Mr. Cellophane

In a location adjacent to a place in a city of some significance, what comes out of my head is plastered on the walls of this blog.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Movie 43, Critics 16.

Welp, once again, people have a lot to answer for. Maybe, my standards are a little askew (did I mention that one of my favorite movies is Hudson Hawk?), but when a movie gets reviews like 'D-' and 'The Citizen Kane of awful', it's not unreasonable to expect a massive train wreck.

Movie 43 was not that train wreck. Not even close. No, it's not the film from the beginning of this year that will eventually be re-evaluated as pretty damn good (that's Gangster Squad; deal with it, haters), but I didn't regret the least, not entirely. As with sketch movies (cf. Amazon Women on the Moon), some segments work better than others and that was certainly the case here.

Let me break it down:

The Pitch - A screenwriter (Dennis Quaid, who does unhinged well) grows ever more desperate in pitching to a studio exec (Greg Kinnear). This wraparound story has its peaks and valleys, but it doesn't come together and it doesn't so much end as stop.

The Catch - A problem that one could justifiably lob at the segments is that there is only one joke to them. That's certainly the case here, as no one but Kate Winslet notices the scrotum hanging from Hugh Jackman's neck. I did chuckle a bit, but pretty meh, overall.

Home Schooled - Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber tell their neighbors about giving their homeschooled son the full high school experience. If I had to choose a favorite segment, it's this one, hands down. Good gags and fine work by Watts and Schreiber.

The Proposition - Chris Pratt fields a very odd request from fiancee (and real-life sweetheart) Anna Faris. Some chuckles en route to its predictably explosive ending.

Veronica - The very private conversation between store clerk Neil (Kieran Culkin) and his girlfriend Veronica (Emma Stone) becomes very public one night in the store. Even with the bawdy nature of their talk, there's a surprising sweetness to this segment and Culkin and Stone have a nice chemistry.

iBabe - The braintrust behind the latest in listening devices does damage control on their product. Neither good nor bad. It's just there.

Super Hero Speed Dating - One-joke time again: The Douche Knight (Jason Sudeikis) cock-blocks his ward (Justin Long). I did like the (possibly unintentional) sideways reference to My Super Ex-Girlfriend: Lois Lane (Uma Thurman) is being stalked by Superman (Bobby Cannavale). I couldn't help but murmur, 'now you know how it feels'.

Middle School Date - Amanda (Chloe Grace Moretz) has her first period, but her friend (Jimmy Bennett) and his brother (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) have no idea how to handle it. Definitely one of the better segments, if only for just how dense the male characters are about Amanda's plight.

Happy Birthday - Now, it seems that them Duke boys (you know, from the movie) wrangled themselves a leprechaun and they want his pot of gold. Over-the-top in its language and violence...and yet, I did laugh, especially at the last scene.

Truth or Dare - A blind date escalates into something more for Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant. Just as over-the-top, but not as funny.

Victory's Glory - It's 1959 and, just before a big game, an African-American basketball team gets a pep talk from their coach (Terrence Howard). Another one-joke story, but the joke here is a decent one. The final gag is a good one.

Beezil - You can't accuse this movie of saving the best for last. An animated cat loves its owner (Josh Duhamel) - I mean, really loves him - but hates his girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks). A major disappointment from the writer/director of Super.

Just so we're clear, I didn't think this movie was so bad. (It's a 'C' or 'C+', at best.) I mean, I wouldn't recommend it to people, but they shouldn't be too offended if someone else recommends it to them. If people still wish to hold this film up as an example of badness, just take a look at these titles:

InAPPropriate Comedy. Identity Thief. Scary Movie 5. These are but a few of the comedies that will see release in the next few months. If even one of them is considered a step up from Movie 43, Heaven help the genre...and us all.

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