Plot: What’s it about?
Let’s get right to the point: movies like “Scary Movie 3” are to be taken with a grain of salt. This being the third (and we might assume the last) in the series, we knew what to expect. If we’ve seen the prior two, and it would make sense that anyone seeing a “Part III” would have seen the first two, then we know exactly what to expect. Is “Scary Movie 3” considered a great movie and will it hold up as time goes by? No. Hell no. The one thing that I found was that it does deliver in the laughs department. Like its predecessors, it attempts to satirize the resurgence of the horror flick. While the first poked fun at “The Sixth Sense”, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and “Scream” this one takes a stab (no pun intended) at “The Ring”, “8 Mile” and “Signs” to name but a few. These movies, though funny, are extremely dated. I recently went back and watched the first “Scary Movie” and though it still had some funny moments, I didn’t laugh nearly as much as when I first saw it. There was a sequence in which it parodied a Budweiser commercial that, at the time, was hilarious. This has lost most all of the humor some four years later, however. When creating a true comedic film it has to be funny not only in the moment, but twenty years from now. Take movies like “Airplane!” and “Caddyshack”, for example. That being said, what’s the attempt at the plot in this go around?
Cindy Campbell (Anna Farris) essentially plays Naomi Watts’ character from “The Ring”. She has a son who, like the boy in “The Sixth Sense”, has the ability to read people’s minds and tell the future. He does this in a funny way, however, telling anyone and everyone regardless if they want to hear it or not. In the pre-credit sequence, two blondes (Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy in roles that fit them like a glove) have seen the tape as well. We’re treated to a less intense version of what happened in “The Ring”, but it tries to set the stage for the movie. We jump around and part of the problem with a movie parodying so many other movies is that we get the characters mixed up. Cindy tries to save her son by finding out what the tape is (and they do a fairly good job of replicating the actual ring tape), and how not to die in a week. Conversely the Charlie Sheen character plays Mel Gibson’s in “Signs”, complete with Simon Rex in the Phoenix role. He’s an aspiring rapper which provides a segue into the “8 Mile” sequence. Endless cameos including Queen Latifah, Leslie Nielsen (who has one of the funnier lines in the movie mocking his “Airplane!” character) and Eddie Griffin ensue and we get the feeling that this is not going to be pretty.
We’re kind of all over the place, aren’t we?
The movie, directed by David Zucker, isn’t one of his best. As a director of some of the funniest movies around, he goes for cheap laughs here and they work, to an extent. I’ll admit that I spent most of the time not trying to pay attention to the plot (why bother) and just laughing at the absurdity on screen. If this is the case, which it should be, then you’ll more than likely get your money’s worth. The movie was a financial success, raking in over $100 million at the box office, we will probably see a “Scary Movie 4” or some other movies like it. I’m really not sure how to classify this movie, though it lacks in everything that makes movies good, it is semi-entertaining. The star power attached to the movie, though not your typical marquee stars, is ample and when names like Charlie Sheen and Leslie Nielsen are attached to movies, it’s worth a look. One thing is for sure: if you liked (or at least laughed) at the first two installments, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t check out the latest installment. As for me, I like to laugh and even though I’m not mentally challenged when watching movies like this, it’s fun to check your brain at the door and just be entertained.
Video: How does it look?
“Scary Movie 3”, unlike its predecessors, is shown in a 1.85:1 anamorphic aspect ratio. I found the movie to have a very clean look and feel to it. Colors are strong when they need to be, though certain parts of the movie have more of a stylized look to them (the video of “The Ring”, etc.). This is your typical big budget studio movie, so we can expect that it will look decent on DVD and it does. There’s not a lot more to say, edge ehnacement is non-existent and about everything else that would affect the score isn’t an issue. This is a nice-looking transfer.
Audio: How does it sound?
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is fairly good, though comedies usually aren’t known for their use of sound. Dialogue is most important here (I never thought I’d say that), though the action on the screen is what will be occupying your time. The surrounds kick in from time to time, but the front channels handle most of the audio. Again, there’s not a lot to say; it’s not an action/adventure movie and the laughs are as a result of what you see, not hear.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This “new, unrated director’s cut” doesn’t really feature a lot more than the previously issued disc. I noticed a few scenes with some more dialogue, adding a few minutes to the final cut. The highlight of which would be Pamela Anderson’s remark “Do you want to see my shaved pussy?” in which she holds up a skinned cat. The rest of the features (listed below) are intact from the original disc. We get a commentary track from Director David Zucker, Robert Weiss and screenwriters Craig Mazin and Pat Proft. Like the commentary on the “Airplane!” disc, this is more of the same: plenty of laughs and if anyone likes to make fun of himself, it’s Zucker. We don’t learn a whole lot here, but it’s more of what scenes went out and where to go from here, etc. This is a nice track, but only the serious fans will likely give it listen. Next up are two featurettes: “The Making of Scary Movie 3” and “The Making of Scary Movie 3…for real”. While the first is pretty-self explanatory, the second is much shorter and actually pokes fun of these “making of” featurettes found on DVD’s. We don’t learn a whole lot here, but the cast and crew seems to be having a good time…Nine deleted scenes are show with optional commentary and I really don’t see why these weren’t included in the movie. “Scary Movie 3” only runs at 84 minutes, the scenes were hilarious so why not add them into the movie? Then again, I’m not the director…”Hulk vs. Aliens – Behind the Scenes of the Alternate Ending” tells of just that – the Alternate Ending. This was included in the deleted scenes but was cut. The Hulk never made the final cut of the movie and this gives us a little background on what the deal was. Some outtakes are shown as well but no trailer, odd. In any case, “Scary Movie 3” has a good variety of supplements and looks great. Fans of the movie, and you’re out there, will love it.