Paul

The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Paul (a puppet that resembles a dog….(an armadillo?)…rides the bus home, slugging something strong from a flask and thinking on his troubles. When he gets to his apartment, he discovers there’s been a break in, and the bastards even stole his fish. Who would do such a thing? Paul wants to know, so he sets out into the seedy underbelly of Tel Aviv to find out. Leaving aside that Paul is the only puppet in a world full of humans, his alienation and “otherness” is just one of the depressing things about him. Even his face is built to look like he’s frowning. Plus, he pines after a lost love (which includes a bizarre memory sequence where he puppet spoons a beautiful naked woman). He’s a troubled hero, which makes his journey both disheartening and wondrous. The filmmaking here is excellent – showcasing capable camera work, intricately playful dialogue and an idea that’s inventive at its core. It’s film noir told with construction paper. What will it cost you? Only 26 minutes. Skip work. Watch more short films.

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This Week in DVD

Another week, another Tuesday filled with DVD goodness. We’ve got four titles worth owning, and they come in two distinct pairs. First up is a one-two punch of nostalgia from the fine folks at Shout! Factory as they release Hey Arnold! and M.A.S.K. unto the world. And then on the more adult front we have two awesomely violent (in completely different ways) movies from Asia including the action romp Clash and the gory but thoughtful thriller Dream Home. Other releases this week include Paul, Camp Hell, Super, Your Highness, and more. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. M.A.S.K.: The Complete Series With a name like Matt Trakker you can’t help become the leader of an international team of good guys fighting terror and evil wherever you can find it. M.A.S.K., or Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, is Trakker’s team of do-gooders who lead normal everyday lives as chefs, rockers, and billionaires, but when their Casio watches beep they head out to save the world. Sure Miles Mayhem and his nefarious VENOM organization can get a bit silly, but it follows a similar structure to GI Joe in its acronyms, code names, and constant use of explosions that continually toss everyone to safety. Still, it’s a fun hybrid of Joe and vehicular shifting shows like Transformers. All sixty five episodes are spread across twelve discs (in two cases, both held within a sleeve) alongside a handful of featurettes on the show.

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Drinking Games

Do you believe in aliens? Little green men, hidden by the government for decades? Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in the film Paul sure do, and when they meet one that sounds just like Seth Rogen, they simply can’t believe it… until he starts swearing and smoking pot, ’cause that happens in every Seth Rogen film. So while the characters in Paul are lightening their mood, you can too with this game, suitable for either the theatrical or unrated version of the film, now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

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This Week in Blu-ray

This Week in Blu-ray we take trips around the world, from the car-loving world of the UK to the war-torn lands of 1950s Algeria to the sci-fi wasteland of the American southwest with a stop in the middle ages and perhaps even a little jaunt over to Mars, which apparently needs a little bit more than moms. In a balanced week of releases, we’ve got plenty to buy, a few to rent and yes, even a few real stinkbots to avoid. So lets get to it. Top Gear: The Complete Season 16 Being not a car guy, I have only recently discovered the consistently brilliant world of Top Gear, courtesy of the folks at the BBC. It’s hard to imagine myself enjoying such a show, as I’m not into the nitty gritty, nuts and bolts of what makes a car I will never be able to afford tick. That said, I do love watching crazy people. And more than being a show about cars, this is a show about crazy people who are allowed to drive very expensive cars in very dangerous ways. Enter Jeremy, Richard and James, the three amigos of motor enthusiasm. In series 16, they begin with a trip up the coast of the United States, where they find themselves in situations that allow them to be every bit the snobby, ridiculous Brit stereotypes that would drive Aston Martins. Their subtle prejudices are hilarious, making fun of every Joe Bob and Jim Bob Nascar country has to offer. […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up that finds the darndest things. Like Sacha Baron Cohen’s beard, creepy Musketeer posters, Mark Wahlberg, Simon Pegg, Paul Walker and a way to make your tweets into epic cinematic adventures. You need this and you know it. We begin tonight with Sacha Baron Cohen looking crazytown as The Dictator, his latest mockumentary prank film. Only this time, it’s got a more concise narrative. Cohen will play the dual roles of a ruthless dictator who heads to the U.S. for a meeting at the United Nations and finds that his number two has replaced him with an unsuspecting sheepherder lookalike. The big guy has sort of a Cosmo Kramer meets Mr. T vibe going on, with all the frills of the late Saddam Hussein. That feeling deep in your loins is unbridled excitement. That’s a good thing.

