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Cinema Round-Up 2/4-9/4

April 9, 2011

Like my DVD round-up, this will round up cinema releases that I’ve seen through the week.  I will write longer, individual reviews for certain films, but sadly I don’t have the time to do that for every film I see.


Hall Pass:

When the Farrelly Brothers are on form, their films are genuinely funny and heartwarming.  However, with the possible exception of Stuck on You, they haven’t actually been on form since 1998…and Hall Pass continues that run.  What is perhaps most offensive about this film is the ridiculous concept.  We are asked to believe that Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate are happy to let their husbands (played by Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis) run around for a week sleeping with whoever they like, in the belief that this can only improve their respective marriages.  Ridiculous stories like this are fine, as long as they’re backed up by hilarious or outlandish comedy, and Hall Pass has neither.  It’s all incredibly predictable, not remotely funny (I didn’t laugh out loud once) and most frustratingly, it feels the need to round things off with an embarrassing attempt at a statement on modern marriage and love.  The laziness of the whole endeavour is best encapsulated in the appearance of Stephen Merchant, who plays one of the most pointless and ridiculous characters you’ll see all year.



I would say that I wish studios would stop giving Tim Hill money to make films, but as I paid to see this, I guess I’m helping to fund the crappiness.  In my defence, it was at a mother/baby showing, I was bored and I mistakenly thought the presence of James Marsden and Kaley Cuoco would lift this to a somewhat decent level.  The comedy was only matched in laziness by Russell Brand’s voice performance, and if I’d had to sit through another cheesy animal dance routine, I think I would have cried.  Of course, it is aimed at children but that’s no excuse; adults don’t get in for free when accompanying children, which to my mind means that filmmakers should make an effort to entertain the parents too.  It gets credit for one thing, and that’s the design of the Easter Bunny’s factory…colourful and full of delicious-looking sweet things, it really was a CGI feast for the eyes.


Source Code:

A solid sci-fi thriller which is spoilt by an unnecessarily ambiguous ending.  Jake Gyllenhaal carries the weight of the picture superbly well, ably supported by the gorgeous Michelle Monaghan (how isn’t this woman a huge star yet?) and Vera Farmiga.  The more you think about it, the less sense it will make, but it’s a fun, intelligent piece of filmmaking.


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