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Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-10-29 tracking life & times section
'Scary Movie 3' a disappointment
Cletus Turner


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There are times that a series can seem to go on forever. Take Star Wars for example. Because of fresh story, or sometimes back story, the George Lucas creation seemingly has taken a life of its own. The Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween and Friday the 13th films have also fallen into this category. Sadly, they have become so overplayed that there isn't anything fresh about them.

Now, Scary Movie has released its third movie. The film has broken the record for the highest gross on an opening weekend in October with $49.7 million. However, I suspect the movie will not be able to sustain this feat simply because the film just reeks. This could be because the funniest parts of the film were shown on previews.

The film begins with Jenny McCarthy and Pamela Anderson talking about a tape that, after you watch it, you died in seven days. Naturally, this is a spoof of The Ring. Fortunately, the writers put this scene at the beginning of the film because it is one of the funniest. The pillow fight and wedgie were rather funny.

We get to see Sydney and Brenda who are the only constants from the first two films. In Scary Movie 3, Sydney is now a reporter who is on the trail of crop circles that seem to be appearing around the country. She begs not to be taken off the story.

We also get to see Charlie Sheen in a comedy, his first since Hot Shots where he played Topper Harley. Sheen plays a farmer who used to be a priest. If this sounds like Signs you got it right.

We also get to see George Carlin as "the Architect", which is a rip off of The Matrix. Queen Latifah plays the Oracle and Eddie Griffen plays Morpheus. Queen and Eddie are perfect in the roles as they were in some of the funniest parts of the film. The Matrix spoofs weren't too bad. Sadly, one section of about ten minutes does not make a movie. All too often, we get the same jokes we've seen in the first two films. Once you've seen Sydney get hit in the head once, the rest become unimportant and just plain unfunny.

Leslie Neilsen, the man who rode this type of film into stardom, came on board as the president. As Charlie Sheen and Sydney fight the little girl, another part of The Ring spoof, Neilsen opens the door to the basement and says, "we're counting on you two." Of course he is spoofing his character from Airplane!. Sadly, I was the only one in the theater who seemed to get the joke. Sometimes, the film stretches too far and misses its audiences. The acting in this sort of film has to be very good. Neilsen, Sheen, Carlin, Latifah and Griffen just don't seem to be able to pull the rest of the cast out of the pit. Simon Rex, Ja Rule, Macy Gray and a host of other actors just don't seem to be able to make the material funny. In many cases, an actor can pull up the film by its boot straps. Sadly, there are just too many holes in this picture to make it worth seeing. Even worse, Scary Movie 4 is already being filmed and will be out next year. Makes you want to scream (no pun there) at the network executives and tell them to stop beating a dead horse. Too bad that doesn't mean anything, all they see is the $49.7 million in its first weekend.

Overall, this film is filled with adolescent humor that has just been overdone. We are supposed to laugh at sight gags we have seen in the first two movies and giggle at jokes that are either over our heads, which they aren't, or just not funny. The actors who did a good job were lost in the shuffle of no-name and untalented performers who just destroyed the film, or what was left of it. Comedy is a hard thing to get right and it is obvious the writers got it wrong in this film. David Zucker, who directed Scary, also directed Airplane! and Naked Gun. Those films were much better than this film, they were original and funny. Scary is neither original nor funny, it is a amalgamation of previous films.

2 suns

Notes from the cinema:

Scary Movie 4 is in production and a collective groan can be heard across the nation. Will Hollywood ever figure out when enough is enough?

Matrix Revolutions which opens next week will be simultaneously started across the nation. When the film first begins airing on Nov. 5, the film will be started in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles at the same time. This will be the first time this feat has been accomplished. Of course, it's the first time it has been attempted.

Early buzz about The Cat in the Hat is that it is a great movie. Mike Meyers certainly hopes the film will equal the first Dr. Seuss movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas because it grossed over $200 million. This isn't anything new to Meyers whose Austin Powers films have been very successful in their own right.

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