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Hall Pass (Blu-ray Review)

It’s been a while since we reviewed a dye-in-the-wool raunchy comedy here at Why So Blu.  Hall Pass is the latest comedy film by The Farrelly Brothers starring Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis.  This is not just Hall Pass, though.  This is Hall Pass: ENLARGED EDITION.  Will the Blu-ray promise to be…enlarged?  Okay, I feel weird now.  Hall Pass also features Christina Applegate, and a bunch of familiar folks in supporting and cameo roles.  I love my raunchy comedies like you wouldn’t believe, but it’s been a while since The Farrelly Brothers have done something worthy of note.  Did they succeed with their latest flick or has Judd Apatow and his gang of misfits stripped The Brothers out of their raunch title belts?  Read on and find out.  

Film 

I guess my interpretation of a “hall pass” is different than what the movie’s was.  To me, a hall pass always meant some time away from your significant other to hang with the boys.  Like if you were gonna hang with your boys on a certain designated night your girl would grant you this pass.  The hall pass referred to in the movie is different.  The movie implies that the men granted with a hall pass can do whatever they want which includes cheating and all sorts of debauchery as long as when they come back they make no mention of it.  Kind of like the whole “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” thing.

In fact, I wish the film would have been like what my initial thoughts of the definition were.  Hall Pass tells the tale of Rick (Owen Wilson) and his best friend Fred (Jason Sudeikis) who are both married with children.  This means that Rick and Fred will spend countless amounts of times reliving their glory days with some godawful photo shopped pictures of their high school and college years.  Rick and Fred lead ridiculously mundane lives in which they spend lots of time over their rich neighbor’s house, and pondering the years past.  Their sex life isn’t that much better.  In fact, it’s non-existent due to Rick’s children constantly running him and his wife (Jenna Fischer) weary.

Enter: Hall Pass. Rick’s wife begrudgingly gives him his hall pass and Fred soon follows suit.  That’s usually the part where the film would kick itself into high gear and get the party started.  No, I’m afraid not.  Rick and Fred’s hall pass is for one week.  Why is it that it felt like one week trying to get through the film? This is another case of a film throwing almost every conceivable gag on the wall to see if it sticks.  I’m afraid that not too much ends up sticking.

Rick and Fred are typical wusses, their friends are pretty cool, but not pivotal to the plot, because they’re not married!  The film is supposed be driven forward by Rick and Fred’s mission to score with women.  Why are they spending five days messing around with their single friends?  It wasn’t until the 60-65 minute mark that the film finally started moving forward and that was just by the weird and awkward introduction of Coakley (Richard Jenkins) who pretty much stole the show as a PUA (pick up artist) with all the right moves.  I say weird and awkward, because the dude just shows up out of nowhere.  Watch the deleted scene included on this disc for further insights into Coakley.

The film should have been about Rick and Fred using their hall passes as aspiring PUA’s, in my opinion.  It would have been on!  I’ve read about some of the comparisons to The Hangover, but those are misguided.  It’s not as daring as The Hangover. I think that Hall Pass fails at trying to be to cram too many things into one movie.  It should have stayed consistent with a single theme instead of cramming it with every gag or messed up situation on the planet.  That’s actually my one star for the film.  The reason it gets two stars is that if you stay until the end credits you will see an amazing scene that had me in stitches.  Again, if the movie could have only have been like that all the way through it would have been for the ages.

**Warner Bros. has gone viral and included many online activities for you choose from all involving some of the gags from Hall Pass. An internet connection may be required. Please visit the portal at: http://hallpassmovie.warnerbros.com/dvd/

Video

Hall Pass is presented in 1080p 2.40:1 widescreen.  Hall Pass looks pretty damn good.  All of the characters portrayed are affluent, so expect bright colors, pastels, etc.  Yes, pastel colors are for the affluent only.  😉  The color palette is rich and three dimensional most of the time with only slight hints of banding.  Edge enhancement was also kept to a minimum.  Grain levels were pretty consistent, and the print had an overall slick sheen to it.  No, it was not DNR, it just looked nice and polished, especially the scenes at the night club.  Contrast was also pretty even and not boosted. 

Audio

Hall Pass is presented in DTS-HD MA 5.1.  The Farrelly Brothers use lots of music in their films; it’s a trademark.  In doing so, the audio mix on this Blu-ray shines.  Dialogue is clean, crisp, and clear.  The surround sound channels do great in capturing the surrounding chatter and chaos without any problems.  There aren’t any explosions of any kind, but the one bodily explosion (if you get my meaning) was LFE all the way.  You’ve been warned.  Other than that, This audio track is a winner.  

Special Features  

Sorry, but Why So Blu will not reward laziness.  There is one deleted, but pivotal scene (Coakley) in addition to a lame blooper reel.  All of this is no more than five minutes long.  Really?

  • Deleted Scene
  • Gag Reel

Final Thoughts 

Hall Pass is a severe misfire.  I wish that the film would have been more about the guys actually getting out their in the field and hitting on women.  It takes WAY TOO LONG for them to actually get started on it, and by then, I really didn’t care either way.  Hall Pass does have great audio and video specs, but the special features are a travesty.  Hall Pass is recommended as a rental (maybe) and for Farrelly Brother aficionados and purists only.

 

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

8 Responses to “Hall Pass (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    I agree about that scene in the credits being the only thing worthwhile. God, this is an extended cut? That sounds so boring.

  2. Gerard Iribe

    6 minutes longer.

  3. Gregg Senko

    Wow! That bad, huh?

  4. Sean Ferguson

    I was hoping this would be good but I haven’t seen it yet.

  5. Brian White

    A little warning about that gym whirlpool scene would have been nice! Ouch! What an uncomfortable plane ride when the guy sitting next to me looked over at my iPad’s screen 🙁

  6. Gerard Iribe

    I figured that would be to TMI for the review.

  7. Brian White

    Ok. Well maybe next time like a little tabling that says don’t watch this next to strangers on an airplane. Lol

  8. Aaron Neuwirth

    @Brian’s predicament – hahahahahahahahahha 🙂