Tv/streaming, collections, great movies, chaz's journal, contributors, there's lousy, there's excremental and then there's ... this motion picture.
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Since 1999 I've been carrying a blue pill in my pocket, holding onto it for the moment when I'd truly need it. The pill, I was told, would instantly erase the memory of any movie — but just the one movie, just the one time.
I was tempted to take that pill after " Freddy Got Fingered ." I had the pill in hand as I walked out of every other Adam Sandler movie of the last decade.
But I hung on to it, knowing something even worse was going to come my way one day.
Midway through "Movie 43," I knew the day had come. As the credits rolled with the inevitable blooper scenes of actors breaking character and inexplicably laughing when nothing funny is going on, I swallowed that pill, hoping to erase instantly all mental images of what had just transpired.
It didn't work. The !&$@*! thing didn't work!
As the ads for "Movie 43" promised (threatened?), you can't un-see this thing, so please: Stay away. Even if you might think that sitting through "Movie 43" would be an adventure along the lines of experiencing " Showgirls " or "Howard the Duck," you'll be filled with regret five minutes into this atrocity. There's camp-fun bad and interestingly horrible bad, and then there's just awful.
"Movie 43" is the " Citizen Kane " of awful.
We've been hearing about this movie for some four years, as producer Peter Farrelly somehow coaxed more than a dozen A-list stars and talented character actors into appearing in a series of aggressively tasteless scenes loosely strung together as proposed elements of a movie that Dennis Quaid is pitching to Greg Kinnear . So whenever a Gerard Butler or a Johnny Knoxville or a Jason Sudeikis or an Uma Thurman became available and/or were blackmailed, Farrelly would bring in a director, and they'd shoot a scene. Unfortunately, the shooting was never fatal.
At least Quaid's character in the movie is insane. The motivations for everyone else go unstated and unexplained.
Farrelly was going for a 21st century version of "The Groove Tube" and "Kentucky Fried Movie," two very funny, very raunchy and very influential sketch-comedy flicks of the mid-1970s.
The only thing "Movie 43" has in common with those movies is it's in color.
Warning! Descriptions of astonishingly unfunny scenes of grotesquerie, scatology and female humiliation are directly ahead.
One assumes Richard Gere knew what he was getting into when he agreed to play an exec for a company selling the iBabe, a music player that looks and feels exactly like a naked woman — with a dangerous exhaust fan in her lower extremities. And when teenage boys start playing with the iBabe in a certain way, guess what happens?
And it seems "Parks and Recreation" star Chris Pratt and real-life spouse Anna Faris were only too happy to play a couple who plan to consummate their love by having him consume mass quantities of Mexican food before defecating on her.
Another real-life couple, Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber , plays parents who home-school their teenage son to the extreme, with Mom seducing the son and Dad hazing him in unspeakably cruel ways.
Apparently Emma Stone believed in a script that has her playing a trampy, foul-mouthed scamp who exchanges insults and cringe-inducing sex talk with an ex-boyfriend in a grocery store as their exchange is picked up by the PA system.
Stay with me, please. I had to sit through it. You're just reading about my pain.
Academy Award winner Halle Berry no longer can cite " Catwoman " as the low point of her career. In "Movie 43," she initiates a game of "Truth or Dare" on a blind date — and that leads to Berry making guacamole by mashing avocados with her bare breasts, and inserting a turkey baster filled with extra-hot sauce into herself. And then things get REALLY ugly. My God, do they get ugly.
Apparently Hugh Jackman and Academy Award winner Kate Winslet thought they'd be showing off their carefree, comedic sides by playing a blind date scene in which Jackman's character has a realistic-looking scrotum dangling from his chin — which seems to escape the notice of everyone but Winslet.
They were all wrong. Very, very, very wrong.
From " National Lampoon's Animal House " to " Stripes " to many of the Judd Apatow R-rated comedies to " Ted ," I've long been a fan of rude-crude-lewd films — IF they're also smart and we care about the characters and there's a lit bit of an emotional investment in their fates. But I don't see a redeeming molecule in a movie that has Chloe Grace Moretz getting her first period while teenage boys and grown men react like Neanderthals, or Kristen Bell playing Supergirl, who becomes the butt of jokes about her crotch, not to mention the humiliation endured by Faris, Berry and Watts. The men in this movie are jerks, idiots, dolts and fools. The women have it much worse.
At least Elizabeth Banks doesn't appear until after the closing credits. By then, a good percentage of any audience that somehow stumbled into this movie should be long gone.
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Movie 43 (2013)
Rated R for strong pervasive crude and sexual content including dialogue, graphic nudity, language, some violence and drug use
- Peter Farrelly
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Movie 43 – review
M ovie 43 is sketchy, in every sense. It's a collection of short comedy films in the manner of the 70s cult classic Kentucky Fried Movie , each with a separate director, in which many very famous actors have been persuaded to take part. It looks like a lot of favours have been called in, from very big names who are being very good sports. It is crass, infantile, grossout, sometimes funny, mostly not, and most of all it's very strange to witness this cameo parade of stars, a substantial proportion of whom have no obvious gift for comedy.
The premise is that a couple of teenagers have fooled another kid into believing that there is an ultra-forbidden movie somewhere on the net called Movie 43; he tries to track it down, and uncovers a series of random filmed scenes – the sketches themselves. Why we couldn't just get the sketches without this pointless and unfunny framing device is a mystery.
The over-the-top approach is established with a scene in which Kate Winslet goes on a blind date with Hugh Jackman , who has a large pair of testicles growing out of his neck. Winslet gives it everything she's got – dismay, polite disgust, climbing panic at realising she is the only one who notices – while Jackman plays it dead straight in just the right way, and there is a kind of outrageous verve in keeping it going as long as they do. But actual laughs are scarce. The other "blind date" sketch with Stephen Merchant and Halle Berry is similar: there are some amiably silly moments, but an eerie silence where the chuckles are supposed to go.
More successful is a very non-PC sketch in which Terrence Howard plays a coach for first black high school basketball team in the US, and has to explain to his timid players that they are bound to win – because they are black.
Like Kentucky Fried Movie, Movie 43 is aimed squarely at the filthy-minded teenage-boy market, but where KFM was teeming with surreal ideas, Movie 43 looks a bit cynical and tired.
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Movie 43 Reviews
My first 'F' of 2013!
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4.0 | Sep 17, 2020
By the end you can't entirely be sure whether you have watched a film or participated in a eulogy for the careers of its participants.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4 | May 9, 2019
There is even money on a man with a gun just outside the frame at any given moment here ... except in "Happy Birthday," where Gerard Butler looks legitimately elated and excited to portray a pair of foul-mouthed, genital-mutilating leprechauns.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5 | Apr 29, 2019
A mind-numbingly awful sketch comedy that has no redeeming value whatsoever.
Full Review | Apr 11, 2019
What could have been a risky but ultimately successful concoction of acting talent is exactly what many had probably feared: a horrific, unfunny mess.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5 | Feb 8, 2019
This is the UK version. Please don't make me watch the other one too.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5 | Nov 9, 2018
The problem is simple: It's just not funny. I'm a fan of inappropriate humor, but there has to be humor. Don't see this movie. Don't rent this movie. Don't even read this review.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/10 | Nov 2, 2018
This is an utter waste of time for both the filmmakers and the audience, and this movie deserves to be tried for crimes against film, acting, writing and common decency.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/10 | Nov 1, 2018
This is a film so utterly devoid of laughs that it makes one wonder whether Hollywood stars really are feeling the pinch too.
Full Review | Aug 10, 2017
At times it displays an almost alarming level of contempt for its audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/5 | Apr 15, 2016
There is not a single redeeming quality to this absurdly inane film.
