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THE NUMBER 23, 2007
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Robert's Movie Review

"The Number 23" is a story of numerical obsession and mental psychosis. Jim Carrey stars as both Walter Sparrow, the loving husband and father; and Detective Fingerling, the dark, charismatic detective one would imagine from old detective comic books or novels. Walter is an animal control agent whose latest assignment to catch a dog goes awry and the dog escapes, causing a chain of events that lead to all sorts of plot twists later on, but we won't get into those. Let's just start off with the fact that it happened to be Walter's birthday and he was supposed to meet his wife right after work. However, because of the last minute dog catching assignment, he was late in meeting her. Since she was bored waiting for him, she began browsing books at a nearby bookstore and bought a book about the number 23 as a present for Walter. Then, once Walter starts to read it, his obsession starts to take over until he's totally consumed by the number and by Detective Fingerling, the main character in the book. Walter soon realizes that this isn't just a book; it's a murder confession, written by whoever the real Detective Fingerling is and the trail of hidden clues leads Walter to discover the truth.

"The Number 23" is a great example of obsession and psychosis and to me, Walter felt very real. What I mean by that is this… I could easily imagine someone like Walter (in real life) to be sitting on a couch in their psychologist's or psychiatrist's office, spewing forth insane gibberish and wild theories that only make sense to themselves. Jim Carrey did a great job of adapting himself to that role and seemed genuinely crazy for most off the movie. However, the problem was that the movie itself wasn't entertaining at all. In fact, it was excruciatingly painful to sit through the whole thing without walking out of the theater. The storyline was ridiculous, riddled with plot holes, and the numerous plot twists were just idiotic. By the time all of the truths about the real Detective Fingerling and the number 23 were revealed, I couldn't wait to leave the theater and go seek some entertainment elsewhere. Overall, "The Number 23" would read better as a case history for a seriously disturbed mental patient… but as a movie, it's just terrible, uninteresting and not entertaining at all.

All in all, I'd give this movie 1 STAR (out of 5). Re-watch value: NONE (I'd rather rub my nether regions with Icy-Hot and scream in wild agony, than watch this horrible movie ever again).

Brett's Movie Review

The Number 23 is a psychological thriller that sends one man spiraling into a dark obsession with the number 23. Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey) twists his once idyllic life into an inferno of psychological torture that could possibly lead to his death as well as the deaths of his loved ones. Spurred on by a mysterious novel, The Number 23, that he doesn't dare put down, Walter is forced to unlock the secrets of his past before he can continue his future with his wife, Agatha (Virginia Madsen) of 13 years, and teenage son, Robin (Logan Lerman) who looks like he is 15-16. The novel, given to Walter by Agatha as a birthday gift, depicts a chilling murder mystery that seems to mirror Walter's life in dark and uncontrollable ways. The life of the book's main character, a brooding detective named Fingerling, is filled with moments that echo Walter's own history. As the world of the book starts to come alive, Walter becomes infected by the most frightening and evocative part of it: Fingerling's obsession with the hidden power of the number 23. This obsession permeates the book and begins to control Walter. He sees the number everywhere in his own life and becomes convinced that he is damned to commit the same horrific crime as Fingerling--murder. Nightmarish fantasies come to haunt Walter, ones that portend terrible fates for his wife as well as family friend Isaac French (Danny Huston), placing him on a desperate quest to understand the mysteries of the book. If he can unlock the power behind the number 23, he may be able to change his future. Out of all then numbers in the world I can think of several others that would have made for a better movie. I thought this movie had many plot holes. Perhaps 18, the number of holes on a golf course. The story was marginal at best and as for a thriller, I saw the ending coming from 1,760 yards (the number of yards in a mile). I will give some kudos to Jim Carrey for attempting to break away from his mold, however for the 95 minutes that the movie ran I also wanted to run…away from the theatre. Honestly I think the movie should have been made about the number 69 (Carrey would have done well here). For instance, they said 2 divided by 3 was .666, the number of the beast. Well 6 divided by 9 is also .666, LOL. The number 69 is much more fun as a number and it would have made a better movie. Overall I thought the movie 23 lacked in almost every way a movie can fall short. It was not that entertaining, the plot had holes, and the story was predictable. Oh well, better luck next time.

Overall Rating: 2 Stars (out of 5). Re-Watch Value: Low (If you must go see it, save $10 and Netflix it).

Trivia: Elisabeth Shue was originally cast in the female lead, but had to decline because she was pregnant. (That would have been interesting).

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