Paul Preston

Paul Preston

Welcome to The Movie Guys!

The Movie Guys are film-drenched wise-asses with no shortage of insightful and hilarious things to say about all things movies. Paul is pretty much the Kermit of this gang of renegade film freaks, leading the way and inspiring insanity and a fierce love of movies.

Paul can tell you what day of the week it is any day of the year based on what movies have come out that weekend and whether the grosses are final or not. Paul’s brain is hard-wired to the movie screen for film trivia, facts and 24/7 sensory overload from the entertainment mecca of the world. Paul serves up a cerebral take on what the world’s greatest industry is dishing out. He has worked in a movie theater, video store, film set, video production company and movie-themed amusement park. He’s worked movie premieres, written screenplays, directed short films, served as editor on numerous television shows, written and directed commercials, performed stand-up comedy around the country, performed with The Second City, kick-boxed a grizzly bear, stared down a tank, and defeated all thirteen Halo games and Scientology. He’s qualified. Now sit down.

Click all over the site to find blogs, reviews, video sketches, games and opinions you’ll only get from The Movie Guys!

Paul’s latest obsession – watch one movie a day for the rest of his life! He’s writing about it in a series of posts called “Today I Watched…”
Find it HERE and posted below!

FAVORITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME:
Raiders of the Lost Ark

TOP FIVE FILMS OF 2016:
5. Everybody Wants Some!!
4. Hell or High Water
3. Manchester By The Sea
2. Captain America: Civil War
1. La La Land

LINKS TO RECENT WORK
REVIEWS:
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper and Beyond
Marshall
Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner: The Final Cut
Victoria & Abdul
Battle of the Sexes
mother!
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 3D
Logan Lucky
Detroit
A Ghost Story
To The Bone
Wind River
Atomic Blonde
War For The Planet of the Apes
Despicable Me 3
Okja
Hired Gun
Cars 3
It Comes at Night
Wonder Woman
The Mummy
Alien: Covenant
Baywatch
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Snatched
I Am Not Your Negro
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The Fate of the Furious
Colossal
The Discovery
Gifted
Beauty and the Beast
Fist Fight
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
Table 19
Get Out
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore
Colin Hay: Waiting For My Real Life
The Lego Batman Movie
Jackie
Gold
Split
Silence
Paul has written the majority of the Archives from 1991 – present, use links in the footer, use the search tool or the dropdown menu at the bottom of the page for more.

ARTICLES:
Reporting From the Floor of Comic-Con 2017
The Best Way Out of Movie Jail
Reporting From the Floor of Comic-Con 2017
La La Land: The Defense Rests
Oscar Rant 2017
Hollywood’s Backloading Problem
Vikram Gandhi – The TMG Interview
Enough with the Spending – Hollywood’s Addiction to Squandering Money
Batting .1000 – Hollywood’s Winning Streaks
Search the ARCHIVES links on this page’s footer or use the search tool for more of Paul’s articles.

VIDEOS:
Paul has hosted, appeared in and contributed original comedy material to every Movie Guys video (200+), seen at the VIDEOS PAGE, or at their YouTube page.
Most recently The New Movie Show.

AUDIO:
Paul hosts THE MOVIE SHOWCAST on iTunes. New episode every Thursday!
Paul has been interviewed on several radio stations here and abroad, hear the interviews at the AUDIO PAGE.
Liberty Devitto, Russell Javors & Chris Johnson – The TMG Interview
The Download on WGN – 9/8/16

THE LIVE SHOW:
Paul is a writer/performer for The Movie Guys LIVE, and has appeared at many red carpets, festivals and screenings, mixing it up with actors and filmmakers of all kinds, moderating Q&As and getting the audience involved.

PAUL’S REVIEWS:

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

FEATURING SIGOURNEY WEAVER AS HERSELF

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Review by Paul Preston

Noah Baumbach’s latest film, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), begins in a car as Adam Sandler’s character Danny tries to have a heart-to-heart with his daughter Eliza all while attempting to find a place to park on a busy Manhattan block. Their personable talk is frequently interrupted by Danny screaming at the other drivers. They’re headed to Harold Meyerowitz’s apartment and the energy in the car is only right for the person they’re about to see.

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Harold isn’t an outright bully or belligerent father, but his selfishness and inability to pay close attention to his family member’s needs have made him a tough dad to deal with growing up (and a tough dad to deal with once all grown). Danny’s screaming in the car is no doubt amped up just due to the fact that he’s getting closer and closer to his frustrating father. Once he and Eliza land in Harold’s apartment, Baumbach’s lightning-fast dialogue is off to the races. The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is in theaters for a week but debuting on Netflix at the same time, but don’t think you can do that stupid thing where you watch a movie while you’re doing something else around the house. Miss a minute, miss a lot, the characters barrel through plot, emotions and backstory in machine gun fashion and you have to keep up to keep on it. But like any good movie, it’s WORTH PAYING ATTENTION! (I can’t believe we live in a time when I have to tell people to pay attention to a movie…)

Harold is a sculptor whose most lauded days are behind him, and those days were not as grand as he hoped. His struggle for acceptance is one of the many things that had in neglect his son Danny and his daughter Jean (Elizabeth Marvel). One sibling that did get much of Harold’s attention (and found success as a lawyer) is Matthew, played by Ben Stiller. As Harold is on the verge of a modest art exhibit at a college and selling his N.Y. apartment he now shares with his new wife (Emma Thompson) and that’s what brings the whole family together in a firestorm of old feelings and new ones that are still painful. As in the best comedies, however, pain brings with it a lot of laughs, even if you feel guilty snickering at the characters’ agony.

