Hall Pass


Hall Pass

Run time 108 minutes.
Not for children.

Jason Sudeikis and Owen Wilson in “Hall Pass.”

This thing had more than three strikes against it within the first five minutes.

Written and directed by the Farrelly brothers: Strike 1.

Owen Wilson’s four year old son refers to his mother’s “fat ass.” Strike 2.

Joy Behar appears in the film: Strike 3.

If your game allows more than three strikes, there’s more.

A man defecates in a golf sand trap and we see him squatting with his rear end naked and the fecal material beneath him.

A husband masturbates in a car.

The movie contains full frontal male nudity and exacerbates a racial stereotype, so that might count as two more strikes taken together.

The Farrellys cast a bunch of guys as lifelong buddies who have nothing in common but a SAG card. These guys would be misfits if paired with guys from a beer commercial.

The idea is that just because the two guys, Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis, look at other attractive women occasionally, their wives are offended. Their old woman advisor, Behar (she’s just as goofy and off base in the movie as she is in real life, although not as rude), suggests they give their husbands a “hall pass,” which is defined as a pass from the fidelities of marriage for a week, and let them do whatever they want.

If this film had just been tasteless, it might have been relatively unremarkable, but it didn’t even reach that dubious pinnacle.

The Farrellys have long confused raunch with comedy. Raunch is not funny; it’s boorish and insults the audience who is forced to sit and endure it.

I’m giving up on Owen Wilson. Even though he goes from one bad movie to another, I keep hoping he’ll wise up and utilize his talent in something of quality. Alas, I’m going to have to come to the realization that it’s not to be. The guy just has terminally poor judgment. So long, Owen; I wish I could say it’s been good to know ya.

This film had some potential as it ends up with a relatively good moral. In the hands of writers and directors with comedic talent and good taste, like Howard Hawks or Allan Dwan, it could have been entertaining and rewarding. Since it’s stuck with the Farrellys, it’s neither.

Drive Angry

Run time 104 minutes
Not for children.

“Drive Angry.”

If there’s a movie more devoid of raison d’être than this, I haven’t seen it, although a lot of them have come close recently. Hands down, this I worse than anything involving Will Ferrell, and that takes some doing. If Nicolas Cage wants to be taken seriously as an actor, playing in garbage like this is not the way to achieve the goal.

This is nothing more than graphic violence for violence’s sake. Cage is allegedly out to save his granddaughter’s life. A baby, she’s been kidnapped by some real bad people, who slit Cage’s daughter’s throat for good measure when doing the kidnapping. Naturally the blood spurting is shown in graphic detail.

The entire movie consists of Cage and Amber Heard driving cars chasing down the bad guys. Occasionally they meet and get in brutal fights where the blood flows like water.

This revolting film should never see the light of day in any neighborhood theater. About the only reason the MPAA gives a film an NC-17 rating is if it contains graphic sex, but graphic violence can be far more harmful, and this movie is replete with it. But it still comes away with an R, which means that all this graphic mayhem is as equivalently harmful to a viewer’s psyche as the sight of a woman’s nipple, which, apparently in the judgment of the MPAA censors, can lead to the downfall of society as we know it.

While movies by Ferrell and Judd Apatow are offensive in their vacuity, profanity and poor taste, they aren’t truly obscene, just stupid. This, on the other hand, which borders on devil worship, is patently obscene.

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