Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Movie 43

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! So...yeah, I watched Movie 43.

Movie 43 – 3 out of 5

Eating burritos on the toilet...this movie perfectly illustrated
my Saturday nights.
The Red Band trailer to this movie made the rounds on the ‘net and the social networking sites you young whippersnappers are so fond of and it caused quit the buzz. I checked it out and nearly pissed myself laughing at what I saw (nearly?). It’s not everyday you get to see usually serious actors and actresses like Kate Winslet and Richard Gere star in such a wacky and tasteless comedy—not to mention seeing them mixing it up with actors whose entire career is built on a comedy foundation; actors like Chris Pratt, Jack McBrayer, Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Halle Berry and Josh Duhamel (Catwoman and the Transformers movies are comedies, right?).  However, when the film came out, audiences and critics alike panned the film for its intentionally offensive skits and downright vile humor…however, these were some of the elements I liked about the movie!

Still better than Chris O'Donnell as Robin.

Movie 43 is a collection of short skits that are told through a single, overall story arc. In the American version of the film, the overall story arc tells the tale of a screenwriter (Dennis Quaid) pitching various show ideas to an executive (Greg Kinnear). In the international version, the overall story arc involves some teenagers trying to find the most banned film of all time on the internet called Movie 43. I’ve watched both versions and if you have a desire to see this movie, I will say this: Avoid the international version because the teenagers are not funny.

If you see these three, you downloaded the wrong version--not...that...I would openly
advocate illegally downloading property from the internet.

If you see this, you're in a slightly better position...except for (SPOILER ALERT) Dennis Quaid wasn't there the entire time...he was a figment of Greg Kinnear's imagination.  But I could be making that up, I don't know.

"Get out there and win...and remember I was the first
War Machine.   I didn't even get to wear the suit.
I WAS ROBBED!!! get out there and win."
 The rest of the film is filled with the short skits that, depending on the version, are either potential pitches or YouTube-like clips the teens are watching. There’s a skit about Hugh Jackman with a pair of testicles on his neck, a story that involves Liev Schrieber and Naomi Watts homeschooling their son in extremely emotionally abusive ways (like they are giving him all the horrors that is high school and giving it to him in a concentrated dose), one that involves Anna Faris asking Chris Pratt to take a shit on her, one that involves Robin (Justin Long) speed-dating while being harassed by Batman (Jason Sudeikis), another with Terrence Howard as a coach of a basketball team during a time when blacks were just starting to get into the sport, one that has Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott holding a leprechaun hostage (played by Gerard Butler) and many more.

Anyone else wears those glasses, they instantly look like a sexual predator.
But not Liev Schreiber.

Critics and audiences hated this movie but, you know what, I didn’t totally dislike it. In fact, I found a lot of it really funny—hilarious even. But since this is an anthology of sketches that don’t really have much connecting each other besides a loose story involving either teens or movie executives, the entire film is either hit-or-miss.

I don't know who I'd rather replace in this picture and gaze longingly at the other...
they're both so beautiful that I'm good either way.

The story that acts as the glue to keep the film together is either decent (like the pitch one here in the States) or just hard to endure (like the ones with the teenagers). However, since this overall story arc is meant as nothing more than a string to tie a whole host of non-sequitur sequences together, I guess it does its job nicely.

Admit it, most women would still date Hugh Jackman even with those puppies
swinging from his neck.

In fairness, Sudeikis' Batman voice is easier on the ears
than Bale's.
 Like I said, the skits are hit-or-miss. Some, like seeing Gerard Butler as a leprechaun screaming about ripping off a person’s balls I found to be very funny, or seeing the horrors of ChloĆ« Grace Moretz undergo the pants-filling (probably not the best descriptive to use), unholy fright of getting her first period and seeing the reaction from some inexperienced teens trying to help her through this terrifying time by being more freaked out than she is or, the best one, Terrence Howard’s motivational speech about how the very fact that his team is black will automatically mean victory over their white opponents in basketball are all extremely amusing. Sometimes I found these sequences to be amusing because they are just vulgar (like Gerard Butler being a leprechaun) or found them to be great commentaries on already established comedy forums like race (the Terrence Howard one), growing up (Moretz one) and a few on another social norm like dating (a mildly amusing skit that involved the very funny Stephen Merchant playing Truth or Dare on a date with Halle Berry and one that involved Kate Winslet going on a blind date with Hugh Jackman only to find out that Jackman’s character has a set of balls dangling from his chin--who hasn't been there?).

Merchant's intense face is slightly intimidating.

Hodgman always makes things better.  Always.
 Other skits I found ran the spectrum of passable (like the one where Anna Faris is requesting some brown rain from Chris Pratt, although Pratt was incredibly enjoyable to watch in that one and so was J.B. Smoove, and one with Richard Gere trying to sell an iPod-like device that is modeled to look like a life-sized naked woman) and others were just kinda there and/or forgettable (like the Superhero speed-dating—but that one did have John Hodgman in it—and one that involved Elizabeth Banks and a cartoon cat). There was also the few that were just terribly unfunny and they usually were filler in-between the overall story arcs and the skits (like one that involved children living inside of various types of machines like copiers and soda machines).

Man, this man was so funny in Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Probably Butler's best performance since 300.
 While I will admit most of these skits were sophomoric and extremely distasteful in much of its humor, it was this dynamic that I found made it hilarious for me. While I can see why many audience members were taken back by the film—I’m not usually a fan of toilet humor, myself (although, I am a fan of stuff that is considered to be taboo for comedy or labeled “too soon.”)—but I didn’t see this movie as just slapped together fart and dick jokes arranged haphazardly like a Dane Cook special, there actually felt like a reason to the offensive jokes—even if, sometimes, that reason was to be offensive. However, it was seeing actors that normally don’t engage in this type of humor (or even comedies in general) that made it so shocking and, simultaneously, hilarious to me. It’s not everyday you see Wolverine with some testes on his neck or Leonidas demanding to chew off Stifler’s balls or seeing War Machine (the non-Don Cheadle War Machine) telling his team that there’s no contest against the white team because they have gigantic dicks—damn, all my examples involved male genitalia.  Maybe the naysayers are right and this comedy is just childish?

I imagine that's the usual face Aasif Mandvi makes when people ask him why
he was in The Last Airbender.

Wait, of course it is! But it's better childish humor than some other examples I've seen in my life.

Probably the most I've been able to tolerate Richard Gere as well.

While it’s obvious why Movie 43 can polarize audiences, I did find it to be pretty funny and people who have a disturbed sense of humor may also enjoy it…or hate it. Who knows? Like I said, this movie is completely hit-or-miss.  It's hilarious and unfunny at the same time, it's awful and great simultaneously and just fun and annoying working together in concert.

In fairness, I have the same look on my face when women I know get their periods...
but I tend to do more screaming and running.

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