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Scary Movie 3 is largely a spoof of five films, The Ring (2002), Signs
(2002), 8 Mile (2002) and to a lesser extent, The Matrix (1999) and The
Matrix Reloaded (2003). It begins with a spoof of the first scene from
The Ring, then cuts to Tom's (Charlie Sheen) discovery of the crop
circles on his farm ala Signs. As a bridge between the stories, Cindy
Campbell (Anna Farris) is a television news reporter who is doing a
story on the crop circles, and who is the guardian of a young psychic
boy, Cody (Drew Mikuska), similar to Aidan of The Ring. The two stories
turn out to be intimately connected. Tom's brother, George (Simon Rex)
is a white rapper, ala Eminem in 8 Mile, and he strikes up a romance
with Campbell. Meanwhile, President Harris (Leslie Nielsen) also
becomes involved as the security of the country is threatened.
I used to make it a point to not read any other reviews before I wrote my own, but recently, I've become curious when I watch a film I really enjoy, like Scary Movie 3, that many other people seemed to dislike. I find it informative to read the negative reviews to try to figure out why people dislike the film.
The negative reviews for Scary Movie 3 weren't very helpful. The most popular complaints seem to be that the trailer ruined the film by "giving away the good parts" and that the film has fun at the expense of some people's sacred cows. Additionally, many people made a comment to the effect that you'd only enjoy the film if you're, say, 13 or under.
I never watch trailers before I see a film any longer. I have also had trailers ruin many films for me in the past, so I just stopped watching them; I recommend that you do the same. If you don't know already, think about commonalities in the films you tend to like. Get an idea for the genres, directors, actors and so on that you usually enjoy. That's the only guide you really need to determine if you should see a film. It's not a guarantee, but what is? I actually look away when trailers appear on screen before the feature when I'm watching a film in the theater, and I try to mentally block out the sound. It's pretty easy to do, as trailers tend to be heavier on sound effects than dialogue. If trailers appear on television, I quickly change the channel. At any rate, it doesn't make the film you're considering any worse just because you watched a trailer first. Scary Movie 3 isn't bad because the trailer ruined it for you.
Next, it's not a good idea to watch these kinds of comedies (we might call them "absurdist comedies", or "outrageous comedies") if you have any sacred cows--that is, anything that you feel one should not joke about, or that one could go too far in joking about. I don't see it as the film's fault if you haven't analyzed yourself and/or if you do not research the kinds of films you're considering viewing so that you don't expose yourself to something that you're going to consider offensive. If you're sensitive about certain things then you need to learn how to avoid them. If you're allergic to nuts or shellfish, you're going to be careful to not eat anything containing nuts or shellfish, right? It's not the chef's fault.
Finally, I'm definitely older than 13--I'm in my late 30s, and I loved Scary Movie 3. I came very close to giving it a 10 out of 10--it was at that score until the climax, which I felt unfortunately lost a bit of the comic momentum that preceded it, and which arrived a bit too soon for my tastes (I prefer longer films).
It helps to be familiar with the films being spoofed. Believe it or not a lot of the jokes are fairly subtle jabs at elements of the source material--for example, the pillow fight of the opening scene, which has connections to the almost lesbian subtext of the same scene in the original Japanese version of The Ring, Ringu (1998); or the character and camera "spins" when Tom first exits his farmhouse, which pokes fun at the stylistic cinematography of Signs. There are also many quicker references to other films. These will have far less payoff if you're not familiar with the source material. For example, during the climax of Scary Movie 3, there's not only a reference to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), but also the climax of Motel Hell (1980), which features an infamous chainsaw "duel".
There is a stylistic difference between the first two Scary Movies and this one, which is undoubtedly correlated to the change in directors. Rather than the Wayans Brothers, David Zucker directs here. Zucker is the exclamatory wiz who also helmed Airplane! (1980), Top Secret! (1984), and The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988). Scary Movie 3 is much more in the vein of Zucker's previous work than the other Scary Movies. I can't imagine why someone would like the one style and not the other, but if so, that might help you decide which Scary Movies to see, if any.
