Sunday, May 15, 2016

Trash Bin: MOVIE 43

Welcome to another installment of the TRASH BIN, where we watch the worst movies Hollywood has to offer, so you don't have to. This week's pick is the 2013 comedy...MOVIE 43.

With such an amazing cast, there's no way this movie could be that bad, right?  Wrong.  I have no idea how they convinced all of these A-list actors to be in such a bad film, but this was a huge misstep by everyone involved.  Now, I will admit, I did have a few laughs while watching it, but most of the film is so outrageous that it left a bad taste in my mouth.  I'm not sure which part was worse: Hugh Jackman's neck balls, Anna Faris wanting to be pooped on, or Halle Berry stirring guacamole with a big fake breast.  I'm sure it all sounded like comedy gold on paper, but it failed to impress once it hit the screen.

Movie 43 consists of thirteen unrelated segments, directed by some great talent including James Gunn, Elizabeth Banks, Bob Odenkirk, Peter Farrelly, and Brett Ratner.  These segments are loosely tied together by the main story thread, which is titled "The Pitch", directed by Peter Farrelly.  This storyline follows Charlie Wessler (Dennis Quaid), a screenwriter trying to pitch his script to a film executive, play by Greg Kinnear.  After revealing several of the stories in his script, Wessler becomes agitated when Schraeder (Kinnear) dismisses his outrageous ideas, and he pulls a gun on him, forcing him to listen to multiple other stories.  These stories make up the jumbled mess of sketches we see throughout the film.  And with the tagline "What is Movie 43?", it was clear that those involved in this film had no clue how to actually market this mess of a film.

I could spend this entire review going over each and every segment, analyzing every part of them, but that will take far too long.  Instead, I'm going to pick a couple of my favorite segments and a couple of my least favorite, so let's start with my favorites.  Out of all the segments in this film, there's only two that I actually enjoyed the entirety of, "Superhero Speed Dating" and "Victory's Glory".  The "Superhero Speed Dating" segment was directed by James Duffy and written by Will Carlough.  Batman and Robin, played by two very funny actors, Jason Sudeikis and Justin Long, attend a speed dating event in response to a bomb threat by the villain, The Penguin, played by John Hodgman.  I loved this scene.  I had a great time watching it and it had some of my favorite comedic actors in it including Jason Sudeikis, Justin Long, and Kristen Bell, who plays Supergirl.

The only other segment that I really thought was funny was "Victory's Glory" which is actually a period piece, set in 1959.  Directed by Rusty Cundieff and written by Rocky Russo and Jeremy Sosenko, this segment follows Coach Jackson, played by Terrence Howard, as he lectures his all-black basketball team before their first game against an all-white team.  It starts off very sentimental, with the team doubting the ability to perform to their fullest.  But that comes to quick end as the coach lays down the fact: "This is basketball, and you're black.  You're going to win!"  This scene is laced with tons of profanity but it's done in such a way that isn't nearly as outrageous as the rest of film had been.  It acts as a spoof of films like Coach Carter and Glory Road, and does a great job.  Too bad you have to sit through almost the entire film to see it, as it's the second to last segment.

Now that I've talk about my favorite parts, let's talk about the bottom of the barrel.  The first one, written and directed by Will Graham, is titled "Homeschooled" and stars Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts.  They play the parents of a homeschooled child, named Kevin, who, in order to give him the full high school experience, submit him to hazing, bullying, and much worse.  They even go as far as having Kevin's first kiss be with his own mother.  The whole segment was cringe-worthy and not at all funny.  The other segment that I hated was "Truth or Dare", which was directed by Peter Farrelly and written by Greg Pritikin.  This one followed Donald and Emily (Stephen Merchant and Halle Berry) on their first date at a Mexican restaurant.  They decide not to take the traditional route of a first date and do something completely different...a crazy game of truth or dare.  It starts out simple enough...grab a guy's butt, blow out a blind boy's birthday candles, but things rapidly escalate.  Tattoos, plastic surgery, and even stirring some guacamole with a giant, very fake-looking, breast, are what push this into the realm of completely ridiculous and the lack of chemistry between the two leads made it worse.

So, there it is folks.  What is Movie 43?  A steaming pile of almost completely unfunny crap.  It's no wonder the film has an IMDb score of 4.3/10 (which seems a bit high), a Metascore of 18, and a Rotten Tomatoes critic score of only 4%.  The critics didn't enjoy this film, and I don't blame them, but feel free to judge for yourself.  Just don't say I didn't warn you.

The Merc's Score: 2.5/10

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