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The Reject Report

It ain’t Easter, right? It ain’t Easter. It ain’t white rabbit day. Don’t tell Universal that. They’re looking to bring in the golden egg with the seasonal Hop, and there’s a very good chance of that happening. Duncan Jones’s second film, Source Code, and the new horror film from the guys who brought us Saw – thanks, guys to be named later – may have something to say about that, but whatever that is will probably fall on deaf bunny ears. See what I did there? Well, see some more this week with the Reject Report the hollow chocolate bunny edition.

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The Reject Report

You have to wonder if Warner Brothers is getting a little nervous about Zack Snyder taking on the Superman franchise next. Not only was his latest film, Sucker Punch, trounced by critics, its “sure-fire” walk to the #1 spot in this weekend’s box office was done away with. It wasn’t the latest blockbuster that beat the sci-fi, action movie out. It wasn’t even a comedy vehicle for someone like Adam Sandler. It was the second film in what is sure to be a lucrative franchise for Fox, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid sequel. Sure, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules beat Sucker Punch for the coveted #1 spot. You have to wonder, though, how much of this was the result of Wimpy Kid being such a strong film and how much was the result of Snyder’s latest getting all kinds of poor word of mouth. Diary of a Wimpy Kid opened pretty much in line with expectations, slightly higher than its 2010 predecessor but nowhere near eye-opening. It didn’t even crack $25 million. On the other hand, Sucker Punch performed much poorer than expected. That $30-35-million estimate for the film seemed possible after its $8-million opening Friday. Then its numbers dropped liked a defective blimp. $6.7 million on Saturday and and estimated $4.2 million on Sunday. Likewise, Wimpy Kid’s $7.3 million on Friday rose to over $10 million on Saturday. In fact, Sucker Punch was the only film in release this weekend whose Saturday numbers were poorer than […]

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The Week That Was

What is The Week That Was? Lets take a guess here, shall we? If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you’d know that we put a lot of words on the internet. Chances are that you didn’t have time to sit by your computer screen and wait for every single update. Though if you did, congrats, you’re our favorite. That said, by Saturday the rest of you might be struck with the depressing realization that you didn’t read all of the best articles the FSR staff put together this week. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with a round-up of all the best that this site had to offer over the course of the last seven days. Go forth and enjoy.

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The Reject Report

Red punch. Green punch. Chilled punch. Spiked punch. We’re big big fans of all kinds of punch here at the Reject Report. We also really like suckers. Just in case anyone out there is in the mood to send us a package of goodies. Sucker Punch, on the other hand, we’re not so sure about. It’s already getting a “love or hate” stench about it, but how that results in box office dollars is another matter entirely. It’s sure to be #1 this weekend, but by how much will take a bit of analysis. Check out how we see it and the other films playing out this weekend. And a preemptive thanks for all the punch and suckers you’re all going to send.

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It’s not often that an argument about the fundamentals of the existence of a higher power takes place in an RV toilet, but it’s somehow the perfect setting for a character moment that stands as the centerpiece of Paul. Ruth (played by Kristen Wiig) is convinced of her belief in God without reservation, but when the foul-mouthed, chain smoking alien steps out of the water closet, it shakes her to the core. That’s not the sole example of religion or faith in the film. In fact, faith is the main theme of the entire movie. It just happens to be wrapped in a science fiction narrative and sprinkled with comedy and curse words.

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The Reject Report

Unless that man went from Midnight Meat Train to The Hangover to The A-Team to Limitless. Quite a career Bradley Cooper is making for himself, one that keeps coming with the hits this weekend with the #1 film Limitless. I’m sure there was more at work behind the film’s opening weekend numbers. Robert De Niro might have something to say about anyone claiming Cooper was the sole reason for its success. Neil Burger, too. Regardless of what did it, the film got pushed into the top spot. Limitless didn’t exactly break any kind of bank here. It’s still a long way down on the list of Cooper’s biggest openings, but for a film that only cost a reported $27 million, didn’t have any brand recognition behind it, and wasn’t exactly flashing ad space every five feet, it performed reasonably well.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr starts a new regimen of drugs that comes in a clear little pill. The guy on the street corner told him that it would unlock the full potential of his mind, and he assured Kevin it was FDA approved. Why would this guy lie to him? While waiting for the drugs to kick in, Kevin decided to take a trip across the American southwest and search for skinny little aliens with fat man voices. He knows he’s safe, even if he’s picked up by the cops, because he’s retained a dead-sexy lawyer who runs his practice out of the back of his Lincoln Town Car.

