Movie 43 (2013)

Movie 43Movie 43

Release Date: January 25, 2013

Directors: Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Peter Farrelly (and 10 others)

Stars: Liev Schreiber, Emma, Stone, Richard Gere

Runtime: 94 min

I just watched a version online, and I believe it was the version released in the U.K.; it’s an alternate plot to the U.S. version that doesn’t have Dennis Quaid pitching crazy ideas to a studio. I was not going to spend money on this.

Movie 43 is a haphazardly edited sketch comedy that stars as many A-list actors (including Emma Stone, Richard Gere, Kate Bosworth, Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Justin Long, Kristen Bell, and Elizabeth Banks, to name a few) as the filmmakers could convince that this movie would be lots of fun to make. Charles Wessler achieves his vision: A satire that brings up common issues in the most offensive of ways, and it is the most outrageous comedy ever made.

But it is also one awful movie. If only his passion project (an idea that he’s had for over a decade) wasn’t so silly. Saturday Night Live has okay sketches, good sketches and those rare great sketches. This, however, has awful sketches, bad sketches, and just tolerable, but kind-of funny sketches. Even if you do laugh at some points, it doesn’t stop this from being one bad, bad film. This is still sort-of imaginative and quite original, and unlike anything you’ve seen at the movie theatre before. It’s one of those times where too many cooks in the kitchen (13 directors, a huge cast, 30 writers) really spoils the broth. Apparently, it takes thirteen directors, 102 credited cast members and thirty writers to make a really bad film.

The plot follows three adolescent boys who are searching the depths of the internet for Movie 43, the world’s most banned feature. The two older teens who tell a younger brother, the incredibly irritating Baxter who looks like he’s really ten years old, about Movie 43 are really just making it up because they want some April Fool’s revenge. Little do they know is that the video could very well end the world, somehow.

That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, nor is it explained. It’s completely random and idiotic. This backstory manages to be worse than some of the comedy sketches, to a point where you might actually want to see another bad sketch. This is because the actors in the background story have little to no charisma, and they’re increasingly annoying and bland.

While the idea of sketch comedies in movies is fairly new, this is still trash. The plot is almost as disorganized as every spoof movie out there. If this is compared to Scary Movie 5, this might as well be an Oscar contender. This is definitely not for the easily offended. The humour is thoroughly crude, offensive, absurd, violent, vulgar, inane, insane, sophomoric and rarely funny; but it’s ironic that I’ve seen a lot more nudity in less offensive films. So… Humour that will offend almost the entire world is okay, but extreme nudity is off the table? Hmm.

Out of the movie’s thirteen comedy sketches, there are thirteen stupid and fairly offensive ones. The one with Terrence Howard is hardly funny at all. The sketch showing that people get much too angry with machines and it upsets the kids inside the machines is incredibly stupid, but it’s creative. There are arguably five tolerable ones, but there are none that provide consistent laughs. The ‘Super Hero Dating’ segment with Jason Sudeikis and Justin Long has a few solid jokes, and it’s an imaginative look into the culture of super hero impersonators. It’s the movie’s strongest segment (even if it’s hardly great). The ‘Happy Birthday’ segment with Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville also has some good laughs (albeit forgettable), but it is one of the movie’s more violent and vulgar segments. The ‘Truth or Dare’ segment starring Stephen Merchant and Halle Berry is funny in the beginning, but it progressively gets worse until it falls on its face. Suffice to say, the ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘Super Hero Dating’ sketches are my favourite, and they are somewhat entertaining.

