Sunday, January 27, 2013

Movie 43: An Ode to the Offensive

When I first saw the trailer for Movie 43 months ago, I was legitimately looking forward to it. It was flush with various celebrities of varying degrees. Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Halle Berry, Richard Gere, Liev Schreiber, Uma Thurman, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Banks and Terrence Howard all have parts in the movie. Heck, even Snooki is in it.

My anticipation was only later exceeded by the empty feeling I had as I left the theater wanting my money back. 

What is interesting to note is how aside from the trailer, there wasn't much publicity for the movie in terms of promotion by its own actors. Maybe this was its "charm"- to leave the viewer knowing only a little bit in hopes that their intrigue for this comedy ten years in the making would cause them to drop twelve dollars on it. As it has been said by some, "January is where movies go to die." Movie 43 was dead on arrival.

The movie opens with Dennis Quaid pitching a movie idea to a studio executive (played by Greg Kinnear). His first idea  is a blind date between a busy working woman (Kate Winslet) and the city's most eligible bachelor (Hugh Jackman). Everything seems fine until during the date Jackman's character reveals an inconvenient and awkward deformity. This causes Winslet to be disturbed, and off we go.

From my perspective, there was roughly four or five relatively strong sketches out of the twelve-sketch movie. Each was directed by a different person. What's that other saying? Oh right- "Too many cooks in the kitchen." What I had hoped would be a delicious film rich in comedic flavor and ironic moments was quickly turned into a burnt mess of sketches that were generally predictable and anti-climactic.

It's like they gathered all the celebrities together, patted themselves on the back, and then flew by the seat of their pants with very little direction. If you throw enough things at the wall, something has to stick.

At an hour and thirty-seven minutes, the film follows the traditional length for a comedy, and speeds right along up until the final sketch about black basketball players afraid to play an all-white team. Oh, and then the movie ends. No real build-up to a big finale that would leave you laughing in stitches. It just ends. Well until after the credits roll, when you are treated to a "bonus" of Josh Duhamel, Elizabeth Banks and a cartoon cat in a truly disturbing mini story. I am not one who is easily offended at all, but even this sketch made me wonder what exactly I had just seen.

The biggest problem this movie had was the complete uncertainty of it. The cast was always in a state of flux, with three kinds of actors: the ones who knew to avoid this mess (George Clooney), the ones who broke off their verbal agreements, (Colin Farrell) and the ones who took forever to commit (Richard Gere).

This kind of movie should not be seen in theaters due to how expensive tickets are. It is a jumbled mess of actors who go knee-deep in the shock factor, or ones who completely go through the motions in an attempt to be seen as funny. If you are looking for a way to get value out of this movie, it would be for one dollar on Redbox, but only because you haven nothing else to do but kill time.

Final Verdict:  F

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