Archive for the ‘ Film ’ Category

Review – Silent House

Silent House

Viewed at the Prince Charles Cinema, London on Monday 30th April 2012

Starring:

Elizabeth Olsen as Sarah
Adam Trese as John
Eric Sheffer Stevens as Peter
Julia Taylor Ross as Sophia

Synopsis

Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) helps her Dad and Uncle to renovate the family’s recently vandalised summer-house but after a forgotten friend visits, her Dad disappears only to turn up gravely injured and a mysterious strangers stalks Sarah around the ‘silent house’

Review

Silent House is an ‘ordeal’ told in real-time (’24’ style) and shot to look like its done in one 88 minute long unbroken take (although the cheats are easy to spot) and, after seeing the trailer, I was really looking forward to seeing this. Unfortunately all the best bits of the film are in the trailer and what you’re left with is a very straight forward psychological horror by numbers.

It does reasonably well at building atmosphere but, beyond that, everything is so cliché and heavily signposted that there are no real scares or jumpy moments for anyone who’s ever seen a horror film before. This is like a gateway horror film. A Fisher Price ‘My First Horror Film’ that may only scare young teenage girls or very timid kittens. That the audience spent most of the film laughing really showed how badly this film misses the mark

There’s a twist (of course there’s a twist), but it’s heavily hinted at early in the film and due to the utterly, utterly atrocious performances of the actors portraying Sarah’s Father and Uncle, its done with such a complete lack of subtlety that it’s almost laughable

Elizabeth Olsen has the makings of a great actor. She was outstanding in Martha Marcy May Marlene and reports about Josh Radnor’s Liberal Arts are encouraging but here she has so little to work with (run, scream and hide on repeat for 70 minutes) she never gets the chance to shine.

Silent House is a remake of a 2010 Uruguayan film ‘La Casa Muda’ which a quick google of lead me to think wasn’t very good either. If you’re looking for cinematic chills you’d be far better off watching the infinitely superior Woman in Black

Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VD88EFBFuosSilent%20House

Silent House – (a probably very over-genourous) 5/10

The Best Films of 2011

Some people publish their top 10 film list at the end of the year. Not me. I, for no reason other than sheer laziness, wait until some random point in early May

So, here are my top 10 films of 2011:

10. SHAME

Intense and provocative and once seen, not easily forgotten. Shame is out on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK on 14th May 2012

9. I WISH

One of the most heart-warming family films I’ve ever seen. Very sadly, no UK release is currently planned for I Wish

8. THOR / CAPTAIN AMERICA

Good old-fashioned comic book fun and great prequels for The Avengers. Thor and Captain America now both available now on DVD and Blu-Ray

7. DRIVE

The most stylish film of the year. Drive is now available on DVD and Blu-ray

6. THE GUARD

Hilariously, blackly, laugh-out-loud funny. The Guard is now available on DVD and Blu-ray

5. CRAZY STUPID LOVE

A surprisingly smart comedy with fantastic performances from Carell, Gosling and Stone. Crazy Stupid Love is now available on DVD and Blu-ray

4. MICHAEL

One of the unsung cinematic highlights of the year. Michael is available on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK on May 28th 2012

3. THE DESCENDANTS

Clooney is at his brilliant best in this funny and moving tragi-comedy. The Descendants is in available on DVD and Blu-Ray on May 21st 2012 in the UK

2. 50/50

An incredibly bold, incredibly funny and equally touching and thoughtful script with stand out performances from Gordon-Levitt, Rogan and Kendrick. 50/50 is available on DVD and Blu-ray now

1. CONFESSIONS

Confessions is easily my film of the year and I urge everyone to see it! You can read my full review here: https://stevekonshu.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/kokuhaku-confessions-review/

Confessions is now available on DVD and Blu-ray

Film 2012

Over the next twelve months I will be keeping a full list of all the films that I watch. The films in blue are ones that I am viewing for the first time. Those in black are films I’ve seen before.

