#TomCruise is Still Trying to Get That Door Open in 2nd Trailer for MI:5 – Rogue Nation

Mission Impossible, Rogue Nation, movie, poster, Tom Cruise

The Avengers may have kicked off the summer tent-pole season, but for my money, it won’t be official until I hear the opening strains of Lalo Schifrin’s “Mission Impossible” theme.

Call me crazy, but I still get excited whenever I hear the “dun dun dun dun DUN dun”. I still look forward to whatever shenanigans that Ethan Hunt and company are likely to get up to in the latest installment of the Mission Impossible film franchise. Despite how looney tunes Tom Cruise is, may be, or you perceive him to be, he continues to provide a pretty reliable return on the investment of  whatever you paid for your ticket. JMHO, but I think he’s crazy like a fox. He’s still one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, whatever we think of him here at home. And I don’t think the fact that he puts 110% into his performances (or at least 110% of what he has left after the Thetans have taken their cut) can be called into question. Those big global bucks ensure that, even at 52,  Paramount is still willing to let Cruise run amok by doing his own stunts, (which seem to get more outrageous the older he gets and despite the fact that he was injured six times on this film) and the special effects wizards keep getting to invent at least semi-plausible weapons and gadgets. (Can you imagine if Ethan Hunt were to team up with James Bond?)

The IMF team once again includes Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames. The new addition is Rebecca Ferguson (“The White Queen”) plays the film’s Ilsa Faust (a better name for a femme fatale has not been cooked up since, well, since Natasha Fatale), stepping into the shoes vacated by Paula Patton as Ethan’s arm candy. Faust, judging from the trailer, would seem to have some skills as well.

Natasha Fatale

Other newcomers include Simon McBurney, the always excellent and usually menacing Sean Harris and Alec Baldwin as the head of the CIA who apparently wants the heads of the IMF on a plate.

Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.

The Syndicate is the name of the organization that regularly provided the baddies for the original “Mission: Impossible” tv show. (What SPECTRE is to Bond and T.H.R.U.S.H.  is to the Man From U.N.C.L.E. – both of which will be revisited this year. That’s why Paramount moved the release date up from Christmas. MI5 gets to be first. Here’s a bit of trivia: Cruise was cast as Napoleon Solo, but dropped out to focus on MI5.) The film starts where Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (hard to believe that was 3 1/2 years ago) ends, with Ethan prepping his team to investigate the Syndicate.  Anyway, watch this:

“This may be our last mission. Let’s make it count.”  As if. As long as they keep making money, Tom Cruise will keep making Mission Impossible movies. I’m sure someone can figure out how to turn a walker into a weapon.  Bring it.

Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie (who has become Cruise’s go-to collaborator of late), Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation opens in the UK on 30th July and in the US on July 31.

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Pics and Clips of Simon Pegg in the TIFF Bound Hector and the Search for Happiness

Hector and the Search for Happiness, Movie, Poster, Simon Pegg

courtesy Relativity Media

We love Simon Pegg. Whether he’s paired with friend and frequent collaborator Nick Frost while beating off zombies with a cricket bat¹, busting the village serial killer², befriending aliens³or thwarting an alien  invasion♠,  or without, as a has been comedian and would be blackmailer♣, robbing graves for fun and profit♥, going boldly where no man has gone before♦ or choosing to accept missions with Ethan Hunt◊, if Simon Pegg is in it, we’re there. (Why have I decided to use the royal “we”? I have no idea.)

In any case, Pegg’s latest, Hector and the Search for Happiness, directed by Peter Chesolm, is something of a departure. As the title might suggest, Pegg plays a man searching for inner peace. Hector is a psychiatrist who, having lost the ability to offer insight to his own patients embarks on a quest to figure out the formula for happiness. The journey that takes him from Africa to Shanghai to Tibet.

Ahead of its North American debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, Relativity has released the clips below
These first two, via Flickering Myth, feel like vintage Pegg:

and finally, via The Playlist, is a clip that would seem to give us a better feel for the tone:

If not, who knows. The director has had more luck with television than his theatrical endeavors, which include Hannah Montana: The Movie, Shall We Dance, Serendipity and the almost universally reviled Town & Country, so I’m not sure what to expect from him.  The screenplay, based on the novel “Le voyage d’Hector ou la recherche de bonheur” by Françoise Lelord, has three credited writers including the director, Maria von Heland, and Tinker Lindsay.  But, as I said, on the strength of Pegg , not to mention the  supporting cast, which includes Toni Collette, Rosamund Pike (who last appeared with Pegg in 2013’s The World’s End), Stellan Skarsgård, Jean Reno, and Christopher Plummer, I’m keeping an open mind. Hector and the Search For Happiness, which was released in the UK last month, opens in the US on September 19.

