Jason Sudeikis

Hall Pass

Year: 2011
Directed By: Bobby and Peter Farrelly
Written By: Pete Jones, Kevin Barnett, Peter and Bobby Farrelly

RYAN’S REVIEW

I do not like infidelity and I hate watching movies about it. So I really protested when this one was suggested for rental. With nothing else to choose from at the time I settled and found myself laughing much more than I ever would have expected. As a happily married man I want to say one thing for the record; if you need a “hall pass” from marriage then there is no hope for your relationship. Taking time apart is one thing, but carte blanche to do whatever you want and betray the trust and love of your spouse is something that can only be bad. Despite that I think this movie is funny because it is honest about the situation. The horny men are practically hopeless in their efforts to woo women while their wives become the willing prey of other horny men. This is a movie I really didn’t expect much from but found something to really like and appreciate about it.

The strength of this movie comes from the stars. I don’t know what has been up with Owen Wilson lately but I think with this movie he showed us he still has plenty to offer. I have always liked Wilson and was really disappointed when I heard that he was having troubles a few years ago. I don’t know enough about what happened but I think he had some serious depression issues and if I’m not mistaken there was a suicide scare at one point. He seems to be on the right track now though and as a fan I am grateful for that. He is really funny in this movie and had great chemistry with his main co-star. I think Jason Sudeikis is hilarious; everything he does makes me laugh. These two guys together are what make this movie funny and I can not imagine that I would have liked it had any other two men played the parts.

I have always thought Jenna Fischer was great as Pam on The Office, and I enjoyed seeing her in this movie. She is a beautiful woman who has a normal look to her that made her a good fit for this part. I am sincerely glad too that she and her husband in this movie are the ones that stay true to each other despite their opportunities. I have never been a fan of Christina Applegate and at one point thought she was second only to Michael Jackson in plastic surgery procedures. I do not know this and have no idea if it is true at all but there have been times over the years when she has just not looked right. She looks more normal now but I think that is just the work of a better surgeon that fixed the disaster that had become her nose. I have never found her to be particularly funny and given I think her looks are as fake as a three dollar bill I don’t see anything to appreciate in her. She isn’t bad in this movie but I do not like the character she plays or what she does. While I think the idea of “Hall Pass” is stupid in general. I think it is much worse to give it to your husband then run out and have one of your own. Not only that but to dishonor your vows for thirty seconds with an idiot who is ready to kick you straight to the curb once he is finished with you is just shameful.

This movie had a really good supporting cast as well. I am usually a big fan of Richard Jenkins and whatever he brings to the films he is in but I don’t think this was the right role for him. I just don’t see him as the super cool single guy that can get any woman he wants and do anything. Where were the other funny guys these guys usually co-star with? Why wasn’t Will Ferrell chosen, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, or anybody else really? I just can’t imagine how they ended up settling for Jenkins in this role. Stephen Merchant is one of the guys in their posse here and I think he is really funny too. In case you don’t know who Merchant is; he is the writing partner of Ricky Gervais and they have created many funny things together. I have never seen Nicky Whelan before in anything else, but damn. Could they have found a hotter woman to play her part? Not to mention the fact that she gets topless in this one which is always a plus, and in her case a mega plus.

One of the things I specifically like about this movie is that it is honest. These guys think they are getting what they want but they are so hopeless that they resort to desperation in the end. It’s honest too because while they are trying so hard to get what they want and failing, their wives are able to do it so much easier. This is why a hall pass is stupid gentlemen. Why you are out there chasing all the ass you can lay your eyes on and getting rejected your wife is out there with the opportunity to do whatever she wants really, and she will be more successful. In the end both parties will have done something that they will have to live with and it is the kind of thing that can destroy a relationship. I think it is natural for both men and women to desire others after making their commitment to each other because we are all weak and pathetic creatures of desire. Nothing is worth the trouble you will incur by acting on those desires though. You can destroy your life and hurt the lives of your friends and family by doing this. It is a selfish thing to do and more often than not it simply isn’t worth that kind of trouble. You have to suppress those desires and just appreciate the out-of-reach people like the ones we see on TV. Checking out and perving on women you come in contact with in the real world will only lead to trouble.

I for one would never do this even if my wife suggested it. Sure it sounds like a cool idea but is it worth what I would be risking? I come from a broken home and am part of a generation that grew up with divorced parents. I can tell you that it isn’t worth it, don’t do it. I was a kid that suffered from the mistakes of my parents and I would never in a million years want to put my own children through such a thing. Not only that but I am lucky enough to really love my wife and I would never betray her trust with another. I will say it again; if you think you need a hall pass from marriage so you can chase other women then you might as well go ahead and call an attorney because your relationship is probably beyond saving.