**Update Dec 30th – Comments and scores to be added**

1. Jan 1 – Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian 6/10 enjoyable and well realised
2. Jan 2 – Max Payne 3/10 recreating the atmosphere of the game without the fun
3. Jan 14 – The Guard 7/10 Brilliantly black comedy but not quite as good second time around
4. Jan 15 – Limitless 7/10 Love the style and direction
5. Jan 19 – The Iron Lady 5/10 Crass and disappointingly insubstantial
6. Jan 22 – The Artist 8/10 Classy
7. Jan 23 – Star Trek (2009) 7/10 Far from perfect reboot but still fun
8. Jan 24 – Zombieland 7/10 Smart take on the zombie genre with a superb cast
9. Jan 25 – Hot Rod 6/10 Silly but fun
10. Jan 28 – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 6/10 Good but nothing more
11. Jan 28 – Drive 8/10 Stylish beyond compare
12. Feb 19 – Woman in Black 7/10 Superior reimagining with plenty of scares
13. Feb 19 – In Bruges 7/10 deliciously dark
14. Feb 26 – Moneyball 8/10 The best sports film since…
15. Feb 27 – Muppets 6/10 old fashioned fun
16. Feb 27 – Midnight in Paris 8/10 Allen’s best film in years, smart and very enjoyable
17. Mar 1 – John Carter 6/10 Fun but over-long Disney Sci-Fi with unnecessary 3D
18. Mar 3 – Wanted 7/10 Silly, OTT but fun
19. Mar 4 – Thor 8/10 The best superhero movie so far
20. Mar 9 – Iron Man 7/10 Smart origin story
21. Mar 9 – Transformers Dark of the Moon 4/10 Amazing action scenes but utterly souless
22. Mar 11 – Green Lantern 5/10 so so superhero
23. Mar 11 – Frost/Nixon 7/10 great perfomances
24. Mar 18 – Young Adult 5/10 meh
25. Mar 24 – Hanna 6/10 Good film, great soundtrack
26. Mar 25 – 21 Jump Street 8/10 Relentlessly laugh-out-loud funny
27. Mar 25 – Hunger Games 7/10 good film with some excellent performances
28. Mar 25 – The Illusionist 6/10 fun but flawed
29. Apr 2 – Captain America 7/10 a super hero
30. Apr 7 – Cabin in the Woods 8/10 excellent subversion of the teen slasher genre
31. Apr 8 – Dawn of the Dead (2004) 7/10 not a patch on the original but still good
32. Apr 13 – The Devils Playground 5/10 interesting but flabby and overlong documentary on the Amish right of passage ‘Rumspringa’
33. Apr 13 – Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom 8/10 Incredibly powerful documentary set in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan
34. Apr 15 – The Dilemma 5/10 reasonable but shallow bromance movie
35. Apr 19 – Avengers Assemble 9/10 the biggest and best superhero blockbuster ever
36. Apr 20 – Two-Headed Shark Attack 3/10 Awful and yet oddly watchable
37. Apr 21 – Tron Legacy 6/10 enjoyable and much better than I expected
38. Apr 22 – Mirror Mirror 5/10 fun re-imagining of the Snow White story
39. Apr 22 – Headhunters 8/10 a big, sexy, violent Norweigan version of Hustle
40. Apr 24 – Thor 8/10 the road to Assemble
41. Apr 28 – Avengers Assemble 9/10 still brilliant
42. Apr 29 – Thor 8/10 yes, Thor again
43. Apr 29 – Dreams of a Life 6/10 Desperately sad documentary
44. Apr 30 – Silent House 4/10 Fright free chiller
45. May 5 – Source Code 7/10 Enjoyable time twisting action
46. May 6 – American Reunion 7/10 this pie is as tasty as ever
47. May 6 – Avengers Assemble 9/10 still loving it
48. May 7 – Avengers Assemble 9/10 even better with friends
49. May 14- Safe 6/10 Statham hitting things – great fun
50. May 14 – Snow White & The Huntsman 6/10 a dark fairy tale
51. May 16 – Men in Black 3 6/10 back on form and good family fun
52. May 20 – Johnny English Reborn 5/10 silly, funny and a good enough way to pass a afternoon
53. May 21 – Haywire 7/10
54. May 21 – Megamind 6/10
55. May 21 – In Time 7/10 suprisingly enjoyable Logans Run-lite romp
56. May 26 – Killers 5/10
57. May 26 – Bridesmaids 1/10 one of the worst films I’ve ever, ever seen. Utter dog shit
58. May 29 – Beastly 4/10
59. May 29 – Super 8 7/10 Abrahms dark ET tale, let down by the monster
60. May 30 – Tintin 4/10 fun but souless take on the Tintin adventures
61. May 30 – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows 7/10 – Superior sequel  
