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Reel Paradise (2004)

tomatometer

69

Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 48
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 15

The travails of the Piersons as they try to adjust to a radically different culture while introducing American cinema to it makes for amusing viewing.

72

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 5

The travails of the Piersons as they try to adjust to a radically different culture while introducing American cinema to it makes for amusing viewing.

audience

60

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 734

My Rating

Movie Info

John Pierson is a passionate cinema enthusiast who has written books on maverick filmmakers (including the bestsellers Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes and Reel Paradise), co-created, produced, and hosted the Split Screen series on the Independent Film Channel network, and helped produce a number of independent films, including early works by Spike Lee, Michael Moore, and Richard Linklater. In February 2000, Pierson traveled to Fiji to shoot an episode of Split Screen, where in the tiny village of

Feb 14, 2006

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All Critics (49) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (15) | DVD (1)

Highly watchable.

October 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The director's visit wasn't long enough to fully humanize this culture clash, but some of the movie's conclusions seem universal.

October 25, 2005 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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An amusingly damning portrait of a man trying to impose his will on a world that, really, has better things to do.

October 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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Tthe comic fallout from his quixotic mission keeps Reel Paradise watchable.

September 24, 2005 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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The results stay with you, like memories of an unexpected and surprising vacation.

September 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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Sometimes it's not whether you succeed, but whether you try.

September 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A fascinating study in cross-cultural communication, as well as a deeply personal examination of family dynamics.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

What is learned? Not so much how cultures impinge on each other as how cinema shapes our lives.

October 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Though these scenes may have energy, they're also mostly noise -- distractions from a collection of scenes without a driving force.

October 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Salt Lake City Weekly
Salt Lake City Weekly

Ultimately, it's the movies shown that make Reel Paradise so buoyant, for it speaks to the universality of a medium we often take for granted.

October 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Boston Herald
Boston Herald

Unfortunately, the Piersons can be so unpleasant that watching them misbehave in Taveuni becomes a chore.

October 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

I found the 10 days of free films to be the intriguing part of Reel Paradise and the Piersons' life to be something more interesting to them than to me.

October 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

A funny fly-on-the-wall account of how the Piersons ingratiated themselves to the community, with uneven results.

October 21, 2005
Salt Lake Tribune

its scattershot structure makes it disappointing and its preeminent focus on the social problems the Piersons encounter grows tiresome

October 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

You are buoyed by the purity of the islanders' responses to some of what Pierson shows them: the Three Stooges, Buster Keaton and, most delightedly, Jackass: The Movie.

October 7, 2005 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Serves not only as a charming, witty glimpse into an American nuclear family uprooted to browner pastures, but also as an exploration of how Hollywood product is viewed outside the Lower 48.

October 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

The Piersons are warm, funny people, and most of Reel Paradise shows them comically bickering with each other and laughing at the absurdity of the whole project.

September 26, 2005 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

Anyone who has relocated to a totally different environment will relate.

September 24, 2005 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

Pierson is a high-powered egotist with appalling tastes and a great-white-father complex, and his whiny family is about as much fun as fingernails on a blackboard.

September 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Flames out early, with Pierson's ... ego quickly overriding the potentially fascinating socio-cultural effect of exposing the Third World to the wonders of Jackass.

September 15, 2005 Full Review

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