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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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“MacGruber”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Okay, let me do this quickly, because I only have three hundred and fifty words for this review before it self destructs. I’m going to need a number two pencil, a slightly used paperclip, and a half eaten apple… Okay, that HB pencil will do. Yes, that was an art school pencil joke, and it would have been funnier, if it didn’t cost me a hundred thousand in student loans. Oh, man! How many words was that?! Does punctuation count? Oh, good. Don’t count that! Ugh… you’re killing me! Okay, okay! MacGruber, yes that skit from Saturday Night Live, is now a full length movie. It’s been awhile since the last SNL skit turned movie was able to leave its mark on Hollywood, but MacGruber might fair better then most. Will Forte busts out the mullet and signature tan utility vest once again to save the day, or at least try to, as MacGruber, and with him as always is Vicki St. Elmo played by Kristen Wiig. I realize a skit that works in quick one-minute bursts might not be your first choice for a night at the movies, but surprisingly it works better than you might think. The “R” rating definitely helps, and trust me it’s very much an “R” movie. I wouldn’t say I always enjoyed the MacGruber skits, and I was not by any means expecting to enjoy the movie, but I guess you can’t judge a book… I mean a movie, by its cover. I wouldn’t say it’s a great movie, but it does feel like the type of movie that becomes more enjoyable over time. How are we doing on the word count? Are you kidding me?! But I haven’t even talked about Val Kilmer as Dieter Von Cunth! What am I at now? Three hundred and three! Why are you spelling out numbers?! Damn! Fine, back to the movie! MacGruber isn’t going to win any awards, but it will make you laugh, and could find itself in league with Wayne’s World. Only time will tell. Okay, this is crazy! Is this review really going to…

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“Date Night”
a review by Darby O’Gill

A date night, for those of you that don’t know, is a very important thing to married couples. It’s the one and only chance they get to enjoy some alone time; they might go to dinner or a movie. It’s also very important to not waste that precious time on something stupid. I’m pretty sure you can see where this is going. If you think going to see Date Night on your next date night will be a good use of you time, you’re going to be greatly disappointed. I know. How can that be? Steve Carell and Tina Fey… That sounds like comedy gold. Sadly, you couldn’t be more wrong. This thing is a total train wreck from start to finish.

In Date Night, Steve Carell and Tina Fey play a married couple that would desperately like to get that old spark back into their relationship. With their lives quickly becoming that of an irrelevant joke, the Fosters decide to break the norm, and venture into the Big Apple for an extravagant night on the town. But, when they steal a reservation at a ritzy restaurant, they find themselves in the middle of the most unbelievable of action films. No, really. I think even a four year old would walk out of this movie. With the Fosters now being mistaken for the Tripplehorns, they find themselves on the run from killers, and out of their suburban element. Of course they turn to the police for help, but wouldn’t you know it, they’re dirty cops. It gets even worse when we meet Mark Wahlberg’s character Holbrooke, a naked version of James Bond’s Q… Why? I have no fucking idea! This movie will seriously drive you to drink, which might improve your enjoyment of it, but I highly doubt it .

I really wish I could tell you why this movie doesn’t work. You’ve got two unbelievably talented and funny comedians that everyone would love to see together in a movie, and yet they still manage to screw-up a sure thing. I just don’t get it. I would also like to think that Fey and Carell are smart enough to realize that this movie was a bad idea from the start, but yet here we are, and for some bizarre reason people will like it. If they really wanted to work together, as they should, I would much rather them take their time and make sure that the script was airtight before wasting their time making a piece of crap like this. Date Night really has nothing to offer. Sure, there are a few funny moments, but to be honest, the humor is sophomoric at best. Seriously, if you consider yourself a fan of Tina Fey or Steve Carell, do yourself a favor, and stay that way by not seeing this movie.

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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