A bleakly funny, genteelly twisted gloss on the clichés of temperamental creative genius, via the relationship between an artist and his subject, one that questions the sometimes high personal price of great art.
A bleak, bitter, wicked pleasure that holds up the underpinnings of modern America — self-help, Jesus, and violence — for ridicule.
Sequels are hard. Science fiction sequels are a bitch. Every once in a rare while, we get an ‘Empire Strikes Back’ or an ‘Aliens,’ a sequel that expands and deepens the original, a sequel better than the original. Usually, alas, we get ‘Highlander II.’ ‘Men in Black II’ is, thankfully, no ‘Highlander II.’ But it ain’t no ‘Aliens,’ neither.
Just as those who don’t understand the appeal of Star Trek will never get it, the charm of Galaxy Quest is probably limited to those of us already within the geek realm. So, it’s one more bit of fun we’ll hog for ourselves.
I was not looking forward to watching Paulie, expecting the usual sitcomish antics that seem to pass for family viewing these days, so I was delighted to find an old-fashioned — in the best way — kind of movie. Disney used to make movies like this: uncynical but with a bit of an edge, wholesome without making you want to gag, sweet without sending you into a diabetic coma. Before Disney’s live action movies sunk to the level of a UPN sitcom, you could count on family films like Paulie (a Dreamworks release) to allow the bad guy (here, the lab director played by Bruce Davison) to be redeemed simply by witnessing an unselfish act, and to let you bawl your eyes out without feeling silly as only sentiment animal stories can.