Full Review | Original Score: F | Apr 17, 2015
Here's a movie that's way, way, more interesting for the story behind it than for anything that actually happens on screen
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5 | Dec 12, 2013
The greatest waste of A-list talent since Garry Marshall made his last film.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.0/5 | Jun 30, 2013
It's got some clever sketches, though to really enjoy them, one must have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy. Fortunately, I do.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5 | Jun 24, 2013
It feels like somebody strung together some of the worst SNL skits and called it a film.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/10 | Jun 21, 2013
a bad idea handled in a hackneyed manner.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5 | Jun 9, 2013
An execrable waste cooked up by a hell's kitchen of directors and writers. It's death-of-laughter by committee. Its title? Because it's like one of those many asteroids out there--a dismal chunk of rock hurtling through an empty void, without purpose.
Full Review | May 6, 2013
Being punched in the face was easier that watching this movie.
Full Review | Original Score: .5/5 | Apr 8, 2013
To fully enjoy yourself from start to finish, it will help if you've got the sense of humor of a middle-school-aged sociopath... For the rest of you, I suggest eventually watching it on your phone.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5 | Mar 9, 2013
Absolutely disgusting, nauseating, misogynistic, racist, cruel, void of any common sense...
Full Review | Mar 1, 2013
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Movie 43: film review.
Despite A-list involvement that includes everyone from Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman through Greg Kinnear and Naomi Watts, this painfully unfunny collection of comic shorts qualifies as one of the worst films of all time.
By THR Staff
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Movie 43 Elizabeth Banks Birthday Party - H 2013
To say that you have to see Movie 43 to believe it is by no means a recommendation. This would-be comic anthology of short films featuring major stars clearly was inspired by such ’70s-era raunch fests as The Kentucky Fried Movie and The Groove Tube . But despite the dizzying array of talent involved both in front of and behind the camera, this god-awful exercise is so painfully unfunny, so screamingly bad, that it immediately qualifies as one of the worst films of all time.
An unbelievable roster of A-list stars, including two current Oscar nominees and one upcoming Oscar host, have somehow been hoodwinked — or, more likely, blackmailed — into participating in this exercise helmed by no fewer than 12 directors. Among them are such veterans as Steven Brill , Brett Ratner , Steve Carr , Peter Farrelly and actress Elizabeth Banks .
Razzie nominations: 'grown ups 2' leads with eight nods, why 'movie 43's' a-list actors are staying far away.
STORY: How ‘Movie 43’ Producers Got So Many A-List Stars for the Raunchy Comedy
Providing a rickety framework for the otherwise disconnected vignettes is a thin plotline involving a desperate filmmaker ( Dennis Quaid ) pitching ideas to a bewildered studio executive ( Greg Kinnear ) who eventually is forced to keep listening to them at gunpoint. The principals behind Movie 43 might want to employ a similar method on whatever baffled audiences the film manages to attract, since that’s likely the only way to keep them in their seats.
All of the segments feature the sort of cheap scatological humor aimed at the lowest common denominator, with the actors apparently eager to prove just what good sports they can be. Hugh Jackman plays a man with a scrotum hanging from his chin, much to the horror of his blind date ( Kate Winslet ). Gerard Butler plays a profane leprechaun doing battle with a pair of lowlifes ( Seann William Scott , Johnny Knoxville ) looking to steal his pot of gold. Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber play a couple determined to replicate the high school experience for their home-schooled teenage son, including an incestuous make-out session and gay bashing. Anna Faris plays a woman who asks her boyfriend ( Chris Pratt ), “Will you poop on me?” with explosively messy results. Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant appear as a couple on a blind date who play an increasingly outrageous game of Truth or Dare.
Then there’s Justin Long playing Robin on a speed-dating evening featuring such potential dates as Lois Lane ( Uma Thurman ) and Supergirl ( Kristen Bell ), only to be interrupted by a gleefully licentious Batman ( Jason Sudeikis ) and an insanely jealous Superman ( Bobby Cannavale ); Chloe Grace Moretz as a young woman whose first menstrual period results in enough blood for a slasher film; and Emma Stone and Kieran Culkin as a couple whose flirtatious banter (“I want to give you a hickey on your vagina!”) is broadcast on a supermarket P.A. system.
There’s more, but it seems pointless to further describe the inanities foisted on such performers as Terrence Howard , Seth MacFarlane , Josh Duhamel and Richard Gere , among many others. Suffice it to say that there isn’t one funny moment in this relentlessly witless exercise, which at an opening-day screening induced nary a single laugh from a sparse audience that became even sparser as it unspooled.
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Movie 43 review
Lots of movie pitches basically become a movie in the star-packed Movie 43. But does it all hang together?
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How do you even begin to write about a movie like Movie 43? It’s a collection of unrelated comedy short films all tied together by a framing device in which hack director Charlie Wessler (Dennis Quaid) finds himself in the office of Griffin Schraeder (Greg Kinnear). The meeting is a simple one: Wessler wants to pitch a movie, sell the movie, and get the movie sold. He’s willing to do this by any means necessary, even nefarious means. As he goes through his list of ideas and pitches, his intelligent, heart-felt movie becomes, well… Movie 43 .
The closest comparison most people will make is to the seminal catch-all comedy classic Kentucky Fried Movie . However, it’s really more like the follow-up/unofficial sequel Amazon Women On The Moon . Whereas Kentucky Fried Movie is one director (John Landis) and three writers (Zucker Abrams Zucker of Police Squad/The Naked Gun fame), Amazon Women On The Moon is multiple directors all of whom tackle different segments of the movie. Movie 43 has both multiple unconnected writers and multiple unconnected directors, all of whom tackle different shorts that are all different in tone and style.
The good thing about a loosely-connected movie is that if a skit doesn’t work, it will at least be over soon and the next skit can begin. In the case of Movie 43 , most of the skits don’t work, or are mildly amusing at best. The hodgepodge of directors covers both decorated comedy professionals like Peter Farrelly and Bob Odenkirk to helmers better known for other genres, like Brett Ratner and James Gunn and even relatively inexperienced faces like Elizabeth Banks. Even Amazon Women On The Moon cameo Griffin Dunne directs a short! It’s a big mixed bag of styles, with some people doing standard comedy, some doing spoofs of other things, and James Gunn taking on a weird Who Framed Roger Rabbit? style live-action/cartoon hybrid.
The cast is also a weird collection of A-list personalities who are probably too good for this movie. We’ll do a quick run-down of the most noteworthy in the sub-skits: Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet on a disaster of a blind date, Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts as a pair of overprotective parents, Chris Pratt and Anna Faris as a couple on the cusp of a big change in their relationship, Kieran Culkin and Emma Stone as a pair of dirty-laundry-airing lovers, Richard Gere and Kate Bosworth as techno-geeks behind a hot new piece of technology, a laundry list of people as super heroes (Justin Long, Jason Sudekis, Uma Thurman, Bobby Cannavale, Kristen Bell, and John Hodgman) at a speed dating event, and about a million other folks in a variety of weird settings.
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Still, despite the great cast, the writing is not up to par. The best skit of the bunch comes near the end of the movie in the form of Terrence Howard as an inspiring basketball coach in the segregated 50s, but the rest of them are a mish-mash of good ideas poorly executed, bad ideas well executed, and bad ideas poorly executed. I imagine if you like scatalogical humor then maybe you’ll get some chuckles out of some of the scenes, but the majority of them seemed to fall flat, at least with the audience in my screening.
It’s tough to give an overall rating for a film that’s basically bits and pieces stuck together. For every successful skit, there are two that don’t really work or that overstay their simple premise. Unsurprisingly for a movie with 21 different credited writers and directors, this movie is an inconsistent mess. There’s nothing uniform, except for perhaps disappointment. You would think that, given four years of production on the film, they would have found time to write better jokes…
US Correspondent Ron Hogan loves a good comedy shorts collection, but unfortunately this movie is not one of those. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi .
Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here . And be our Facebook chum here .
