There are few things more English than tea and comedy, so with that in mind, here are some comedians talking about their movie, Paul, while drinking tea. Paul, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's foray into alien road trip movies hits Blu-ray and DVD August 9 and of course comes with quite a few special features to appease their adoring fans. We've got the full list of features for the film, which is directed by Greg Mottola and also stars Kristen Wiig, Jason Bateman, and Seth Rogen in voice only in addition to Pegg and Frost. But before we get into details, why don't you hear it from the men themselves.
In case you're a greedy bastard and that just wasn't enough for you, here's the full rundown of what you can expect on the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack:
BONUS FEATURES EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY™ COMBO PACK:
Between the Lightning Strikes: The Making of Paul
Behind the Scenes Featurettes:
RV Doorway: The Cast of Paul On-Location — The cast is just as funny off-screen as they are in front of the camera.
Runway Santa Fe: An Interview with Nancy Steiner — Follow Nancy Steiner, the costume designer, as she chooses hilarious T-shirts and wardrobe for the cast.
Smithereens — Blowing up a house on location causes excitement among the cast.
5th Date Level Direction: The Cast on Greg Mottola — The cast talks about the fun of working with Mottola, who also directed Superbad.
Mexico Zero: The Locations of Paul—Mexico Zero is the nickname the cast gives to New Mexico, where the majority of filming was done for Paul.
The Many Pauls — To create Paul, the filmmakers used all the tricks of the trade, from capturing Seth Rogen’s facial expressions and movements, to using a child dressed up as an alien while on-set.
Paul: The Musical — The cast joins together for an impromptu musical version of the film.
The Traveler Beagle — A look at all the different RVs used on the set of Paul, from fully functioning vehicles to a mock-up on a Hollywood soundstage.
BD-LIVE™: Access the BD-Live™ Center through your Internet-connected player to watch the latest trailers and more.
pocket BLU™: The groundbreaking pocket BLU™ app uses iPhone®, iPod® touch, Android™, PC and Macintosh to work seamlessly with a network-connected Blu-ray™ player. Also available on the iPad®, owners can enjoy a new, enhanced edition of pocket BLU™ made especially to take advantage of the tablet's larger screen and high resolution display. Consumers will be able to browse through a library of Blu-ray™ content and watch entertaining extras on-the-go in a way that's bigger and better than ever before. pocket BLU™ offers advanced features such as:
Advanced Remote Control — A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray™ player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live™ functions with ease.
Video Timeline — Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the film.
Mobile-To-Go — Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray™ discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy content on the go, anytime, anywhere.
Browse Titles — Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU™-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray™ Hi-Def. They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device.
Keyboard — Entering data is fast and easy with your device’s intuitive keyboard.
BONUS FEATURES ON BLU-RAY™ AND DVD:
The Evolution of Paul — An inside look at how Paul became a living, breathing alien.
Simon’s Silly Faces — Simon Pegg makes an assortment of wildly funny faces for the camera.
Who the Hell is Adam Shadowchild? — Find out about the legendary sci-fi writer from the characters in Paul.
Feature Commentary with Greg Mottola, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Bill Hader and Nira Park
Photo Galleries, Storyboards and Posters
If a major motion picture studio gave you $50 million to make the movie of your choice what would it be like? If you’re producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and writers Simon Pegg and Nick Frost it’d be a loving lampoon of geek culture and an homage to the films of the Spielberg/Lucas revolution but nostalgia is both an advantage and disadvantage in director Greg Mottola’s Paul.
Pegg and Frost star as a pair of nerds from across the pond who fulfill lifelong dreams when they fly to San Diego for the annual Mecca of nerdom Comic-Con. The doofy duo extend their trip to tour America’s extraterrestrial hot spots including Area 51 where they pick up an unexpected alien hitchhiker on the run from the proverbial men in black. Across the country they go getting into trouble picking up more passengers and building bromantic bonds as the little green man Paul inches closer to his escape from planet Earth and the shadowy government official who has been exploiting his knowledge of the universe since he crash landed in Wyoming over 60 years ago.