62. May 31 – The Artist 8/10  A delicious slice of cinematic nostalgia
63. May 31 – Carnage 7/10  a small disagreement leads to big performances
64. June 1 – New Years Eve 5/10
65. June 3 – Hall Pass 5/10
66. June 4 – Prometheus 5/10 over-zealous marketing, disappointing film
67. June 9 – Crazy Stupid Love 8/10 classy comedy
68. June 10 – Gantz: Perfect Answer 5/10 not perfect nor an answer but utterly bonkers
69. June 12 – J Edgar 6/10 interesting film, great performances, awful prosthetics
70. June 13 – X Men: First Class 4/10 X-Men: the swinging years
71. June 14 – Avengers Assemble 9/10 better on each viewing
72. June 14 – Rock of Ages 11/10 ok, not quite 1 louder, but a solid 7/10 for RoA fans
73. June 16 – Anatomy of a Murder 7/10 Stewart/Scott coutroom classic but a weak ending
74. June 16 – I am Number Four 6/10
75. June 16 – Shame 9/10 One of the best films of 2011, Fassbender is astounding
76. June 16 – Stranger Than Fiction 8/10
77. June 18 – The Woman in Black – 7/10
78. June 18 – Batman Begins – 7/10 flabby but promising orgin movie
79. June 21 – One night in Turin – 6/10
80. June 22 – Taken – 7/10
81. June 23 – The Hangover 2 – 6/10
82. June 23 – Everything Must Go
83. June 23 – 300
84. June 23 – American Psycho
85. June 24 – Tron Legacy
86. June 25 – Girl Model
87. July 1 – Fright Night (2011)
88. July 1 – The Ides of March
89. July 2 – Galaxy Quest
90. July 4 – Lars and the Real Girl
91. July 6 – Drive
92. July 8 – Amazing Spiderman
93. July 9 – 21 Jump Street
94. July 10 – Forgetting Sarah Marshall
95. July 14 – Magic Mike
96. July 15 – Seeking a friend for the end of the World
97. July 15 – Blue Valentine
98. July 16 – The Social Network
99. July 17 – Haywire
100. July 18 – The Dark Knight
101. July 20 – The Dark Knight Rises
102. July 25 – The Change Up
103. Aug 12 – The Dictator
104. Aug 19 – The Imposter
105. Aug 19 – Take this Waltz
106. Aug 21 – Lord of War
107. Aug 26 – Apollo 18
108. Aug 26 – Cowboys and Aliens
109. Aug 26 – Team America: World Police
110. Aug 27 – Friends with Benefits
111. Sept 1 – Jiro Dreams of Sushi
112. Sept 2 – Bad Teacher
113. Sept 3 – Word Wars
114. Sept 8 – The Third Man
115. Sept 11 – Dark Shadows
116. Sept 12 – Trekkies 2
117. Sept 19 – Total Recall (2012)
118. Sept 25 – Office Space
119. Sept 26 – Total Recall (1990)
120. Sept 26 – Step Brothers
121. Sept 26 – Avengers Assemble
122. Sept 30 – Looper
123. Oct 1 – Moonrise Kingdom
124. Oct 6 – 50/50
125. Oct 7 – The Descendants
126. Oct 10 – Helter Skelter (LFF)
127. Oct 11 – The Hunt (LFF)
128. Oct 12 – Lore (LFF)
129. Oct12 – Teddy Bear (LFF)
130. Oct 13 – Ginger and Rosa (LFF)
131. Oct 14 – Ruby Sparks
132. Oct 14 – For Loves Sake (LFF) – (Ai to Makoto) 
133. Oct 15 – My Ammityville Horror (LFF)
134. Oct 16 – Hyde Park on Hudson (LFF)
135. Oct 17 – Argo (LFF)
136. Oct 18 – Compliance (LFF)
137. Oct 19 – Jeffery Dahmer Files (LFF)
138. Oct 19 – Seven Psychopaths (LFF)
139. Oct 20 – Japan in a Day (LFF)
140. Oct 20 – Celeste and Jesse Forever (LFF)
141. Oct 20 – Silver Linings Playbook (LFF Suprise Film)
142. Oct 21 – End of Watch (LFF)
143. Oct 23 – Prometheus
144. Nov 1 – The Man who changed his Mind
145. Nov 2 – Berbarian Sound Studio
146. Nov 4 – Rust and Bone
147. Nov 11 – Horrible Bosses
148. Nov 17 – The Master
149. Nov 20 – The Fifth Element
150. Nov 20 – Equalibrium
151. Nov 20 – Real Genius
152. Nov 17  – Sighseers
153. Nov 24 – Bernie
154. Nov 25 – Jack and Jill
155. Dec 1 – Star Trek
156. Dec 2 – Election
157. Dec 4 – Les Miserables
158. Dec 8 – Contagion 
159. Dec 9 – The Thing (2011)
160. Dec 10 – The Raid
161. Dec 11 – Adjustment Bureau
162. Dec 16 – Tower Heist
163. Dec 22 – Dear Santa
164. Dec 22 – Mrs Miracle 2: Miracle in Manhatten
165. Dec 22 – Four Christmases
166. Dec 24 – Scrooged
167. Dec 25 – Snow Dogs
168. Dec 25 – Ted
169. Dec 27 – The Amazing Spider-Man
170. Dec 27 – Magic Mike
171. Dec 27 – Rock of Ages
172. Dec 28 – The Dark Knight Rises
173. Dec 29 – Life of Pi
174. Dec 30 – Back to the Future