Ron Hogan is a freelance writer from Louisville, Kentucky who got an English degree from a college no one has ever heard of. After dropping out…
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- DVD & Streaming
- January 25, 2013
- Hugh Jackman as Davis; Halle Berry as Emily; Emma Stone as Veronica; Chloë Grace Moretz as Amanda; Gerard Butler as Chaun; Elizabeth Banks as Amy; Kristen Bell as Supergirl; Naomi Watts as Samantha; Chris Pratt as Jason; Kate Winslet as Juliet Hulme; Anna Faris as Vanessa; Richard Gere as Boss; Josh Duhamel as Anson; Uma Thurman as Lois Lane; Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Mikey; Patrick Warburton as Dad; Seann William Scott as Brian; Liev Schreiber as Robert; Justin Long as Robin; Kieran Culkin as Neil; Kate Bosworth as Arlene; Jason Sudeikis as Batman; Leslie Bibb as Wonder Woman; Bobby Cannavale as Superman; Terrence Howard as Coach Jackson; Johnny Knoxville as Pete; Dennis Quaid as Charlie; Seth MacFarlane and Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi as Themselves
Home Release Date
- June 18, 2013
- Patrik Forsberg, Peter Farrelly, James Gunn, Jonathan van Tulleken, Griffin Dunne, Rusty Cundieff, Elizabeth Banks, James Duffy
- Relativity Media
A man walks into a movie producer’s office with a pitch for a film. The producer doesn’t like the idea. So the man pitches other ideas. And the producer doesn’t like those either. The man then pulls a gun and makes the movie producer listen to still more pitches. The movie producer—now a hostage—listens. And moviegoers watch as the ideas play out.
But before I write down even the sketchiest details about what those ideas/skits/vignettes are, I must warn you, review reader, that the contents of virtually every aspect of what the man “shows” the producer are flagrantly foul. Strike that. They’re obscene . And even summarized descriptions of Movie 43′ s most basic plot points can be disturbing.
In other words, the movie producer didn’t have a choice. You do—whether you watch this movie or even whether you continue reading this review.
These are the things the movie producer is assaulted with:
“The Catch” — A successful but single career woman lands a blind date with a renowned businessman. When he removes his scarf at dinner, she’s horrified to see that he has a scrotum dangling beneath his chin.
“Homeschooled” — Psychotic homeschooling parents want to ensure that their son doesn’t miss out on anything he’d experience in a public high school. So they bully him, swear at him and call him a “f-g.” Then mom plays the part of a girl who wants her “first time” to be with him, while dad plays the role of a gay friend coming out to him.
“The Proposition” — A young man is thrilled to pop the question to the woman of his dreams … until she tells him that she wants him to defecate on her.
“Veronica” — A checker at a grocery store engages in a passionate, detailed and sexually explicit conversation with his ex-girlfriend in a failed attempt to woo her back. Everyone in the store hears as he’s speaking right into the PA system.
“iBabe” — A tech company’s new MP3 player, crafted to look like a life-size naked woman, is creating legal woes because guys keep trying to have sex with it. (The figure is anatomically correct … with a whirling cooling fan installed in the machine’s vagina.)
“Superhero Speed Dating” — Robin just wants to get a date. But Batman keeps sabotaging him … by looking up Supergirl’s skirt, among many other nasty things.
“Machine Kids” — A public service announcement crusading against workplace violence reminds watchers that we should be kind to machines. Why? Because small children live in them and operate them.
“Middle School Date” — A seventh-grader is just starting to make out with a boy on his couch when she gets her period for the first time … and bleeds profusely all over the house.
“Tampax” — Two sultry models in bikinis go for a swim in the ocean. One gets chomped to death by a great white shark. Then the commercial reminds women that there’s only one tampon that’s genuinely leak-proof.
“Happy Birthday” — After a man’s best friend sleeps with his girlfriend, the cheating friend tries to make up for it by kidnapping for him an exceedingly violent leprechaun and a fairy who likes to perform oral sex.
“Truth or Dare” — A man and a woman on a blind date at a restaurant initiate a game of truth or dare. By the time they’re done, he has an ejaculating-penis tattoo on his cheek and has had plastic surgery to make him look Asian. Meanwhile, she’s made guacamole dip with her breast and gotten impossibly large breast implants.
“Victor’s Glory” — A black coach in the 1950s attempts to convince his team that they’ll win a basketball game simply because they’re black … and because they have enormous genitalia. They win 103 to 1.
“Beezel” — This mock TV sitcom involves a man, his animated cat and the woman he loves. Beezel, the male cat, fantasizes about all manner of sex with his owner. Eventually Beezel and the woman take turns trying to kill each other while vying for his affection.
Passing reference is made to Jesus having created black men … and their “large” genitals. A sexually active woman jokes that she’ll see her ex in church.
“iBabe” features breast nudity and full-frontal nudity. Much conversation revolves around what happens to men’s anatomy when they try to have sex with the so-called MP3 player—which is actually “portrayed” by two live, naked women. “The Catch” shows the man’s chin-mounted testicles as he eats and tries to kiss his date.
In other sketches we see a high school boy’s mother try to get him to kiss her; Batman sees and makes multiple crude comments about Supergirl’s genitals; Wonder Woman talks about broken condoms and an abortion at Planned Parenthood; a woman asks her boyfriend to defecate on her for sexual purposes, a couple has sex. We see and hear jokes revolving around bestiality, masturbation, oral sex, gay sex, peeping Toms, anatomical shapes and sizes, circumcision and sexually transmitted infections. We hear f-words used in sexual contexts. A middle school date involves kissing and making out.
We see the bloodied, fingerless hand of a guy who had inappropriate contact with iBabe. Leprechauns make multiple, graphic threats against their captors’ genitals; fistfights ensue, and a man loses an eye. The mythological creatures are eventually shot, put in trash bags and thrown away.
As mentioned, a giant shark bites a woman in two. We watch as her severed limbs fall back into the water and blood sprays. Also as mentioned, the would-be moviemaker holds a producer hostage at gunpoint. Then, when that producer learns about an executive at his studio having sex with his wife, he takes the gun and threatens his boss. A shootout (of sorts) ensues.
The cat Beezel runs over his owner’s girlfriend with a truck and shoots her with a shotgun. She in turn tries to kill him with repeated blows from a shovel, which knock him into a backyard birthday party. The children at the party attack the woman to try to save the cat. A man runs into the street and gets hit by a car, spraying excrement all over the car and the intersection.
A basketball game between blacks and whites features players hitting one another. There’s a fight in a bar.
Crude or Profane Language
Close to 65 f-words, a half-dozen of which are paired with “mother.” The s-word tally stands at 25. God’s name is taken in vain nearly 20 times, often paired with “d‑‑n.” We hear racial slurs and nearly 30 crude/rude/vulgar/obscene references to the male and female anatomy, including “p‑‑‑y,” “d‑‑k,” “c‑‑k,” “c‑‑ks‑‑‑er,” “pr‑‑k” and two uses of the c-word.
Drug and Alcohol Content
People drink wine, beer and vodka, some of it at a high school party. Somebody smokes.
Other Negative Elements
The homeschooling parents tie their boy to a flagpole with duct tape, write “FRESHMAN” in excrement on his mostly naked body and force him to yell out humiliating obscenities. A young girl’s first period is played off as humor as she bleeds all over a living room, smearing blood on furniture and walls.
Beezel sprays a woman with a massive amount of urine. The cat also breaks a thermometer, eats the mercury, then vomits.
Fetid. Unfunny. Skip. That’s my three-word conclusion.
If you must have a slightly longer version, here it is: Take the nastiest, least-funny Saturday Night Live skit that’s ever been produced, then add hundreds of profanities, bestiality, incest, testicles, bullying, full-frontal nudity, homophobic slurs, excrement fetishes, penis tattoos, prosthetic breasts dipped in guaca—
Let’s go back to my first instinct. Fetid. Unfunny. Skip.
A postscript: What compelled Movie 43′ s long litany of stars—many of them A-listers—to participate in its naughty, nasty and obscene gags is a massive mystery. But in case you didn’t read the credits at the top of this review, I’m going to list them again here, as a sort of wall of shame entry at the very end of this review: Hugh Jackman, Richard Gere, Halle Berry, Emma Stone, Gerard Butler, Elizabeth Banks, Uma Thurman, Kristen Bell, Naomi Watts, Dennis Quaid, Chris Pratt, Kate Winslet, Anna Faris, Josh Duhamel, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Patrick Warburton, Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber, Justin Long, Kieran Culkin, Kate Bosworth, Jason Sudeikis, Leslie Bibb, Bobby Cannavale, Terrence Howard, Johnny Knoxville, Seth MacFarlane and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi.
