Friday, January 25, 2013

Your Off-Season Weekend at the Movies

Posted By on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Page 3 of 3

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Movie 43: The ads for this movie are a study in a confusing campaign, probably because there isn't much precedent for marketing a sketch comedy movie, especially one without a sketch troupe behind it. It's hard to name-check Kentucky Fried Movie or Amazon Women on the Moon in 2013, so instead Movie 43 makes known its weirdly substantial parade of movie stars who have agreed to participate, but not plug: 2013 Oscar nominee Naomi Watts, 2013 Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman, Oscar winner Kate Winslet, Oscar winner Halle Berry, Greg Kinnear, Dennis Quaid, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Emma Stone, Terrence Howard, Richard Gere, Seann William Scott, Johnny Knoxville, and Elizabeth Banks, who also directed a segment. A casual viewer could be forgiven for assuming this is some kind of Disaster Movie-style abomination that blackmailed actual celebrities into taking the place of low-rent celebrity impersonators. But no, this is an anthology of comedy shorts; I have no idea how many, only that even in the three-minute trailer, several of them look like one-joke affairs designed for people whose chief complaint with Saturday Night Live is that it isn't dirty enough. Lots of directors and actors are all over this thing, but I'm not sure who did what; I just know that Elizabeth Banks directed a segment herself, the Farrelly Brothers were on hand somewhere, Ratner turned up probably wearing a bright pink shirt with the top four buttons undone, and there are also plenty of journeyman comedy directors who hardly anyone can tell apart, like Steven Brill (who made Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds, and Without a Paddle) and Steve Carr (who made Dr. Dolittle 2, Daddy Day Care, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop), truly the Pullman and Paxton of low-ambition studio comedies.

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