Super – Review

Super

Viewed on the closing night of the 10th Annual London Sci-Fi Festival, at the Apollo Cinema, Regent Street

Starring:

Rainn Wilson as Frank D’Arbo / The Crimson Bolt
Ellen Page as Libby
Liv Tyler as Sarah
Kevin Bacon as Jacques
Nathan Fillion as The Holy Avenger

Written and Directed by James Gunn

Synopis

When Frank’s wife Sarah leaves him for local drug dealer Jacques, Frank transforms himself in the crime fighter ‘Crimson Bolt’ ready to stand up for the little guy – from Drug Dealers to Line Cutters, no evil to too small for the attention of the Bolt and his trusty weapon of choice, the ‘Wrench of Justice’ (not its actual name, I just made that up)

As the Crimson Bolt’s infamy rises he soon gets his own sidekick in the shape of sociopathic comic store clerk, Libby, who becomes Boltie and joins Franks quest to bring justice back to the streets and together they prepare to take on Jacques, crush his drug dealing empire and save Franks wife

But real life isn’t like comic books

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Review

It happens quite often. Two films with very similar themes come out quite close together. Armageddon‘s took on Deep Impact in the battle of the planet killing asteroids, while Misson to Mars took on the insufferably shit Red Planet.
There are plenty more examples such as The Illusionist vs The Prestige.
Paul Blart Mall Cop vs Observe and Report. Dantes Peak vs Volcano and 1492: Conquest of Paradise vs Christopher Columbus: The Discovery

Late last year saw the release of Kick Ass, a film about a teen with no powers trying to become a super hero. This year we have Super a film about a man with no powers trying to become a super hero *

I was really, really, really disappointed with Kick Ass. A film with so much hype that delivered so much less than it promised, it was my biggest let down of last year (with Scott Pilgrim a close second) and yet here comes Super, quietly sneaking into cinemas (and soon onto DVD) in the latest round of similar-type-of-film-face-off and, for me, Super comes away a clear winner – although, sadly not at the box office

Super comes from the slightly twisted mind of writer/director/producer/actor James Gunn (Slither, Dawn of the Dead, PG Porn and er..Scooby Doo) and while it may look low budget in comparison to its recent competition it has a very smart script with some great dialogue, some clever effects and a great use of music. Add to that a fantastic cast and it that more than makes up for the lack of polish.

Rainn Wilson is perfect as wronged, potentially mentally ill, average Joe turned god endorsed super hero Frank/Crimson Bolt, while Ellen Page brings her fast talking Juno persona into the realm of the not-so-super super hero. Kevin Bacon plays sleazy wife stealing club boss Jacques with such relish that he almost oozes from scene to scene; leaving a slippery film over everything he touches
Special mention, though, has to go to Nathan Fillion. His brief few minutes of screen time as religious TV star the Holy Avenger are some of the film’s most bizarre and funniest moments

Super isn’t a perfect film. Like Frank, it suffers from an identity crisis – it’s far from being a traditional super hero film but then it’s also neither an action film nor a comedy, despite having elements of all three. It’s funny but not as funny as the trailer suggests and has a far darker side. I found the violence to be surprisingly jarring at times and the final payoff to be a little disappointing

Despite this Super is a really enjoyably odd movie and, although it won’t appeal to everyone, it has the makings of a real cult classic.

Score: 7/10 Funny, surprisingly violent and often surreal. Super kicks Kick Ass’s ass!

SHUT UP CRIME!

