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Scary Movie 3(2003)
Roving reporter Cindy Campbell sets out to find a hard news story in the middle of television sweeps. She soon uncovers an outrageous onslaught of globe-threatening developments including alien invaders, killer videotapes, freaky crop circles, prophecies of The One, eerie-eyed children, ambitious white rappers and even a run-in with Michael Jackson. Faced with conspiracies of massive proportions, and a crew of very strange people following her around, Cindy must fight to stop evil from taking over the world yet again.
For more about Scary Movie 3 and the Scary Movie 3 Blu-ray release, see Scary Movie 3 Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on September 6, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Charlie Sheen, Anna Faris, George Carlin, Queen Latifah, Anthony Anderson, Regina Hall
Director: David Zucker
» See full cast & crew
Scary Movie 3 Blu-ray Review
Three (and/or three point five) is the charm.
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, September 6, 2011
What a difference new writers and a director can make. The first two Scary Movie outings were of course Wayans Brothers offerings, with all that that implies. The films were often undeniably funny, but they were also slipshod, overly juvenile and obsessed with sex and other adolescent issues. Of course it's hard to completely remove a parody from sexual and adolescent territory, so don't go into Scary Movie 3 (or in this case the slightly more sexual and adolescent unrated Scary Movie 3.5) thinking that those elements have completely disappeared, for they most certainly have not. But with co-writers Craig Mazin and Pat Proft bringing their innate silliness to the project, and with David Zucker at the helm (and also contributing gags left and right, at least according to the commentary), Scary Movie 3 is a decidedly more consistent enterprise than either of its predecessors, and it even manages something akin to actual "smart" comedy along the way. Focusing mostly on skewering The Ring and Signs, with a hodgepodge of other cultural references zinging by with the speed of sound, Scary Movie 3 very artfully blends elements of its two main filmic "victims" together, while working in a number of unexpected, but often very funny, other zingers that involve everything from 8 Mile to The Matrix to The Others to Zucker's own Naked Gun series. One completely unintentional piece of humor, especially seen now with the aid of some cultural zeitgeist hindsight, is the spectacle of seeing one of today's most reviled Hollywood celebrities (Charlie Sheen) playing a parody version of a role initiated by one of yesterday's most reviled Hollywood celebrities (Mel Gibson in Signs). That may add a bit to the film's cachet for certain cynical types, but the fact is Scary Movie 3 manages to easily outdistance either Scary Movie or Scary Movie 2 in outright lunacy and genuine heartfelt and often gutbusting laughs.
Zucker of course first rose to fame with such films as Airplane! and it's notable to see the difference in approach between him in that film and the Wayans, his predecessors, in Scary Movie 2, to cite just one example. One of Airplane!'s funniest bits was the "I speak jive!" scene with iconic television June Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley) cast completely against type and stealing the sequence quite handily as a result. The Wayans take that same idea—uptight white people appropriating African American patois—and grind it into the ground in the opening Exorcist parody which plays as a prelude to the main storyline of Scary Movie 2. For all his "gag excess," Zucker knows how to trim a gag to its essence and to only overplay his hand if it leads to more laughs, and that knowledge is what helps lift Scary Movie 3 to greater heights of hilarity.
Mazin and Proft on the other hand bring not just a great grasp of setting up jokes and then delivering fantastic punchlines, but also a firmer control of utilizing disparate sources to create a new satirical hybrid. In Scary Movie 3, the Signs plotline of a questioning former minister Tom (Sheen) and his less than knife-sharp brother George (Simon Rex) preparing for an onslaught of aliens is folded into The Ring's premise of a "killer videotape" via a relationship between Cindy (Anna Faris) and George. Cindy's oft-killed friend Brenda (Regina Hall) has seen the malevolent tape and has reached the end of her allotted week after viewing when she urges Cindy to come over and keep her company as the seven days ticks toward its conclusion. (A funny prelude to the main Scary Movie 3 story has Jenny McCarthy and Pam Anderson dealing with the effects of the tape).