Here’s the latest trailer as well:

1. Shaun of the Dead
2. Hot Fuzz
3. Paul
♠. The World’s End
♣. “Mob City”
♥. Burke and Hare
♦. Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness
◊. MI:3, 4 and the upcoming 5

(Slightly Belated) Happy Birthday to Accidental Icon, Nick Frost!

cuban-fury-poster04

Yesterday, March 28, was the 42nd birthday of English comedic actor Nick Frost. Frost “rose to fame” thanks to collaborations with director Edgar Wright and long-time friend Simon Pegg. In fact, it’s Pegg’s fault that Frost became an actor at all.

In 1999, Pegg was cast in a comic sci-fi show for British television called, “Spaced”…directed by Edgar Wright. Pegg suggested his flatmate Frost for the role of Mike, because he made him laugh, even though Frost was working as a waiter and had no prior acting experience. Wright was skeptical, but eventually decided that Frost was brilliant in the part. The rest is showbiz history.

The three went on, of course, to make “The Cornetto Trilogy”*, that consists of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End. Without Wright, Pegg and Frost made the insanely funny Paul. Both voiced characters (Thompson and Thomson) in Steven Spielberg’s motion capture epic, The Adventures of Tintin (although Wright cowrote the screenplay).

It’s not exactly rare to find Frost’s name in the credits of a film without also finding Pegg’s, but the two names are so inextricably linked in most people’s minds, that it’s worth mentioning.

In 2005, Frost played the homophobic Don in the wonderful Kinky Boots opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor and Joel Edgerton. Even more memorably (in my humble opinion), Frost played Dave in 2009’s critically lauded The Boat That Rocked, about a group of maverick music lovers and rogue DJs that refused to let some puritanical members of the British government stop the 60’s from swinging. (Though it boasted a cast that included Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris O’Dowd, Bill Nighy, Tom Sturridge, Tom Wisdom, Rhys Ifans, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson and January Jones and was written and directed by Richard “Love, Actually” Curtis, it became the little-seen Pirate Radio in the US). And in 2012, he played one of the dwarves in Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman.

Next month, Frost gets the chance to go it alone once more, this time with his name above the title, in Cuban Fury, which opened in the UK back in February but finally comes to the US on April 11.

“Former teen salsa champion Bruce Garrett (Frost) is now a sad-sack engineer. But his passion for dancing is re-ignited by his crush on his gorgeous new boss Julia (Rashida Jones) and the only way he can win her over is by mastering the art of dance. Now all Bruce needs to do is rediscover his inner passion.”

Take a look at this:

That the producers felt the need to call Frost as Bruce a “sad-sack” is almost redundant, since most of his characters are to some extent just that. They are also, as Bruce tells Chris O’Dowd‘s Drew, full of heart. In less capable hands Cuban Fury, which sounds like a new take on Cinderfella meets Dirty Dancing by way of Strictly Ballroom, might be cringe-worthy. In Frost’s though, I’m willing to not only give it the benefit of the doubt, but the benefit of my dollars at the box office.

Here’s the official trailer:

The cast includes Ian McShane (always a plus), Rashida Jones, Olivia Coleman, Wendi McClendon-Covey and O’Dowd. Director James Griffiths may primarily be known for his work in television sitcoms, but at least they’re good ones like “Up All Night” and “Episodes”. The screenplay is based on Frost’s idea and written with yet another friend, Jon Brown. It opens in US theaters on April 11.

Oh, and look for a Simon Pegg in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him cameo.

If all goes according to plan, we can look forward to even more Frost on US tv screens as he’s signed on to star in comedy pilot “Sober Companion” in which he will play an inebriated attorney court-ordered to spend 90 days with Justin Long‘s unorthodox sober coach. Let’s hope Frost and Long have at least a fraction of the chemistry that Frost and Pegg share and that Fox picks it up to series.

Once more, a belated wish for a Happy Birthday, Mr. Frost. Let’s all go have a Cornetto to celebrate!

*a Cornetto is a brand of ice cream cone in the UK, kind of like “Nutty Buddy” here in the US. Edgar Wright’s “Cornetto Trilogy” is also known as the “Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy”, each film a reference to a different flavored Cornetto (strawberry, original, and mint, respectively).

