New movie releases this week include Katherine Heigl’s return to the big screen, plus The Promise, Truman, and more
Matthew Lickona 6 p.m., April 21
Hugh Jackman has testicles where his Adam's apple should be. Richard Gere attempts to finger-bang a robot. Halle Berry dips a giant, unsheathed latex breast into a vat of guacamole. A cartoon kitty uses Elizabeth Banks's face to mark its territory. Movie 43 has gag potential, just not in the comedic sense. It's being hyped as "a series of interconnected short films," but given its open-ended, start-and-stop design — 15 one-joke scatological sex skits slapped together under the guise of a script pitch — only a few of the segments could stand on their own, and even then they'd need a truss. It heralds Peter Farrelly's solo debut (brother Bobby must have read the script), and the only strand holding it all together is his ability to call in favors. Farrelly solicits the aid of eleven directorial cohorts, nine screenwriters, and a number of big-name actors, all of whom seem to be willing contributors to the ghastliness. Farrelly made the film as a goof after overhearing his son and a friend sing the praises of a nonexistent but wild-sounding internet production called Movie 43. (Insanity doesn't run in the Farrelly household, it hurtles.) The MPAA should have awarded this a G-rating. After all, only a seven-year-old (and a pretty stupid one at that) would find this material even remotely amusing. 2013.