Blu-Ray Review: Paradise

Published on December 9th, 2013 in: Blu-Ray, DVD/Blu-Ray Reviews, Feminism, Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews |

By Brad Henderson


Diablo Cody hit it big a few years ago with Juno and everyone and their mother flocked over to her fan club. I watched Juno and admit I enjoyed it, but it was so filled with pop culture one-liners that it became boring. People said it was fresh and new but to me it was someone just trying way too hard. After that, Cody wrote Jennifer’s Body, which I was a fan of because of the silliness and how the film actually presented itself. Of course, people didn’t like this one and it was easily dismissed by critics. Cody wrote another “hit” called Young Adult which was just OK by me and many others.

Recently a new film called Paradise has surfaced that Cody wrote and directed. This is actually her directorial debut and the project she decided to helm first. First off, let me say this film feels like a total passion project for Diablo Cody. I could be wrong, of course, but Paradise falls flat and is so boring it doesn’t feel right.

I was actually a little intrigued that she wrote and directed the film, but as soon as it started I knew what I was getting myself into. It felt like it a made-for-TV flick from the early ’80s on ABC. Just about everything that you see and hear is a straight cliché or pop culture reference and it doesn’t end until the credits roll.

It really feels like Diablo Cody always had the idea to make this film in the back of her mind because it was special to her. That is the vibe that I got. Even the story line is so bland it might put you to sleep. The acting is very sub par and the only decent actor in it, and I hate to say this, is Russell Brand. If you are a Russell Brand fan, then you are thinking, “duh.” However, I’m not a Russell Brand fan at all, though he is tolerable in this flick.

It sucks that Cody fell flat with Paradise, but then again, that is my opinion. It’s definitely a girly movie and I’m not into this sort of thing, so I may have just not gotten it. I’m hoping this was something that Cody wanted to get out of her system so she could move on to more original and creative ideas. I will say that she is a great writer and has some good ideas for dialogue. I just hope she stops with the pop culture references and writes more from the heart rather than trying to be too witty just for the sake of it. She has talent for sure but you wouldn’t know it from Paradise.

Paradise was released on Blu-Ray November 12 from Imagine Entertainment.

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