Takashi Miike is a film director with few equals, imaginative, highly prolific and always willing to push boundaries but his latest 13 Assassins is, ostensibly, a more traditional Japanese tale of honour and samurais based on a 1963 film of the same name. The cruel and vindictive brother of the Shogun inspires men of honour to assemble and craft a plan to kill him as he travels through the countryside and they choose a lowly village for their confrontation. Though it takes it's time to get going it's superbly acted and scripted and once it sheds it's stately pace what follows is a jaw droppingly brutal onslaught of dismemberment, gorings and blood letting that left me somewhat dazed. Miike's next Samurai rework, called Harakiri, is in 3D and will apparently debut at this years Cannes festival and I'm sure it'll be another accomplished thunderbolt of ultraviolence.
The Farrelly Bros are famed for their commitment to crass, low brow comedy and they've certainly made some chucklesome films over the years but Hall Pass sees them drift into sub par Apatow territory with a film about couples taking leave from their marriage vows for a week. The assembled cast all have reasonable comedy chops but all seem mis-cast in their roles and the script is pretty flat and sanitised so the laughs are sadly thin on the ground. I'm sure it'll do well in the multiplexes but I'd have rather rewatched Kingpin or Mary than sit through this wasted opportunity.