INDIEWATCH: ‘Movie 43’ Mostly An Absurd Gong Show

“Movie 43” opens with Charlie (Dennis Quaid) pitching an idea to film exec Griffin (Greg Kinnear).

“If I can’t make this movie my way, then I’m outta the biz forever,” Charlie says, and so begins the first segment in this star-studded gong show.

“Movie 43” is an anthology of goofball, obscene shorts, the first starring Academy Award winner Kate Winslet, who’s on a blind date with Academy Award nom Hugh Jackman.

Jackman’s character has a huge turkey neck — that’s made of testicles.

And the entire segment is one long-running crotch joke, and the second segment isn’t much better.

In “The Proposition,” Anna Faris and Chris Pratt star in 10-plus minutes of an excrement gag. (Pun intended.)

And this is “Movie 43” in a nutshell.

Star power mixed with pull-my-finger humor written and directed by and starring some of Hollywood’s notable celebs: Elizabeth Banks, Josh Duhamel, Gerard Butler, Seann William Scott, Richard Gere, Halle Berry, Terrence Howard and Kenneth from “30 Rock.”

Kristen Bell (left) and Justin Long star in a segment in “Movie 43.”

In one of the better segments — “Super Hero Speed Dating” — Batman (Jason Sudeikis) is a horrible “wing man” to looking-for-love Robin (Justin Long). The raunchiest exchange occurs when Robin sits with Supergirl, played by Kristen Bell. Warning: This humor is not for everyone.

One silver lining in “Movie 43” is a segment titled “Veronica,” starring Emma Stone and Kieran Culkin as ex-lovers who run into each other at the grocery store. This features biting, random back-and-forth that teeters on absurd and sexual.

Each segment returns to Charlie (Quaid) and his pitch, which devolves into further obscurity as Griffin (Kinnear) is shot to death with horribly timed special effects.

I dug deep, wondering why some of my favorite actors and directors would take part in this film. Was this some commentary on garbage-filmmaking in Hollywood?

Who knows?

In the end, “Movie 43” is an escapist trek into vulgar absurdity, and — just maybe — therein lies the appeal of those on both sides of the camera.

Grade: D-

IndieWatch is a weekly review of independent film and documentaries.

“Movie 43”
Starring: Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Anna Faris, Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis.
Directed: Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg, Will Graham, James Gunn, Brett Ratner, Jonathan van Tulleken, Bob Odenkirk
Rated: R
Time: 94 minutes