*A very honourable mention must also go to Superhero Me, a documentary about a man with no powers trying to become a super hero: http://www.superheromemovie.com/

Kokuhaku (Confessions ) – Review

Kokuhaku (Confessions) – Friday 4th March 2011 at the ICA, London

Synopsis

It’s the last day of term and teacher Yuko Moriguchi (Takako Matsu) explains to her inattentive, unruly class that today will be her last day at the school. She explains her reason for leaving is the death of her 4 year old daughter, who drowned in the schools swimming pool earlier in the year in an apparent tragic accident.
She goes on to explain that she has since learnt that it wasn’t an accident; that her child was murdered and the murder was committed by two of the pupils in the very class in which she now stands.

Due to their age Yuko knows that these pupils, referred to as Student A and Student B, cannot be appropriately prosecuted so she has taken their punishment into her own hands. This is Yuko’s confession.

The film then follows the ‘confessions’ of those involved. Student B, now reclusive, shut in at home with a mother who is unwilling to accept that her child could be responsible for such an act. Student A, now vilified at school but defiant, unrepentant and desperately seeking the attention of the mother that abandoned him, and the one student, with a dark secret of her own, that that supports him.

Through these confessions, secrets are revealed, the truth is uncovered and Yuko’s revenge comes to a conclusion

Summary

It’s taken me quite a while to write my summary. In fact, this is my fourth attempt having completely discarded the previous three. The main problem being that Confessions is such an amazing film that I found that I could write nothing but gushing praise and just kept filling the page with superlative after superlative.

Every facet of Confessions borders on perfect. It’s visually stunning, coming from the team that brought you the brilliant and brightly coloured ‘Kamikaze Girls’, here the colours are muted and almost cold and clinical in comparison but each shot is so perfect, you could almost hang a frame around it. A slow-motion scene in the rain early in the film and another scene I won’t spoil near the conclusion are fantastically realised and vividly brought to life and are accompanied by a spot-on soundtrack, featuring the likes of Radiohead and Boris

The acting is flawless on all fronts from the detached, damaged teacher Yuko (Takako Matsu) to her over eager replacement (Masaki Okada) but the real credit here must go to the students, particularly Student A who plays the role of the quiet sociopath, brooding in the corner of the classroom in such an effortless manor as to be genuinely scary

Of course of all this would be nothing but window dressing if the story did not deliver and fortunately it really does. Japanese cinema can at times be almost impenetrable for a newcomer but Confessions, possibly due to its origins of being based on a novel by Kanae Minato, adopts a more familiar story telling structure and this makes it much more accessible.

Yet another stunning release from Third Window Films, Confessions is no ordinary revenge thriller and was understandably Japans entry to this years Oscars and is now on a limited cinema release. I urge you to see this film while you can

In the coming weeks it can be seen in London at:
The Prince Charles Cinema – March 15th, 18th, 23rd and 24th
The ICA – March 16th and 17th

Score: 9/10 – It’s not often I would even consider using the word ‘Masterpiece’ but Confessions really does deserve it. Dark, subversive and utterly gripping from start to finish.

More details of cinema's currently showing Confessions can be found on the Third Window Events page:

Third Window Events

Confessions is out on DVD & Blu-Ray on April 25th

I Am Number Four – Review

‘I Am Number Four’ preview held at the BFI London IMAX – Friday 18th February 2011

*Warning – This review contains some spoilers*

Synopsis 

Three are dead. He is Number Four.

John Smith (Alex Pettyfer), is one of nine children of Lorien, sent to Earth to escape the ruthless Mogadorians that had laid waste to their home world and are now seeking out and killing the final 9 survivors. Three have been killed already. John is number four.  

After the death of the number Three, John and his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant) move to the small town of Paradise, Ohio to hide and start fresh. While here John makes new friends, new enemies, meets his first love, Sarah (Dianna Agron) and discovers his new ‘legacies’, extraordinary powers that he will need to survive when the Mogadorians eventually find him

Aided by his friend Sam and fellow survivor Number Six (Teresa Palmer), John must battle the Mogodorians, not only for his own survival but for the survival of Earth

Summary

As my wife put it, I Am Number Four is an old-fashioned film. Not is a bad, outdated way. I Am Number Four is reminiscent of some of the great event movies of the early eighties like Ghostbusters or Gremlins. A film that both adults and children can enjoy with a mix of action, romance and most surprisingly, in a time where film makers seem to think that blowing your budget on CGI makes great cinema (Skyline, I’m looking directly at you, you crazy nonsense of a film without an ending) it has an actual story

In fact it’s not until the last 20 minutes or so that the action (and effects) ramp up as John and Number 6’s powers come into play in an exciting, school levelling, highly kinetic battle with the Mogadorians

Comparisons to (the eye-gougingly painful) Twilight series are inevitable but here Pettyfer as John Smith, a brooding teen-with-a-secret is much more believable than sulky Edward Cullen and Glee’s Dianna Agron as social misfit Sarah is infinitely more likeable than perpetual gloom merchant Bella.