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There’s an old hobby that most everyone shares of creating dream teams. Maybe it’s figuring out the best possible basketball players to toss onto one roster (which dominates the Olympics in the 90s), maybe it’s thinking up physics-defying, time-travel-based bands which see Robert Plant playing with Buddy Rich and Townes Van Zandt, maybe it’s seeing some of the best in the comedy business come together to merge styles and create a movie. Paul is what it’s like when worlds collide. The dry, awkward humor of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost coming together under satire and humanistic comedy of director Greg Mottola with a healthy blend of Kristen Wiig, Seth Rogen, and Jason Batemen in tow. The results don’t explode into orbit, but the movie is as enjoyable as any other standard road trip comedy out there.

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Whether you’re trying to avoid the releases this week or augment them with even more movie, Your Alternate Box Office offers some options for movies that would play perfectly alongside of (or instead of) the stuff studios are shoving into the megaplex this weekend. This week features a foul-mouthed alien, proof that taking pills making you better, Matthew McConaughey refusing to leave his vehicle to practice law, and a schlubby wrestling coach.

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The Reject Report

You can blame South by Southwest for that, too. While we’re getting loads of cinematic gold thrust upon our senses and very little sleep, the rest of the movie world is still spinning. It’s time to take a gander at how everything looks to be playing out at the box office this weekend, but in a capsule form. The new films are Paul, Limitless, and The Lincoln Lawyer. None of them look to make much of a statement with how well they’ll play at this weekend’s box office, but none of them look to bomb, either. The big winner is likely to be Battle: Los Angeles once again despite the lack of love it’s getting from critics. Audiences want big action. They want it loud, and Battle: Los Angeles definitely delivers both. Character studies don’t make bank unless the word King or the word Speech is in their title. Just ask Michael Bay through his gold, diamond-encrusted cell phone how well big, dumb action sells to the masses. He’ll have a story or two to tell.

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South By Southwest has already begun heating up, but there are still plenty of movies and buckets of Schlitz to go. If you’re in Austin right now, you’re probably puzzling day to day over what you’re going to see. If you’re not in Austin, you’re probably still wondering what might escape the confines of the festival to see theaters near you. Although there’s no guarantee (except for a few big names we already know will see theaters), here are the hot tickets that might just earn themselves distribution deals. Our intrepid SXSW patrol (comprised of Adam Charles, Jack Giroux, Rob Hunter, Neil Miller, Luke Mullen and Brian Salisbury) have put together a list of what they’re most looking forward to for your reading and viewing pleasure. Keep in mind, there are over 250 movies playing this year, so this represents only a small amount of the quality programming. These are the movies that stand out even amongst the best of the best at the fest. Check it out for yourself:

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You might know Edgar Wright as the director of last year’s underseen screen gem Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and you might know Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as the onscreen and screenwriting duo from the upcoming Greg Mottola comedy Paul. But probably you know them all from the work they did collaborating on the awesome action comedies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Those films were written by Pegg and Wright, they starred Pegg and Frost, and they were directed by Wright. And according to Simon Pegg, they’re all ready to have another go at it. He told MTV, “Edgar has coughed up that [Scott Pilgrim] furball and we’re now in the process of regurgitating [Paul], so Edgar and I are planning to get together in the next few months to start working on the next in the ‘Blood and Ice Cream’ series. And I hope Nick will be more involved in the creation of that.” So does this mean that now that Pegg and Frost have written together we may get a three-man writing team for the next, ‘Blood and Ice Cream’ movie, as he calls it?

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So you’ve eaten at Pita Pit and Best Wurst (because there’s nothing wrong with two lunches) and you’re scoping out theaters ready to get more movies on, but you have no idea what you’re going to see. That teary indie drama or that ridiculous sci-fi comedy? You don’t know do you? And you can’t figure it out on your own for some reason. Fortunately, we’ve created this handy guide to help you in your time of duress. Use it wisely. There’s no chance it’ll send you to the porno theater across the highway, so if you end up there, it’s on you.

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We realize that you’re probably sitting at home right now, chewing your own nails off and wondering what movies are coming out this month. Maybe you’re even wondering why no one on the entire internet has said anything about them. Strange, we know. How will you know what to watch this month? Fortunately, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius spent the entire month of February drinking tiger’s blood, wandering the Oscar red carpet, and copying by hand every copy of Below The Line in order to keep you informed about what’s coming out in March. You watch movies, so this guide’s for you.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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