Part Deux: Dance of the Demented Poodle

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…or “Popcorn for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner”

When I started the post about four films worth seeing that were all opening on the same weekend, I really hadn’t intended to see them all on that same weekend.  The project sort of took shape of its own volition and I felt compelled to see it through.

One of my very good friends and I used to do movie marathons on occasion and I think our record was six. In one day. We’d study the logistics and map out the theaters and show times as well as timing our travels around the city with the precision of a general leading an invading army into battle.  I also know that there are bigger, more well-traveled, more extensively-read bloggers than I who regularly attend something called the annual “Butt-Numb-a-Thon”, where they watch movies for 24 hours straight. My point is, it was certainly no hardship to see four films in a weekend. I don’t regret spending my weekend at the movies.  I just didn’t get much else accomplished that’s all. Oh well.

First up, on Friday night, was Limitless.

It is an entertaining film as long as the viewer is able to check the 20% of their own brain currently in use at the door. There are some serious plot holes and some threads that are just left flapping in the breeze, however, it’s also a lot of fun if you can just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Bradley Cooper must have been sleeping with Director of Photography, Jo Willems.  He looks fantastic in this movie. The camera certainly makes good use of the actor’s amazing eyes.  There are lots of closeups. It’s also worth noting how much better looking he gets, the smarter he gets. As if it’s not enough that with the drug there are no limits (Limitless, get it?) to what he can do and achieve with his brain, we have to add sex into the mix or else it’s all for naught. (Apparently the filmmakers are unclear on the concept that smart and talented is sexy.)

Willems certainly wasn’t sleeping with Anna Friel. In her first scenes (which are flashbacks) I thought I was looking at Evangeline Lilly before I remembered Friel was in the movie. By the time she shows up again, she is truly unrecognizable. I know it was makeup, but sheesh. (Either that or the dissolution of her long-time relationship with David Thewlis has REALLY taken its toll!)

I don’t think I’m spoiling anything to say that Johnny Whitworth gets the Mark Strong Award for “Good Actors Cast in Tiny Parts in Big Movies”. And in this film, Friel shares it with him. I’ve been waiting for Whitworth to break out since The Rainmaker. Still waiting.  I’m hoping this will also lead to bigger things for Friel. “Pushing Daisies” was terrific, but it ended over two years ago. She’s also in the much anticipated (by me) London Boulevard. Hopefully that will see the light of day soon.

I loved Andrew Howard’s Russian gangster. A lot of the reviews I’ve read seem to be saying that an old school villain like Gennedy has no place in a movie like this, with such a modern premise.  I disagree.  Considering how he became involved with Morra, I think what came next is entirely plausible (within the unplausible context of this story.) Granted, I do have to agree that more could have been done with the character and his relationship to Cooper’s, but this wasn’t his story. And if you’re going on the ride at all, you have to be prepared to endure the bumps.

I have to say DeNiro is more DeNiro than we’ve seen in a long time, but he’s still not as DeNiro as he could have been. This was the DeNiro of Righteous Kill not Heat (to contrast two films with both DeNiro and Pacino).  Regardless, he’s always a joy to watch.

Abbie Cornish was underutilized. JMHO, but anyone could have played Lindy. Maybe you disagree.

I really enjoyed the trippy techno soundtrack music. I think I’ll have to see the movie again before I decide whether or not to add it to my collection.

I have to say, Roger Ebert summed up Limitless perfectly: “{It} only uses 15, maybe 20 percent of its brain. Still, that’s more than a lot of movies do.” I recommend it, although it will lose nothing in the translation from big screen to home viewing.

On Saturday morning, me and a handful of geeks bounced into the theater to see Paul. I’m quite sure some of them had already seen it at least once. The excitement in the air was tangible. The movie did not disappoint. It was, in a word, hilarious. The script, co-written by its two stars, must have contained a reference to every sci-fi movie made in the last 30+ years. (I’m sure I missed some of the references and will have to see it again if I hope to catch them all.) Filming part of the movie at Comic Con (and indeed using it as the jumping off point for the plot) was inspired. It was obviously a labor of love and a valentine of sorts to comic book geeks and sci-fi nerds.

Seth Rogan as the voice of Paul, is pitch perfect. I honestly can’t remember when, since "Freaks and Geeks", that I’ve enjoyed a performance of his more.  It’s also evident in his voice that he was enjoying himself as well. Indeed, it looked to me like everyone involved was having a great time. Perhaps that’s because I was following Simon Pegg’s Tweets while they were making the film, but I don’t think so.  I suspect there will be one hell of a blooper reel on the dvd (or at least I hope so.)

