Monday, February 28, 2011

Don't Pass on Hall Pass!

ON THE BIG SCREEN: Hall Pass (2011)- Written by Pete Jones, Kevin Barnett and the Farrelly brothers, Directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly. Starring Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate.

In this 'what if' scenario comedy, you can't help but think about yourself and the choices you as a viewer might make had you been in the characters situation. Though at times 'raunchy', this film gets to the heart of all 30 to 40 something couples who have ever considered what life would be like without their better half. The answer? Outlook not so good.

In a movie that had a similar type feel as The Hangover, it did the genre justice in bringing laughs and shock to the audience. Owen Wilson thrived in a role more suit as the awkward, middle aged, lovably nerdy protagonist vs some less believable roles he has held in the past. (Think super cool ladies man they tried to sell us on in Wedding Crashers, great movie, not buying Owen as ladies man)

Jason Sudeikis steals the show however playing the super inappropriate yet realistic buddy everyone has, and he alone is worth the price of admission to the theater. Truly coming into his own since his SNL roots, Sudeikis may have found his break out role a la Ed Helms in The Hangover. Reunited with Applegate since the less seen, yet quality flick, "Going the Distance", the tandem doesn't disappoint in their sophomore flick together.

Even though romantic comedies rarely get cinematic praise from critics, this is a solid film in more ways than one. It finds a way to accomplish both success as a comedy as well as a drama without lacking or over emphasizing in either direction. And while silly at times, the situations throughout the movie remain believable and relevant to the overall purpose of the movie, which is to entertain as well as make you ask the question, what would I do?

I would be amiss to not mention my two favorite parts of this movie however as the previous things mentioned were all fine and good, however, two things that made this movie for me came from a more unexpected place;

1. Richard Jenkins playing the sly, sage, bachelor for life that Wilson and Sudeikis' characters look up to. Aside from just doing a fantastic job as the character "Coakley", it's twice as funny that the role is played by a guy who is not usually playing such a 'hip' character. Truly it's a testament to Jenkins range as an actor, and just another peg to add to his already stellar career. Also, it just adds to Jenkins legitimacy as a comedic actor, along side his role in the movie Step Brothers.

2. The music direction was superb as remarkably this movie had the best soundtrack in ANY movie that I've seen since maybe TRON: Legacy. Even if not a fan of the over the top comedy or cheesy love story layered underneath, there is NO way you won't at least once say, who is this song by?

Once again the Farrelly Brothers knock it out of the park for merely a few laughs at the very least, and if you are a fan of their previous ventures, you will not be disappointed by this contribution.

-Mr. Skin will have a field day as there is a good bit of nudity and sexual situations.
-Look for Bo Burnham, the comedian and musician who has a cameo as a bartender in the nightclub scene. Caught me off guard, but was a good idea, and was neat to see if you are a fan.

Action rating-2/5, obviously not an action film, one or two exciting scenes however.
Sexual appeal-5/5, definitely some eye candy in this movie for the men and the ladies.
Comedic rating-4/5, very funny movie with a little bit of intelligent, low brow and slap stick meshed together.
Deep thought rating-3/5, despite being a comedy and silly at heart, still you leave with some topics to be pondered upon leaving the theater.
CVB rating-7.5/10, a solid start to the 2011 comedies
FINAL COMMENTS- Worth the cost of admission, at the very least catch it as a matinee and save a couple bucks if you're cheap!

Best movies I've seen in 2011
01. The Adjustment Bureau--8.0/10
02. Hall Pass--7.5/10
03. No Strings Attached--7.0/10

Best movies I saw in 2010 (almost)FINAL RATINGS
01. Let Me In--9.5/10
02. Catfish--9/10
03. Social Network--9/10
04. Black Swan--8.5/10
05. True Grit--8.5/10
06. Its Kind of a Funny Story--8/10
07. Kick-Ass--8/10
08. Despicable Me--8/10
09. Predators--8/10
10. TRON:Legacy--8/10
11. Devil--7.5/10
12. Inception--7.5/10
13. Going the Distance--7.5
14. The Town--7.5/10
15. Get Him to the Greek 7.5/10
16. Animal Kingdom--7.5/10
17. Easy A--7.5/10
18. The A-Team--7.5/10
19. Unstoppable--7.0/10
20. Shutter Island--7/10
21. Dinner for Schmucks--7/10
22. The Other Guys--7/10
23. Due Date--7/10
24. Shes Out of my League--7/10
25. How to Train Your Dragon--7/10
26. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World--7/10
27. Conviction--7/10
28. Date Night--6.5/10
29. Iron Man 2--6.5/10
30. The Crazies--6.0/10
30. Paranormal Activity 2--6.0/10
31. Virginity Hit, The--6.0/10
32. Twilight: Eclipse--6.0/10
33. Toy Story 3--6.0/10
35. Book of Eli--6.0/10
34. Wall Street 2: Money never sleeps--6.0/10
35. Cyrus--6.0/10
36. Losers--6.0/10
37. Machette--6.0/10
38. Never Let me Go--6.0/10
39. Hot Tub Time Machine--6.0/10
40. Repo Men--5.5/10
41. Middle Men--5.5/10
42. Green Zone--5.5/10
43. Death at a Funeral (US)--5.5/10
44. Grown Ups--5.0/10
45. Greenberg--5.0/10
46. Legend of the Guardians--5.0/10
47. Megamind--5.0/10
48. Twelve--5.0/10
49. Karate Kid--4.5/10
50. Cop Out--4.5/10
51. Takers--4.5/10
52. MacGruber--4.0/10
53. Alice in Wonderland--4.0/10
54. Clash of the Titans--4.0/10
55. Robin Hood--4.0/10
56. The Dilema--3.5/10
57. When in Rome--3.0/10
58. Valentines Day--3.0/10
59. WORST MOVIE OF THE YEAR: Hereafter--2/10
*(Did not yet see Kings Speech, Winters Bone, The Way Back, Fair Game, The Ghost Writer, Harry Potter: Deathly Hollows I, The Fighter, Rabbit Hole, Please Give, Blue Valentine, The Kids Are Alright, The Inside Job, Waiting for Superman, A Single Man, 127 Hours, Another Year The Mechanic, Get Low, Red, Lovely Bones, Salt, Exit Through Gift Shop, Restrepo, Secretariat, Red Hill or Buried, all rated highly so ratings subject to change)

COMING SOON: Cedar Rapids ,Paul, I am Number Four, Battle LA and The Adjustment Bureau

A Bo Burnham video