DVD Review: The Number 23 (Unrated Infinifilm Edition)
By Jeff Swindoll Jul 22, 2007, 19:12 GMT
Carrey becomes obsessed with a novel that he believes was written about him. As his obsession increases, more and more similarities seem to arise. ...more
Jim Carrey delves into his dark side and stars in this thriller about a dogcatcher that becomes obsessed with that titular number. Okay, was that twenty-three words?
What the back of the box says:
“Jim Carrey and Virginia Madsen star in the year's most "mind-bending" (Pete Hammond, Maxim) psychological thriller directed by Joel Schumacher. The nightmare begins when Walter Sparrow (Carrey), a mild-mannered dogcatcher, begins reading a tattered, used book called The Number 23.
Obsessed by the countless similarities between the degenerate main character and himself, Walter plunges headlong into the same dark, seductive world. When the book's main character commits an unspeakable act, Walter is terrified that he's destined to follow the same twisted path.”
Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey) has just turned 32. His wife Agatha (Virginia Madsen) finds a copy of a book called “The Number 23: A novel of obsession” by Topsy Kretts and buys if for Walter. Thus begins his descent into madness. Walter finds that the fictional adventures of a detective called Fingerling (Carrey again) closely parallel his life. The only problem is that Fingerling ends up going nuts obsessing about the 23 enigma and ends up killing his wife Fabrizia (Madsen again).
Can Walter discover the secrets of the mysterious author of this work and keeps the events of the novel from playing out in reality? I think that I’ll leave it at that since there are all sorts of plot twists.
The 23 enigma is a real belief that all things are connected to the number 23. For example, human beings are made up of 46 chromosomes – 23 from each parent. There’s also adding up the numbers represented by letters of the alphabet that usually can be found to equal 23 in some way. I guess once you know about the numerical connection you can add up numbers in all manners of ways to equal 23. It’s something that you can easily obsess over, as Sparrow does in the film.
Carrey is game, but I think that the acceptance of the audience of the numerical enigma will depend on their enjoyment of the film. I think it’s a bit of baloney, but the film does have a compelling mystery in that finding out what the mysterious book is about.
However, the solution still might test your acceptance of the film since it also relies on some coincidence and you may or may not be willing to accept it. Some of that had me rolling my eyes, but the film did have its good parts. I didn’t see the film in theaters but this DVD contains both the theatrical cut (97 minutes) and an unrated cut (101 minutes).
The Number 23 is presented in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) and enhanced for 16x9 televisions. This title is in the New Line Infinifilm series, which means that if you watch the film with this option on (on the theatrical cut only methinks) that a symbol will pop up during the film and lead you to extra features while you’re watching the film. You can also find some features in the special features. The theatrical cut has a commentary by director Joel Schumacher.
The “All Access Pass” section has 14 minutes of deleted/alternate scenes. Next is the 22-minute “The Making of the Number 23” which interviews producer Beau Flynn, screenwriter Fernley Phillips, director Schumacher, Jim Carrey, Virginia Madsen, and Lynn Collins (“Suicide Blonde”). “Creating the world of Fingerling” delves into the production design and visual effects in the film and adds interview footage with visual effects production executive Raymond Gieringer.
This section concludes with the theatrical trailer and some sneak peeks. The “Beyond the Movie” section contains a 25 minute documentary on the “23 Enigma,” a 10 minute “How to find your life numbers” documentary on numerology, and a fact track that pops up during the theatrical version.
I thought that the Number 23 was an interesting movie and featured another dark performance by funnyman Jim Carrey. However, I just didn’t buy the whole 23 thing and the coincidences that make up the plot. That being said, it was entertaining and your level of enjoyment might depend on whether or not you can buy the plot points.