I’m trying to remember a comedy team with which to compare Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Their timing can be compared to Abbot and Costello or Martin and Lewis, and Nick Frost certainly has the sweet charm of a Lou Costello or 50’s era Jerry Lewis, but Simon Pegg is nowhere near as arch as Bud Abbott or as suave as Dean Martin. Over the course of three films and a television series, their chemistry has not been diluted at all, probably owing to the fact that they are close friends. Some of the best laughs in Paul come from just a look or a tilt of the head between them. Indeed, the bromance is at the heart of the film. Not only is it laugh out loud funny, it is also very sweet, in an ET kind of way, as well as a ‘we all have to grow up sometime and realize our true potential’ kind of way.

While I don’t remember most of the soundtrack, I will say it was nice to hear some ELO again.

I recommend this one as well and again, I don’t think it will lose much in the translation to home viewing.

After the credits rolled on Paul, I went immediately in to see The Lincoln Lawyer.

The opening credits of a film should be used to set the tone for the movie, but rarely are they to such good effect as for this film.  We get our first taste of the incredible 70’s flavored R & B soundtrack that is to come and the bold graphics reminded me of countless movies from the 70’s from Shaft to Death Wish to Prime Cut. I even got a bit of an Across 110th Street vibe, although that one is set in New York and this is totally an LA movie.

I’ve read a couple of references in reviews of this movie to both The Long Goodbye with Elliot Gould and Twilight (Not the one with the vampire angst, the one with Paul Newman, Gene Hackman and James Garner.)

The former is an updated (at the time) take on Raymond Chandler from the 70’s in which Gould played Philip Marlowe and the latter is about an aging ex-cop turned PI. It was made in the late 90’s, but they share a "feel" with this movie. It was definitely this particular flavor of LA that the director was going for.

I knew nothing of Brad Furman before this film and judging from his CV on imdb, there’s not much to know. I’m not sure what anyone saw in him to make them think he was capable of making a multi-million dollar movie, let alone one with any nuance, but, JMHO, I think their faith was justified. I really like what he did with this. 

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The story itself was one you’d think would be more at home on the mean streets of New York, but instead they used LA (because the writer of the books did, I realize) and made it almost another character.

The color palette was very muted, almost washed out. This was the LA where ordinary people live and work. As McConaughey’s character Mick Haller rolled down the streets in his late model Lincoln, he did so past railroad tracks and cement gulleys (like in To Live and Die in LA) or small houses.  It was all very sun bleached, not quite seedy, but by no means glamorous. (I actually think the house in the hills in which Haller lived was used in Twilight, although I won’t swear that was the film.) They seemed to be using natural lighting.  Everyone, with the exception of the preternaturally cool Ryan Phillippe’s character, had a sheen of sweat that would come from existing in the heat of Southern California.

I can never get enough of William H. Macy. He’s one of the most talented actors alive and when he shows up looking like he could be Easy Rider-era Dennis Hopper’s younger brother, you know you’re in for a treat. He’s not on screen for nearly long enough. The same can be said of Michael Pena and John Leguizamo, who tones down the crazy in this one. Speaking of toning down the crazy, Frances Fisher finally dimmed her hair color so she looks less frightening. Ironic.

Uber-Douche played an Uber-Douche (although to be fair he was also a sociopath. Not sure if he is in real life or not.) I suppose I ought not to continue to refer to Ryan Phillippe in this manner, but I thought I should carry it through from my last post. I just don’t get his appeal. What was “pretty” in his 20s is now just “soft” in his 30s, and it’s just too much and yet not enough for me to take seriously.

I do have to say, that Marisa Tomei looks incredible. Better than she did at 25. As an actress, she’s light years from where she was at 25 or even 29 (when she won an Oscar.)

That funky soundtrack is worth coming back to. There are some original classics, some remixes and some that were complete modern remakes and they all completely jibe with the film; a soundtrack in the truest sense. In any case, I will be adding it to my collection.

Finally, Matthew McConaughey went a long way toward redemption in my eyes with this one. Speaking of eyes, one of the things he’s always done really well is to let his emotions play through his and he uses that talent to good effect here. Even before this movie was finished, I was thinking about how I wanted more of this character.  This felt like it was somewhere in the middle of the series and I know that there are many more books featuring Mickey Haller. I want to know how he got where he was and where he’s going next. I wouldn’t mind seeing this become a franchise, as long as they continue to do them right.

