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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

Movie 43 (review)

Movie 43 red light Kate Winslet

I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): looks like the arrival of the Idiocracy to me

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Oh, this is adorable! Apparently Hollywood was having a “Bring Your Kids to Work” day, and they let the munchkins write their own little scripts and let ’em run wild with the cameras. Well, I say “munchkins,” but it’s pretty plain from what these kids did that it was more a “Bring Your 12-Year-Old Son to Work” day… I guess just to maintain the typical gender balance in Hollywood.

Still: how sweet is this? Because look at all the superfamous grownups who indulged the kids! Kate Winslet, Richard Gere, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Kieran Culkin, Emma Stone, Justin Long, Uma Thurman, Bobby Cannavale, Kristen Bell, John Hodgman, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Anna Faris, Patrick Warburton, Gerard Butler — this is not an all-inclusive list! Yet they were good sports and went along with what the kids gave them to do, even though you know they had to have been rolling their eyes and laughing to themselves about what their tween boy writer-directors wanted them to do. Because, hey, the next generation of artistes must be nourished.

Ya gotta admire the cleverness of these kids to lash together all their individual little films under the notion that a couple of teenaged boys — who would be older than the filmmakers, remember, so there’s an aspirational aspect to this — are searching the Internet for “the most dangerous film in the world,” the mysterious “Movie 43,” rumored to be so horrendous that no one can watch it and live. And along the way they “stumble upon” all the little films these budding Farrellys made, films that are generally acknowledged — by dint of the Internet firewalls the characters have to jump through to get to them — to be pretty “badass” and “fucked-up” and “offensive,” even.

My oh my, but it is so cute what Movie 43 thinks is “dangerous” and “offensive”! Disgust with the human body (but mostly the female body); poop; period blood; a sexy-naked-lady iPod (but don’t fuck it because women are scary with their hairy vaginas that will eat you). The sex lives of superheroes comes under some scrutiny. The notion that male horniness could be so all-consuming that it might destroy the world is given due consideration. The idea that high school is the most humiliating time of one’s life is deployed with a sort of dreaded anti-anticipation — what horrors will our pubescent Tarantinos be in for in a couple of years? They even recycle the semen-hairgel joke from There’s Something About Mary, a movie that I guess our tween Orson Welleses only just snuck watching for the first time at their friend’s house last weekend.

Of course if it were adults who’d made this, their ideas about what’s dangerous and offensive would be sad and pathetic. Thankfully, we know that could never happen, because grownup Hollywood is making the truly dangerous movies, like that science fiction flick imagining a world without banksters, and that drama about the end of Western hegemony and the collapse of Big Oil. So it’s perfectly fine to let the kids have their fantasy about cinematic danger. The scamps.

Does this not sound like the film you saw? It appears there are different versions of Movie 43 in the U.S. and the U.K. We’re talking about that here.

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Movie 43 (2013)
US/Can release: Jan 25 2013
UK/Ire release: Jan 25 2013

Flick Filosopher Real Rating: rated H12YOB for strong pervasive horny-12-year-old-boyness
MPAA: rated R for strong pervasive crude and sexual content including dialogue, graphic nudity, language, some violence and drug use
BBFC: rated 15 (contains frequent strong sex references and very strong language)

viewed in 2D
viewed at a public multiplex screening

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.

  • RogerBW

    There’s no place like home… there’s no place like home…  hang on to your Charity Pig…

    Slightly seriously, while we joke about blackmail material, I do have to wonder why any actor with a choice in the matter would join a project like this. Even if it’s sold as “a funny anthology piece”, surely they could pull out when they saw the script?

  • Apparently Hollywood was having a “Bring Your Kids to Work” day, and they let the munchkins write their own little scripts and let ’em run wild with the cameras. 

    This is why I subscribe. Awesome review. :)

  • Awww. Tell your friends!