Adam R. Holz
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.
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Movie Review: Movie 43 (2013)
- Adam Bilbrey
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- 10 responses
- --> January 26, 2013
Movie 43 is basically the first new comedy of 2013 (“ A Haunted House ” does not count). It’s not, however, a comedy in the normal sense. 12 directors — Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Griffin Dunne, Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg, James Gunn, Bob Odenkirk, Brett Ratner, and Jonathan van Tulleken — each helm an unrelated vignette. Starring in these short films is a veritable who’s who of Hollywood. Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Halle Berry, Terrence Howard, Gerard Butler, Johnny Knoxville, Anna Faris, Uma Thurman, Seth MacFarlene, Emma Stone, Richard Gere, to name a few, lend their talents. Some very uncharacteristic talents.
So with so many big names attached, the movie must be awesome . . . right? Well, if you’re expecting this amazing, laugh-out-loud movie then disappointment awaits. No, like the star-studded “ Gangster Squad ,” Movie 43 is merely serviceable.
What it does do well, however, is find the boundaries of decency and race past them. There are sequences that made me think, “Are they allowed to put that in a movie?” There are other sequences that made me think, “I can’t believe they put that in a movie!” And as much as I would love to say that each and every one of these highly irreverent shorts is really strong, gripping, and funny, they’re not. Just like “ The Kentucky Fried Movie ,” some of them hit while others miss.
For instance, Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott’s short entitled “Happy Birthday” was rather long and got quite boring as it moved on (not even Gerard Butler as an angry leprechaun could save it) . Chris Pratt and Anna Faris’ scatological “The Proposition” stunk (pun intended) and “Victory’s Glory” with Terrence Howard just couldn’t deliver on the “white men can’t jump” joke. On the other hand, Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant’s extreme body modification short entitled “Truth or Dare” had me and my friends rolling, as did Chloe Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s “Middleschool Date” which poked fun at menstruation and male idiocy.
A basketball play.
Other skits like “Veronica,” “Homeschooled,” “Super Hero Speed Dating,” and “Machine Kids” are just okay — good for, at most, a chuckle.
The reason for many of the misses, I suspect, is because many of the directors and actors were so far out of their comfort zone. Signing on to a project like Movie 43 , was an opportunity to put forth an outrageous performance yet several held back and others looked like they were lost puppies. Some like Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and Uma Thurman got it and deserve credit for embracing their exceedingly nonsensical roles.
Ultimately, Movie 43 is a mixed bag of nuts. The good shorts, like an almond, are a treat. There aren’t many of them, mind you, but hearty laughs can be had from them. The bad shorts, well they’re like a stale peanut — plentiful and gag inducing. They’re so plentiful in fact, that I don’t recommend paying full price to see, catch it on a matinee or wait for Redbox.
Tagged: ensemble cast , relationship , slapstick
I am Adam Bilbrey.. I love film, I love writing, and I love discussion. Heck, I also helped a producer down here in Tennessee work on a film he has in the works entitled 'Jack Phoenix.' I have a lot of experience with film, TV, etc. I run a big Facebook page called 'Film-Talk' where some friends in NY and myself discuss film.
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'Movie Review: Movie 43 (2013)' have 10 comments
January 26, 2013 @ 3:08 am Volgin
Crazy that Peter Farrelly claims this was the funniest movie of his career.
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January 27, 2013 @ 11:22 pm liquorun
Brother Bobby wasn’t around to smack some sense into him.
January 26, 2013 @ 5:24 am Blake Simin
I won’t even rent this.
January 26, 2013 @ 8:27 am POM1964
It earns the honor of being the first movie I ever walked out of.
January 26, 2013 @ 3:15 pm Predate Cocktail
Comes down to making things more offensive doesn’t make them any funnier. Especially in the hands of the inexperienced.
January 26, 2013 @ 5:49 pm mewtation
I was thinking how bad could this really be? Really really bad it turns out. Good review,wish I had read it beforehand.
January 26, 2013 @ 6:38 pm Guest_Services
Maybe I stand alone but I don’t think boundaries were pushed far enough. They thought they were being edgy but that’s because studio suits have no clue whats going on outside their finely decorated offices. M43 was tame.
January 29, 2013 @ 11:29 pm 100.99
February 9, 2013 @ 2:45 am Greg Eichelberger
You write that this is “not a comedy in the normal sense.” I would like to add this is not a comedy in ANY sense …
March 4, 2013 @ 8:19 pm Adam Hixon
The Tampax commercial was funny.
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Movie 43 Review
I love a good gross out comedy. I even enjoy sketch comedy movies despite the fact that form doesn’t really work on the big screen. I wanted to enjoy Movie 43 . I really did. The idea of one of the Farrelly Brothers talking a cast of famous faces into doing the filthiest and most offensively dumb comedy you can imagine as a grand Hollywood prank seemed like a guilty pleasure that was right up my ally. Sadly no amount of self-delusion could possibly make me even pretend this piece of garbage shat out at the ass end of the January dumping ground qualifies as passable comedy for a second. I never really understand when people call dark comedy mean spirited or offensive, but thankfully that’s not the problem. Movie 43 doesn’t cross any sort of good taste barrier that makes it upsetting. It’s just not funny whatsoever and drags on endlessly with self-satisfied stabs at gross out gags by a group of actors and filmmakers who should know better. This movie was clearly buried for a reason. Everyone involved just wants it to go away so they can move on with their careers. The Razzie 2013 race starts here and frankly, they should just hand over the award now.
The general concept involves Dennis Quaid as a psychotic screenwriter performing a terribly offensive pitch to Greg Kinnear that goes down so poorly that it turns into a hostage situation. In between that go-nowhere connective tissue, we’re offered the pleasure of seeing celebrity packed sketches like Kate Winslet going on a date with Hugh Jackman only to discover he’s got balls hanging from his chin, Emma Stone and Kieran Culkin arguing over who gave who an STD, Halle Berry and Steven Merchant playing truth or dare, Elizabeth Banks fighting a masturbating cartoon cat, Johnny Knoxville giving Sean William Scott a vulgar leprechaun for his birthday, Christopher Mintz-Plasse freaking out over a girl having her period, a naked woman mp3 player that’s cutting off teen boys’ dicks, Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts abusively home schooling their child, Chris Pratt taking a dump on Anna Faris, Terrence Howard telling a basketball team they’ll win because they are black, and other nonsense. Every sketch exists purely to break some sort of taboo, but everyone involved forgot to actually make that funny.
It’s been a long dark road for the Farrelly Brothers since their trilogy of lightheartedly profane triumphs in the 90s ( Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin , and There’s Something About Mary ). Their once easy comedy touch seemed to disappear immediately after their first blockbuster and while The Three Stooges gave me hope that they might just have a few laughs left in the tank, the fact that Peter Farrelly wasted four years making Movie 43 instantly erases that small dream. That’s right, four years. Farrelly apparently nursed this nonsense along as a dream project, convinced he could talk a cavalcade of famous faces to join in on the joke and create a cult oddity. Somehow over all that time no one bothered to point out that the script falls into the worst trap of bad SNL sketches. None of these segments are properly written sketches. They’re premises that are repeated over and over until a black out. Sure it’s somewhat funny to see Jackman’s ball chin for the first time simply because it’s clear a team of make up people had to actually craft the prosthetic and Jackman had to spend hours putting it on, but then they have nowhere to go other that point out, “Holy crap! He’s got balls on his chin! Do you see that?” That’s true of every segment on display. When you start with a gross out premise you have to figure out how to top yourself or the whole thing is useless. Putting a famous star into a failed sketch doesn’t save it either. It just makes the whole thing that much more disappointing (again, see SNL for more).