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Every now and then, Adam Sandler finds himself in a prestige project. He should do it more often, they sit well on him. Occasionally his vocal pattern is repetitive, but his lock onto Danny’s hurt and his deftness with a funny line is squarely on point here. Hoffman is in a profoundly relaxed mode as he plays Harold on a downward spiral but never over-playing his situation. It’s so good to see Hoffman in a role he can really own, I feel like he hasn’t been in that position for about a decade (we can’t count the Kung Fu Panda series here, right?). Ben Stiller finds a rhythm with Sandler that is just perfect as bickering brothers and, living up to her name, Elizabeth Marvel is the discovery here. I feel like once you get past two kids in a family, you’re bound to have a Jean, and Marvel wears the neglect she was handed by her father with the greatest depth. This is a fantastic ensemble doing what they’re best at and Baumbach’s direction and style in general is actor-friendly.

I’m late to the Baumbach game, but I love being in a position like that ‘cause it gives me so much to look forward to. I like his style, and Frances Ha, another Baumbach film I’ve seen, shares its best characteristics with Meyerowitz – crackling dialogue, rich characters and breakneck pace. There’s no real blow-up-the-Death-Star moment that The Meyerowitz Stories is leading to, but one of my favorite late-movie scenes has to be at the art exhibit when each of the brothers gets a turn on the mic and the emotion and awkwardness creeps in. There’s family dysfunction right up to the film’s end and by then I don’t know who’s more spent, the viewer or the characters. It’s like any good workout, you get beat up a bit, but feel great afterwards.

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
 
Directed by: Noah Baumbach
Release Date: October 13, 2017
Run Time: 112 Minutes
Rated: TV-MA
Country: USA
Distributor: Netflix

PAUL’S TODAY I WATCHED… REVIEWS:

Dunkirk

Dunkirk

Review by Paul Preston

Welcome to Today I Watched…, a series of posts documenting my new challenge – watch a movie a day for the rest of my life. Keep coming back to TheMovieGuys.net to find out what I watch each day…and get my take on it.

When I see a movie that’s a new release in theaters or on demand, I’ll give it a proper review in the “Reviews” or “Home Viewing”, otherwise, I’ll write about it here.

July 23, 2017 – Dunkirk

With Ray Schillaci officially reviewing Dunkirk for the website, I’ll put my comments here. Sometimes Christopher Nolan can be a cold filmmaker, so impressively sharp and calculated technically that emotions can be kept at a distance. Like in Interstellar – Matthew McConaughey was crying, Jessica Chastain was crying, Anne Hathaway was crying. I was not. However, Leo DiCaprio watching his wife jump to her death in Inception tore me apart. Dunkirk is mostly technical achievement, some fiery emotion.

Dunkirk

I thought my friend, and Movie Guys contributor, Mike J. Nichols put it best when he said Dunkirk is more like witnessing an event, as opposed to getting emotionally wrapped up in something you’re engrossed in. Looking back, I believe this was achieved (or other emotions weren’t) by having an ensemble cast of mostly faceless soldiers. Without a star name to follow, these players would blend together on the beach or in the boats and ships and I wouldn’t know who was in danger or who I should following. Granted, all lives matter and all that, but if we had some backstory (or just EXTRA story) about the characters who could compromise the leads, then I’d get more invested in their adventures. As it is now, I was impressed as hell, but never emotionally invested.

Dunkirk is about a World War II battle on the beaches of France where British soldiers were trapped at the shore with Germans approaching behind them. It was up to British civilians to travel in their personal or working boats to attempt to save the soldiers and bring them home. That moment when it was clear help had arrived from England should’ve been more powerful than it was, but it played, again, just as something to witness.

Dunkirk

There’s an interesting timeline at work in Dunkirk, too. Threre are three storylines and each take a different amount of time, but are told over the course of the two hours + of movie – an air battle over the channel and beaches of Dunkirk, the soldiers looking for safe harbor on the beach and the Englishmen prepping and heading to sea to rescue the infantrymen. In the end, the concept doesn’t do much for the storytelling outside of making it unique, which might be enough. If anything, it’s confusing sometimes when scenes switch from day to night and I had to determine if I was watching a flashback or not.

One of the more impressive scenes is the plane battle. There really is nothing that can’t be done in the movies anymore. One of the more emotional is the sacrifice of the British civilians – their fate is part heroic, part devastating. The least impressive tech aspect is the audio. Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises had a similar issue with sound to where it was so convoluted and noisy I had problems making out dialogue. Hans Zimmer’s pulsating score never helps. Maybe that’ll be cleared up in the home viewing experience, but Hoyte Van Hoytema’s large-living cinematography will be neutered watching it on a TV. I saw IMAX, where it was quite a sight.

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Release Date: July 21, 2017
Run Time: 106 Minutes
Rated: PG-13
Country: UK/Netherlands/France/USA
Distributor: Warner Brothers