Friday, March 18, 2011

Film Comments: Paul (2011)

We just got home from the 7:40pm showing of Paul, the new comedy that starts Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Sigourney Weaver, Jane Lynch and Seth Rogen as the voice of "Paul". While the film has been out in the UK for over a month, it just opened in the US this weekend. The theatre was fairly full - there is a lot of competition with new releases today.

Now relax, dear readers, I'm not about to give any spoilers away. Trust me, I want everyone to be able to go into this one as open as my wife and I did. If you've seen the commercials or trailers though, you know it is about two British comic-book geeks who travel across the US mid-west and stumble across an alien (the aforementioned title character Paul). That's all the plot you will get out of me.

Suffice to say, this card-carrying, proud-to-be geek loved the film. The opening moments immediately had me sucked in (trust me, you'll know why once you see it - my good buddies will know what I mean - SDCC, baby!). There are also so many nods to great sci-fi here that the inner-nerd will be loving it. It is all done so well. The story might seem predictable in spots but that's okay - it works. I even loved the choice of songs used as part of the soundtrack. Make sure you watch the credits as final scenes are interspersed during them (with a song I love being used during them - it is from another film which I enjoy, but I'm a dork that way).

One thing I do have to talk about though is the fact that this is not a kids' movie. It is rated R for a reason - the language is very strong - very funny for adults, but not for kids. It's language I wouldn't want to be sitting in the same room with my parents hearing, either.

We were shocked to see people come into the showing with their children under 10 years old. Hello! Irresponsible parenting much? I think so. Unless you're fine with your kids hearing the F-bomb (among other things) dropped a few dozen times, you shouldn't be bringing them to this film. This isn't a cute E.T. alien kind of movie - this is an adult comedy. This isn't the first time we've seen folks in our town do that; a few years back we witnessed a couple bring their two under 10 kids to a 10pm showing of Watchmen, also rated R for a reason. I just don't get the thought process behind this.

We have a teenager. He expressed interest in seeing this film. We told him that since it is rated R, we have to see it first. That's how we do things in our home with films - we evaluate first to determine whether it is appropriate for him or not. Until he is of age, it is our job to do our homework. Our conclusion? Well, we're on the fence. The very strong language is the factor that might tip it onto the side of "you'll have to wait another couple years, okay?" side of the scale. We'll discuss that more.

As for my recommendation, if you're comfortable with course language and some crude humor (and absolutely if you're a huge comic-book/sci-fi geek like me!), you'll want to check this one out. Even my wife, who's only geek cred is being married for over two decades to a big geek (okay, she does like Tolkein and Dune so she qualifies for a geek permit at least) enjoyed it. We both laughed out loud a number of times.

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