Jim Carrey should be powerful enough to be able to choose good material. There have been recent articles about various exciting projects keeping him busy over the next few years, so was the payoff so big that he never read the script to "THE NUMBER 23" before signing on to it? The script is just plain awful! Carrey plays a seemingly ordinary Joe, named Walter. Walter is an animal control officer, and as he explains in the horrible narration, after his wife gives him an unusual book for his birthday, everything in his life will be turned upside down. The book, "The Number 23," is about a detective named "Fingerling" obsessed with the number 23. Much like the character Walter reads about, he too, begins finding many coincidences in his life built around the number 23. In the ridiculously heavy-handed narrative, Schumacher tortures the audience by having to see Carrey play the "Fingerling" character in the coinciding narrative. The plot is a mess, stupid, and just plain awful! Even the name, "Fingerling," feels just plain unimaginative.
To call Schumacher a "shlock director" is unfair to "schlock directors." He's one of those guys who just shouldn't be making films, and somehow, generally turns a profit for studios, allowing him to make even more crap.
It would be impossible for any director to make the script into a good film, but it feels like NEW LINE just threw their hands up with this property and sought to make a disaster. That's what "THE NUMBER 23" is!
NEW LINE has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement. When the scenes are bright, the image looks terrific. Detail is impressive and colors are vibrant. However, when the scenes are dark, which is often in this film, much of the detail is lost and colors are subdued. It's not a bad transfer overall, but there's nothing sensational enough about it or the original cinematography to recommend one purchasing it.
NEW LINE has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. It's a mixed bag. When effects kick into high gear, during the film's later half, it's an engaging experience. However, music overshadows the dialogue at many times, forcing this reviewer to use captioning a few times. Surrounds and bass are creatively utilized, adding to the film's atmosphere, but it's still much about nothing.
NEW LINE has provided numerous extras. There are several featurettes, deleted scenes(could the film be any longer!), trivia pop-ups, and a commentary with the film's director on the theatrical version. Oh, yea,...there's an alternative "unrated" version as well. Running about three minutes longer, it adds nothing of note to the film.