PAUL (Carlton) – I really like this film for what it is – a silly Simon Pegg / Nick Frost comedy with a CGI alien named Paul. There’s no real higher meaning here, but there are a whole lot of geeky science fiction references here that I caught, and likely many that I missed.
They start and end the film with San Diego Comic Con, and we get Star Wars references throughout, including a swooning Ewok and a dozen bikinied Leias. There are also Close Encounters, X-Files, MIB, Star Trek, ET, Aliens (of course), Raiders of The Lost Ark, The Blues Brothers, Independence Day, Cocoon (maybe?), and even Spielberg makes an appearance. I’d have thought Spielberg was attached to the film in a producer role the way he’s represented here, but it’s a bit of a fan-boy homage, apparently.
There’s also a Cantina re-mix with some familiar backing music. I don’t recall anyone getting shot, though.
From the WIRED interview, about acting with a non-existent character;
Pegg: But it worked. There’s no point in the film where you think, uh—like when you see Ewan McGregor looking at Jar Jar Binks, he’s looking above his head!
There’s one scene in the swamp with Jar-Jar that I will never forget, and it’s really the only shot of the whole of that film that I recall – where the actor is looking in a completely different location. Horrible. There wasn’t any of that in PAUL as far as I could tell. Very good interaction.