Finally, there were also some complaints over the plot of this film, especially the combination of such seemingly disparate plots from the source material. It's important to remember that this is absurdist comedy, with an emphasis on absurd. The crazy segues from one plot to the other, with them meeting in the middle thanks to Cindy, President Harris and a number of other crazy devices, was beautifully ridiculous. I want ridiculous when I watch a film like this. That's largely what attracts me to the genre. If you're at all a fan of absurdism, you should find much to enjoy here.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Parody movies are always of the type 'love or hate' it. I am not
intellectual, I love cinema as culture, but also as entertainment, so I
like them. Further, when I see this type of movie, I know exactly what
I am going to see: scatological jokes, funny and surrealistic
situations and definitely a movie that will never be indicated for an
Oscar. I found this 'Scary Movie 3' very funny. It satirizes mainly
'The Ring', followed by 'Signs', and part of '8 Miles' and one of these
last two 'The Matrix' sequences. The last scene is a joke with 'Final
Destination'. This is the type of movie that you must shut down your
brain and start laughing. There are two scenes that I liked very much:
when the moron George (Simon Rex) is in a club for Afro-Americans, wins
the rap competition and covers his head with the hood of his coat. The
other one, when Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) uses her laptop and many
screens pops-up. In many sites, even in IMDb, there are some pops-up
screens that irritate me. What I do not understand is some comments of
persons that should never watch this type of movie. What do they expect
to see when they go to the movie theaters or buy / rent a DVD of 'Scary
Movie 3', directed by David Zucker and with Leslie Nielsen in the cast?
An art movie, with hidden messages, an epic, a classic or a film with
politically correct jokes? Honestly, if I did not like this genre, I
would never spend my time watching it. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): 'Todo Mundo em Pânico 3' ('Everybody in Panic 3')
Seeing the second and the third movie in the Scary Movie series short
after each other, gave me the perfect opportunity to see what the
change of director can do to a movie. I liked the first movie, but
didn't find the second one worth another watch, because they had lost
all originality or sense of good humor. All they did was badly
repeating what had worked in the first movie and that is something that
should be avoided at all time. Now with David Zucker as the director,
the man who also gave us some other excellent parodies like "Airplane!"
and "The Naked Gun", instead of Keenen Ivory Wayans, I had some good
hopes again. And he certainly didn't disappoint me...
Of course you'll recognize several famous movies again. This time they are making fun of "The Ring", "Signs", "8 Mile",... but also other aspects from showbiz will be treated. You'll find Michael Jackson and references to the sex tape with Pamela Anderson in it as well, but the main difference with "Scary Movie 2" is that this time it all has been written into one solid and hilarious story. And the story isn't the only thing that has been improved, so has the acting. With some famous actors like Charlie Sheen and Leslie Nielsen, who both have a solid record full of humorous TV-series and / or movies, you know that you can expect the best of the best again when it comes to this kind of humor. But people like for instance Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy were an excellent surprise and did give this movie something extra. I'm not saying that they had some very difficult roles, but what they did really worked and that's all I'm asking.
Overall this movie is a lot better than the previous one. Once again it is full references to other movies, but it is the humor that makes the difference. It's probably because they have chosen a new director and have taken more time to come up with a new story, that the concept works again. I'm looking forward to "Scary Movie 4" and give this one a solid 7.5/10, perhaps even an 8/10.
Put the name "Wayans" on it and I walk out of the theater (if
ambushed), or change the channel. The Wayans are a brand name in
Hollywood that can greenlight anything they want, but the traffic laws
should be rewritten to prevent this. Fortunately, none of the Ws
returned for this film.
I did not see either of the first two films of this trilogy, but you really don't need to know the story to enjoy this film, since the plot of any good parody is just an excuse to deliver the maximum number of spoofs, gags, swipes, and one-liners by the end of the film. In that regard, this film does not disappoint.
Anna Faris (Cindy Campbell) is a surprisingly strong and exceptionally hot leading lady who should be considered for any A-list roles in the future. She did everything asked of her and then some, and the sky appears to be the limit for her talent. Cindy is a reporter for a Newscast that brings to life the song "Dirty Laundry" by Don Henley (she's the bubbleheaded bleached blond who comes on at 5:00 and tells you about the plane crash with a gleam in her eye). Charlie Sheen plays a former reverend who lost faith after his hot wife was killed in an accident (again, they even made that funny).
