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"MOVIE 43"
(2013) (Dennis Quaid, Greg Kinnear) (R)

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NOTE:
The following is an unedited version of our final review that may contain spelling, grammatical, and/or factual errors. This film was not screened in advance for reviewers.
QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A desperate man pitches his idea for a movie -- to be comprised of outrageous and gross-out skits -- to a studio executive.
PLOT:
Charlie (DENNIS QUAID) is screenwriter desperate to sell his latest script for a movie comprised of a bunch of outrageous skits. He manages to get a meeting with studio executive Griffin (GREG KINNEAR) and begins his pitch that's visualized as the following.

Beth (KATE WINSLET) ends up going on a blind date with her city's most eligible and quite handsome bachelor, Davis (HUGH JACKMAN). But she soon realizes why he's still available and that's because he has scrotum with two testicles hanging from his neck. While no one else seems to mind, she becomes increasingly unsettled by this.

Then there's Robert (LIEV SCHREIBER) and his wife Samantha (NAOMI WATTS) who are homeschooling their teenage son Kevin (JEREMY ALLEN WHITE) and describe to another couple their various tactics of having him experience an often typical, miserable high school experience.

Jason (CHRIS PRATT) wants to propose to his girlfriend Vanessa (ANNA FARIS), but she wants him to be her first in terming of having him defecate on her. Not wanting to disappoint, he loads up on food and prepares for the big event.

Neil (KIERAN CULKIN) is a grocery store clerk who ends up broadcasting his disdain and then sexual desires for a young woman, Veronica (EMMA STONE), over the store's P.A. system.

Batman (JASON SUDEIKIS) is amused by his cohort, Robin (JUSTIN LONG) doing the speed-dating bit with various women, including Lois Lane (UMA THURMAN) and Supergirl (KRISTEN BELL), all while hoping to foil a bomb plot. Even Wonder Woman (LESLIE BIBB) shows up, upset about Batman getting her pregnant.

There's also a brief commercial about kids who are the inner workings of ATMs and vending machines and having to deal with the verbal and sometimes physical abuse of people who use them.

A technology company boss (RICHARD GERE) can't understand the uproar over their latest MP3 player called an iBabe. Shaped like a gorgeous, realistic and fully nude woman, it's apparently maiming boys and men due to the fan blades in its Vagi-port. While some of his employees, such as Brian (JACK McBRAYER) and Robert (AASIF MANDVI) attempt to explain the problem, Arlene (KATE BOSWORTH) can't believe none of them can see the overriding big issue.

While on a date with Nathan (JIMMY BENNETT), young teenager Amanda (CHLOE GRACE MORETZ) gets her period for the first time and leaves blood everywhere. That freaks out Nathan and his older brother Mikey (CHRISTOPHER MINTZ-PLASSE), while their dad (PATRICK WARBURTON) tries to settle them down and explain things.

Back in the pitch, Charlie has pulled a gun on Griffin, thus forcing the exec to take him to see his boss, Bob (COMMON), who's trying to arrange a business deal with Seth MacFarlane (SETH MacFARLANE). That results in an unpleasant discovery for Griffin, as well as a continuation of Charlie's pitch.

Brian (SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT) is upset that his roommate, Pete (JOHNNY KNOXVILLE), slept with his girlfriend. To make amends, Pete has kidnapped a leprechaun (GERARD BUTLER) and pressures him to deliver a pot of gold. He does, but it contains a surprise for them as well.

Meanwhile, Emily (HALLE BERRY) is on a first date with Donald (STEPHEN MERCHANT) that results in them playing an ever-escalating game of truth or dare.

Coach Jackson (TERRENCE HOWARD) is the coach an all African-American basketball team about to play an all-white team in the 1950s, and he tries to stress that they're a lock on winning due to the color of their skin.

Finally, Amy (ELIZABETH BANKS) is in love with Anson (JOSH DUHAMEL), but there's only one problem: His pet cat that happens to be an animated cartoon who's sexually enamored with him.

OUR TAKE: 0 out of 10
Our reviewing policy for films that aren't shown in advance to critics (or are done so late the night before they open) is that we'll only provide a paragraph or two about the film's artistic merits or, more accurately, lack thereof. After all, life is too short to spend any more effort than that on a movie that even the releasing studio knows isn't any good (which is why they hid it from reviewers before its release).

In the old days of movies, huge casts of well-known actors and actresses appeared in disaster movies (like "The Towering Inferno"), sprawling madcap comedies (such as "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World") or a combination of the two ("Cannonball Run," for example, a disaster of a different sort). Hoping to be this generation's "Kentucky Fried Movie" (a 1977 John Landis film featuring mostly unrelated skits designed to be tasteless parodies), "Movie 43" now arrives with a stellar cast including the likes of Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Richard Gere, Uma Thurman, Dennis Quaid and enough other stars to make any award show after-party envious.

Directed by Peter Farrelly (one half of the brotherly filmmaking duo responsible for "There's Something About Mary" and others of its ilk) and eleven other filmmakers, the pic's apparent sole purpose is to try to elicit laughs by being as offensive, outrageous and politically incorrect as possible and still, somehow, stay within its R-rated boundaries. Such material can be funny to one degree or another if handled just right and by skilled filmmakers. There isn't a single example of that on display here.

Seemingly concocted by a bunch of nine-year-old boys (although, to be fair, that's an insult to such kids) to play to immature boys of all ages, and featuring skits that go on far too long (even "SNL" writers will be checking their watches), the film somehow managed to draw the aforementioned stars who, for the most part, are now trying to stay as far away as possible from this travesty. And that's because it's arguably one of the worst things ever put on film and thus a blight on their careers. "Movie 43" rates as a 0 out of 10.




Reviewed January 25, 2013 / Posted January 25, 2013


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