To be fair, there are a couple of mildly amusing moments in Movie 43 , most of which were in the trailer. Other than that, there are two somewhat funny fake commercials (the inclusion of which doesn’t even make sense in the movie pitch concept, but whatever) and the sketch with Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant is ok simply because Merchant is actually a comedian and a good one. But, we’re talking about maybe 3 minutes of laughter in a 90-minute movie. Surely someone involved must have noticed what was happening wasn’t funny at some point in this process.
My guess is that Peter Farrelly just kept making sketches hoping that the next one might work and at a certain point had spent too much money to stop. The saddest part is that it would have been fantastic to see a huge movie with this cast actually delivering decent offensive comedy. It could have been an oddly subversive blockbuster. Instead, it’s just a dull trainwreck that’s an embarrassment for everyone involved. This feels like it might become one of those infamous bombs that books and film critic punchlines are made of. It really is enough of a grand failure to deserve infamy, but also one pretty well guaranteed to never earn a cult audience (except for maybe amongst a few middle school burnouts who like writing graffiti with the excrement on public toilet walls since the movie hits their level of humor). If you really want a sign of what a disaster this movie is, here it is: at one point Trey Parker and Matt Stone were going to do a segment, but never did. There are no comedy minds in Hollywood better suited to creating a ludicrously offensive sketch with celebrities and they’ve got 38 weeks off from South Park per year to shoot a sketch over a few days. But, they’re also guys with high enough standards to know to avoid doing crap for cash. Seth MacFarlane is in Movie 43 though. Draw your own conclusions.
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'movie 43' reviews: 11 nasty critical burns about star-studded comedy.
Managing Entertainment Editor, The Huffington Post
An early favorite for worst movie of 2013? Try "Movie 43," which is apparently so bad that it makes "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" seem less terrible by comparison.
The star-studded comedy, which wasn't screened in advance for critics, owns a 5 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with many reviewers hammering the film for its across-the-board failures. It's probably not a coincidence the "Movie 43" stars -- Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, Richard Gere, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Jason Sudeikis, Chloe Moretz, Anna Faris, Terrence Howard and even Seth MacFarlane -- weren't made available for press interviews; as The New York Post posited, the comedy is one "that Hollywood’s A-list wants to forget."
Not you, though -- especially if you're a connoisseur of bad reviews. Ahead, the 11 nastiest critical burns written about "Movie 43."
1. "The main problem with 'Movie 43,' aside from its complete lack of wit and nuance, is overkill. [...] You end up thinking to yourself: Did the directors ever talk to each other? Did they know that they were all repeating the same jokes ad nauseam? Did anyone care?" -- Eric Walkuski, JoBlo.com
2. "The stars are unprotected, vulnerable in a way you don’t see them anymore, looking like porn actors who’ve wandered onto the set without their entourages or a clear idea of where their marks are or even how they came to be there speaking unspeakable lines crammed with 'XXX'-rated words. Was someone holding Kate Winslet’s children hostage? Threatening to release compromising pictures of Emma Stone? Did Richard Gere or Hugh Jackman have gambling debts? It would have been fun in a sadistic way to put a camera on the actors as they watched the finished film for the first time and tremblingly called their agents." -- David Edelstein, New York
3. "It’s as if 'Movie 43' was itself a feature-length f--k-you to Hollywood, a movie made simply to show how bad a movie a studio could be induced to make and actors could be persuaded to act in." -- Richard Brody, The New Yorker
4. "Worst of all, Farrelly’s film just never knows when to give up, subjecting audiences not only to a never-ending credits sequence gag reel, but yet another post-credits short starring (and directed by) Elizabeth Banks. She gets pissed on by a cartoon cat." -- Josh Winning, Total Film
5. "Most of the actors appear to be visibly uncomfortable in their sections, and a report earlier this week essentially suggested that Farrelly harassed most of the participants into being in the movie, sometimes waiting years for the actor’s schedule to open up so they could shoot a bit. (Gere, for all his clear unhappiness, forced the production to switch coasts to facilitate his sketch, which is hilariously impish. Right on Richard Gere!) The first section, with Jackman (playing a man who has testicles hanging off his chin) and Winslet, was shot FOUR YEARS AGO. Even after people said yes, they didn’t want to be in this thing." -- Drew Taylor, Moviefone
6. "[I]f you mashed-up the worst parts of the infamous 'Howard the Duck,' 'Gigli,' 'Ishtar' and every other awful movie I’ve seen since I started reviewing professionally in 1981, it wouldn’t begin to approach the sheer soul-sucking badness of the cringe-inducing 'Movie 43,' which has been dumped on an unsuspecting public without advance press screenings." -- Lou Lumenick, New York Post
7. "Suffice it to say that there isn’t one funny moment in this relentlessly witless exercise, which at an opening-day screening induced nary a single laugh from a sparse audience that became even sparser as it unspooled." -- Frank Scheck, THR
8. "'Movie 43' is a debacle of the highest order, featuring four total laughs and two decent sketches amongst its entire 85-minute runtime. Looking at the fractions of 4/85 and then factoring in the two decent bits sprinkled in during 15 total shorts, one could come to the conclusion that this was a tax write-off scheme." -- Laremy Legel, Film.com
9. "'Movie 43' reportedly took four years to make because it was so difficult to line up the schedules of its ridiculously overqualified cast. Had the filmmakers taken a few more years, maybe they could have come up with more than a single workable joke." -- Nathan Rabin, A.V. Club
10. "Movie 43 is mostly just a whiff." -- Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out London
11. "'Movie 43' has 12 directors and 17 writers credited with this anthology of shorts modeled, according to producers Peter Farrelly and Charlie Wessler, in the spirit of 'Kentucky Fried Movie.' Surprisingly, none of those writers or directors go by the name Alan Smithee." -- Jenni Miller, Hollywood.com
The All-Star Cast of "Movie 43"
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Tales From The Box Office: Movie 43 Was An Epic Disaster ... Or Was It?
( Welcome to Tales from the Box Office , our column that examines box office miracles, disasters, and everything in between, as well as what we can learn from them. )
There are, and always will be, movies that critics hate. It's just the nature of the beast as it exists. And let's be fair, general audiences oftentimes simply disagree with critics. Just look at the fact that "Venom" made a stunning $856 million at the global box office against pretty terrible reviews . To put it simply, it do be like that sometimes. But then there is the occasional movie that is perceived to be so bad, it almost instantly etches itself into the annals of cinema history in the most unflattering way possible. Enter 2013's "Movie 43," a comedy with staggeringly abysmal reviews and an equally staggering, star-studded cast that stunned Hollywood with its awfulness. Again, if the reviews are to be believed.
The movie was the brainchild of producer Charles B. Wessler, who had been kicking around the idea for years with no success in terms of getting it made. The idea? Put together a feature-length collection of sketches and clips of the raunchy and outrageous variety, with as many famous people as possible anchoring the whole thing down. The result? One of the most reviled studio movies of the last 20 years. Yet, it's one that actually may have, in the end, become a modest success anyhow.
In honor of the movie's tenth anniversary, we're looking back at "Movie 43," how it finally got made, how it managed to put together that insane ensemble cast, what happened when it actually hit theaters, and what we can learn from it a decade later. Let's dig in, shall we?
The movie: Movie 43
When the film was first coming together, without its title (we'll get to that), Wessler assembled an impressive list of directors in Trey Parker and Matt Stone ("South Park"), Peter and Bob Farrelly ("Dumb and Dumber"), and David and Jerry Zucker ("Airplane!) to direct the various segments. All but the Farrelly brothers eventually dropped out. Many others, such as Elizabeth Banks and James Gunn would eventually fill in, even if Gunn didn't exactly have kind things to say about it after the fact. "I didn't even get to edit that stupid thing!" the now-co-head of DC Studios said on a Facebook live .
Wessler was still determined, despite things not going very well. At one point, he even had a studio bail well into negotiations. "They ended up calling me about a month after we started negotiating the deal and said 'we can't do it' because they had political pressure to not make R-rated movies that were marketed to teenagers," he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2013. Then, finally, he managed to cut a deal with Relativity Media. How, exactly? By showing them a particularly raunchy short (the first one shot for the film), in which Hugh Jackman goes on a date with Kate Winslet — and he's got a literal set of testicles drooping from his chin.