Anthony Anderson is excellent in his supporting role, while the rest of the cast could have been chosen by lottery, other than Leslie Neilsen, who seems to have a contract somewhere that says a parody can't be made without him (he plays the president in this one). George Carlin makes a creepy cameo, as does Eddie Griffin and Queen Latifah, but the stars of the movie are the jokes, and they come rapid-fire.
The film was designed for an intelligent audience in tune with pop culture, and doesn't take time to explain itself: Simon Cowell gets to judge an 8-mile style rap battle with predictable and hilarious results; Anderson's character sheds more light on the possible depths of the relationship between B. Rabbit and Future; Leslie Neilsen gets to deliver a classic line from "Airplane" at one point, while showing that he's kept up with the times in another. The newsroom was more realistic than most would admit or want to believe, and the way the horror was delivered in this film (yes, it's a genuine horror movie) was a "Scream." We even get a nod to Final Destination (one of the most original concepts of all time), and at times the movie even seems to parody itself.
If you liked "Airplane!" and its genre, there's little chance you won't like this film. If you can't stand that type of humor, get ready to tear your hair out. For better or worse, this film belongs in a time capsule to explain what a movie parody is and how it should be made.
...that when you stop worrying about being just plain filthy and start
caring about being funny you make a better comedy. I was not a huge fan
of "Scary Movie", although it had it's moments. "Scary Movie 2" was
just awful. A real disappointment. Then, I was not sure when I saw the
Wayans weren't returning and the film was rated PG-13 if it would work
at all. Finally caught the film last night and I laughed more 5 minutes
of this sequel than I did during the others.
It was great to see that David Zucker can still make a really funny parody movie. It was even more refreshing to see an attempt being made to not just out-gross, out-filth the previous film, and simply focus on making a truly funny comedy.
First Aiplane and Naked Gun - now this!
You can see that it is a Zucker quality. Though I like the fist two movies, I must say this is the best one. This movie contains the least "potty- humor" and is sort of... classy.
Everybody in the cast does a great job, and I was really impressed by Charlie Sheen, but the star in the picture is of course Leslie Nielsen. He is a veteran and a master of comedy. He doesn't need to make funny faces or anything to be funny. He's just him.
I can honestly say, I didn't waste those 85 SEK for the ticket (85 SEK is about 11-12 US dollars).
I can be short about 'Scary Movie 3'. If you liked the first two films,
especially the first, there is a good chance you will like this one. It
is directed by David Zucker, one of the three directors of the great
'Airplane!', the film that sort of invented the genre, and it shows.
Here it spoofs films such as 'The Ring', 'Signs' and 'The Matrix' and
from time to time I thought it was really funny.
But when I think something is funny doesn't mean anything with a film like this. 'Scary Movie 3' is a matter of taste. If you like 'The Naked Gun', 'Hot Shots' and 'Scary Movie' you like this one, if you hate them, you hate this one. The humor is silly and stupid, but in the right mood most people must be able to laugh. I know I did.
I thought this one was rather funny, I liked it a tiny bit more than the first one (didn't see the 2nd), but that is probably because I saw all the movies they made fun of with the exception of "8 Mile". The problem is once again this movie isn't going to be very good if you haven't seen "The Ring" or "Signs" the two main ones they made fun of therefore it is not really a stand alone movie. You can miss "8 Mile" though as anything you saw in the previews of that one would be all you need. These "Scary Movies" and the last few parodies made really require you to see movies before you can enjoy. That just was not the case with movies like "Airplane" and "The Naked Gun", sure there were a few references that might of helped too if you saw the movie, but not a whole lot as it was stand alone funny. This movie mainly makes fun of "The Ring", there are some funny jokes here, but for my money the funniest stuff came at the expense of "Signs". The Ring probably made up 50 percent or more of the jokes with Signs at around 30 percent and "The Matrix Reloaded" and "8 Mile" making the remainder. There is one small joke that is Lord of the Rings related, but it isn't anything really funny. There was supposed to be something in it making fun of the Hulk, but I am pretty sure it was cut because I didn't notice anything. Which leads to another complaint, why the heck did they make the movie so short? This movie had to be an hour and twenty minutes max, you're telling me they couldn't find anything else to spoof? I really hate going to a movie that is under an hour and thirty minutes. Overall though it was an okay movie with some good laughs here and there.