SPOILERS FOLLOW IN THIS FUNNY PARAGRAPH, I briefly describe the film’s worst three sketches. It seems as if the movie is designed to have the worst three sketches at the beginning of the film. The first sketch has Hugh Jackman sporting a pair of testicles under his chin and it is unfunny and unwatchable. It’s a one-joke sketch where it seems as if Kate Winslet’s character is the only one to notice the prominent nuts. Though, it does show that society cannot help but judge someone for the way they look. The second sketch features Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts homeschooling their child and mercilessly bullying him to a point where he will definitely need to be institutionalized. The third sketch features Anna Farris requesting Chris Pratt to poop on her (you read that right) because it’s apparently a big step in a relationship. Apparently, it’s okay to poop on women, but it’s frowned upon to sh*t on them. Because if you shit on a gal, it’s deemed very offensive. (Read the next part very sarcastically.) Wow. This is the world of my dreams. I’ve always wanted to live in a world where the norm is to poop on women and have a pair of testicles dangling under my chin. Oh, someone, take me there! I can’t take this society where women bitch about me even farting in their general direction! END OF SPOILERS.

Alas, this movie is awful. (But, I am able to use the word ‘alas’ in one of my reviews.) I’ve seen much worse, but it’s really, really, really, stupid. The laughs are forgettable; but it’s the disturbing sketches that are unforgettable. Much to my dismay, this stuff kind-of just sticks with you… Forever.

30/100

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American Reunion (2012)

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American Reunion

Release Date: April 6, 2012

Director: Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg

Stars: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott

Runtime: 113 min

Tagline: Save the best piece for last.

 The whole gang is back for a high school reunion after thirteen years.

 Jim and Michelle are having marital problems and hope to resolve them over the weekend. Everyone else offers their same antics, Stifler’s trying to make a name for himself in society, Kevin hopes Vicki still isn’t hung up on him after all these years, Oz has a new sexy girlfriend but he’s still after the one that got away: Heather. Also, Finch has been travelling the world and isn’t really hung up on Stifler’s Mom anymore. Jim’s Dad experiments with alcohol and drugs with Stifler’s Mom, as a way to get out of the house after he’s been widowed for a few years (what a beautiful way to get rid of a character if the actress doesn’t want to be in the project, kill her off).

It’s a little disappointing if you anticipate it for a long while, but if you don’t really have expectations, it’s a pretty good comedy. I liked most of it. Some of the antics are old, and some of the jokes are recycled from the first film and some you actually have to see that film to understand it.

I didn’t care for a lot of the young cast, but the extended period of time the one young woman was topless; I didn’t hate that at all.

Some of it’s really predictable, but it’s nice to see the whole gang back together. The MILF guys have drifted away from each other, and it’s just the lone John Cho (MILF Guy #2) currently, and there’s still the ongoing feud between Finch and Stifler, which is still pretty funny.

Some of it wasn’t funny, but other stuff really was, but it did run a little long for a comedy of only mediocre quality. It would have been nice if Adam Herz (writer of the first three films) was more involved in the project. It’s a pretty good film that revisits the original cast (it being the fourth film that goes to theaters and the eighth in the series if you count the straight to video trash [with the exception of Band Camp, which was a little funny]). It’s better than the second, in the range of the goodness of the third film, and is definitely better than the straight-to-DVD releases. It’s all really a great nostalgic feeling for most of the viewing.

The cast is all much older, time does that; it stars Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nichols, Seann William Scott, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Mena Suvari, Tara Reid (a minor part though), Katrina Bowden, John Cho, Jennifer Coolidge, Eugene Levy, Ali Cobrin, and small appearances by Natasha Lyonne and Shannon Elizabeth as Nadia.

It’s a little memorable; I’d give the Unrated version a view and then maybe view the film again in a couple of years or so. It’s a pretty tasty slice of pie that can really hit the spot, but also can be quite bland after you’ve had too much of it. If you’ve seen the original series, watch it; but there are better comedies that you could watch for the year of 2012. Nothing I really regret seeing though.

63/100

American Wedding – A Film review by Daniel Prinn — Better than the second.

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American Wedding

Release Date: August 1, 2003

Director: Jesse Dylan

Stars: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott

Runtime: 96 min

Tagline: Forever hold your piece. 

It was a bit of an improvement compared to the franchise’s second outing.

