Websites like Funny Or Die have opened up the world of short comedy skits online, and Movie 43 feels like a
Hollywood attempt to cash in
on this type of humor. Even when moments of the film work, the entirety is
pretty much doomed to fail from the beginning. The inconsistency of all
anthology films is to be considered, and the modern audience is accustomed to
watching short comedy skits like this on the internet, where it can be skipped
or stopped if not meeting the viewer’s requirements for entertainment. In
watching this film, the audience is stuck into the forced enduring the whole of
comedic excess and miscalculations.
Part of the problem with the theatrical cut of the film is the half-ass way in which the short films are all joined together in a loose book-ending structure starring Dennis Quaid as a desperate washed up filmmaker attempting to sell any number of ideas to a producer played by Greg Kinnear and a studio executive played by Common. This through-line contains a number of name actors, but the short films just seem spliced into the storyline sporadically. It often makes very little sense, nor do the filmmakers seem to care, even tossing the illusion of filmmaking aside entirely by the close of the skit. The alternate version, which is included in this Blu-ray release, is actually much more coherent despite missing the star names. It features a group of teens seeking out a mysterious film on the internet, finding other banned films in the process.
As for the individual shorts included in each of the versions, they are filled with humor which is continually intentionally offensive while only momentarily humorous and not always intentionally so. Most films just attempt shock humor, though few actually succeed in anything funny or unexpected. What is most shocking about this film is the large number of actors involved, and not surprising is how long it took to get made. Along the process, some of the wiser actors like Richard Gere attempted to escape the project. Others such as George Clooney were wise enough to stay away altogether.
The Blu-ray release features an additional short film directed by Bob Odenkirk and starring Tony Shalhoub and Julianne Moore. I would work harder at panning this film, but the critics have already bashed this tasteless comedy far more than it deserves. Far from good, Movie 43 is simply harmless bad taste and lowbrow humor; albeit so low it may as well be pubic hair.
Entertainment Value: 5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 4/10
Historical Significance: 3/10
Disc Features: 4/10