InsidePulse DVD Review – Scary Movie 3.5, Special Urated Edition


Credit: DVDtown.com

Director:
David Zucker

Cast:
Pamela Anderson …. Becca
Jenny McCarthy …. Kate
Marny Eng …. Tabitha
Charlie Sheen …. Tom
Simon Rex …. George
Jianna Ballard …. Sue
Jeremy Piven …. Ross Giggins
Anna Faris …. Cindy Campbell
Timothy Stack …. Carson Ward (as Tim Stack)
Camryn Manheim …. Trooper Champlin
Drew Mikuska …. Cody
Regina Hall …. Brenda Meeks
Darrell Hammond …. Father Muldoon
Anthony Anderson …. Mahalik
Kevin Hart …. CJ
Ajay Naidu …. Sayaman
Queen Latifah …. Aunt Shaneequa
Eddie Griffin …. Orpheus
Edward Moss …. MJ
Leslie Nielsen …. President Harris
D.L. Hughley …. John Wilson
Ja Rule …. Agent Thompson
George Carlin …. Architect

The Movie
In 2000, Scary Movie gave us an example of style over substance. Directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans and written by his brothers Shawn and Marlon, the film had outrageous jokes and nonstop comedy, but really wasn’t very funny. The jokes were shocking, but on repeated viewings got really tiresome. Also the combination of violence and laughs turned out to be a bad one as many were turned off by the graphic portrayals. While the tagline for the picture read “No mercy. No shame. No sequel.”, that promise was not kept when the movie became a hit. Unfortunately, Scary Movie 2 in 2001 was even worse than its predecessor. First of all, the screenplay suffered mightily as film was obviously rushed to theaters to make a summer release. Secondly, the films spoofed in SM2, like Jan de Bont’s atrocious The Haunting, weren’t all that good to begin with.

With Scary Movie 3, some big changes were made. First and foremost, the Wayans were out and new director David Zucker was in. Like Sergio Leone was to the Spaghetti Western, David Zucker is to the Slapstick Comedy. The greatest examples of the genre, Airplane!, Top Secret and The Naked Gun Trilogy, were all directed David Zucker who also co-wrote Kentucky Fried Movie. Also, the movies parodied this time out, Signs and The Ring, were much better than the films spoofed before, so surely Scary Movie 3 would surely be much better right? Well, yes and no… and don’t call me Shirley.

The film begins with a sequence that would have been a wet dream for a high schooler in the 1990’s, Jenny McCarthy and Pamela Anderson in skimpy outfits having pillow fights with each other. The scenes actually have some funny jokes in them and do a good job of playing off The Ring’s opening scenes. Characters have a tendency to miraculously come back to life in this series; hopefully it’ll be no different with these two.

The film’s funniest performance probably goes to Charlie Sheen as Tom, a former minister and father whose farm is being invaded by aliens. Sheen is great at the deadpan portrayals and Scary Movie 3 is no different. Completely ridiculous events keep happening around him and seem to have no effect on him whatsoever. A really funny sequence has him trying to get a little quality time with his dying wife. It’s tasteless, but still funny.

Anna Farris is about as good a she is in the previous Scary Movie entries. She seems a bit more confident here, but is unfortunately saddled with some bad Matrix sequences that aren’t very funny. She is once again paired with Brenda (Regina Hall) and the two have some good scenes together. It is funny that Brenda is miraculously resurrected after a horrible death in the previous film, only to be killed again. Unfortunately this is probably Hall’s funniest joke even though it is never mentioned. With Scary Movie 4 on the way, I’m sure the duo will be back.

The actor responsible for some of the film’s biggest laughs is actually Simon Rex. Even though burdened with some lame 8-Mile rap battles, Rex has some pretty funny scenes as the stupid younger brother for Charlie Sheen’s Tom. Rex has a good comic timing and knows when to go a bit overboard. When a quiet scene where Rex’s George has to tell his niece that her teacher has died turns into a screaming match between him and the girl, the results are hilarious.

David Zucker has the series going in a better direction with the third film. Just adding more jokes in favor of “violence as comedy” type scenes, Zucker has given the film a wider appeal to younger audiences, and while the film is still crude, the film is lot zanier than the other two pictures. Also helping somewhat is having Zucker mainstay Leslie Nielsen as the President. Nielsen is a bit dumber than he usually is in these roles, but he’s still really likable. We even get a classic, “I just want to tell you both good luck, we’re all counting on you” line.

The film does have its problems. The film does prescribe to a “more is funnier” type approach, but there is still some cringe worthy moments where the movie is just not funny at all. Both Matrix spoof scenes should have been dropped and the “And Twins!” joke feels a bit dated now. Also the Camryn Manheim scenes are pretty uninspired and a gun battle of rappers, including Method Man and Rza, falls really flat.

Hopefully, Zucker will really find his stride with the next film. Scary Movie 3 is a definite improvement over its predecessors, but not a great film in the genre. Hopefully Scary Movie 4 has not just more jokes, but funnier ones as well. If you’re a big fan of this type of film, then it’s a fine way to spend a couple of hours, but if you like your comedy a bit more sophisticated, Scary Movie 3 isn’t going to change your mind.

Score: 6.5/10

The DVD:

The Video
The movie looks pretty good. The transfer is sharp and there seems to be no degradation, the colors don’t pop at you, but there’s nothing here that should. The film is presented in a 1:85:1 Widescreen.

Score: 8.0/10

The Audio

The audio here is good. The soundtrack is in Dolby digital 5.1 sound. All the prat falls and goofy jokes come in clearly, whether they’re funny or not.

Score: 8.0/10

SPECIAL FEATURES: The .5 in this Scary Movie 3.5 referees to new bonus material as opposed to new material within the film. Features include Audio commentary, Deleted and extended scenes, Outtakes and bloopers, Alternate ending, Making Scary Movie 3, Making Scary Movie 3…For Real, Hulk vs. Alien: Behind-the-scenes of the alternate ending

Audio commentary with director David Zucker, producer Robert K. Weiss, and writers Craig Mazan and Pat Proft: This is a pretty decent commentary track. All involved seem to actually be pretty honest in what’s funny and what’s not. No one here seems to like the Matrix scenes either.

Deleted and extended scenes: All of these scenes have optional commentary where again, each of the film makers are pretty honest about why these scenes didn’t make the cut and why they’re not very funny. The best scene has Anna Farris’ Cindy reporting live from a Baby Oil Factory where a terrible spill has occurred while a group of Catholic school girls are visiting. You can probably figure why this scene was funny.

Outtakes and bloopers: This is a carryover feature from the last Scary Movie 3 disc. Just like the film, they’re pretty funny, but nothing special.

Alternate ending: This alternate ending features A Beautiful Mind parody subplot that was dropped from the film, as well as Simon Rex’s George turning into The Incredible Hulk and shoving aliens up his rectum. Although the “Hulk” effect works surprisingly well, the scene isn’t terribly funny.

Hulk vs. Alien: Behind-the-scenes of the alternate ending: This documentary goes into detail into the makeup used in the alternate ending. Really all of the effects are pretty effective considering the modest budget of the movie.

Making Scary Movie 3: Pretty standard documentary on the making of the movie. The film makers go into detail on how they tried to make each spoof look as good as the movie they were making fun of, to make the jokes as funny as possible.

Making Scary Movie 3…For Real: This is a parody of the previous documentary. When one film maker states that Scary Movie 3 is actually a remake of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, you know something is up. This is funnier in theory than it actually is.

Score: 6.5/10