Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar Refraction...How About a Review ~ HALL PASS


I am in a filmic refractory period following last night's Academy Awards that can only be cured by cutting loose and writing about some flicks...

Firstly, if you have seen the latest Entertainment Weekly, page #54-55 with Prince William on the cover, then you will see that EW is screaming to the world what I have been saying for the last year and a half...

AMC's Mainstreet Theater (Wikipedia Entry) is the mack daddy spot to catch all of your favorite flicks!  The aura of that building screams history in both structure and decor.  It is a must visit for cinemaphiles and historians alike.  If you really want to enjoy the immersive theater experience, you will love the in-seat butt-kicker bass tubes built into every seat.  AMC screams "Corporate America" in most of its operation, but they sure got this one right.  My home theater AMC Barrywoods 24 is my favorite because of the people.  When it comes to experience, nothing holds a candle to the Mainstreet!

So...HALL PASS...

The Farrelly Brothers, Peter and Bobby, have returned to the big screen after a string of lackluster efforts.  Personally, I think they lost something after Osmosis Jones, which while being a bit subdued compared to Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, and There's Something About Mary, stands as my favorite of their body of work.  I found their recent entries including Stuck on You, Fever Pitch, and The Heartbreak Kid only mildly enjoyable.  And after Me, Myself, and Irene being the first flick I went to with my in-laws, long before they held that title, I was scarred by watching such a spread of rubber dicks flanked by my future wife and mother-in-law...who picked this thing anyway!

Hall Pass suffers from the same problems as their other recent flicks...there are some great laughs, but all-in-all, the movie as a whole is only moderately entertaining.

Perhaps it is the topic of infidelity is approached in a manner that makes it depressing rather than hilarious, if that is even possible. 

Owen Wilson was a poor choice as the lead.  His role is too milquetoast and filled with an awkwardness he should be able to pull off, but doesn't.

Christina Applegate is funny, but again, only moderately so.  The real high points for me were the overall watchability of Jenna Fischer and the start to finish great presence in Jason Sudeikis.  Go KC boy GO!  I think this is the beginning of a fresh and new movie comic who hopefully will be successful in his transition to the big screen.  For all the questionable content in this present entry, that Sudeikis runs on such a high note, I have a good feeling.

This movie starts decent enough and actually ends with the trademark train wreck, over-the-top cluster that the Farrelly Bros actually do well.  But the center of this flick was too damn slow.  Not even the always funny JB Smoove could pull the guts of this flick out of the gutter.

Richard Jenkins does cameo in an out of character and enjoyable turn as the hound dog friend Coakley.  There is a memorable exchange between he and Owen that did put a smile on my face, but give that credit to the lovable Jenkins who is almost unrecognizable.

Yes, Hall Pass did take the weekend at 13.5 million, but what a paltry take!  And that #5, Just Go With It, checked in at 10.5 million, it managed to eek out a #1 in what can easily be qualified as a weak weekend.

I do have one thing to say before I shift gears...."Fake Chow."

3 of 5 Horns from The Reel Rhino.
Now for something completely different...

I want to say one quick word about Restrepo.  I was sure this flick, by Sebastion Junger and Tim Heatherington, was a shoe in to take Oscar gold.  That it did not, and Inside Job, did, mirrors American sentiment.  Yes, the economy is a critical aspect of every American's daily life, but the war in Afghanistan is as well...just not as obvious,

Restrepo should be required watching for every American citizen....for every young man, contemplating service, for every war protester and supporter alike.  I think this is the first real piece of cinema that captures the essence of this war.

I was moved like I haven't been in some time.  Like I have said in the past in watching 127 Hours and Into The Wild...this is a life-changing movie.  See it at all costs.  Netflix Watch Instantly is currently carrying it and it is a film to be consumed, but not really enjoyed.  Seeing the courage of these young men will fill you with pride, but seeing the terror and terrible conditions they endured, will keep you grounded in the fact that this is not a popcorn movie where the good guys always win...but instead a vicious dose of reality.

Until later...take care...
RR

1 comment:

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