3 items from 2003
Friday, Oct. 24
Determined once again to leave no deserving target unspoofed, Dimension Film's wildly successful Scary Movie franchise is back in business.
With the Wayans brothers having packed it in after the reviled Scary Movie 2, it made perfect sense to recruit David Zucker, the man responsible for those three wacky Naked Gun movies and, with brother Jerry and Jim Abrahams responsible for that highly revered granddaddy of all spoofers, namely 1980's Airplane!
The result is a kinder, gentler brand of parody (as evidenced by the series' first non-R rating) and, for a while there, Zucker and his former writing partner Pat Proft, along with Craig Mazin, look to have tapped into some of that old ZAZ magic.
That is, until it becomes apparent that the same three or four gags are endlessly recycled throughout, and after awhile, yet another crippling blow to the crotch somehow loses its impact.
Still -- though the final take won't come anywhere close to the $157 million scared up by the first installment -- given that PG-13 rating, Scary Movie 3 should have no trouble pulling in sizable young audiences while there's probably still enough of the gross-out element to appeal to fans of the purely puerile.
Morphing the plot lines of The Ring, Signs and that scary 8 Mile, with bits of The Matrix Reloaded and The Others thrown in for good measure, "SM3" kicks off with an amusing prologue in which Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy send up the start of The Ring while having fun with their very blonde images.
Meanwhile a TV reporter (Anna Faris), who has her hands full covering an alien invasion at a farm belonging to Charlie Sheen, stumbles upon a killer videotape that has already claimed the life of her prescient son's (Drew Mikuska)'s schoolteacher (Regina Hall) while striking up a relationship with a white wannabe rap star (Simon Rex) who dreams of having a dream.
In the course of her investigation, she meets up with the Oracle, aka Aunt ShaNeequa (Queen Latifah), Orpheus (Eddie Griffin) and the Architect (George Carlin), and along the way the likes of Denise Richards (in a sick but funny flashback sequence with real-life husband Sheen), Camryn Manheim, Anthony Anderson, Jeremy Piven, D.L. Hughley, Macy Gray, Ja Rule, Master P, Redman, Method Man and the Coors Twins join in the shenanigans.
There are some true moments of inspiration to be found here, including a restaging of the "rap-off" sequence from 8 Mile, which turns out to be judged by none other than American Idol sourpuss Simon Cowell.
Then there's also that goof on The Others, in which Sheen takes the white veil off his oddly acting daughter only to find a shrieking Michael Jackson (Edward Moss), which would have been funnier had it not already been shown a hundred times in all those TV clips.
But by the time Leslie Nielsen is trotted out to reprise his old Naked Gun shtick in the guise of a befuddled U.S. president, the slapsticky formula has long passed its comic expiration date and Scary Movie 3 ends up committing the spoof genre's worst crime: becoming a tired parody of itself.
Scary Movie 3
Dimension Films presents a Brad Grey Pictures production
Director: David Zucker
Screenwriters: Craig Mazin and Pat Proft
Producer: Robert K. Weiss
Director of photography: Mark Irwin
Production designer: William Elliot
Editors: Malcolm Campbell, Jon Poll
Costume designer: Carol Ramsey
Music: James L. Venable
Mahalik: Anthony Anderson
Cindy Campbell: Anna Faris
President Harris: Leslie Nielsen
Trooper Champlin: Camryn Manheim
George: Simon Rex
The Architect: George Carlin
The Oracle: Queen Latifah
Orpheus: Eddie Griffin
Annie: Denise Richards
Brenda Weeks: Regina Hall
Tom: Charlie Sheen
Running time -- 84 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13 »
MADRID -- Spanish distribution house Sogepaq, the rights broker of film and television powerhouse Sogecable, said Wednesday that Cannes 2003 was "its best market in years," thanks to continuing sales on Javier Fesser's boxoffice hit Mortadelo & Filemon: The Big Adventure, already Spain's second-highest-grossing film after The Others. Metropolitan Film Export picked up all rights for France and Belgium, media group Mondo TV for Italy, Alpha Filmes for Brazil, and Overseas Movie Distribution for Singapore. These territories add to previous sales in more than a dozen other territories, including to Falcom Media Group for Germany and Austria. »
MADRID -- While Spanish films posted a significant drop in market share for last year, the local film industry didn't perform as badly as had been expected, according to the Culture Ministry's official year-end figures, released Tuesday. Spanish films cornered 13.6% of the moviegoing audience and earned 85.4 million ($93 million) at the boxoffice, a 22% decline from 2001. Although the figures are a significant drop from 2001's 18.5% share and 110 million, they exceed the estimated $73.1 million announced in mid-December. Tickets sold to Spanish films dropped by only 7.1 million despite the fact that 2001 boasted two record-breaking films, Alejandro Amenabar's The Others and Santiago Segura's Torrente 2. »
3 items from 2003
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