Plot: What’s it about?
If there was ever a movie to make fun of a triology, it would have to be the “Scream” series (trilogy). The movies, while original or not so original depending on how you look at them, do have a point…The original Scream was vastly successful (as were it’s predecessors) due to the fact that they actually made fun of the movie that they were. Crappy horror movies (some even directed by the same guy who directed the Scream trilogy). Scream movies took all that we had learned by watching these low-budget movies in the 80’s and applied different rules that all of them had in common. Scream made a franchise of telling us what we already knew, but we still flocked to the theaters to see who bought it next. It’s this last movie that we’re talking about this time, to see if the rules still apply. To quote a character from the movie, “It’s the trilogy that all rules are off and anyone can get it!”. It’s a SCREAM baby!
The film opens with Cotton Weary (Liev Schrieber) who has now become a syndicated talk show host and is popular for more reasons than being known as a murderer (attempted). In much the same way that the trilogy opened, with Drew Barrymore wielding a phone, we see that our hero from Part II buys it in much the same way. The cast members have gone their seperate ways, with Dewey being a “technical consultant” on the third installment of the “Stab” movie series (how convenient) and Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) is lecturing at colleges and telling promising Journalism students how to make it in the real world…and be successful! What arises is the perfect opportunity for the movie to mock itself once again. We see that there are only three surviving members of the original cast (Cox, Arquette and Campbell) and we see where they are a mere four years later. As the murders start turning up again, we see that Sidney (Neve Campbell) is somewhat of a recluse in Northern California and is now an anonymous operator for a battered women’s help line.
As per the advice of a certain “video guru”, we see that the rules are indeed being broken. Murders are happening to anyone and everyone. Whereas it’s first thought that the masked killer (in the same garb) is following the script to “Stab 3” to make the killings, we quickly find out that with the aid of a voice disguiser that perfectly mocks our stars voices, that the killer could be anyone. Full of more suprises and more cameos (think “Snoochie Noochies” and “Seinfeld”) than you can shake a sharp knife at, Scream 3 will leave you way more entertained than it’s sequal. Maybe they made the sequal to purposely be bad…who knows. Chock full of extras and a very good soundtrack, Scream 3 hopefully ends the series…but in a good way.
Video: How does it look?
Scream 3 is one of the “newer” Disney movies to feature a 16:9 enhanced picture. Maybe Disney is finally getting the point, it only took two years…The 2.35:1 image looks great, though at the end there were a few scenes that seemed a bit dicey. Edge enhancement is kept to a mininum and the black levels are what had the trouble. Much in the same case as “Love and Death on Long Island” there seemed to be a bluish tint to some of the ending scenes that totally distracted from the movie. Other than that, the image is crystal clear and I saw no evidence of digital artifacting.
Audio: How does it sound?
One of the better soundtracks that I’ve heard in a while. The surround speakers are used quite a bit and to great effect as well. Sometimes the 5.1 soundtrack has the surrounds acting on their own with no help from the sub, or front speakers and it’s nice to see (hear) the effect. When all the speakers are used, it’s to great effect and the bass and clarity of the entire soundtrack makes it one that I will listen to over and over again. Nice job here.
Supplements: What are the extras?
As I mentioned before, maybe Disney is starting to finally get it. When you put a popular movie in a special edition format, people will buy it. This disc, unlike some of their more recent ones doesn’t feature the annoying previews (or if it does, I couldn’t find them). In addition to extras that we’re certainly not used to like Cast and Crew bios, Production notes and trailers, we find some more stuff as well…Among the extras is an alternate ending that runs about 10 minutes (though don’t expect a 180 degree from the real ending). A feature-length commentary by Wes Craven is nice to hear as it was in the first Scream movie. Also included are some outtakes, a behind the scenes montage of all three Scream movies (it almost made me cry seeing Billy Loomis again…) and a few others that I just don’t have the energy to write about. Let’s face it, Disney has finally got something that when you pay your money for, you’ll actually get what you pay for. There is a box set of the Scream movies coming out that will have a Special Edition of Scream 2 in it (available exclusively) and an extra fourth disc as well. So you might want to wait for that one if you don’t already own parts one and two.