Rather surprisingly the two parodies coexist rather well with each other, but Proft, Mazin and Zucker of course do not stop there. George wants to pursue a career as a rap star, leading to a brief send-up of 8 Mile, and in one of the film's biggest laughs, Tom walks into a room supposedly containing his daughter but gets suspicious that the miniature figure under a veil is not in fact his offspring, a la Nicole Kidman in The Others. In fact the punchline to that farcical sequence almost resulted in a lawsuit from the object of its joke. The film also brings in Zucker's Naked Gun favorite Leslie Nielsen, this time as a dimwitted President who manages to screw up just about anything he attempts to do, even as the world is about to be invaded by countless hoards of approaching aliens. The Matrix gets a couple of pokes aimed at at as well with some great cameos by Queen Latifah and George Carlin.
Scary Movie 3 had a somewhat bumpy ride to its eventual big screen success. Though the filmmakers were aiming for a PG-13 rating, their frequently fairly sexual humor led to a threatened R, and the film ultimately bowed with a lot of its most supposedly objectionable content excised. This "3.5" version restores a lot of that content (but not all, as the deleted scenes amply proves), including one of the more controversial jokes which involves Pam Anderson holding a furless cat (I'll let the more prescient among you who haven't seen the film yet come up with the punchline). The fact is the film doesn't really need this more adult content to land many of its largest laughs. Scary Movie 3 is surely funnier than either Scary Movie or Scary Movie 2, and, no, I won't stop calling it Shirley.
Scary Movie 3 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Scary Movie 3 is presented on Blu-ray with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. Despite coming just a couple of years after Scary Movie 2, this outing looks considerably better in high definition than does its predecessor. Colors are bolder and better saturated, and fine detail is manifestly more apparent. Best of all, black levels are very solid, and shadow detail is excellent in almost all scenes. There are a couple of uses of stock footage (the establishing shots of the White House being notable examples) where the image quality is decidedly more degraded, but overall this is a very sharp and appealing presentation on Blu-ray that should easily satisfy the film's fans.
Scary Movie 3 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
As with Scary Movie 2, Scary Movie 3.5 features an incredibly boisterous lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that, like its predecessor, features a thumping wild ride of low frequencies courtesy in this case of its 8 Mile spoof. The film features a lot of sound effects dotting the soundfield, and fidelity is strong throughout all frequency ranges, with excellent dynamic range. Surround channels are used decently, if actually a bit less consistently than in Scary Movie 2, though several key sequences do offer some great immersion, including the funny climax where the Signs and The Ring plotlines intersect in the cellar of the Logan farmhouse. Dialogue is clear and crisp and very well mixed with the effects and occasional score cues.
Scary Movie 3 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Scary Movie 3 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Well, it may not be in genius territory, but compared to its two predecessors at least, Scary Movie 3 is decidedly smart comedy, filled with that patented Zucker pizzazz that made films like Airplane! and Naked Gun so much fun. The cultural references are fast and freewheeling and you never know quite what's going to be skewered next, which is part of the fun. Faris and crew are once again very funny and the writing is surprisingly sharp, rather artfully blending Signs and The Ring as well as virtually every other film you can mention. With good image and audio quality and a full array of supplemental material, this new Blu-ray comes Recommended.
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Scary Movie 3 Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Scary Movie 2 and 3 Pre-orders Up - August 6, 2011
Lionsgate's upcoming September 20th titles, Scary Movie 2 and Scary Movie 3 are now available for pre-orders on Amazon.com. These next two installments of the horror spoof series are priced at a low $10.49, each including several special features.
• Scary Movie 2 and 3 Blu-rays (Updated) - July 18, 2011
Lionsgate has announced the release of the horror parodies Scary Movie 2 and Scary Movie 3: Unrated for Blu-ray. The comedies, which star Anna Faris (The Hot Chick) and Regina Hall (Death at a Funeral), will arrive on September 20th with a SRP of $14.99 each.
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