In all my years of going to the movies, I’ve walked out of only one film, “Kung Pow: Enter the Fist.”
I mention this because I nearly added to this list while watching “Movie 43” – a mind-numbingly awful sketch comedy that has no redeeming value whatsoever.
This isn’t just a bad film. It’s an abomination that should be erased from memory as soon as possible.
“Movie 43” is a series of sketches tied together by one short in which a producer (Dennis Quaid) desperately pitches insane story lines to a studio head (Greg Kinnear).
The first story involves Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman on a blind date, in which Winslet’s character is trying to get past the fact that Jackman’s character has a scrotum hanging from his neck.
It actually gets worse from there.
“Movie 43” has plenty of talent behind the camera – Peter Farrelly, Griffin Dunne and Brett Ratner among the 12 credited directors – and even higher-profile names in front of the camera – Naomi Watts, Halle Berry, Elizabeth Banks, Terrence Howard, Emma Stone, Anna Farris, Richard Gere and many more.
They are asked to do some deplorable things. Watts makes out with her home-schooled son in her sketch. Berry dips a breast in guacamole as part of a truth-or-dare bit during her blind date. Farris and real-life husband Chris Pratt are involved in a skit with way too much scatological humor (and a truly stomach-churning payoff).
It all makes you wonder who blackmailed these people into being a part of this trash. (It turns out the film was made over a four-year period with Farrelly trying to capitalize on the success of the Internet site FunnyOrDie.com).
At best, it all feels like a series of rejected skits from “Saturday Night Live.” At least with SNL you can switch to another channel; with “Movie 43” you are forced to stay with it or walk out.
Maybe I should have considered option No. 2 after all.
We’re only one month into 2013, but I think I can say with confidence that “Movie 43” is a huge favorite for worst film of the year – perhaps even one of the worst films of all time.
Starring: Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman Directed by: Peter Farrelly and 11 others Rating: R for strong pervasive, crude and sexual content, including dialogue, graphic nudity, language, some violence and drug use Playing at: Regal Bowling Green Stadium 12
DVD dandy of the week
This week’s dandy is “Flight” (B), featuring an Oscar-nominated performance from Denzel Washington.
This is a compelling character study, with Washington delivering some of his best work in recent years.
Washington plays Whip Whitaker, an airline pilot who saves a flight from crashing despite being impaired because of drugs and alcohol.
This leads to an investigation that uncovers Whip’s struggles with addiction – an addiction that he denies at first, but comes to realize is something that is destroying his life.
Written by John Gatins and directed by Robert Zemeckis, “Flight” begins with a frightening airplane sequence before slowly becoming an examination of one man’s addictions.
Washington has always been at his best when he is playing a flawed character, and there are plenty of skeletons in Whip’s closet. Washington effectively captures the struggles of his character, giving a performance that feels authentic.
Washington is so good that you can overlook the final act of “Flight” – which felt a little too preachy for my taste.
The wrap-up was also slightly unsatisfying, feeling a little rushed, but it’s easy to overlook thanks to Washington.
In a year full of great roles for actors, he gives one of the most memorable performances of 2012.
“Flight” is rated R for sex and nudity, frightening and intense scenes, language and drug use, and will be available on DVD on Tuesday.