Paul (2011)

Last year, in an effort to save money, I decided to get rid of my cable TV service. People sometimes ask me, “Don’t you miss it?” and I say “No.” And I don’t: I have streaming Netflix and a vast amount of DVDs. Plus, I’m rarely actually home, usually at one or the other jobs. I have recently begun to notice that while I don’t miss TV itself so to speak, I do miss information.

Particularly regarding A.) new movie releases and B.) new models of cars being released.

I could care less about the new cars, but I do kind of miss knowing what movies are out there. For example, the only reason I knew Paul was out was because I accidentally stumbled upon it while trying to find a trailer for Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt. II. Anyway: Paul is a story about two Brits who come to the U.S. to do a tour of UFO related sites, and wind up bumping into an alien and trying to get him home. Throw in some meddling Feds, and a bunch of rednecks (of the “fuck anything female with a pulse” and “bible-thumper” variety) and you’ve got yourself either a wonderful little time, or a “why wasn’t this straight to DVD?”

On the plus side: the movie stars and was written by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead fame).

On the downside: the movie also stars Seth Rogen. Well, sort of. His voice.

On the other plus side: Kristen Wiig! I’ve got a total crush.

On the other downside: Jason Bateman. Who I kind of dislike. Mostly because he kind of reminds me of a grownup Michael Cerra, who is pretty much enough of a reason to keep me from watching a movie.

Anyway, so I went yesterday to Friendship Heights to see the movie at Mazza Gallerie. Aside from the too-chatty teenager in the row ahead of me who I wanted to kick in the back of the head with my boot (and from all the “will you shut the fuck up?”s from her friends, it was clear they wanted me to kick her in the head, too), it was a pretty awesome movie experience. Okay, it’s kind of choc-full of geek references that a.) if you’re not a geek, you probably won’t get, and b.) even if you don’t get them, you might still enjoy the movie, I guess.

Hey, there’s even a reference to a 1992 Oscar nominated film starring Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon. It’s kind of subtle, and it took me a somewhat embarrassingly long time to get it, but I’m not really much for Nick Nolte films (besides, of course, Tropic Thunder).

There’s also some great cameos: one from Jane Lynch who you may know as the grouchy cheerleader coach on Glee, but who I remember as the grouchy lesbian dog groomer from Best of Show, and Jerry’s sex therapist on Boston Legal. The other – man, and I don’t want to spoil it – so I’ll just say this cameo is the person that, if you’re a movie buff, and especially a sci-fi movie buff, this is the person you probably think of when you think of alien. Or aliens. Anyway. Good movie, very fun, can’t wait to see it again when it hits the Dee-Vee-Dee.

Also: Kristen Wiig. Adorable as a cycloptic-bible-thumper who shares a “Vulcan mind-meld” (sorta) with Paul and realizes it’s okay to cuss and fornicate. Her swearing is possibly the cutest thing about the whole damn movie. Still not going to go see Bridesmaids, though.

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