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All NFL players are human beings. That means they enjoy things outside of their profession. They have hobbies and tastes and interests just like you and me.
For Redskins tight end Niles Paul, it's going to the movies.
As he rehabs and recovers from the ankle injury he sustained at the beginning of the preseason, he also has some more free time to head to the local theater and catch up on the latest flicks, his favorite pastime.
Each week I'll sit down with Paul and we'll converse about the most recent movies he's seen, debate about their strengths and weaknesses, needlessly scrutinize or praise actors and directors, analyze his Netflix queue, and, hopefully, find another window into Paul's personality.
In our third conversation, we nerd out and discuss "Star Wars," "Back To The Future" and "Dragon Ball Z," with a guest appearance, too.
It's been a big week for movie culture with the Star Wars trailer releasing recently. What was your initial reaction?
The new "Star Wars" trailer looked like a revamped version of the older one, just because back when it originally came out, compared to now, the advances when it comes to film, the strives have been so great. I just feel like the film itself, if they follow the storyline traditionally, and don't stray off too far, which I'm sure it will off the original -- I'm interested to see how it goes. Because I do feel like when it comes to CGI, everything is going to be completely different. It's going to be one of those action-packed "Underworld: Evolution" or "Transformers." I feel like it's going to be a good movie, though.
Were you a "Star Wars" fan growing up?
I saw the "Star Wars" movies. I was never one of those big "Star Wars" fans. By my time, it was so out of date.
Right. The first one I experienced was "The Phantom Menace," and it certainly wasn't the greatest of the series.
That's what I'm saying. By the time I was able to see it, I couldn't get the same thrill that everyone had from the original, just because where I was mentally when it came to movies. But I'm going in this one with a clean slate and I'm ready to be a fan.
Did you have a lot of friends, even today, that were "Star Wars" nerds?
Growing up where I grew up, nobody watched "Star Wars." It didn't really have an impact. But I wanted to see them. I'm excited about this movie.
Yesterday was also "Back To The Future Day." Did you grow up with that movie, too?
Yeah, I liked Marty McFly.
What about him?
I don't know, man. "Back to the Future" got a little awkward when he went back and ran into his mom. Marty, he made it OK to be himself. He was his own individual. He was his own man. He was just working with Doc and that was cool. He wasn't like everyone else. He was his own person. I think that's one thing people who watched that film can take from it, that this dude made his own path.
Both of these franchises have this cult following that was exemplified this week. Is there a movie or series that you're a nerd about?
Right now, I'm committed to "The Hunger Games". "Harry Potter" was my favorite. I used to go to the midnight showings. I never dressed up, but people used to dress up. I almost feel like I should have dressed up. Maybe I would have fit in a little more…there were not too many black people in there dressed up [laughing]. "The Matrix" was my thing, too. "The Hobbit," "The Lord Of The Rings," the big trilogy movies.
So how old were you when those movies came out?
I was about 12.
So that's prime time to get hooked. Is your younger brother into anything like that?
I can't say it's surprising, because he reminds me so much of me when I was young, but he just wants to be outside. He wants to play basketball. He wants to play catch. That's all you can ask for in a younger brother. I don't expect him to be able to sit down, even though I do force him to watch [and] go with me to go see certain movies that I feel like I creep at, like "Despicable Me 2."
You told me earlier you just watched the "Dragon Ball Z" movie.
"Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F.'" The newest one.
I don't know anything about this show/movie.
I don't know how you don't, man. Do you know "Pokémon?"
I do, but I never watched it. The only thing I watched like that was "Yu-Gi-Oh!"
I was a little cool Pokémon dealer. I loved the Pokémon movie. But "Dragon Ball Z" was my stuff. All my brothers -- I used to come home after school [and watch for] 30 minutes and it used to be the longest 30 minutes ever because they would drag out the episode. And now they finally made it a movie, or movies, and they're going off what happened last with the series.
So, what is the ultimate plot or goal of this show?
"Dragon Ball Z," it's supposed to be about these people finding these Dragon Balls. When you get these Dragon Balls, together they can make a wish, up to two wishes I think because they can summon a God. But everything they have to go through as far as fighting and trying to save the world, there's a whole bunch of subplot that they have to go through to protect them from other people getting the Dragon Balls. We're so deep into the story now, it's not even about the Dragon Balls anymore. It's just about Goku and Gohan and Vegeta, finding themselves, getting their true powers.
Why do you like these shows? What's your fascination?
I just feel like I grew up on them. I know the stories. And to be able to watch it grow from where I was as a kid, it kind of made me feel like a kid again, just to re-live those moments. I remember so much, it's crazy. Movies like that excite me, when they bring back an old series and they make it into a movie.
And these are on demand?
Yeah. And that's how I am with "The Last Airbender," which I thought M. Night Shyamalan ruined. But I love the cartoons.
[Tight end Logan Paulsen enters]
LP: Who's talking about cartoons?
NP: I saw "Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F.'"
LP: Was it good?
NP: It was amazing. You should sit down with your son and watch it. He needs to watch Dragon Ball Z.
LP: He's like a year and a half years old, dude.
NP: So it's go-time.
Logan, what's the last time you were at a movie theater, considering you have to take care of your son a lot now?
LP: The last movie I saw was "Man From U.N.C.L.E," which I liked quite a bit actually. Last movie I saw in my house was "The Final Girls," have you heard about this movie? It's so meta. It's a horror movie, something happens inside a theater, and [the characters] get teleported into this movie and they have to live the horror movie. It's pretty funny. I enjoyed it. Something different.
We mentioned the new "Star Wars" trailer. Are you a big "Star Wars" fan, Logan?
LP: I am a big "Star Wars" fan. I actually just re-watched all the Star Wars movies.
NP: How could you do that? I feel like it would be so boring! Not the story, but just, the CGI…
LP: It actually holds up pretty good. People say "Greatest sci-fi movie of all-time, greatest trilogy of all time." It was a little lackluster. It just wasn't as polished as I remember it being. The effects hold up pretty well. It's still a pretty solid flick. I think maybe because I saw it when I was younger, I just remember it being so much grander than it actually ended up being. I re-watched all the "Indiana Jones" movies, too, and it just was so fun.
NP: You can't go wrong with those movies.
LP: The second one is a little weak though.