..

SCARY MOVIE 3.5

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Anna Faris, Anthony Anderson, Leslie Nielsen, Camryn Manheim, Simon Rex, George Carlin, D.L. Hughley, Queen Latifah, Eddie Griffin, Denise Richards, Regina Hall, Charlie Sheen
Director: David Zucker
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Surround
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: Dimension
Features: See Review
Length: 85 Minutes
Release Date: September 20, 2005

“These men died for their country. Send flowers to their bitches and ho’s.”

Film ***

What an interesting route the Scary Movie franchise has traveled. The first installment, released in 2000, was one of the funniest spoof movies to come around since Airplane twenty years before it. The following year saw Scary Movie 2, which was one of the worst sequels of its kind since, well, Airplane II: The Sequel. Now comes Scary Movie 3, which has brought this spoof series back on its feet.

For this installment, the torch has been passed from the Wayans team over to director David Zucker, one of the very innovators of the spoof movie, following Mel Brooks, of course. Zucker, one of the directors of Airplane and The Naked Gun, was the downright perfect choice to take over this franchise. For Part 3, Zucker and his writers have done the right thing, by toning down the extremely crude jokes and upgrading the simple visual gags and dumb jokes; the very elements that made spoof movies what they are in the first place.

As one could guess, Scary Movie 3 takes full aim on every popular scary movie to come in the two years since Scary Movie 2. The one taking the most hits is The Ring (the opening segment of that one is sent up hilariously with Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy), and Zucker and his writers have a lot of fun in poking fun at that movie’s every possible target. Two other movies that are given equal doses of spoof shots are 8 Mile, The Matrix Reloaded and M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs (the very character that Shyamalan played in that movie is spoofed, named simply Sayaman).

At the center of the action, once again, is Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris), now a news anchor for Washington D.C.’s leading morning news program, “The Morning News”. Upon reporting that there have been possible alien sightings in a nearby farmer’s cornfield, she requests to her boss that she investigate deeper, but her boss only wants them to report stories involving sex and people being killed by natural disasters.

Meanwhile, the resident of the farm, former priest Tom Logan (Charlie Sheen), has an additional problem to be concerned about. His younger brother, George (Simon Rex), has a dream, which is to simply have a dream. He actually wants to win an upcoming a rap battle with the help of his promoter, Mahalik (Anthony Anderson).

For Cindy, her suspicions of possible alien activity only increase when she comes into possession of a mysterious videotape (featuring a laugh-out-loud parody of the video footage from The Ring). She then receives a phone call telling her that she will die in seven days, not seven business days but seven days starting right then. Her investigation of the videotape leads her to a lighthouse resembling a cigarette, where she gets strange explanations The Oracle, Aunt Shaneequa (Queen Latifah), Orpheus (Eddie Griffin) and The Architect (George Carlin).

Once Cindy gets the news out about the link between the videotape and the alien sightings, the dim bulb President (Leslie Nielsen) attempts to devise a strategy plan, causing him to ask himself, “What would President Ford do?”, as he glances at a portrait of Harrison Ford from Air Force One in the Hall of Presidents. If you thought Nielsen’s doctor in Airplane or Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun were inept, believe me when I tell you that those were both warm ups.

For me, Scary Movie 3 was nothing less of a dynamic return to form for the spoof movie. I can’t remember the last time a single movie, let alone a spoof movie, contained so many priceless visual gags or lines of dialogue that are so dumb, they’re funnier than you know what. It’s the kind of classic comedy that only the likes of David Zucker could come up with.

Without ruining all of the gags, allow me to share with you two particular scenes that me falling out of my seat laughing. The first is a scene involving the sabotaging of a newsroom teleprompter, causing a professional newsman (Jeremy Piven) to read any and everything on the screen. What’s even more astonishing to note is that it’s even funnier than a similar scene in Bruce Almighty, which came out earlier in the same year.

The second scene involves an army of hip hop stars coming together to help fight off the aliens. Such rap artists as The Rza, Master P, Method Man, Redman and even singer Macy Gray are strapped with guns and preparing to enter the cornfield to battle the invading species. Then an argument erupts after one accuses another of stepping on his shoe. It’s a moment I seriously had to rewind several times simply because I couldn’t stop laughing.

Bottom line; if you find yourself down and need something quick to make you laugh, then Scary Movie 3 is the downright perfect laughter prescription. Like the early movie spoof greats from David Zucker, it achieves in striking huge bigger-than-life laughs in scene after scene. The third time is indeed the charm this time around.

Video ****

Dimension scores immensely on the video mark with this superb looking disc. The anamorphic picture is thoroughly crisp and clear from beginning to end. Image quality is terrifically bright and alive with large detail, with tremendous use of colors in addition. Both light and dark scenes favor greatly. A tremendous and outstanding job!

Audio ***1/2

For a comedy filled minute after minute of physical gags falls, this 5.1 mix serves this particular movie most outstandingly. The dynamic sound comes courtesy of lively music cues, effective use of set pieces such as the club for the rap battle scene, and frequent moments of comedic action which comes as a result of satirizing many memorable frightful and action-filled sequences. Top-notch work all the way!

Features ****

This new Unrated Version includes basically the same list of extras that the first release had, but there’s plenty to go around and that’s a very good thing. In addition to an extra five minutes of new footage, the disc includes  Commentary with Director David Zucker, Producer Robert K. Weiss, and Writers Craig Mazin and Pat Proft, Deleted and Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary, Outtakes and Bloopers, an Alternate Ending, More Deleted Scenes, The Making Scary Movie 3 and The Making Scary Movie 3... FOR REAL Featurettes, and “Hulk vs. Aliens” - Behind the Scenes of the Alternate Ending.

Summary:

Scary Movie 3 delivers the spoof movie goods, and completely erases the memory of anything relating to Scary Movie 2. If you’re a fan of supremely dumb comedy, and I always have been, than this new Unrated Version from Dimension is one to definitely check out!

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from freestats.com