An early contender for worst movie of 2013 is one that many probably haven’t even heard of. Movie 43 offers a hodgepodge of various short stories integrated into one feature film. The various stories offer heavy, R-rated story lines with the intent to disgust and shock more than anything else. It features not only a large cast, but also a very talented one. It’s hard to see what attracted them to this project at all. I am by no means a prude (I can tolerate just about anything as long as it’s funny) but nothing here is even remotely funny. If shock value was all they were aiming for… well, mission accomplished. Many of the bits here are just gross. Before I get ahead of myself, let me discuss the overall plot of the film. The film features several different story arcs, each done by a different director. The film begins with Charlie Wessler (Dennis Quaid) pitching a script idea to film executive Griffin Schraeder (Greg Kinnear). After dismissing several ideas, Wessler eventually pulls a gun on Schraeder, making him hear more of his ideas before attempting to sell his script. This is what leads into the various story threads. There are far too many here to simply list every one of them, but I will discuss a few to give a basic idea of what to expect. The first story pitch involves a businesswoman named Beth (Kate Winslet) on a blind date with Davis (Hugh Jackman). There is a running gag here, basically Jackman has a couple of “items” hanging from his chin. Not only is the gag gross, but it goes on far too long and is never even remotely funny. Other story lines involve a home schooled teen whose parents ridicule him and play various pranks on him. The parents are played by Naomi Watts and Lieve Schreiber. Their son, Kevin is played by Jeremy Allen White. There’s a gag about tampons, iPods and a Leprechaun (played by Gerard Butler of all people) to name a few. I don’t want to understate it, but nothing here is even remotely funny.
I remember reading the terrible reviews for this film during its brief theatrical release. I am generally more forgiving of comedies. I can forgive a silly plot and various other problems as long as it makes me laugh. This time, the critics were right. The film is such a huge waste of time and talent on all accounts. There is so much talent involved here that it’s hard to how badly it all fails. I don’t know where to begin, who to blame for it. With each skit having a new director, you could easily point the finger at each of them. Still, the cast has to take a chunk of the responsibility here. They add nothing to the skits, given the bad screenwriting doesn’t help matters, but they don’t even elevate the material. Lazy is the best word to describe this whole fiasco. For a film that celebrates humor of the lowest common denominator, it’s interesting that most of the skits show that laziness. The filmmakers never try to push the envelope (even lowbrow humor of this sort) to at least make an impression. There isn’t an ounce of wit on display here. There are several gross out comedies out there that work, but without a strong script or interesting characters to carry it, it just doesn’t work here. If a skit where Elizabeth Banks is teased and tortured by an animated cat makes you laugh, then maybe this movie is for you. For all others? Avoid at all costs.
Video: How’s it look?
This is a strong AVC encoded transfer, but because of the way it was produced, it offers varying results. This isn’t so much a flaw of the transfer, however, since this was intentional. This is certainly not a pretty film to look at, but this transfer at least serves it nicely. A clean print was used here and colors are sharp and consistent throughout. No compression or artifact issues were detected here. The image should please fans of the film (sadly there are some out there).
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS 5.1 track here serves the film well, but don’t expect anything life-changing. It’s serviceable and gets the job done. There is little to complain about here. This was never intended to have a demo-worthy soundtrack and that’s fine. At times, the track seemed a little restrained, but this wasn’t too bothersome. I had no problems with dialogue or other issues along those lines. There are a few action scenes scattered throughout the film and those are repeated nicely here.
Supplements: What are the extras?
We get a combo pack here with the DVD disc also acting as the digital copy disc. We get previews for other Fox titles as well, including the film’s trailer.
Unrated Cut – The biggest extra here is the unrated (international) cut. The biggest change is that teenage boys pitch the ideas and the Dennis Quaid character does not. It’s no better or worse than the theatrical cut.
Deleted Scene – Entitled Find Our Daughter, this skit features Julianne Moore and Tony Shalhoub. They are searching for their missing daughter. The running gag here is that she’s topless in every clip and picture she’s in. It’s mildly amusing.