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Paper Man DVD Review

Despite some impressive performances, “Paper Man” is uneven.

“Paper Man” is both a coming-of-age and coming-of-middle-age story. The central story revolves around an eccentric, immature author (Richard) who moves to a small town in order to work on a new book. Unfortunately, Richard can’t seem to focus on writing and instead spends his time conversing with an imaginary friend/superhero named Captain Excellent. Enter Abby, a young teen girl with a troubled past who befriends Richard. Can the two help each other so that they can move on in their lives? That’s the question of the film.

“Paper Man” is one of those quirky dramedies that has tonal issues. The script (written by Michele and Kieran Mulroney) is equal parts comedy and equal parts heavy drama and yet the two don’t seem to mix very well. It doesn’t help that the film has some rather bizarre transitions and editing (or lack thereof). This script certainly could have used a few extra drafts to help tighten the sluggish pacing (and perhaps the tone).

On the plus side, the film is made watchable thanks to some great casting decisions. Ryan Reynolds is clearly having a blast here despite a rather small role. Emma Stone gives the best and most heartfelt performance here. She continues to grow as an actress and it’s not far fetched to say that she will be handed an Oscar in the near future. Jeff Daniels gives another solid performance even though he seems to be playing a character that is similar to the characters in “Answer Man” and “The Squid And The Whale.” The only cast member whom I feel is out of place here is Lisa Kudrow. For whatever reason, I just couldn’t buy her in the role.

Summary: If you’re looking for a quirky indie film that has something to say, you can do worse than see “Paper Man.”

The 1.85:1 widescreen picture quality is generally fine, but the transfer is a bit fuzzy in places. As for the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, this is not a very audio heavy film and thus the track doesn’t have much to do. It does its job though.

The only extras are MPI film trailers (including one for “Paper Man”) and a making of that contains the usual interviews, discussions about the material, etc.

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February 3, 2011 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , ,

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