"They just looked at me and said, 'Go for it.' It takes a lot of balls to make something that is not conventional," Wessler told THR. And so, it was off to the races. Though it would take patience, in large part because they had to assemble a downright silly cast that includes (but is not limited to) Dennis Quaid, Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Johnny Knoxville, Gerard Butler, Emma Stone, Halle Berry, Terrence Howard, and many, many more.
Not taking no for an answer
"Most agents would avoid me because they knew what I wanted to do — what agent wants to book their big client in a no pay, $800-a-day, two-day shoot?" Wessler explained at the time. "The truth is, I had a lot of friends who were in this movie. And if they didn't say yes, this movie wouldn't have gotten made." As he told it, the actors were mostly willing to do it because it let them play outside of their typical wheelhouse. Wolverine by day, guy with balls on your chin by night, as it were. Peter Farrelly also explained to the New York Post in 2013 that they had to get creative when it came to actually getting these agreements to stick. "They clearly wanted out," he said, "but we wouldn't let them. Wait for them. Shoot them when they want to shoot. Guilt them to death."
In the end, it took four years to cobble the whole thing together, waiting for various actors' schedules to clear up. Richard Gere was, in particular, tough to wrangle, but he eventually agreed under several conditions, including getting it done in just four days. And so it went. Fortunately, it was the kind of movie that one could pick up with as people became available. Shoot what you can, wait until the guilt lines up with the timing. Not everyone said yes, however, with the likes of Colin Farrell and George Clooney turning it down. Clooney, in particular, reportedly said , "No f***ing way."
As for the seemingly nonsensical title? It's nonsense and means nothing. Farrelly apparently heard his son speaking with some friends about a film called "Movie 43." Yet, upon further inspection, he discovered that such a film didn't exist. So he took the name, and thus, this collection of R-rated, low-brow sketches had something to go by.
The financial journey
Typically, a movie with a cast with a tenth of this star power would enter theaters with a tidal wave of promotion. But in this case, no one from the impressive ensemble promoted the film in any meaningful way. Yes, Relativity released a trailer, but beyond that, it was close to radio silence. Be that as it may, "Movie 43" was released domestically on January 25, 2013 to downright scathing reviews. To date it carries a mere 4% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes , with a meager 24% audience score.
Can critics be blamed for not going to bat for a sketch that involves Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber homeschooling their kid in creepy fashion? Or one where Chris Pratt takes a dump on Anna Faris' chest? Naturally, with little promotion and not much of a marketing campaign to speak of, the film disappointed in theaters, taking in just $4.8 million on its opening weekend, placing at number seven on the charts. It dropped off a cliff the following weekend, dropping more than 65% and earning just $1.6 million. So it was a disaster ... right?
Well, not so fast. In the end, the film took in $8.8 million domestic and, rather surprisingly, $23.5 million internationally for a grand total of $32.4 million . Plus, the budget was just $6 million, since the stars were paid very little for their time. Not only that, but Relativity managed to cover the entirety of the budget through foreign presales and a deal with Netflix . So, for the most part, anything beyond recouping the minimal marketing spend was profit — even if some of the stars were surely entitled to a cut.
The lessons contained within
It is, in some cases, difficult to look for something of value in the case of something so reviled by so many. This is a movie that its stars rejected in its day, that audiences roundly decided they didn't care about, and that most major studios ran away from. It is, by most measures, an embarrassment. Then again, it probably actually managed to make some money for Relativity, the only studio that saw an opportunity here, even though the widespread perception was one of failure.
There is then, perhaps, a lesson in relativity as it relates to the movie business. Sure, a movie can be perceived widely as a failure, in no small part due to loud hatred of the movie in question. Just look at 2016's "Suicide Squad," a movie many would probably label as "bad" that made $746 million at the box office and, perhaps even more amazingly, won an Oscar. There's also "Transformers: Age of Extinction" ( $1.1 billion ), and low-brow fare such as "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" ( $183 million ) and "Grown Ups" ( $271 million ). The list goes on. And they can be successful business ventures despite whatever perception may exist.
The point is, numbers, in the end, may not tell the whole story, but they don't lie either. So sure, in its day, "Movie 43" could have been looked at as a disaster and, in what little reflection there is on the largely forgotten picture, it can still be viewed as a tasteless piece of cinema. Be that as it may, it made well over five times its production budget with next to no risk on the part of the studio. That, by any studio's definition, is probably considered to be good business — perception be damned.
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- Parents say (10)
- Kids say (23)
Based on 10 parent reviews
The worst movie I've ever seen
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As bad as you've heard it is, not for kids, very bad, overly exaggerated, and incredibly vulgar. not for anyone actually., very bad movie, the worst of all time, give me a break....
Movie 43 Review
- June 27, 2013
Already there are so-called critics putting Movie 43 down as the worst movie of 2013. While Movie 43 is certainly not a great film, it certainly has its comedic charms and works on some level. A collection of unrelated comedic sketches in the mode of Saturday Night Live , the primary attraction is seeing a star-studded Hollywood cast show up in the most outrageous and crudest skits possible. Think a random pairing of Saturday Night Live’s sketches in which the material is completely uncensored and pushed to the limits of the R-rating. Not all of the skits are funny or even hit the mark, but fans of over-the-top comedy will get a few belly laughs.
The theatrical version of the movie frames the comedy around a desperate, crazed writer played by Dennis Quaid and a Hollywood producer, played by Greg Kinnear. It is a poor vehicle to link the movie’s entire narrative around and its unoriginal jokes hurt the film’s tone, likely playing a small part in the movie’s poor reception. The actual comedic sketches, starring some of Hollywood’s most popular and famous actors, are occasionally very funny if one can quickly forget some of the dumber sketches. There is a pronounced tendency for the outrageous humor to go far past the bounds of decency, including gross physical and sexual comedy.
Without reeling off the entire cast, stars like Richard Gere, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Gerard Butler, Emma Stone and Halle Berry all make substantial appearances. Most of the skits feature more than one major star, though they are usually complemented by actors more known for their work in comedy, such as Anna Faris and Jason Sudeikis. One of the major attractions in Movie 43 is seeing these famous stars work with such perverse and graphic material, which goes far beyond the bounds of anything seen on network television or in their normal movie careers. The skit with Hugh Jackman features a gigantic pair of testicles growing from his chin, as he goes on a blind date with a stunned Kate Winslet. Elizabeth Banks gets completely soaked in cat urine by an animated feline.
Not everything works, in fact some of the skits are not that funny and underwritten at times. Anna Faris mines the depths of scatological humor in her skit featuring a woman hoping to reach a new level of bedroom intimacy with her boyfriend, but its extreme gross-out humor is predictable and stupid. Richard Gere sleepwalks through his role in iBabe, a graphic sketch mocking Steve Jobs and Apple’s iPod line. Terrence Howard’s sketch, featuring an all-black basketball team playing in 1959, makes one joke and keeps repeating it ad nauseam.
The funniest stuff comes from the actors well versed in comedic roles. Justin Long and Jason Sudeikis, as Robin and Batman at a speed dating meeting, are hilarious as they have to deal with other superheroes and villains showing up. Naomi Watts plays a creepy but hilarious turn as a mother trying to give her home-schooled teenager a “normal” high school life. Seann William Scott has to deal with a demented leprechaun.
Movie 43 is certainly no classic and some of the sketches are instantly forgettable, but there is a market for its extreme humor. This is the type of comedy that makes for an excellent rental if you are into the most outrageous comedy possible.
Movie 43’s checkered production history stretches back several years and there are drastic differences in the video quality between some of the sketches. It is very likely that different film crews were required to shoot the various scenes over the years, not to mention the possibility of different cameras. That leads to a finished product which is visually inconsistent at best. It is apparent a semi-consistent look was attempted for each sketch using digital color grading and processing on the Digital Intermediate, but the results are unimpressive.
