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Case Number 09212

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Puff, Puff, Pass

Sony // 2006 // 95 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // May 9th, 2006

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All Rise...

Judge Mitchell Hattaway passes the movie on the left hand side—but doesn't want it back.

The Charge

A comedy that will give you the munchies!

Opening Statement

Sony sent this one straight to DVD, but they should've sent it straight to the landfill.

Facts of the Case

Stoner buds Larry (Danny Masterson, That '70s Show) and Rico (co-writer Ronnie Warner) have a series of madcap adventures. And that's pretty much it for the plot.

The Evidence

I'm more than a little sick of these stupid cannabis comedies. I think it's high time for something new, like, say, a movie chronicling the wacky hijinks of crystal meth addicts. Think about it—they could accidentally set fire to their trailer/lab, wonder whey their teeth are falling out, hoard Calamine lotion, worry about erectile dysfunction, and complain about needing ID to buy cough syrup at Wal-Mart. Come on, an idea that like is a license to print money! Okay, maybe not, but it would at least be a switch from these pointless pothead flicks, which is exactly what Puff, Puff, Pass is.

You want to know this movie's biggest flaw? It's not funny. It contains not a single amusing situation or line of dialogue. Not one. I did laugh on occasion, but only at how lazy and predictable the whole thing is. It's almost as if the writers ripped pages from the scripts of every pot comedy made over the past twenty-five years, fed them into a computer, and waited for the computer to collate them and spit them back out.

See if any of this strikes you as funny: Larry and Rico like to sit on their couch and watch television. After watching an infomercial, Larry and Rico plan to get rich quick by placing tiny classified ads in local newspapers. The floor of Larry and Rico's apartment are littered with empty pizza boxes. Larry and Rico are behind on their rent. Larry and Rico are obsessed with The Shawshank Redemption. After being locked out of their apartment, Larry and Rico enter rehab just so they can watch the TNT marathon of The Shawshank Redemption. There's a really horny fat girl at the rehab center. Larry ends up nailing her. There's a crazy, really horny religious fanatic at the rehab center. Rico ends up nailing her. One of the rehab counselors is a gay stereotype (look, his sweater is tied around his neck!) who likes to spy on the male patients while they're changing clothes. Larry's brother is the manager of a fast food chicken restaurant, and he's banging the retarded girl who cooks the French fries (Dave Attell should sue for plagiarism). Larry's brother has a lisp. Rico's cousin is a transvestite prostitute. Larry, not realizing this, once slept with Rico's cousin. Larry's brother falls in love with Rico's cousin. Larry frequently uses public toilets, and his bowel movements really stink. Larry and Rico get involved in a moneymaking scheme and screw it up. There's a freaking huge wannabe gangster rapper who's afraid of small dogs. The windows in Larry's busted-ass car don't work. The guy who works at Larry and Rico's local coffee shop is a crack addict. An old biker dude dies while having anal sex with the crack addict in an airport parking lot, his bowels noisily releasing their contents as he collapses. Are you laughing yet? Didn't think so.

Puff, Puff, Pass was directed by Mekhi Phifer, who also produced and costars (which I guess means he needs to fire his agent…three times). Phifer has turned in some good performances (his work in Clockers comes to mind), but he's certainly no great shakes behind the camera. Here he adopts the standard point-and-shoot approach and slows everything down to a snail's pace. And the editing is incredibly sloppy; I couldn't count the number of over-the-shoulder shots featuring characters whose mouths are moving despite the fact they're not saying anything (or vice versa). Truth be told, this flick's about as technically accomplished as your average Driver's Ed. film, but it's nowhere near as exciting.

Before we move on, I'd like to point out two things from the Shameless Attempt to Sell This Movie Department: This turkey's original title was Easier, Softer Way (what that means, I don't know); I imagine it was changed in hopes of somehow cashing in on the success of Bigg Snoop Dogg's Puff Puff Pass Tour. Also, several well-endowed, bikini-clad young women are featured in photos on the disc's back cover. These women are nowhere to be found in the movie. I see that as something of a gyp.

The transfer exhibits the same flat quality found in most of Sony's direct-to-DVD releases. There's nothing terribly wrong with it, nor is there anything special about it. There is some nice surround and sub action in the soundtrack, most notably in the music (the hip-hop-flavored score also sounds like it was spit out by a computer), but dialogue is muffled on several occasions. The only extras are previews for other Sony releases.

Closing Statement

I've been wracking my brain in hopes of coming up with a logical explanation for why this movie was made, and this is the only thing I could come up with: somebody needed to launder some money.

The Verdict

Guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 75
Audio: 75
Extras: 10
Acting: 40
Story: 30
Judgment: 45

Perp Profile

Studio: Sony
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (French)
Subtitles:
• English
• French
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Rated R
Genres:
• Bad
• Comedy

Distinguishing Marks

• Previews

Accomplices

• IMDb








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