Hall Pass: Enlarged Edition (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

Having been a married man for over a year now, I can’t say that I completely sympathize with the characters in “Hall Pass”, but that’s not to say that their particular problems don’t exist. More on that later, though. I was looking at the back of this Blu-ray box and noticed that this film was directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly. Now, granted, those names don’t carry the weight they used to but I’d still classify them as “A” list directors. Their early success with films like “Dumb and Dumber”, “Kingpin” and “Me, Myself and Irene” made them somewhat household names. Of course the jewel in their crown is 1998’s “There’s Something About Mary” which turned Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz into the stars they are today. While they’ve never re-created the success of that movie, they’re still at it. Admittedly the Farrelly brothers have grown up a bit and it shows with their latest effort: “Hall Pass.” So what happens when two wives give their husbands a week to do whatever they want? Let’s find out.

Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) are best friends. Rick’s got three kids and is a realtor and is married to Maggie (Jenna Fischer). Fred has no kids and is married to Grace (Christina Applegate). Life is kind of routine now that they’ve been couples for so long and the wives are getting just a bit fed up with their men gawking at every attractive female who passes by. When push comes to shove, Maggie decides to give Rick a hall pass. This is essentially one week where they’re not married and Rick can do whatever he pleases. Fred has an incident and accepts the same “fate” from Grace. So there you have it, the two guys have a week to literally do whatever they want. Together with their entourage they hit up the local restaurants, bars and nightclubs all to no avail. Meanwhile the ladies are on Cape Cod and getting their fair share of looks from the college baseball players. As Rick and Fred’s time draws to a close, will the hall pass be successful or a quick way to ruin their respective marriages?

Admittedly “Hall Pass” is an interesting concept for a movie. And as I mentioned I’m now a married man, though I don’t gawk at women who walk by and I pay my wife plenty of attention. But I will say that I’ve been around enough people who have been married and can see that this isn’t all that uncommon of a thing. The Farrelly brothers seem to have grown up a bit (they’re both in their 50’s now) so anyone expecting a rehash of “There’s Something About Mary” will be disappointed. While there are some suggestive scenes (mainly a full frontal male nudity scene), it’s clear that the movie has a more mellow tone than some of their earlier work. Jason Sudeikis is spot on and while Owen Wilson is good, I just feel that he’s somewhat out of place in this movie. Maybe Wilson’s star is starting to fall a bit, but this seemed like a stretch for him. Still, the supporting cast of Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate helped cement the film and I’m fairly sure that fans of the Farrelly’s movies will be right at home.

Video: How does it look?

Warner (New Line) usually delivers the goods with their day and date Blu-ray releases, but this transfer seems a bit off to me. By no means is it bad, but some of the interior shots seem a bit off in regards to the contrast. This gives the actors a very “baked” look in some scenes. Still, the 2.40:1 AVC HD transfer isn’t all bad, it does have a sharpness and clarity to it that does deliver. Detail is sharp as well and let’s just say that in one particular scene, it’s a little “too” sharp (don’t worry guys, there’s a topless female scene to even things out). Colors seem fairly consistent throughout and we do get some good-looking shots of Cape Cod as well. So while not on par with some of their top tier releases, “Hall Pass” could look a lot worse.

Audio: How does it sound?

The DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack is by and large a front-heavy mix that only delivers in a few select scenes. There’s a nightclub scene in which I felt the LFE kick in. Believe it or not there’s a pretty robust sequence in which some shots are fired and some car windows are broken out. The Farrelly brothers’ movies have always had a decent selection of songs as well and though nothing stands out from this particular film, I do remember humming along to a few of the songs. Vocals are strong and clear as well.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Fans of “Hall Pass” will find themselves on the lookout for some actual supplements. This movie comes in two versions, a standard theatrical cut and this “Enlarged” edition with 6 minutes of additional footage. We get one deleted scene with Richard Jenkins as well as a gag reel. The second disc is a standard DVD and Digital Copy of the film. That’s it.

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