I like movies. I like to talk about and think about movies. And I
believe that nearly all movies are about other movies anyway. So when
any movie comes along that is explicitly about movies, I'm in the
ticketline. I really liked the first one because it referenced dozens
and dozens of movies. The fact that they could be blended relatively
seamlessly was part of the joke, but there was also the game of
recognizing the source.
The second one was no improvement on the invention of the first. But this installment is a completely different beast. It is as different from the others as any in the 'Alien' is different from the others.
The Wayons are comics in the old-fashioned, standup sense. They make fun of life. When they poke fun at black stereotypes, they are poking fun at how things really are. So they have a big following in that community because their comments often 'ring true.' I really liked their work because it gave me double value for all that money I spend on bad movies.
But the Zuckers are film comedians, a wholly different species. When they poke fun, they are poking fun not at life, but at the movies. Its a completely different sort of humor. The opening, for instance. In previous films, the dumb blond jokes were about dumb people. In this one, the jokes are about characters and are particularly complicated. Pammy pokes fun at herself, especially herself in the famous porn video. And all is in the context of a tape that haunts.
Indeed, 'Ringu' was a movie about movies, and it forms the basis for this. Layered on that is '8 Mile,' a performance about a performance, here parodied by another layer of performance.
Sheen and Nielson are there to poke fun at their prior appearances, and their skits are as deliberately (I think) as flat as the white rapper's. To further the film-about-films idea, we have a parade of outside references: the Michael Jackson bit as a Scoopy Doo character is pretty prime stuff.
This kind of structure means that you have to make the targets deliberate. So instead of ratatat touching on over a hundred films, they focus on 3 or 4, so you know the score.
I laughed a few times. But I laughed more when scanning the web and being reminded of certain skits, like the wake, which is a minor masterpiece of editing. My only regret is that the Weinsteins decided to de-raunch the whole thing. I would have tolerated the few score childish jokes for the few really clever, cutting ones that would have made it through.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
A funny thing happened on the way to the movie theater tonight. The third
installment of the Scary Movie series is not only PG-13, but is directed by
comedy legend/genius David Zucker. Although he took over a series from the
Wayans Brothers, Zucker turned it around into something almost completely
new. It isn't quite in the same vein as his one true classic, Airplane!, but
it shows how he should stay away from movies like My Boss's Daughter and go
back into the spoof genre which got him, and his team, off the
The first movie based its main parodies around Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, and the second was mainly revolved around The Haunting. Scary Movie 3 has two central spoofs: The Ring and Signs. The protagonist from the first two, Cindy (Anna Faris), is now an anchorwoman who investigates a mysterious videotape while odd crop circles appear. Many celebrities have cameos in parodies of recent movies.
Instead of extremely crude sexual humor, Zucker knew that you don't need lewdness to make people laugh. One of the reasons why Airplane! was so great is because it was only rated PG; almost all of the humor was situational and not just shock value. Sure, Scary Movie 3 had its share of crude humor, but it wasn't as over-the-top and unnecessary as the other two's were. Instead, what he did was take his parodies and make them seem possible. For example, George Carlin plays The Architect (a parody of The Matrix Reloaded) who spends all of his time alone in a giant room. He gets so lonely, he `bonds' with his chair, what most people would do.
Also, what made Scary Movie 3 funny is how it pointed out the faults of the movies that it is spoofing. Throughout Signs, Mel Gibson doesn't even mention farming once, although he lives out on a farm. Charlie Sheen, who mocks the Gibson character, continuously talks about it for the first few minutes he's on screen. In 8 Mile, one of the things I hated about it was how everyone was speaking with huge words; here, parodies of those characters do exactly this.
Scary Movie 3 did have some gags that didn't work, especially around the middle of the film. It seems that Zucker just wanted to move as quickly as possible and instead of making it even 90 minutes (it's about 75) he just wanted to make a quick, short parody film. Although Carlin's character was okay, Eddie Griffin and Queen Latifah's characters (as characters from The Matrix) weren't utilized as much as they should have been. Also, Leslie Nielsen, who has been in most of the Zucker spoofs, has a small role as the President and plays a typical Nielsen character. I would have liked to have seen more of him, but at least he was able to deliver a classic Airplane! line.
Scary Movie 3 is one of the funniest movies of the year, with its almost continuous laughter. It's probably the best one out of the three in the series.
My rating: 7/10
Rated PG-13 for pervasive crude and sexual humor, language, comic violence and drug references.
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