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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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We’ve got three new CDs from La-La Land Records heading your way!

First up is the next edition in La-La Land’s Expanded Archival Collection, lets all return to Gotham for this two disc remastered and expanded presentation of Danny Elfman’s magnificent score to the 1992 Warner Bros. motion picture blockbuster Batman Returns, starring Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito, and directed by Tim Burton. Composer Danny Elfman (Batman, Mars Attacks, Wanted, Alice in Wonderland) revisits his iconic theme and expertly weaves it into a sumptuous musical experience, bringing to life the film’s breathtaking action and rich emotional and psychological underpinnings. Produced by Neil S. Bulk, Dan Goldwasser and MV Gerhard and mastered by James Nelson from Shawn Murphy’s first generation three-track digital mixes, this limited edition release features more than 30 minutes of previously unreleased music, including alternate cues. The in-depth, exclusive liner notes are by John Takis and the art direction is by David C. Fein. This release is limited to only 3,500 copies, so get them while you can.

Next up is the world premiere release of acclaimed composer James Horner’s (Aliens, Glory, Titanic, Avatar) score to the 1995 Paramount Pictures feature film Jade, starring David Caruso, Linda Fiorentino and Chazz Palminteri, directed by William Friedkin. Previously unavailable in any format, this release of Horner’s erotically charged, Asian-tinged score finally takes its place in his soundtrack canon of notable 1990’s works. 1995 proved to be an especially successful year for Horner, having released scores to such films as Casper, Braveheart, Apollo 13, Jumanji and Balto. This release of Jade now fills the hole in one of his most important years as a composer! Produced for La-La Land Records by Dan Goldwasser and mastered by Mike Matessino from ½ inch Paramount vault materials, this release contains bonus tracks that include Loreena McKennitt’s “The Mystic’s Dream” and the classical piece “Le Sacre du Printemps,” both of which are featured in the film’s score. Exclusive, in-depth liner notes by Daniel Schweiger feature comments from the film’s director, William Friedkin. Art direction is by Mark Banning.

Finally we have another premiere release from composer John Morris’ (Blazing Saddles, Clue, Young Frankenstein) sumptuous orchestral score to the 1986 Orion Pictures feature flim, Haunted Honeymoon, starring Gene Wilder, Gilda Radner and Dom DeLuise, and directed/co-written by Gene Wilder. Produced by Ford A. Thaxton and digitally edited and mastered by James Nelson, this release finally makes available one of John Morris’ most technically spectacular and evocative scores, that’s brilliantly performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. Limited to 1,200 copies, this release features exclusive, in-depth liner notes are by film music writer Jeff Bond.