Among the directors that signed on were the likes of Steven Brill, the director of Adam Sandlers Little Nicky (2000) and Mr. Deeds (2002), as well as Without a Paddle (2004) and Drillbit Taylor (2008), who directs one of the alternate wraparound stories in which brothers search for a banned film, as well as a segment in which CEO Richard Gere deals with a life-sized iPod modelled on a woman; Peter Farrelly, who directs The Pitch, the alternate wraparound seen in some versions in which Dennis Quaid is a crazed screenwriter trying to pitch story ideas to studio exec Greg Kinnear, as well as the segments The Catch with Kate Winslet on a date with Hugh Jackman who has a set of balls at his neck and Truth or Dare in which Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant try to dare each other to more outrageous extremes on a date; Will Graham, previously a producer/director on The Onion News Network (2007 ), delivers a segment with real-life couple Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber taking homeschooling to the logical extent; Steve Carr, director of mainstream comedy fare such as Dr Dolittle 2 (2001), Are We Done Yet? (2007) and Paul Blart, Mall Cop (2009), handles The Proposition segment where Anna Faris admits a coprophilia fetish; actor Griffin Dunne, probably best known on this site for An American Werewolf in London (1981) and an occasional director, most notably with Practical Magic (1998), directs the segment with Kieran Culkin and Emma Stone trading insults at one another; newcomer director James Duffy handles Super Hero Speed Dating, an expansion of his earlier short film Robins Big Date (2005); Brett Ratner, director of the Rush Hour films and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), directs the segment with Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville torturing a leprechaun; Rusty Cundieff, the African-American director of the horror anthology Tales from the Hood (1995) and various comedy tv shows, handles a segment with Terrence Howard trying to inspire the first all-Black basketball team that they will succeed because they are Black; while James Gunn, director of Slither (2006), Super (2010) and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), directs the final segment with Elizabeth Banks facing an evil animated cat.
The basic conception of Movie 43 has been to take a film like Kentucky Fried Movie or Amazon Women on the Moon and play it out in the most scatological and bad taste way possible. It is surprising how far in this post South Park (1997 ) era that filmmakers have to go to get an audience offended. Not too surprisingly, critics reacted by almost universally labelling Movie 43 the worst film of the year (and it was only released on January 25). It is a film that is determined to offend in just about every conceivable way. What is perhaps surprising about it is the calibre of the names attached to the exercise. When actresses refuse to do nude scenes lest it affect their careers, you can only wonder why it never occurred to some of those involved whether what they were being asked to play here would likewise affect their careers. You can only sit back and contemplate if maybe the producers of the film had kidnapped the various stars family members or were threatening to release pictures of them engaged in unmentionable acts in order to force them to participate. To wit:- Hugh Jackman must play a scene where he appears with a pair of testicles where his Adams Apple should be; in the Homeschooled segment, Naomi Watts gets to play out a first romance and Liev Schreiber admits homosexual feelings for his own kid; Richard Gere is head of a corporation putting out an iPod shaped like a naked woman and ignoring incidents of teenagers getting their dicks chewed off after putting them in the fan; Chloe Grace Moretz gets to have her first period while making out a segment that makes intriguing contrast to her taking on the title role in Carrie (2013) a few months later. Perhaps the award for extremes travelled to must go to Anna Faris who plays out a segment where she admits a fetish for being pooped on to her fiance. Admittedly some of the actors in question seem humiliated by what they are going through the The Catch segment has both Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman looking mutually embarrassed, although both Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant seem to take to Truth or Dare with relish.
I hate this kind of humour. Its not about being a prude I enjoy South Park, Jackass (2000-2) and the films of John Waters, which repeatedly set out to offend all good taste but there is a difference between a film that sets out to outrage and one where the crude and scatological is the punchline in itself. Someone poops, farts, says a crude term, a racial or homophobic term etc and that in itself is something we are supposed to applaud and regard as funny, it is never the start of a gag. This unfortunately is where too much of Movie 43 lies there is no sophistication or cleverness to any of it.
There is the odd segment where there is the germ of an idea both Homeschooled and particularly the mock ads of Tampax and Machine Kids have a certain satiric cleverness to them. They are short and effective enough that they get the punch in where other segments Victorys Glory, iBabe drag out an idea that it not very funny in the first place. Probably the best segment by default is James Gunns Beezel, which has a certain amusement to the scenes of Elizabeth Banks dealing with a jealous toon cat that is caught masturbating over pictures of Josh Duhamel in bathing trunks, that pees on her and at the end is seen French kissing Duhamel in dream bubbles. Hands down the very worst segment is Super Hero Speed Dating, which turns Batman, Robin, Supergirl and Superman, among other comic-book characters, into astonishingly awful caricatures. It is played out loud and campy with the actors in costumes that dont in the slightest resemble their counterparts. The result feels like a bad amateur-hour attempt to create a Saturday Night Live (1975 ) skit. It may be the worst ever portrayal of Batman on screen and this comes from the reviewer who will proudly claim that Batman & Robin (1997) is the worst film ever made on an A-budget.
(Winner in this sites Worst Films of 2013 list).