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“Paul”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Throughout the history of cinema we have always had our share of great comedic duo teams, Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy, Bud Abbott & Lou Costello, Burt Reynolds & Dom DeLuise, David Spade & Chris Farley, and now Simon Pegg & Nick Frost. Okay, that might be a little bit of a grand statement, but I’ve got to say it’s one that I’m proud to stand behind. From Spaced to Hot Fuzz, Pegg and Frost have more than earned their place on that list. In their newest team-up, they find themselves on the run from the men in black with a little help of the third kind.

In Paul, illustrator Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and aspiring sci-fi writer Clive Gollings (Nick Frost) have ventured across the pond on holiday to attend the Holy Grail of all nerd events, the San Diego Comic-Con! However, the Comic-Con is just the beginning of the duo’s epic adventure. Having rented an RV, Graeme and Clive plan to visit all the UFO hot spots the American Southwest has to offer, from Area 51 to the infamous UFO crash site in Roswell, New Mexico. But, their plans quickly change when in the desert just outside Area 51, they stumble upon a real life alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen). Now on the run from government agents that want Paul back, the boys will do their best to help their new alien friend get home.

Paul might not be an instant classic, or even in line for an Oscar anytime soon, but it’s a fun ride just the same. I really had a good time watching this one, and can’t wait to see it again. It’s just fun to watch Pegg & Frost do their thing, even if it is without the help of good friend Edgar Wright. That’s not to say that Wright was completely left out of the making of Paul. There’s a nice little nod in one of the scenes, to the movie Edgar was filming at the time of Paul. In the comic book shop in Roswell, there is a rack full of Scott Pilgrim trades proudly on display. This movie is full of little gems like that. With so many science-fiction movies, comic book and pop culture references in it, Paul has definitely set a record. I would almost say there are too many, but somehow it works. I think having so many in the film, gives the movie a little bit of a leeway. Well, that and the fact that Graeme and Clive are a pair of hopeless nerds, who would most likely talk like that. The other thing that really helps you enjoy this movie is the character of Paul himself. Seth Rogen does such a great job of breathing life into this fully culturally integrated spaceman. I love that he is constantly pointing out the misconceptions of alien stereotypes, and has a true gift for stating the obvious. Did I mention that Paul is also the idea man (well, alien) behind some of our greatest science fiction? Well, he is! Paul is truly the ultimate fanboy road trip movie!

Rating:


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“Extract”
a review by Darby O’Gill

The king of blue collar movies is back, and this time Mike Judge brings us the tale of Joel, played by Jason Bateman, whose life just seems to be going nowhere fast. Joel’s small extract company is doing very well, but his employees never quite seem to be satisfied. Their hours are too long, their pay is never enough, and when rumors of Joel selling the company hit the floor, what little moral they had left goes right out the window. As if that wasn’t enough trouble for poor Joel, his marriage and sex life seem to be nonexistent, and when there’s an accident on the factory floor that causes one of the workers to loose a testical, things go from bad to worse. The incident not only threatens the buyout, but also catches the eye of a local grifter, played by Mila Kunis. Add to all this, a pain in the ass neighbor, brilliantly played by David Koechner, and a best friend bartender, played by Ben Affleck, who gives a surprisingly funny performance. This only seems to add to Joel’s troubles, when he suggests that Joel hirer a ringer to test his wife’s fidelity, so he himself might feel better about his thoughts of having an affair. Take all that and mix in Mike Judge’s unmistakable brand of comedy, and you have a bonafide hit.

Nobody can play an everyman quite like Jason Bateman. His timing is always just dead on. I could watch him all day, and I think I have on a few Arrested Development marathons. The entire cast does a phenomenal job, and Mike Judge’s writing/directing takes an average story and makes it something extraordinary. Just like Office Space, you’ll be quoting this movie in no time. Just ask ingus or dingus.

It’s not a bad way to start the fall movie season. After this past summer, we desperately need some good solid movies in the fall, and not just Oscar good movies either. No, we need fun, entertaining, and most of all funny movies. You know like… Extract. I can’t think of a better way to spend your Labor Day, than watching a bunch of people hate their jobs. It might even be safe to say that, Extract is so funny, you’ll bust a nut.” Too corny? Just go see it.

Rating:

4.5 Little People