DVD reviews: 'Paul' isn't best combo of Pegg, Frost
By Garrett Conti
Published: Tuesday, August 9, 2011
With their brilliant work together in "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz," Nick Frost and Simon Pegg teamed to provide a blast for comedy fans. So, when the Brits came together for more laughs in a buddy comedy with alien undertones called "Paul," there was a good buzz. Unfortunately, "Paul" doesn't deliver on the expectations. Frost and Pegg wrote the screenplay, and it carries a few laughs, but most of the jokes have a been-there-heard-that feeling. Comically speaking, the motion picture picks up with the arrival of Kristen Wiig, but doesn't hold that momentum. "Paul" has two geeks, Graeme (Pegg) and Clive (Frost) driving across the country after a trip to Comic-Con. Heading into the country, they come across a lost alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen). After getting past the shock, Clive and Graeme make it their mission to get Paul, a little green guy who has adapted nicely to earth, back to his home planet. Breaking away from a secretive government agent (Jason Bateman) and some additional psychopaths is a tough test for the sci-fi nerds. Directed by "Superbad" filmmaker Greg Mottola, the film also stars Jane Lynch, Sigourney Weaver, Jane Lynch and some clever CGI work with the alien. A Blu-ray combo pack houses the best collection of extras, including an impressive making-of featurette that's broken down into several parts. Individual Blu-ray and standard packages carry bloopers, commentary, a closer look at Paul and a short clip on Tambor's character in the pic. R; 2011. 2.5 Stars.
"Mars Needs Moms"
This animated pic directed by Simon Wells (the great grandson of H.G.) from Robert Zemeckis' ImageMovers Digital studio is considered one of the biggest bombs in motion picture history. Reportedly made for $150 million, the sci-fi adventure didn't come close to covering its costs. Looking at the film, there are a couple reasons why the flick didn't blast off. The animation is a bit too real, albeit creepy in instances. It has that weird look of a "Polar Express," ironically another film Zemeckis was involved in. Secondly, "Mars Needs Moms" is poorly written, possessing a story that lacks any high points and a series of characters that make it hard to establish an attachment. The feature follows a youngster who sneaks on board an alien spacecraft that's kidnapped his mother. The craft travels to Mars, where Martians have kidnapped mothers from earth to raise their babies. With the help of another human on the planet, the boy attempts to save his mom and take her back home. Seth Green, Joan Cusack and Dan Fogler provide voices. The pic will be available in four different packages, including 3D. The best bet, as usual is Blu-ray, as Disney does very well with its packages. Featurettes on the motion-capture animation process will be here, with deleted scenes, interviews and some additional featurettes. PG; 2011. 1.5 Stars.
"Jumping the Broom"
A fairly standard romantic comedy, "Jumping the Broom" is really nothing to get excited about. The film doesn't break any new ground, and its plot — a guy and a girl from very different economical backgrounds getting married — has been done several times. "Jumping the Broom" has some moments, including decent performances from Mike Epps, Paula Patton, Angela Basset and Loretta Devine, but a lousy final scene that doesn't make much sense kills what should be a good culmination of events. The film revolves around the wedding day of Jason (Laz Alonso) and Sabrina (Patton), a man and a woman coming from different backgrounds. When the families meet for the first time, right before the big event, there are plenty of fireworks. Jason's mother (Devine) clashes with Sabrina's mother (Basset), and it leads to some gigantic family secrets getting out. It's also responsible for Jason and Sabrina seriously questioning their impending marriage. Extras on Blu-ray and standard DVDs are very much the same, and they're not bad. Two featurettes, "You're Invited: Behind the Scenes" and "Honoring the Tradition of Jumping the Broom," both serve a purpose in looking inside production of the film and giving a little background to the plot. Commentary with Alonso and Patton is available, as well. PG-13; 2011. 2 Stars.
OTHER MOVIE RELEASES
• "Your Highness" (James Franco and Natalie Portman, R, 2011, Universal Pictures) Danny McBride and Zooey Deschanel fill out a talented cast from filmmaker David Gordon Green, the director that brought viewers "Pineapple Express." The medieval comedy finds two brothers (Franco and McBride) hitting the road for a raunchy trip to save the life of one brother's future bride. Extras.
• "Super" (Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page, R, 2010, IFC Films) A cook sees his wife (Liv Tyler) taken away under the spell of a suave drug dealer (Kevin Bacon), so he decides to find an alter ego. He creates Crimson Bolt, a red-suited superhero, who only carries with him a matching red wrench. It's his only tool in hitting the streets to get back his wife. Extras.
• "Dream Home" (Josie Ho and Eason Chan, NR, 2010, IFC Films) This Hong Kong picture is known for its steady use of violent, and it tells the tale of a successful young professional who will do whatever it takes to acquire her dream home. Extras.
• "Choose" (Kevin Pollack and Katheryn Winnick, NR, 2011, IFC Films) An interesting twist is present in this horror picture that follows a brutal killer who gives his victims a horrible choice before deciding what to do with them. Extras.
• "The Last Godfather" (Harvey Keitel and Michael Rispoli, PG-13, 2010, Lionsgate Pictures) Keitel is in the role of a retiring mafia boss looking for his replacement. When he finds his man, the other part of the family can't believe who it is. Extras.
• "The Clinic" (Andy Whitfield and Tabrett Bethell, NR, 2010, Image Entertainment) A women is dragged out of her hotel room, and it's up to her husband to find her. The women wakes up in a clinic geared toward engineering babies. Extras
• "The Fox and the Hound: Two Movie Collection" (Patrick Swayze and Trisha Yearwood, G, 2011, extras, Walt Disney Pictures)
OTHER TV RELEASES
• "Top Gear 16" (show on great cars, three discs, six episodes, 2011, extras, BBC)