Mostly shot on quality digital cameras, the video has the appearance of clean but tacky digital shooting. The print is free of major problems with a hot-and-cold contrast and reasonable depth. Various digital tweaks to the finished product produce erratic color grading and differing levels of digital noise reduction. Filtering goes from unobjectionable to terrible at times, such as the entire sketch with Anna Faris has been overtly softened and de-focused. A touch of ringing creeps into the video.
Fox itself has done everything they can to give Movie 43 the best possible presentation on Blu-ray. The two cuts, the longer one running 98 minutes, are included on a BD-50 with few special features. The AVC video encode averages a robust 34 Mbps, which allows the compression to transparently replicate the Digital Intermediate without a single failure or artifact.
The video quality is not poor by any means, modern digital HD cameras have come a long way and their typical strengths of clarity and sharpness save Movie 43 from being a completely ugly film. This type of quickly-shot sketch comedy does not lend itself to beautiful picture quality. The inconsistent nature of each sketch’s cinematography and some of the poor grading choices bring the overall score down. Exterior shots end up looking pristine, particularly in the sunny settings, but interiors fall flat with mild black crush and orange-colored flesh-tones.
Movie 43’s audio is served up in a perfectly acceptable 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack. Like most comedies, there is little surround activity and the LFE channel only becomes engaged to support musical passages. Dialogue is clear and intelligible through the center channel, though the production differences between each comedic sketch bring to light varying changes in quality. Music is spread over all channels, though there is very limited directionality to the sound design.
Optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles are provided as choices in the menu. Both show up in a white font.
Aside from the alternate, unrated cut of the film as an option, Fox has included a paltry selection of special features. One wonders why the Julianne Moore sketch was deleted in the first place, it fits right in with the rest of the movie’s comedy. I have to warn people away from watching the alternate cut, the change in framing device from the theatrical cut simply does not work and will drive viewers to frustration in how laughably atrocious it becomes. I recommend totally skipping the alternate cut. Fox has provided an iTunes digital copy in the set alongside a DVD. A slipcover will be available in first pressings.
Find Our Daughter (04:45 in 1080P) – Inexplicably cut from the movie, this brief sketch starring Julianne Moore and Tony Shalhoub as two parents looking for their missing daughter is mildly funny. It only works due to the uncensored, no-holds-barred nature of its R-rated material.
Theatrical Trailer (02:23 in 1080P)
Trailers (all in HD) – The Heat (02:06), Blu-ray Experience Promo (01:18), 21 & Over (01:43), The Oranges (02:18)
Full disclosure : This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For more information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.
Christopher Zabel has moderated the AVSForum's Picture Quality Tiers for the last decade. A videophile with a real passion for genre films and quality filmmaking, personal favorites include everything from Fight Club to 2001: A Space Odyssey. A firm believer in physical media, his ever-growing film collection has begun threatening the space-time continuum with its enormous mass.
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The Super Bowl Ads, Ranked
Here is how our critic saw the Super Bowl commercials from best to worst.
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By Mike Hale
In the spirit of “Who actually watches the game?,” here is our ranking of Sunday night’s Super Bowl commercials, from best to worst.
Ground rules: Only ads shown on the national CBS broadcast during the game were eligible. Not included are some non-commercial (religious, political, social advocacy) spots and most movie trailers and promos for television and streaming broadcasts.
The Best of the Bunch
These are the ones we’ll remember for at least a day or two.
Christopher Walken makes fun of people making fun of Christopher Walken, with a cameo performance by the Super Bowl halftime star Usher. As always, he walks the walk.
Aubrey Plaza flat-affects her way through life with the help of a carbonated citrus beverage. Plaza is reliably droll, and there’s a late “Parks and Recreation” homage.
Aliens (a theme in this year’s ads) come to earth and can’t get our attention until they figure out how to get on the internet. It is handsomely directed by Martin Scorsese (working with the “Barbie” cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto), though it’s not at all clear what’s being advertised.
A chocolate ball bops around the world to the tune of Perry Como’s “Round and Round.” Shiny, bouncy candy.
‘A Quiet Place: Day One’
Lupita Nyong’o faces an alien invasion in a prequel film to John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place.” The clear winner among the movie trailers.
A man with low vision records his life in sharp photographs using a new feature of the Google Pixel. Touching story with a predictable but effective big finish.
A blustery Ben Affleck tries to impress an unimpressed Jennifer Lopez while an embarrassed Matt Damon and enthusiastic Tom Brady look on. Pleasant buzz of star power.
A pair of lifelike babies play pickleball with a pair of obnoxious adults in need of schooling. One of the few ads whose humor has anything resembling a bite.
Attractive young people in grainy, retro split-screen video try to convince us of the healthy nature of the sodas sold by this Austin, Texas-based beverage company. Visually fizzy.
National Football League
A youngster imagines playing American football as he runs through a crowded Ghanaian market accompanied by N.F.L. players, then emerges into an N.F.L. international training program and encounters the former New York Giant Osi Umenyiora. Better ground game than the Chiefs or 49ers.
Vince Vaughn explains that Tom Brady, and only Tom Brady, is not allowed to use the sports betting service because he has already won too much. Vaughn-to-Brady is a winning combination.
The Perfectly Fine
These get an A for effort and a B- for execution.
The “Abbott Elementary” star Quinta Brunson tells us (twice) to do our taxes. Brunson is so darn likable that it seems like a good idea.
Cardi B raps about lip gloss; an accompanying comedy bit about men using Duck Plump to plump something other than their lips was available online but not shown on CBS. The timidity was disappointing but Cardi B is never not funny.
Aliens come to earth and, naturally, need an apartment. Simple-minded but any scenario benefits from the presence of Jeff Goldblum.
America realizes it needs to give France a gift in return for the Statue of Liberty, uses Etsy to send a giant cheese board. Sounds cute, and it is.
Dad of the year uses his Kia EV9 to light a pop-up ice rink so a young figure skater can perform for her ailing grandfather. (Or at least that’s what it looks like.) High-horsepower tear-jerker.
The Coors Light train roars across the country to salvage an awkward big-game party. Forward momentum and an amusing five-second LL Cool J cameo.
The American dream as lived by an immigrant named the Beetle, from 1949 to the present, set to “I Am … I Said.” Herbie goes to Ellis Island.
A pair of abuelas named Dina and Mita go into avenger mode when a young guy grabs the last bag of Dinamita chips. Comic action with a brief appearance by Jenna Ortega.
Beyoncé, with the help of Tony Hale (in “Veep” mode), tries to break the internet as a saxophonist, cyborg, Barbie, astronaut and Botus. Sorry, BeyHive, but self-referential does not equal super.
Everyday people contemplate the differences that the Copilot A.I. assistant could make in their lives. Evocative and (intentionally?) a little eerie.
STōK Cold Brew
Anthony Hopkins lampoons his own gravitas to sell cold brew coffee as well as promote the Wrexham soccer club. Sir Anthony is in good form but his 2016 spot for TurboTax was funnier.
Inoffensive but Forgettable
They tried. Nobody got hurt.
Zach Braff and Donald Faison of “Scrubs” join Jason Momoa for a “Flashdance”-inspired musical ode to cutting the cord. Lively, though is this something anyone still needs to be told? (The first T-Mobile spot, with celebrities doing goofy auditions, was more pedestrian.)
A farm grows human couch potatoes who are irrigated with constant streams of their favorite programming. This elaborately staged comic-dystopian scenario is awfully close for comfort.
Randall Park pretends to be John Krasinski in a promo, inspired by a similar gag in “The Office,” for Krasinski’s imaginary-friend film “IF.” Park spars amusingly with Ryan Reynolds but yes, every movie trailer really is too long.
As the movie hero Agent State Farm, Arnold Schwarzenegger sends up his film persona and his actual accent. Schwarzenegger is charming but the joke runs thin faaaast.
Candies joyfully dance before being popped into the mouth of the influencer Addison Rae. Nothing much to it, but watching a big gummy pirouette to “Flashdance … What a Feeling” is just a little bit mesmerizing.
The Clydesdales come out of retirement to pull a wagon of beer through the snow. Artful nostalgia, though who thought “The Weight” was an appropriate anthem for beer delivery?
