway, once Paul convinces our two nerds he comes in peace, but would like to leave now, he gets them to drive them to the place where his alien friends can get him home. He also claims that he's played a large part in popular culture, especially a familiar movie and TV show.
They're followed closely by tough-as-nails Secret Service Agent Zoil played by Jason Bateman, and his assistants played by Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio. Bateman is really convincing as Zoil, and should repeat that role in other dramas. However, his boss is even more bad-ass. For most of the movie we only hear her voice, but we do know she has a picture of President Bush the Elder with the words "best thing I ever invaded", Gee, does Barbara know?

Along the way, the gang meet up with a lonely Christian trailer-park gal played by Kristen Wiig. I kind of liked her as a girl who gets a very unique revelation about her world, and how it convinces her to help Paul. Problem is, her dad soon joins the chase....along with two other rednecks who are upset the nerds wrecked their truck before they found Paul.

After weeks of us vs. aliens, it's nice to have a movie where reaching out to someone or something new is encouraged. Sure, the sci-fi references come thick and fast, especially in a redneck bar, but it's still quite entertaining.
When I saw it at the Century Stadium 14, the place was half-full. Apparently humans are in full March Madness even though the games so far haven't been close this March 19th. It may not overtake Battle: L-A, but it should do well in the long run. As usual, it's the story that sells the movie, even more than special effects.

As for the sneak previews, I saw the Bad Mother trailer again, but to get the real taste of that movie, find the red-band version. There was also Your Highness, and it does include Natalie Portman in a thong, and Hanna, who will put new meaning to the term "Hit Girl". They'll likely be featured during Wondercon, and I am going to say right now if Cate Blanchett isn't revealed as Hanna's mom, I will be shocked. I also saw one for Dylan Dog, who's a "cop" to keep the peace in the world of zombies, vampires and such. I was pleasantly surprised by that one, and I may check that out.

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