2011, Greg Mottola (really? the Adventureland and Superbad guy?) -- download
I saw the trailers and saw a lot of comedy that I would normally turn my nose up at. But for some reason, and maybe it was purely the presence of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, I found myself giggling at the juvenile jokes. It IS their writing vehicle so maybe I suspected that. I knew I would see it but expected to just roll my eyes at most of the Seth Rogen humor and just enjoy the story of two comic / alien nerds finding a real alien. But, I was actually very pleasantly surprised.
Paul may be a crass juvenile alien but he actually has a lot of depth there. He is the product of someone that has been raised on american pop culture for more than 60 years with very little actual human contact, stuck in a warehouse of area 51. The parallel between our main human characters and the alien are obvious, now that I think about it, basement = warehouse. The fact he has had 60 years introspection into the human condition also explains his depth. What really surprised me was the warmth in the character, the actual emotional range.
Around the interaction between the nerds and the alien we have a chase movie. Yes, its ET all over again but that is not where the references stop. This movie is all about the pop culture references, sometimes overt and sometimes just sitting in the background without any rhyme or reason. We have one liners from Star Wars and even Jaws, we have numerous references to Steven Spielberg and his movies and we have just weird geek references -- cantina country version anyone? There is no way Pegg and Frost could play geeks without saturating the movie with the references and I am sure hunting down the references has now become a geek quest unto itself.