Paparazzi Paul Abascal

While beating the hell out of Jesus (and a dead horse) in 2004's The Passion Of The Christ, Mel Gibson somehow produced Paparazzi for release in the same year. Mysteriously, the film was not screened for the press. Starring Cole Hauser as a fish-out-of-water actor who's suddenly stalked by four photographers after he becomes famous, Paparazzi was directed by Mel's former hairstylist Paul Abascal. Maybe that explains why the script's choppier than a Lethal Weapon mullet. You know the drill: man pushed to limits through no fault of his own; man has psychotic break; man goes on justified revenge-fuelled killing spree. (And herein lays the film's only redeeming feature: Cole Hauser, grinning his way along a campy character arc that would make Aaron Spelling blush.) Still, if you've got enough chocolate to induce a food coma, Paparazzi could be an ironic matinee treat for a few reasons: there's the first-person voiceover that begins and ends in one scene, then there's the flatter-than-a-pancake-worshipping-breakfast acting, and last but not least there's soap opera dialogue galore. (My favourite line: "But comas are a tricky thing, Bo.") The extras list contains the usual suspects: deleted scenes that add nothing to the screenplay, the original theatrical trailer, a behind-the-scenes short that seems more like a commercial than a "making of" featurette, and Abascal's running commentary on the film. Surprisingly there's an informative "Stunts of Paparazzi" short that describes the choreography of the film's stunt work. Though the graphics are a little dizzying, at least we get a taste of the integrity that went into the execution of the action sequences. Paparazzi, unfortunately, has more in common with the aforementioned mullet than a well executed movie. It's uneven, laughable and unbearably long towards the end. (Fox)
(Paisley Pop)