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  Movie 43 The Film They Tried To Pan
Year: 2013
Director: Various
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Kieran Culkin, Emma Stone, Richard Gere, Kate Bosworth, Jack McBrayer, Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Kristen Bell, Chloë Grace Moretz, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: A couple of teenagers have uploaded a clip of them larking around with a dartboard to a video sharing website and are delighted when they see the hits going from one to over a million within seconds. However, then one of the boys' younger brothers appears on the screen to inform them they have been fooled, and he has somehow created a whole video sharing website for them to accidentally upload the clip to, then tricked the counter into displaying a high amount of hits. They are annoyed by this subterfuge, so plan their revenge by inventing a fake movie for him to search for...

One of the worst-reviewed comedies of all time, Movie 43 was a throwback to the seventies fad for comedy sketch movies, the pinnacle of which was The Kentucky Fried Movie. The idea was to present skits that would not be passed for viewing on normal television, and with Saturday Night Live gaining popularity with the hipper set, producers hoped to cash in on an audience wanting more of the same near the knuckle humour, or nearer. Of course, television comedy has come a long way since then, though whether you see that as an improvement or not is up for debate, but at least you could see Movie 43 had a tradition to adhere to, even if that was not the most culturally respected.

Most audiences didn't see the introduction outlined above, they saw a framing story which had the movie of the title being desperately pitched to a studio exec (Greg Kinnear) in the hope the pitcher (Dennis Quaid) would get a deal, but for some reason in the United Kingdom we got to roll our eyes at a depiction of the internet so far removed from reality that it could have been written by 65-year-old hacks from the Hollywood of the nineties. However it was the sketches which were presumably the main attraction, thanks to the star power they had attracted to act them out, leading more than one audience to ponder exactly why all these successful performers thought it was a good idea to appear in this.

Not that it was going to jeopardise anyone's career, none of the cast anyway, but to witness Kate Winslet going on a date with millionaire Hugh Jackman only to see in the restaurant that he had a tumour hanging from his neck which looked like a pair of testicles, something nobody acknowledges but her, may have indicated either handsome payment was available or the producers had some blackmail material on their stars. There were those who spoke up in Movie 43's favour, accusing those who didn't laugh of having no sense of humour, but where the comedy of shock had its merits, this was more the comedy of straining for shock and settling on just plain weird. Some sketches weren't even that: one revolved around Chloë Grace Moretz getting her first period at a friend's house which doesn't have anything but menstruation as a joke. As line after line falls leadenly flat, there's one Halle Berry delivers about her being better off watching Family Guy which you may well sympathise with. There's good bad taste and bad bad taste as John Waters says; this was barely mediocre for something so misguidedly self-satisfied.

[Entertainment One's Region 2 DVD has a deleted scene and a trailer as extras. Not the original linking footage, however.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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