I think the fact that I hate the idea of this movie so much but still liked enough to add it to the collection says something about how good it is. It’s a funny movie and I never expected to laugh so much when I sat down to watch it. I think this movie is worth your time and I would recommend it to anyone that asked.

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The Campaign

Year: 2012
Directed By: Jay Roach
Written By: Chris Henchy & Shawn Harwell (screenplay and story), Adam McKay (story)

RYAN’S REVIEW

This was not a movie I was interested in when it first started being advertised earlier this year.  It looked like just another stupid Will Ferrell movie to me and I didn’t have much faith in what he and Zach Galifianakis would do together.  I think both of these men are funny, but both of them tend to play roles of men more stupid than anything else and I always feel they were overacting a bit.  Well this movie was available On Demand during the heart of the political process with elections nearing, and I reluctantly agreed to watch it with Amber one night. I was very surprised when I found myself laughing through the whole thing.  This movie is exaggerated, as most Will Ferrell movies are, but this one has plenty of truth masked within all of the silliness. It says something bold and believable about our political process in this country and mocks the joke that it has all become.

Will Ferrell definitely has his moments and he also has the ability to be a serious actor from time to time and I like that about him.  I have always felt he was at his best as a supporting man like his role in Old School but it was that role that gave him all the power.  As Frank the Tank he was so funny that he became one of America’s favorite comedians.  His career exploded after that but I am usually hot and cold with what he produces.  For example, Step Brothers may be a funny movie but the part he plays is just so overdone with stupidity and immaturity.  I tend to find myself more annoyed than humored in movies like that.  That persona works in many movies though so I can’t argue with it.  I thought Land of the Lost was hilarious and I really liked his more serious roles in movies like Everything Must Go and Stranger than FictionHowever I have never been a fan of Ricky Bobby or plenty of his other work.  I thought things were falling apart for him when he was cast in The Office as the show was beginning to fall apart but I was wrong.  In this movie as the perfectly named politician “Cam Brady” I thought he was hilarious.  His stupid persona seems fitting for a politician ironically enough and he nailed it.  My favorite part is when he sees the new Marty Huggins ad that has his son in it.  I am never a fan of infidelity in a movie but for some reason when it happened in this one I couldn’t stop laughing about it.  When Ferrell says “you make my son call you daddy I fuck your wife, that’s the deal!” I fell to the floor.  When he showed up and Marty’s wife was watching Drew Carey on The Price is Right it was a done deal. Ferrell may be a bit too goofy for me at times but the guy is undeniably funny and I really enjoyed his role in this one.

I have written my thoughts on Galifianakis before in our reviews on The Hangover movies.  I think what I said specifically was that he would only get as far as that beard would take him.  So it was nice to see him diversify and go simply with the perv stache in this one.  I like Galifianakis quite a bit because after all he is from my home state and grew up only an hour from where I live now.  I don’t think his career will last long enough though if he can only play the one part though.  I have seen him before on Bored to Death and he is really good in that but if he can’t branch out with different roles in movies his career will only be a flash in the pan.  As Marty Huggins, Galifianakis played his typical role of the very weird guy but it worked in this one because it was so funny to see them try to transform him into a political candidate.  His accent is great in this one but it should come easy to him being he is from North Carolina.

I really liked seeing Dan Akroyd and John Lithgow as the big business brothers in this movie.  They fit the roles nicely and I like seeing Akroyd in anything these days because he isn’t doing too much anymore.  I have always been a big fan of Lithgow and think that he can only make any movie he is in better.  I am becoming a huge fan of Jason Sudeikis, everything I see him in seems funnier than the last. SNL has a great cast right now with really funny people like Bill Hader, Taran Killam, and Jay Pharoah but Sudeikis is funnier than all of them as far as I am concerned.  I really look forward to what is to come from his career as he continues to gain more popularity.  I also thought Dylan McDermott was really good as the ultra cool campaign manager that shows up to “make you not suck.” I don’t usually like McDermott but really enjoyed his performance in this one.

This movie says a lot about politics in this country.  About the big businesses behind the candidates running for office and how they use those candidates to achieve their own goals.  About how campaigns manipulate the public to get into office and will absolutely do whatever it takes.  It’s about how dirty politics can be in general and the cut throat world these people live in.   While the movie may cover all these things in humorous fashion there is one thing to keep in mind while watching this movie….a lot of truth is said in jest.  I think this movie not only does a great job mocking the whole thing but it isn’t really off base with the truth behind it all.

I always love a movie that catches me by surprise and this one did.  I did not expect to like it at all and ended up loving it.  I think that any time a movie can do that then it is worth your time to see it.  This movie may have seemed funnier to me when we watched it during the election season but I enjoyed it just as much watching it again after getting a copy for Christmas.  This movie is a bit vulgar so take the R rating seriously but if you get an opportunity to see it you should check it out, it is worth your time.