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"Hall Pass"- {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre:
Comedy
Release Date:
6/14/11
Special Features:

Gag reel, deleted scene, DVD with theatrical cut of the movie, extended cut on Blu-ray Rating: R

Review:

Why comedies pass or fail is difficult to define but "Hall Pass" despite a terrific premise. The Farrelly brothers have had a good track record with "Dumb and Dumber", "There's Something About Mary", "Me, Myself and Irene" among others but they failed to make the finish line with the remake of "The Heartbreak Kid" and "Osmosis Jones" both films that underperformed with audiences and at the box office. In the wake of Judd Apatow and his successful films comedies have change but the Farrelly brothers haven't changed with them. That could be good or bad depending upon whether or not the brothers have kept their skills fresh and are willing to try new things rather to resort to formula. Unfortunately with "Hall Pass" they fall into a rut digging into the same formula that has worked less successfully with each succeeding film. ***

In "Hall Pass" we follow two married men Ray and Fred who are given permission by their wives to be "single" again for a week thinking that it will cure their wandering eyes as they sober up to the reality of the current dating world. Most of the humor isn't pulled out of the premise but, instead, most of the comedy relies on the guys being drunk, hung over or other silly stuff when the premise is much more comedically and dramatically rich. Even with a terrific cast featuring Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis (Fred and Ray), Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate (the wives), J.B. Smoove, Richard Jenkins, Stephen Merchant the film fails to hit the right notes and that's down to the tired script and even more tired direction. That isn't to suggest that there aren't any funny scenes--there are some good ones but the film just doesn't hold together and fails to deliver on its potential and the high level that the Farrelly brothers have delivered in the past. ---

Image & Sound:

The one area that "Hall Pass" does deliver is in the nice looking transfer for the film to Blu-ray. It's true to the source and although "Hall Pass" is far from a beautiful looking or stunning film, it has nice detail, colors are on target and black levels are solid. I didn't watch the DVD that was included so can't comment on image quality for it. ***

Audio sounds quite good although you should keep in mind that this is a dialogue driven comedy and while surround is used sparingly, it is used well. Dialogue is also available in French, Spanish and Portuguese. Subtitles are available for those English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. ---

Special Features:

We get the extended non-theatrical version. We also get a deleted scene, and a gag reel. There's no commentary track.

Final Words:

"Hall Pass" fails primarily due to the hamfisted, unfunny writing and direction. The Farrelly brothers although quite talented have not brought their best material to the screen and, quite frankly, they only make an unfunny script with a great premise painfully unfunny. Avoid.

 

 
 
 
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