Of course, I Am Number Four isn’t without its faults or clichés. At one point (*spoiler* just before his inevitable death) Henri tells John “You don’t know how powerful you are..” Really? Ok, tell you what Henri, as we’re on the run from enemies that will stop at nothing to see us dead, so how about you tell me? This is no time to be enigmatic! Jeez!

The Mogadorians come across like moustache twirling cartoon villains at times and there are a few minor plot holes, plus a CGI sidekick that feels like it’s there for kid-appeal.

Despite this, I Am Number Four feels like the beginning of what could be an excellent series, with enough loose ends left dangling to leave you wanting more and to find out the fate of the remaining Lorien survivors

After the turgid Harry Potter stunk up the sci-fi/fantasy genre just before Christmas, I Am Number Four is a breath of fresh air but my concern is that it may be all to quickly forgotten once the upcoming glut of better know Superhero movies appear

Score 7/10 – An excellent school holiday movie for kids and adults alike that deserves your attention

‘I am Number Four’ is released on in the UK on Wednesday 23rd February 2011

 

Paul – Review

‘Paul’ preview held at the Prince Charles Cinema – Tuesday 8th February 2011 (With Introduction from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost)

After a quick photo opportunity (above) where the entire audience donned ‘Paul’ masks (that’s me, third row, at the end on the right – Hi!) the audience were treated to a brief introduction from stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost who gave a little background on the making of the film but were cut short by microphone problems, although they did have the opportunity to reveal The Prince Charles Cinema’s darkest (cutlery based) secret before the film started

Synopsis

Friends and Geeks-in-arms Graeme Willy (Pegg) and the writer Clive Gollings (Frost) head to the US to attend Comic-Con and then out on a road trip in a rented RV to take in the hottest UFO spots in America, where, after an altercation with some unfriendly locals, a chase and a car crash later they run into Paul, an alien escaped from Area 51 trying to get home

Sci-Fi fans Willy and, eventually, Gollings are convinced to help Paul escape the clutches of the pursuing Special Agent Zoil (Jason Batemen), bungling FBI Agents Haggard (Bill Hader) and O’Reilly (Joe Lo Truglio) and, following the accidental kidnapping of his cycloptic creationist daughter Ruth (Kristin Wiig), bible bashing Moses Buggs (John Carroll Lynch)

From then on it’s a race against time to get Paul safely back to his pick up point before any of the chasing pack, or someone even worse, can stop them

Summary

I loved Spaced – probably mostly because I recognised a lot of Pegg’s character Tim, in myself at the time with a love of gaming, comics, Star Wars and zombies and I had a potentially deranged painter living in my basement – but Spaced set a very, very high bar which, for me, neither Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz have managed to come close to.

Paul is a very different movie and is played more for laughs than either SotD or Hot Fuzz, indeed it is laugh-out-loud funny on a good few occasions, but it also feels better paced with an almost non-stop volley of gags, taking in every sci-fi reference and anal probe joke it can possibly get away with and a few digs at religion that it might not

The cast is a true who’s who of US talent that includes Superbad alumni Joe Lo Truglio and the excellent Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig, Glee’s hilariously hateful Sue Sylvester, Jane Lynch, the always brilliant Jason Bateman and a scene stealing Jeffery Tambour as Adam Shadowchild, Willy and Gollings literary hero

Of course, the real star of the film is Paul himself and if the character wasn’t believable on-screen, the film wouldn’t work. Thankfully, Paul is brilliantly brought to life by Double Negative Special Effects (who also handled recent blockbusters such as Inception, Iron Man 2 and the final 2 installments of the Harry Potter saga) and is thoroughly believable in every scene. Add Seth Rogan’s world-weary voice into the mix along with some gollum-esq facial capture and Paul comes alive and you could almost believe that he’s been trapped on this rock for 60 years

My only problem was the nagging feeling that there is a better film in here, screaming to get out, that may have been stifled slightly by committee. It suffers in some parts, falling back on a constant barrage of often unneccessary ‘comedy’ swearing for cheap laughs and the love triangle is slightly uncomfortable.

7/10 – My god, its full of stars, but it’s not quite out of this world

Paul is in UK Cinemas on February 14th ad US Cinemas on February 18th