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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Movie 43

June 17th, 2013

Movie 43 - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack

Movie 43 earned some of the worst reviews of the year so far, with many critics calling it the worst movie they've ever seen. When I got the chance to review the movie, I jumped at it. I had to know if it was really as bad as its reviews. It couldn't possible be, right?

The Movie

Movie 43 isn't a traditional movie but it is sketch comedy. Because of that, I'll treat it more like a TV on DVD release with a brief description of each sketch and a short thumbs up / thumbs down review. Things start with...

  1. Wrap-Around: The Pitch or The Thread
    Like practically all anthology movies, there's a wrap-around story that is used to introduce all of the other segments. There are two versions on the Blu-ray: the domestic theatrical version and the alternative version. In the theatrical version it is called The Pitch and it involves Dennis Quaid pitching a series of movies to Greg Kinnear. In The Thread, it involves three kids trying to find the most banned movie of all time on the internet and while they search for it, they find the various sketches.
    Neither version is funny.
  2. The Catch
    Kate Winslet is out on a blind date with Hugh Jackman. She is more than a little concerned that the date will be a disaster. She first assumes he's a loser, but her friend assures her he's successful. Then she assumes he's a workaholic, but her friend assures her he's generous with his time giving to charities. Then she assumes he's ugly, but her friend shows a picture of him on a magazine cover, and he's very handsome. It also states he's one of the most available bachelors. So what is his problem? His testicles are on his neck.
    It's not a funny setup and it goes on way too long. On the positive side, it isn't aggressively bad, just unfunny.
  3. Homeschooled
    Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts homeschool their son, Jeremy Allen White. They want their son to have the best possible education, but also the most authentic. This includes giving out homework, having his father be an abusive P.E. teacher, bullying him, etc.
    The first sketch of the movie that is actually funny. It is a little gross and mean-spirited, but it is really funny. I will be willing watch this sketch again. On the other hand...
  4. The Proposition
    This sketch is so bad I don't even want to talk about it. On a side note, Anna Faris is a really funny actress, she just needs to find better scripts.
  5. Veronica
    During the midnight shift of at a grocery store, Kieran Culkin and his ex-girlfriend, Emma Stone, get into a fight, which turns into dirty talk. However, the whole time the intercom is on so everyone in the store hears it.
    This one is cheesy, but I found it funny. The insults and the dirty talk are over the top enough to generate some laughs. It's not high art, but I wasn't expecting anything.
  6. iBabe
    This skit is split into two parts. At first we only see an ad for the iBabe, a successor to the iPod that is shaped like a life-sized nude woman. After a couple more skits, we return to this idea with Richard Gere, the head of the company, finding out people have been using their iBabe as a sex doll, but because the cooling fan is you know where, it is causing serious injuries.
    Not funny. It is a one joke sketch and it is stretched out far too long.
  7. Superhero Speed Dating
    Robin is out on a speed dating night when he is interrupted by Batman, who tells him a super-villain has planted a bomb and they have to find it.
    I wish that was the focus of the skit, but it's not. The skit mostly focuses on Batman humiliating Robin and it just isn't funny.
  8. Machine Kids
    A PSA about the young kids forced to live and work inside vending machines, ATMs, and photocopiers.
    Not funny, but at least it's short.
  9. Middleschool Date
    Jimmy Bennett has a middleschool date with Chloë Grace Moretz, which is made awkward by the boorish behavior of Jimmy's brother, Christopher Mintz-Plasse. It gets even more awkward when Chloë starts her period and Jimmy and Christopher freak out.
    Stupid and gross, but funny, for the most part. Seeing the two kids overreact is funny, but the sketch doesn't really have a proper ending and just ... I was going to say bleeds into the next segment, but that seems inappropriate.
  10. Tampax
    More period humor. This time a short commercial for Tampax.
    It was too short for me to decide if it was funny or not.
  11. Happy Birthday
    Seann William Scott is mad that Johnny Knoxville slept with his girlfriend, but Johnny Knoxville has a gift for him to make up. He's kidnapped a leprechaun. They want the leprechaun's pot of gold, but he's not saying where it is. He is, on the other hand, more than willing to threaten them.
    A foul-mouth leprechaun hurling insults for several minutes. Not really a joke at all.
  12. Truth or Dare
    Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant are on their first date having met on an online dating site. However, Halle Berry isn't interested in a typical first date. Instead, she wants to play a game of Truth or Dare. Things start out a little mild, but quickly get out of hand.
    One of the better sketches, as Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant really go for it. It admittedly is light on substance and goes on too long, but has some laughs.
  13. Victory’s Glory
    Terrence Howard plays a high school basketball coach in 1959 trying to inspire his team, the first all Black team to compete in the state finals. He does so by reminding them they are black.
    This is a one-note joke stretched over a five-minute sketch.
  14. After that, there are outtakes in the credits and then...

  15. It's Beezel
    Elizabeth Banks is having problems in her relationship with Josh Duhamel. They love each other very much, but his jealous cat, Beezel, (who is animated) keeps getting in the way.
    Not as bad as The Proposition, but close.
  16. There is also one bonus sketch as an extra...

  17. Find Our Daughter
    Julianne Moore and Tony Shalhoub ask a detective to find their missing daughter. The only picture they have of their daughter is from a Girls Gone Wild type video.
    This sketch, which wasn't included in the theatrical version, is actually better than half of the sketches that were included.
There are 16 sketches in this movie, if you include the two wrap-around sketches and the bonus sketch. Of those, I thought five were funny to watch: Homeschooled, Veronica, Middleschool Date, Truth or Dare, and Find Our Daughter. And of those, only Homeschooled is a real hit. Veronica and Middleschool Date have weak endings, while Truth or Dare and Find Our Daughter overstay their welcome.

The Extras

The only real extra is the bonus sketch, which I reviewed above.

As for the technical quality. The movie exists on Blu-ray. It only cost $6 million to make and there are too many different sketches to give an overall rating to, but I didn't notice any significant issues in either the video or the audio quality. It also isn't the kind of film that needs to be seen in high definition.

The Blu-ray costs $3 or 20% more than the DVD, which is a good deal.

The Verdict

When it comes to anthologies like Movie 43, you need at least two thirds of the skits to work before it is worth watching in theaters, because you have to sit through the bad ones. On the other hand, because you can skip the weaker sketches, you only need 50% to work for it to be worth checking it out on the home market. Movie 43 didn't come close to that. There is only one truly funny sketch and four others that are funny enough to check out, but have flaws that hurt them. The rest run the gamut from dull to aggressively bad. The DVD and the Blu-ray Combo Pack have no where near enough extras to be worth picking up.

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Filed under: Video Review, Movie 43, Halle Berry, Kate Winslet, Richard Gere, Dennis Quaid, Elizabeth Banks, Jimmy Bennett, Gerard Butler, Kieran Culkin, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Greg Kinnear, Johnny Knoxville, Justin Long, Stephen Merchant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Julianne Moore, Chloë Grace Moretz, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Tony Shalhoub, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Jason Sudeikis, Jeremy Allen White