Fan-favorite filmmakers since 2004’s Shaun of the Dead Pegg and Frost have been making geek chic for years now and continue to create identifiable roles for themselves while finding humorous ways to write their like-minded friends into their movies. Their collection of wacky characters is charming if incredibly derivative but for better or worse they are the heart and soul of the film. Jason Bateman Kristen Wiig Bill Hader and Jo Lo Truglio turn in fun performances but I expected a bit more from the Jane Lynch David Koechner and Sigourney Weaver cameos. Still Seth Rogen’s vocal performance as Paul adds significant layers to an already adorable alien and enlivens the adequately rendered CG character.
The comedy is surprisingly sweet and doesn’t bite like Mottola’s Superbad though there are enough religious jabs and signs of anti-establishment fervor to call it mildly subversive. Lack of laughs isn’t the issue here; lack of originality is. Mottola is too dependent on pop-culture references and inside jokes pertaining to E.T. Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind so much so that the film ultimately becomes a parody of itself as its storyline mirrors that of Steven Spielberg’s massive 1982 blockbuster (in this world the movie mogul actually consults the incarcerated alien for inspiration for his beloved family film). While these nods are all amusing they’re not enough to carry the film and Mottola/Frost/Pegg offer little else. At its worst Paul will give you a reason to revisit those classic sci-fi staples and remember the good old days. At best it provides a few mindless chuckles and gives you good reason to give the geek next to you a great big hug.
The Hoover household is something of an insane asylum but nobody would ever knowingly hurt anyone except him- or herself. Richard (Greg Kinnear) is a deluded optimist and motivational speaker who only motivates himself. His wife Sheryl (Toni Collette) unwittingly reinforces his behavior by placating him and hiding her frustration. Sheryl’s dad (Alan Arkin) an acid-tongued old-timer who’s hooked on heroin and brother (Steve Carell) a gay suicidal Proust scholar who is the epitome of the “crazy uncle” cliché are also aboard the crazy train. Richard and Sheryl’s son Dwayne (Paul Dano) is a Nietzsche follower who only communicates with his family by writing. Then there’s the daughter Olive (Abigail Breslin) the family’s glue. All she wants is to compete in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant so the Hoovers all load their baggage onto the family’s VW bus--which barely runs--and embark on a long bumpy ride to California.
If only there were a Best Ensemble Oscar Sunshine’s cast would…get snubbed for being too quirky but still. And by constantly upstaging one another the actors may have further hurt their chances. It is this no ego effect however that is central to the movie’s theme and success. While all the performances are nothing short of superb the three showstoppers are Collette Carell and Breslin. Aussie Collette continues her brilliantly understated career with this turn as a well-meaning Everymom who ultimately only wants to nurture her family. Carell perhaps the only one with a fighting chance at an Oscar nod shows us why he’s really a megastar: he can act with a complete about-face from his usual roles as evidence. (Lest we forget this is a guy who up until recently was a fake-news correspondent!) And Breslin (Signs) is simply an amazing young talent who provides all the wide-eyed caffeine the film needs and then some but does so with precious maturity. It’s as if she inspired the title. There’s a quirky behind-the-scenes story too: Sunshine’s directors--plural--are married to one another! Husband-and-wife duo Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris are widely known music-video directors but not the type who would make their big-screen transition with something like say Torque; thankfully they chose substance over style. If not for these very gifted directors Sunshine could’ve come unhinged where so many pedestrian “dysfunctional family” indies do: by turning the characters each with a laundry list of defining quirks into caricatures. But thanks in equal parts to the direction acting and flawless script (from first-timer Michael Arndt) there is so much truth to each character. Most notable though is the linear nature of the story; these directors clearly don’t need swooping twists to convey their themes and profundity and that is rare and remarkable. The climax with which it all culminates can only be described as unforgettable.