A sporty young woman runs through lovely mountain landscapes. The clothes won’t make the rest of us look that good.
Young female athletes take pratfalls across a variety of sports in what turns out to be a public service announcement for body positivity. Engaging but not quite coherent.
Had some talent involved but the result sailed wide right.
Tina Fey’s former castmates from “30 Rock” play variations of her to demonstrate that you can be anyone you want on vacation. Funny people trapped in a moldy premise.
The rapper Ice Spice, hanging out at the club with PepsiCo’s Starry, is ambushed by her ex, a generic lemon-lime soda. It’s a blandly cute scenario with a twist of horror.
The fictitious outing of Michael Cera as the mastermind behind the similarly spelled cosmetics line continues in a sendup of dreamy, narcissistic designer-brand commercials. Could have used an exfoliator.
‘N.F.L. Sunday Ticket’
Evoking Carroll Ballard’s wonderful film “Fly Away Home,” a solo pilot follows uniformed Eagles and Seahawks who are migrating away from the football season. Just barely achieves flight.
Lionel Messi kicks a soccer ball around a beach while waiting for his beer; Jason Sudeikis and Dan Marino are among the onlookers. Stylish shrug.
Ken Jeong is unfrozen into a present day full of miracles: fanny packs, drone delivery, Popeyes’ new chicken wings. Studiously neutral about the current state of the world.
Bass Pro Shops
Photogenic middle Americans pilot Bass Tracker fishing boats around picturesque lakes. Straightforward, as if made for local late-night.
A woman in a red body suit yells “Pop me!” in a pitch for pimple patches. Memorable for the wrong reasons.
Chris Pratt puts on a walrus mustache and goes viral as the Pringles guy. Cute but does not answer the question, “Chris Pratt?”
Kate McKinnon and a monosyllabic cat make mayonnaise fly off the shelves in a high-concept spot that has something to do with food waste. Would have been better, and $7 million cheaper, at 30 seconds.
Women chant “hot flash” and “not flash” to promote the prescription menopause medication. Lukewarm.
Various celebrities forget things because of the brain space required to remember everything Uber Eats delivers; for example, Jennifer Aniston forgets David Schwimmer. Maybe they could have ordered a less labored premise?
The messaging app tries to sell itself by putting down the features that characterize other social media. Hey, I like likes!
The Flagrant Missteps
Famous people and millions of dollars that together can’t quite amount to mediocrity.
Dan Marino, Terrell Owens and Bruce Smith receive rings for having come close to winning the Super Bowl. Scarlett Johansson’s cameo can’t save it.
Part “Westworld,” part “Star Wars”: a cybersecurity tech in a digital Old West town fights off alien invaders with her tablet. Least exciting showdown ever.
The drug company invokes a long history of scientists, including Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, to celebrate its 175-year existence. Visually inventive, but there’s no vaccine against overreach.
A magic bottle grants wishes, including palling around with Peyton Manning and Post Malone. From a beer with reduced calories, a world of diminished expectations.
Rick Hoffman and Gina Torres of “Suits” and Judy Sheindlin of “Judge Judy” in a courtroom scenario that parodies both shows. Objection: relevance.
The comedian Rob Riggle jogs in Miller Lite body paint for the brand’s “Running of the Beers” campaign. Doesn’t really go anywhere.
Dan Levy of “Schitt’s Creek” and Heidi Gardner of “Saturday Night Live” run through various frenetic scenarios in a series of ads for the online real estate company. Could have used more Jeff Goldblum.
Being in the presence of a Kawasaki Ridge makes both people and animals grow mullets. Boring in the front, boring in the back.
Mr. T chastises Tony Romo, who called the big game for CBS on Sunday night, for pointing out that there is no “t” in Skechers. Pity is called for.
A living room focus group reacts zanily to news about a new peanut butter candy. Hackneyed high jinks (which is probably the point, but still).
The Worst of the Bunch
It takes real effort to be this bad .
Flipping a coin is replaced by twisting an Oreo, in momentous decisions from the Trojan War to the creation of “The Kardashians.” Crème de la creaky.
Actors, athletes, animated figures, reality stars and the band Creed gather on a snowy mountain to do something that involves Patrick Stewart mildly embarrassing himself. Makes no good argument for the necessity of second-tier streaming services.
The Chinese e-commerce company repeated its “shop like a billionaire” theme from last year, with an animated young woman spinning through a world of merchandise. Positing that everything we see has a price tag may be realistic but should it inspire you to shop?
Fifteen seconds of slightly surreal, “artificial” sports action followed by 15 seconds of “real,” BodyArmor-approved sports action. I’ll have the artificial, please.
Toyota Tacomas tool around the desert while people in the passenger seat make bug eyes and hold the grab handle for dear life. Unlikely to grab you.
The comedian Eric André, ill on a plane, is tended to by an ice cream cone named Dr. Umstick. Apparently there wasn’t a writer on board.
The former Patriots star Rob Gronkowski misses a field goal live, losing money for some bettors and winning it for others. Lame right. (A later, recorded spot offered a tribute to the actor Carl Weathers , who died Feb. 1.)
Mike Hale is a television critic for The Times. He also writes about online video, film and media. More about Mike Hale
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A boy, bruised by life, finds his salvation through the love of his dogs. A boy, bruised by life, finds his salvation through the love of his dogs. A boy, bruised by life, finds his salvation through the love of his dogs.
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Douglas Munrow : I always liked disguises. It's what you do when you don't really know who you are, right? You dress up, you make up a past to forget your own.
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‘wolverine’ #43 sets up new players for ‘sabretooth war’.
‘Wolverine’ #43 gets at the core of Sabretooth’s obsession with ‘breaking’ Wolverine.
Sabretooth came in hot in Marvel’s “Sabretooth War,” but his advantage may be losing its luster, as part 3 reveals this week. Wolverine (Logan)’s son has been killed, and now Wolverine (Laura) has been taken. Sabretooth always tries to break Logan on his birthday, and with an army of Sabretooths from the multiverse, he has every reason to accomplish this goal this time. That is unless he underestimates his advantage.
Wolverine #43 opens in the past, where we find Sabretooth and Wolverine working together on Team X. They’re killers, and they love what they do. This scene pays off later in an epic double-page splash of moments between the two enemies. These two bonded over the years thanks to their quick wits and love of killing. But, as Creed says in the captions, Wolverine has changed, and he knows he misses what he used to be.
What he used to be was clearly a real bastard, which Sabretooth currently is. It’s the driving force to the uprising brewing amongst his Sabretooth army, as we see early on in the issue. Two of the Sabretooths from another dimension don’t love how the battle went down after they fled, and there seems to be some questioning of Sabretooth’s decision-making. Meanwhile, Laura listens in and will likely be a key factor in Logan getting an edge.
Some dynamic art can be had when you read this issue. Credit: Marvel
Victor LaValle’s Exiles also make a return, which is exciting given the history they had with Sabretooth in his previous runs. You’ll feel confident with the team back with the various dynamics in play as they become aware of Sabretooth’s return. This scene helps set up a growing battle soon to come.
A couple of things work well in this issue, one of which is a twisted Orchis technology Sabretooth uses. Fans of the mutant he’s abusing will be seriously upset, and it’s a nice reminder of how evil this villain is in such a casual way. It’s also a super weird and original sci-fi idea. The brutality of the violence is also apparent, and while there’s less action, there’s a truly disturbing image of a beloved character in great pain. That, and Geoff Shaw does well with the opening Team X scene, adding a bit of drama. It’s a sharp looking book.
The Team X stuff, however, feels unnecessary. It harkens back to the good old days with Wolverine, but it seems to only be at the start of the issue to give it some action. It looks cool, but the Team X days don’t factor much into the plot. They’re just a reminder that Sabretooth and Wolverine were friends at one point. Mostly, this is a dialogue-focused issue as characters prepare for their next move. Speaking of Wolverine, he’s absent from this issue.
Wolverine #43 is a good table-setting chapter in an ongoing war but building in new and exciting ways. Bloodthirsty fans will like it, while the remainder of Sabretooth and Wolverine’s good old days are expertly revisited.
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