    (And this is why I sometimes subject myself to movies that I’m pretty sure are going to be terrible: because they will inspire me to write something that will entertain you nice folks.)

  • Thanks for the head’s up – it sounds horrendous. Not to mention they stole the main plot point from the late David Foster Wallace’s 1996 novel “Infinite Jest” – and then did nothing really exciting with it! As the song says, “Hurray for Hollywood!”

  • Burb

    I love how you can tell when a woman is offended by how hard she tries to not seem offended.

    Let them tell their fart jokes. You’re above being bothered by this.

  • Patlandness

    It’s my understanding that this film was on the shelf was on shelf for 3 years.  Heck, Pluto Nash was only there for 2 years.  

  • Did I suggest that anyone should be denied their chance to tell fart jokes?

    The only thing offensive about this movie is that it thinks there’s anything genuinely offensive onscreen.

  • CB

     So… you think fart jokes are really so offensive that her mockery of the idea that they’re so offensive just has to be insincere cover for how offended she is?

    No, no, you’re right.  Everyone rolls their eyes at you because you’re just too edgy for them to handle.

  • possum

    I had never realized Roger Ebert was also a woman.   

  • Dale

    This one makes me long for the days when oscar-winning Hollywood actors would turn down films like “Mildred Pierce” and “The Little Foxes.”


  • Beowulf

    Okay, here’s the big question:  Is this worth $6.75 (Hey, “senior” price) just to see Hugh Jackman with testicles on his chin or neck?  Would I be better off watching Honey Boo-Boo for “free”?

  • Are those your only options? You poor thing…

  • D

    I have lost part of the respect I had for everyone involved with this movie. And yeah, just being “on your face” disgusting doesn’t mean offensive.

  • Isabelle May

    Have only seen one sketch from this film, that being “Truth or Dare” (thought process being that I like Merchant and I like Berry so what could go wrong?) and suffice to say it made me not want to watch the rest of the movie. Or have to remember that bloody cosmetic surgery DX

  • Mike Demon-Fox Kogan

    This movie is built geniously in my Opinion… yes I laughed at some points and at some points just didn’t… like in a stand up show or just seeing a small caricature well-played satiric funny NOT TRUE AND ALMOST 98% SCIENCE FICTION BECAUSE IT IS NOT POSSIBLE movie and ENJOY IT! the movie actors play was brilliant and fun! why you always have to criticize everything?? I think you are wrong! this is just as a picture – it is ART, and it was well made.

    you can’t say Gerard Butler as a midget didn’t made you laugh… after imagining his face from 300…

  • Noel

    Why do we have to be so politically correct. I’ve viewed all types of movies independent, foreign, main screen drama & comedy. I’m 43 yrs old and yet I’m not in my teen’s or early 20’s I found this very funny! Yes this movie is not politically correct but this movie cannot be taken seriously or offensive unless you truly do not have an open mind. I love that the actors are high profile and I hope they had fun making a very funny out of the norm movie. Noel

  • Amber

    For the longest time, I did not watch this movie because of reviews like this one. I feel robbed of true and great satire for the last 8 or so months… Every time I said no to this movie, I said no to genius-ness. One would have to live in a box and probably be so confused to any kind of humor not to get or understand this movie. This is the kind of movie I would love to be apart of if I were a great actor. I mean those actors spend hours and hours perfecting their art. Let them cut lose every once in awhile. And the scene with the children in the machines is probably my favorite. Since you and others lack a sense of humor, how often do you see people at work or in your office yelling at machines?! It’s funny! Stop yelling at the machines people and then… There won’t be anything to make fun of! Ha! Too funny!

  • Isabelle May

    I dunno, I think the yellowface was uncalled for (this again being based off of the one sketch I actually saw)

  • GDK

    NEVER TRUST A CRITIC. Most of them are full of hot air and bullshit anyways. If I went by what a critic said about a movie. Shit,I would miss all the good movies!

  • And yet you read criticism. You’re cute.

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