The Lincoln Lawyer was not a perfect movie, but I really enjoyed it.

Finally, on Sunday morning, came the film that I was undoubtedly looking forward to the most: Jane Eyre.

Oh, Focus Features, I forgive you for so shamelessly toying with me. Your film was well worth the enhanced anticipation you created by making me wait an additional week and in fact, you had me at the title card.

Cary Fukunaga, with all of two major films on his resume has positioned himself to be a cinematic force to be reckoned with. It’s staggering, considering how young he is, to think of the career that is ahead of him. Back-handing away any notion of a sophomore slump, he followed up the beautiful Sin Nombre with the equally beautiful and haunting Jane Eyre. On the surface, these two films could not be more different, but at their core they are both about the fragility and resilience of the human spirit. Fukunaga has created a film as beautifully and deftly as any old world master would put paint to canvas.

I’ve seen many versions of this story and they all have something to recommend them. This one is my new favorite.  Screenwriter Moira Buffini’s choice to land us in the middle of the story and use flashback to fill in the gaps helped to make it seem fresh. It was the most atmospheric and gothic production, although two recent BBC versions came close, that I can recall. It was again augmented by the use of natural light, which in those days meant a few candles and a hearth.  When Jane creeps through the dark hallways of Thornefield Hall holding a single candle, we only see as much as she sees, all of us waiting for something to jump out of the darkness. There is an instance where the entire audience did jump and it happens in broad daylight (well, as broad as it gets in the north of England,) but I won’t spoil it here.

The chemistry between the two leads was palpable from their first exchange. When they are onscreen together, everything and everyone else falls away. This scene that I showed you a few weeks ago, encapsulates all of that (and would have shown again if my post weren’t "too big".)

What I said at the time,This is the hottest piece of celluloid that I have seen in a LOOOOOONG time. I can’t stop watching it. And every time I do, I sit here with my mouth agape and my chest heaving with the effort to resume the breath caught in my throat, a hot tickle in my stomach…

TMI? Or the ultimate compliment to the palpable sexual allure of Michael Fassbender, an allure that has heretofore not so much remained hidden, but severely underutilized.”

I thought I was prepared. I thought I’d seen it so often that the magic had worn off, that I couldn’t possibly “feel it” the way I did the first time I saw it. I was wrong. Think about the frame of that scene a thousand times larger, with that voice booming out in Dolby THX (or whatever the hell the sound system at your local theater is)…imagine that and you’ll begin to get an inkling. It not only still took my breath away, but it rocked me to my toes. It was quite simply…erotic. Considering that the participants were both fully clothed and only their hands touched, that’s saying something.

Beyond all of that, (and frankly because of all that, Fassbender and Wasikowska could have been acting on a bare stage,) the English country side was used to spectacular effect. Just as LA became another character in The Lincoln Lawyer, so did the moors of northern England in Jane Eyre. It is easy to forget that England is geographically such a small country when there seem to be so many vast areas that appear to remain untouched, natural and wild and mostly uninhabited. In the film, as in the novel, the harsh landscape is a reflection of Jane’s life. We see it flower and bloom very briefly when Jane does, but for the most part it is harsh and unyielding.

The supporting cast, led by Dame Judi Dench as the housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax and Jamie Bell as St.John Rivers, is all marvelous, as is befitting a movie made in a country where it appears every one of its citizens lives to act.

I must also mention the score by Oscar winner Dario Marianelli. (He won in ’07 for Atonement and was nominated for 2005’s Pride and Prejudice.) Gorgeous, just gorgeous. Actually, lush is a better word.  It’s not too early for me to predict another nomination.

JMHO, but the entire thing was utterly swoon-worthy and I can’t wait to see it again. It goes without saying that I highly recommend this one and I’d go so far as to say, see it, if at all possible, on the big screen. It will no doubt play well at home, but the sight and sound of 10 ft. tall Fassbender is worth the price of the ticket.

May I also just reiterate what a joy it is to see a movie at an art-house where only adults go to see movies? Not only were there people waiting for the doors to open for the first showing of the day (and not just for Jane Eyre, but obscure films like Poetry,) but inside the theater you could have heard a pin drop throughout the entire movie. (Unlike Limitless where I had to endure the five kids from the nearby technical high school that acted like they were on a field trip and came in 15 min. in, parked themselves next to me in the front row and proceeded to talk to the screen and to each other the entire time. Between them and the transient loudly SNORING at the end of the row, you people are lucky you didn’t see me on the news.)

