Quick Takes: Hall Pass, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Hesher

Hall Pass (2011)

Starring Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate, Nicky Whelan, Richard Jenkins, Stephen Merchant
Directed by Peter & Bobby Farrelly

I wanted a hall pass from Hall Pass so I could cut class and watch a better movie. A comedy should be funny, and for the most part, the jokes in Hall Pass are too easy, too stupid, or just not there. There’s a great moment when Owen Wilson and Jason Sudiekis talk about their friend’s family painting of themselves as sea captains, but not much else worth remembering. Not to mention the fucking commercial for Applebee’s in the middle of the movie. Ugh.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010)

Starring Joan Rivers, Melissa Rivers
Directed by Ricki Stern & Anne Sundberg

Enjoyment dependent on your tolerance for Joan Rivers, this film is quite enlightening to her career and her dedication to her craft. I’m a huge comedy nerd so I enjoyed seeing the old footage when she skirted censorship with clever wordplay, and the new footage when she just lets it all out. I’ve never been much of a fan, but after this film, I respect and enjoy her work more than ever. The film drags a bit overall, but it’s much better than I expected it to be.

Hesher (2011)

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Devin Brochu, Rainn Wilson, Piper Laurie, Natalie Portman, Brendan Hill, John Carroll Lynch
Directed by Spencer Susser

The trailer made me think this was all about a hesher and the crazy shit he does, scored with kick-ass thrash metal of the 80s. It’s not. It’s actually a dreary, indie drama about a kid and his family dealing with some serious loss while the mysterious hesher moves into their house uninvited. It’s mostly an OK movie, but it’s heavy-handed and it gets really awful in spots. The end monologue by Hesher about losing one of his nuts is painful, but possibly deep if you’ve just knocked back a Pabst Blue Ribbon tall can like Hesher.

Super (2011)

Super (2011)

Starring Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, Gregg Henry, Michael Rooker, Andre Royo, Sean Gunn, Stephen Blackehart, Greg Ingram, Linda Cardellini, Nathan Fillion, James Gunn

Directed by James Gunn

Expectations: High. I loved Slither, Gunn’s previous film.


Super is a superhero movie for the indie crowd with a lust for bold violence. It’s a small group, but man are they going to eat this shit up. For everyone else, I’m not sure exactly how they’ll react to it, should they see it. There were a couple of thirty-somethings that brought their elderly mother to the screening and I can only imagine the interesting conversations they had on their ride home. For all I know though, she brought them and secretly wishes to bash motherfuckers that cut in line with a wrench. You never can tell with these quiet types.

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