The crew is back (excluding the characters played by Chris Klein, Mena Suvari, Tara Reid and Natasha Lyonne, and a decent decision that was after the disastrous second film), and Jim and Michelle are getting married, and they’ve invited all of Jim’s old pals and Michelle’s little sister.

Oh, and the unwanted Stifler makes a pretty comedic drop-in at the wedding party that he thinks is a graduation party. Some shenanigans that are played out include a bachelor party, Stifler mistakenly going to a gay bar, and Finch and Stifler switching roles (Finch becoming the Finchmeister, and Stifler becoming sophisticated) to win the affection of Michelle’s little sister, Cadence.

I was more entertained by this film than the second, it’s definitely better; not by very much, but better. A lot of the material was pretty fresh, I enjoyed it. It has more memorable scenes than the second, it’s a decent comedy.

The really only notable stars that are added to the mix are January Jones and Eric Allan Kramer portraying a character called Bear, and he now plays the Dad on the Family channel show Good Luck Charlie, kind of an interesting thing that he went from a pretty vulgar and nude comedy like this to a family TV show.

If you liked the first and want to see a better film than the second, give it a watch.

63/100

 

American Pie 2 – A Film review by Daniel Prinn — What the heck, was this Pie baked in an Easy Bake Oven?

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American Pie 2

Release Date: August 10, 2001

Director: J.B. Rogers

Stars: Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Shannon Elizabeth

Runtime: 108 min

Tagline: It’s time for a second helping.

It’s not an excellent sequel.

The film is a mediocre comedy sequel that continues to display the antics of Jim and his friends, and Stifler, when they reunite after their first year of college and go to a vacation house for the summer to impress chicks.

It’s okay for a sequel, not passable but not the worst I’ve ever witnessed, but it is pretty predictable and really rather forgettable. Some of the gags are pretty funny, but others are a little tasteless and tired. I can’t say I really loved it on a high level, but I didn’t despise it, it did give me a few laughs, but I really can’t remember what they were. A good comedy to me is that one that’s memorable and I can just chuckle by thinking back at it. This one, is not really one of those films.

The whole crew is back for this one and all the likeable characters, but at the odd time they can get a bit annoying.

Give it a watch if you liked the first one, it can be a moderately enjoyable time, it’s satisfying enough; but there are funnier films out there, and it really is a second slice of Pie that could have been baked much better.

                                                         

50/100

Film review: American Pie. The great comedy that launched a pretty decent teen comedy franchise in 1999.

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 American Pie

Release Date: July 9, 1999

Director: Paul Weitz

Stars: Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Alyson Hannigan

Runtime: 95 min

Tagline: Boy gets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets pie.

 It’s a pretty funny coming of age comedy.

Four high school boys enter a pact to lose their virginity by the end of prom night. Jim is the main guy in the group, doing things like trying to get with a hot foreign girl Nadia, doing a nasty deed with an apple pie, and eventually finding something great in an unexpected girl. Oz is on the lacrosse team, and has his eye on the beautiful choir girl, Heather. Kevin has been dating Victoria for a while and hasn’t had the most luck in the department of pleasuring her and is focused solely on losing his virginity to her. Finch is the sophisticated nice guy who has an infamous love interest by the end of the film. And Stifler is the the immature and hilarious jerk friend, who is the funniest in the film.

The whole story seems a little shallow for a coming-of-age comedy film, but it really can be funny. It has a great bunch of funny and memorable scenes, and very memorable characters.

It’s a movie that can be watched many times, as it’s always funny, and the comedic tension between Finch and Stifler is always funny. Going to Band Camp would be a funny experience.

The film stars Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Chris Klein, Alyson Hannigan, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Shannon Elizabeth, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari, Chris Owen as The Shermanator, Jennifer Coolidge as Stifler’s Mom, and Eugene Levy as Jim’s Dad.

It’s a great start to a pretty awesome comedy franchise (with the exception of the pretty bad straight to DVD crap). It’s the best slice of Pie in the series.

             75/100

Review written on: August 9, 2012, by Daniel Prinn.