1 Man 365 Films 365 Days – Day 48

#37 / 365 – ‘Paul’ – 104 mins
Cinema Challenge #16 / 115

Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost) are two British geeks on a road trip of the US. Along the way, they pick up an unexpected hitchhiker – a small, foul-mouthed alien called Paul (Rogen), who enlists the duo to help him get him home. But the Government has other ideas, dispatching agents to pursue the trio…

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost chemistry brilliantly goes together like what bread is to butter, from the unforgettable ‘Shaun of the Dead’ to ‘Hot Fuzz’ and know this third collaborative effort of the real-life best friends.

Seth Rogen does a good voice-over job of the well-balanced CGI ET Paul and is better suited off-screen rather than on it (am not a massive fan).

In short then there’s a lot to like in ‘Paul’ the relationships are credibly drawn out between the duo and their new spaceman friend, where a celebration of geekdom is on offer in its various mutations and a several viewings would be needed to spot them all. Overall it turns out to be a satisfying piece of entertainment, where the laughs don’t disappoint and they come thick and fast.

#36 / 365 – ‘Barry Lyndon’ (1975) – 184 mins
IMDb Challenge #21 / 250 – Ranked #222 – Via DVD collection

Redmond Barry (Ryan O’ Neal) is a young, roguish Irishman who’s determined, in any way, to make a life for himself as a wealthy nobleman. Enlisting in the British Army, fighting in the Seven Years War in Europe, Barry deserts from the British army, joins the Prussian army, gets promoted to the rank of a spy, then becomes a pupil to a Chevalier and con artist/gambler. Barry then lies, dupes, duels and seduces his way up the social ladder and enters into a lustful but loveless marriage to a wealthy countess named Lady Lyndon (Marisa Berenson), takes the name of Barry Lyndon, settles in England with wealth and power beyond his wildest dreams, then slowly falls dramatically into ruin.

This was another first for me today and to be honest, when recently talking to people about Kubrick films where he strove to perfection in everything he made, this is the one that rarely springs to mind.

Released in 1975 and winner of 4 Academy Awards; Best Cinematography, Art Direction, Costume Design, Original Score to which you can see why it deservedly everyone one those awards as its eighteenth century period pieces are achingly beautiful to look at. The film takes it time over its epic 184 minutes running time, to establish our flawed anti-hero of Redmond Barry as sets out on his life’s discovery served up with a mixture of misfortune and fortune.

Ryan ‘O Neal does an average job of the lead role, but towards the start of the film he is brilliantly supported by Leonard Rossiter as the marvellous Captain John Quin. The story does lose itself slightly during the middle-last act.

Some of the most memorable moments are the two dueling battles which are utterly engrossing and then the films epilogue “It was in the reign of George the III that the above named personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now” and if you choose to watch this Kubrick piece you will see why this encompass the films events truly well.

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