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Movie 43 (2013)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 6/18/2013
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 6/25/2013
I've been reviewing home video releases for over 14 years now, and I have a confession to make, one with which many of you will disagree. I'm tired of extra features. There, I said it. It seems like I see the same featurette over and over which is filled with clips of the movie I just watched and banal comments from those involved in the movie. We rarely get information on how the idea for the story came about, and we almost never get a sense of how the filmmakers felt about the public's reception of the film. The most annoying thing occurs when I actually do want a Blu-ray Disc/DVD to have extras and it doesn't. Take Movie 43 for example. I would love to see a segment explaining how all of these familiar actors were convinced to be in one of the worst things ever created. That would be an extra worth watching.
Movie 43 opens in a Hollywood office, where a desperate writer (Dennis Quaid), pitches his movie idea to a producer (Greg Kinnear). The movie is made up of vignettes which are as follows:
-- A couple (Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman) and she's shocked to discover that he has a scrotum on his chin, and is even further surprised by the fact that no one else seems to notice.
-- A couple (Naomi Watts and Liev Schrieber) brag to another couple about how they homeschool their son (Austin Cope) and the lengths to which they've gone to re-create the school experience at home.
-- Yet another couple (Chris Pratt and Anna Faris) surprise one another with questions. He wants to ask for her hand in marriage, while she wants him to perform a rather rude sex act.
-- Veronica (Emma Stone) confronts her ex-boyfriend, Neil (Kieran Culkin), while he is working at a grocery store and their entire sordid conversation goes out over the store's PA system.
-- Robin (Justin Long) goes speed dating and is rudely interrupted by Batman (Jason Sudekis) who has come to the club to stop a bomb threat. This hurts Robin's chances with Lois Lane (Uma Thurman) and Supergirl (Kristen Bell).
-- An odd Public Service Announcement reminds us that children live inside of machines soda a copiers and vending machines.
-- The iBabe is an MP3 player which looks like a full-size woman. We sit in on a meeting to hear the company discuss the fact that people are getting injured while attempting to be intimate with the machine.
-- Amanda (Chloe Grace Moretz) is hanging out with her friend Nathan (Jimmy Bennett) when she gets her first period. Unfortunately, only Jimmy's brother (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and father (Patrick Warburton) are home and no one knows what to do.
-- After they have a falling out, Pete (Johnny Knoxville) gets a present for his best friend, Brian (Seann William Scott) -- a leprechaun (Gerard Butler).
-- Emily (Halle Berry) and Donald (Stephen Merchant) meet on a blind date, and as Emily is tired of run-of-the-mill meetings, she begins a game of "Truth or Dare" which quickly gets out of control.
-- A coach (Terrence Howard) tries in vain to convince his basketball team that they are destined to win.
-- Amy (Elizabeth Banks) can't seem to get along with her boyfriend's (Josh Duhamel) cat.
Looking through that cast, you've got Oscar winners, Oscar nominees, and several A-list and hot actors. So, this must have been an extraordinary project to lure all of them into the fold, right? Well, in some ways, Movie 43 is unique. It's format echoes Kentucky Fried Movie and Amazon Women on the Moon, both of which featured various short segments, but Movie 43 goes a bit further by offering some familiar names such as Peter Farrelly, Brett Ratner, James Gunn, Griffin Dunne, Steven Brill, Elizabeth Banks, and Bob Odenkirk behind the camera. Those names aren't as impressive as the cast (no matter what Brett Ratner may think), but they have made successful movies.
So, then why is Movie 43 one of the worst things that I've ever seen? First of all, anyone who was expecting this to be great was fooling themselves. Things like this always collapse under their own weight and it would have been a miracle if something containing this many stars have been an A+ movie. However, I doubt that many expected it to be the disaster which it is. They should have called this "The Worst of Saturday Night Live: The Movie", because that's exactly what it feels like. Think of all of those SNL skits which reveal their joke in the first few seconds and then go on for five minutes. That's what all of the vignettes here are like. Admittedly, many of them have funny ideas, but they all go on for far too long and just keep driving the "joke" into the ground. Even worse, there is rarely a second joke here -- they just keep hitting the first one. The other main problem is that there is no attempt to be clever here. No, Movie 43 is all about shock and gross-out humor. Now, there's nothing wrong with that, as long as it's balanced out with something clever or even something sweet. But, all that we get here is on raunchy joke after another, none of which are very funny. Even the things which show true promise disappoint rather quickly by being too blue.
Movie 43 is just an odd train-wreck of a film and I'm sure that Kate Winslet and Richard Gere will spend the rest of their lives dodging questions about it. They may as well cancel the Razzies, because this has got to take all of them. But, things get even stranger. The Blu-ray Disc contains two cuts of the film. The other version replaces the Dennis Quaid and Greg Kinnear segments with scenes in which teenagers search for banned videos. (Reportedly, this version was shown in the UK.) What did we do wrong to deserve two versions of this movie?
Movie 43 would not be useful medicine on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 32 Mbps. The image is sharp and clear, showing no notable grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look good and the image is never overly dark or bright. The highlight of this movie is that all of the segments look equally good, which is rare for a film like this. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 3.7 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. For the most part, we get basic center and front channel sounds here. Noticeable stereo and surround effects crop up during crowd or party scenes. The only notable subwoofer effects come during the last segment.
The Movie 43 Blu-ray Disc is nearly bereft of extra features. "Find Our Daughter" (5 minutes) is a deleted short which features Julianne Moore and Tony Shalhoub and it's almost funny. The only other extra is the THEATRICAL TRAILER for the film.
Review by Mike Long. Copyright 2013.