Thus endeth my weekend at the movies.

As always, thanks for reading. Next up, Win Win on Wednesday night!

Dance of the Demented Poodle

Seriously, I can’t remember the last time that there were four films opening on the same weekend that I actually want to see!

The first, of course, is Jane Eyre. I would like to be able to punish Focus Features for yanking my chain and only opening it in two markets last weekend, you know the date on all of the promotional material that’s been peppering the web for months. I can’t, however, do it to Michael Fassbender. He had nothing to do with the shenanigans of the distributor and he deserves my support. (Yes, I do realize that I would only be punishing myself. I’m not totally delusional. And frankly, I’ve been too good to be punished… well maybe…nevermind…)  Anyway, I’m going. 
Much to my surprise given the numbers it posted in two cities last week, it is only playing in two theaters in this artsy, academic, cultural mecca.  I saw the last Fassbender opus at the cool, eco-friendly art house so I think this time I’ll venture out to the old-fashioned, bohemian independent theater with the gigantic screen and red velvet drapes that dramatically part as the auditorium darkens. Seems fitting.

Next is The Lincoln Lawyer. I have not read any of Michael Connolly’s novels, although they have been recommended to me by friends. I keep meaning to. (I’d probably have gotten to them already if Ken Bruen weren’t so prolific…but I digress.) In any case, I have a soft spot for legal thrillers and an unashamed weakness for Matthew McConaughey. The finely chiseled actor Matthew McConaughey, with the piercing and intelligent blue eyes, at the height of his powers in Lone Star and another legal thriller, A Time to Kill, both from ’96. He was still there in ’97’s Contact with Jodie Foster and even up to  Frailty (a superb and too-little seen creep fest from 2001.) There were even glimpses of him in 2002’s Reign of Fire, but then came the rom coms and the pointless action adventure movies wherein Actor McConaughey was subsumed by Shirtless Himbo McConaughey, the hunk whose roles often seemed a parody of his off-screen personality.  Well, it’s 2011 and the Himbo has, if not a wife, at least a long term partner (with whom he did NOT co-star) and two small children. It’s time for an image make-over. It’s time for Actor McConaughey to take back his career. Enter The Lincoln Lawyer.  We’ll see.

I want to see Paul because I think hearing Seth Rogan’s voice coming out of that little alien is enough to warrant the price of a ticket on its own, but I absolutely adored Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Both of those films starred Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and although Paul does not have Edgar Wright at the helm, it does reteam this impeccable comic duo. While they’ve achieved some success separately, most notably Pegg played Scottie in the recent Star Trek reboot and Frost was hilarious as Dr. Dave in Pirate Radio, they are brilliant together. After Paul, they’ll next appear onscreen in Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin…  (Written by Edgar Wright and "Dr. Who" showrunner, Steven Moffat.) It also must be said that Paul director Greg Mottola comes with his own pedigree, having directed Adventureland and the waaaaay better than it had any right to be, Superbad. (His first film was The Daytrippers from ’96 with Stanley Tucci, Liev Schreiber, Campbell Scott and Hope Davis. It’s got to be on Netflix Instant by now. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend this well-written, well acted and very funny little gem.) Along with Pegg and Frost, Mottola has filled Paul with a dream cast of familiar comic actors, like Jeffrey Tambor and Jason Bateman (that he worked with on "Arrested Development".) Oh and Sigourney Weaver, too. I certainly hope her comedic skills are put to better use than in last year’s You Again. (The trailer was enough to make my eyes bleed.)

Last, but not least, is Limitless. One of its stars is in danger of forever toiling in McConahunk territory, where all that’s required of him is appearing tanned and shirtless, and occasionally strutting while being filmed in slo-mo. His co-star is hopefully using this film as a ladder with which to crawl out of the Pit of Dismal Comedies with Bad Puns for Titles. The female lead is a wonderful actress who needs to make people forget that she broke up America’s Sweetheart’s marriage to an Uber-Douche who apparently knocked up some "model" either just before or just after THEY broke up. So I have high hopes for this one. It has a great premise. What would happen if there was a pill that let us use all of our brain instead of the small fraction we actually do? Kind of like a "Flowers for Algernon" for the new millennium. I don’t yet know if they end in the same or rather, a similar way, but I’m guessing there will be consequences.

And just to prove that all roads lead to

this film contains FOUR former co-stars. There are no prizes if you can tell me who they are, (other than cyber-noogies) but you’ll have my complete admiration.