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"Shrek the Third"

Directed by Chris Miller and Raman Hui.
Written by Andrew Adamson, Howard Gould, Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman, J. David Stem, Jon Zack and David N. Weiss.  Based on source material by William Steig.
Starring the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas.
Release Year:  2007
Review Date:  5/21/07



What more can you say after watching the third iteration of "Shrek", made only to make money and taking nothing good from the first two films to make a third film worth watching, at least for the adults?  I'm tempted to say this is Hard Vice material, but there are just enough laughs scattered throughout this film to lift it out of the gutter.

What's the best thing I can say about "Shrek the Third"??  It wasn't nearly as bad, or as fucking long, as "Spider-Man 3."  For that, I must thank all involved for at least not making this shit two-and-a-half hours long.

I have always thought one thing about great movies--by and large, the best movies are written and directed by one person.  They might have scripts based on books or other forms of source material, but one person takes that idea, writes a script, then directs from that script.  On rare occasion, the original author of that source material writes the screenplay, and works with a director that makes it beautiful...something like "The Godfather", for example.

I mention this because with "Shrek the Third"--certainly a film that never aspires to greatness, for better or worse--there are at least two credited directors and there are a whopping seven credited screenwriters...and, any time you work with either Mike Myers or Eddie Murphy, they consistently will ad lib their lines for films so you can lop those two on top of the seven writers.  Too many cooks in the kitchen?  Yeah, you might say that...and, the result shows up onscreen, with "Shrek the Third" being so utterly random I don't have a clue how any of the 20 major stars who have lines in this film could keep this shit straight.  This film is so big that Ian McShane, the brilliant actor who plays Al Swearengen from "Deadwood", has like four lines as Captain Hook...the casting budget alone for this puppy must have been like $100 million.

All put together, "Shrek the Third" is a mess.  Shrek (Myers), who ironically is barely in this film, is suffering because he hates serving as royalty of his kingdom (Happily Ever After, I think) and doesn't want to be, when his wife Fiona (Cameron Diaz, also in the backseat for this film) tells Shrek she's pregnant, he sulks off with buddies Donkey (Murphy) and Puss N' Boots (Antonio Banderas) to retrieve the other heir to the throne, Fiona's nephew (or brother, or something) Artie, voiced by Justin Timberlake.  They must get back to town before the nefarious Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) takes over town with all of the evil characters Shrek has nipped over the years...adventure ensues.

I don't even want to write about this horseshit anymore.  Third-segment sequels are off to a bad start, and with the next "Pirates" movie coming Friday, expect more of the same.

Rating:  Rental


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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