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"Scary Movie 3"

Directed by David Zucker.
Written by Craig Mazin and Pat Proft. 
Starring Anna Faris, Charlie Sheen and Leslie Nielsen.
Release Year:  2003 
Review Date:  10/30/03 


The first was great, the second was not...and now, the Wayans Brothers have handed over creative control of the franchise to the guys that brought us “Airplane!”.

The result is a classic Matinee.  “Scary Movie 3”, like the first two movies, parodies horror movies.  Unlike the first two movies, this one is rated PG-13, so we get riffs on PG-13 horror flicks like “Signs”, “The Ring”, and “The Others.”  Then, we get random scenes based around “8 Mile”, “The Matrix Reloaded” and a random joke from “Mars Attacks!”.   Anna Faris reprises her role as Cindy Campbell, do-all heroine that seems to have a past ripped from, well, every single horror movie ever made, but mostly one based on the Neve Campbell character from “Scream.”  This time around, she needs to deal with a rapping farmer named George, a farmer that looks a lot like Charlie Sheen (well, it IS Sheen), aliens, the President (Leslie Nielsen), and a mysterious videotape that kills its viewers after seven days’ time.

David Zucker, director of classics like “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” films, does a decent job of stepping in and pinch-hitting for Keenan Ivory Wayans.  He gets help from his former employees, so Nielsen and Sheen (from the severely underrated “Hot Shots!” flicks) provide solid relief, and the list of famous co-stars in “Scary Movie 3” is long...and distinguished..._______________.  From the RZA and Macy Gray to Denise Richards and Jenny McCarthy to Camryn Manheim and Simon from “American Idol”, you get plenty of familiar faces in the film.  By the time George Carlin shows up as The Architect (from “Reloaded”), you’re not sure if there was any stone unturned in getting cameos for the final product.

The jokes that the famous folk are spittin’ out are sometimes hilarious, but often fall flat.  Most are forgettable, although Faris probably has more funny scenes for herself in this film than the other two films put together.  (Her best bit comes near the finale, as she describes to her nephew Cody how his genitalia has suffered over the years.)  Scenes like the Coors Light Twins parody work (even IF you have seen the trailer), but some of the run-on jokes make you wish the editor had just cut certain scenes altogether.  Heck, the funniest scene in the film for me is a scene that you will only laugh at if you have seen “Airplane!”; I would imagine that 98% of the people this movie is intended for have not even seen “Airplane!”, so when the scene happens near the end of the film, I was laughing hysterically, and I noticed that I was the only guy laughing in the whole theater.  As with all parody films, they are always better if you have seen all of the films being ripped off, so I was sitting pretty but not everyone will be so lucky.

I laughed, I didn’t cry, I wasn’t scared but I wasn’t upset at dropping $7 to check out “Scary Movie 3.”  And, with a $50 million opening weekend (stunning, just stunning), pre-production has apparently already begun on “Scary Movie 4”, you better get used to seeing this franchise in theaters!!

Rating:  Matinee


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09