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Movie Review

Strange Wilderness

MPAA Rating: R for non-stop language, drug use, crude and sexual humor

Reviewed by: Patty Moliterno
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 27 min.
Year of Release:
2008
USA Release:
February 1, 2008 (wide—1,100 theaters)
DVD: May 20, 2008
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Relevant Issues
Featuring: Jake Abel, Kevin Alejandro, Krista Allen, Joe Don Baker, Terrence Beasor, Ernest Borgnine, Sheryl Chambers, Blake Clark, Lisa Cornelison, Allen Covert, Eve Curtis, Peter Dante, Will Deutsch, John Farley, Ayda Field, Jeff Garlin, Harry Hamlin, Kevin Heffernan, Jonah Hill, Tom Hippler, Spencer Jambor, Joan Jones, Dee Jordan, Alison Kay, Justin Long, Sheila Lussier, Alex Craig Mann, David Mattey, Ryan O'Quinn, Robert Patrick, Jennifer Perkins, Alveraz Ricardez, Emilio Rivera, Bryan Ross, Roberto “Sanz” Sanchez, Ashley Scott, Angela Shelton, Troy Sims, Meg Wolf, Steve Zahn
Director: Fred Wolf
Producer: Allen Covert, Glenn S. Gainor, Peter Gaulke, Jack Giarraputo, Edward Milstein, Erin Newell, Adam Sandler, Paul Schwake, Bill Todman Jr.
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

“This ain't ‘March of the Penguins.’”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “After the genial, beloved TV host of the popular wildlife show ‘StrangeWilderness’ passes on to the great nature special in the sky, his son Peter Gaulke takes over the series—and things are never the same. Ignorant, bumbling and blissfully unaware of his own lack of talent, Pete sprinkles his documentary narrations with dubious factoids. When the ratings sink to an all-time low and the show is about to be cancelled, Pete and his filmmaking partner Fred Wolf realize they have to come up with ‘something big’ to save the series. It looks like they’ve hit the jackpot when Pete lucks into a map of the legendary Bigfoot’s secret cave. But when the clueless producer leads his ragtag crew to the wilds of Central America to film the elusive beast, they encounter a string of disasters.

Desperate for a stunt to drive ‘Strange Wildernes’ ratings back up and salvage the show, Pete brainstorms with his motley crew. Their luck seems to take a turn for the better when Pete gets a visit from his father’s backwoods survivalist friend Bill Calhoun, who offers to sell him a map to Bigfoot’s jungle hideout. Convinced this is the big break they’ve been waiting for, Pete and Fred hire two new crewmembers, Bill Whitaker and Cheryl, and set off for Ecuador in their dilapidated RV. From the start, however, the ambitious expedition is beset with disasters. Along the way, the hapless crew will have to survive near-death encounters with overzealous border guards, an amorous turkey, flesh-eating fish, murderous natives and a host of other obstacles that more than live up to the name ‘Strange Wilderness.’”

This movie opens with Peter Gaulke (Steve Zahn) talking on the phone and watching clips of his deceased father’s television show “Strange Wilderness”. After his father’s death, Peter became host of the show and is relating the story over the phone of how the show went from a wonderful time slot with great ratings to being pulled off the air. The viewer then gets to watch as Peter and his film crew try to save the show by trekking to Ecuador to find Bigfoot.

While this is billed as a comedy, and there are some laughs, the Objectionable Content far exceeds any laughs that the film may produce. This film takes the name of Jesus Christ and God in vain numerous times. The f-word is said too many times to count, along with many other obscenities. Aside from the language, there is also drug use, drinking, sexual situations, frontal nudity of women, drawings of male body parts, a man drops his pants and shows his disfigured body part, and there is a scene of a man and woman having sex in the distance. There are also numerous encounters with animals—a person is killed by a crocodile; another person is attacked by a shark; a man is eaten by piranhas; and the entire crew of another television show is shown dismembered after an attack by pygmies. Peter is attacked by a turkey which attaches itself to him.

While I usually write a longer review, I find that sometimes brevity gets the point across much better. This movie is not worth being seen and after wrestling with the right words to say, I will just say: I cannot recommend this movie to anyone, under any circumstance. This movie received an R rating for non-stop language, drug use, crude and sexual humor. I doubt that if you read this review, you will see it. As in everything in life, we all see things differently. I am sure that there are people who will watch this movie and just see it as pure comedy and find it very entertaining. Some will even think I should just lighten up. However, Phillipians 4:8 tells us:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

This movie is none of these and should not be seen.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive

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Negative
Negative—My husband and I couldn't even stand to watch more than 15 minutes or so of this movie. It has stupid, non funny humor, mostly about drug use. This deserves a worst movie of the year award.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Christina, age 25
Negative—As a christian I will not reccomend this movie to anyone. Within the first 10 minutes of the film we are barraged with Jesus's and God's name being taken in vain, crude sexual content, drug content and frontal nudity of a female's breasts. Needless to say we turned this movie off and watched something more wholesome instead. Though it should have been obvious from the R rating of the film I am dissappointed that there was no mention of nudity in the rating context. Is is too much to ask film producers to be honest with the context that will be in the film so we can make truly informed decisions whether to watch the film or not?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Kathy, age 39 (USA)