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Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

Lara punches a shark, rides a motorcycle on the Great Wall of China, and dives off a skyscraper —Matt Anderson (review...)

Jolie fits nicely into Lara Croft's boots

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The worst jokes are the bad ones told over and over again, which brings us to Scary Movie 3, an afterthought that actually came to fruition. What began as a spoof of the Scream franchise, which was in itself a spoof of horror movies, has spiraled out of control, and the only laughs are the unintentional ones.

Even the lamest comedies are good for a few laughs, and Scary Movie 3 tries hard to get some by spoofing Signs and The Ring, two thrillers that took themselves very seriously. It also takes jabs at The Matrix sequels as well as an 8 Mile segment to give the movie a hip-hop background, which just becomes an excuse to joke about the lameness of being white.

Holy Crop Circles, Batman!

The talent is not the problem, it's how poorly it is managed
The talent is not the problem, it’s how poorly it is managed

A creepy videotape that kills anyone who watches it seven days later has drawn the attention of TV reporter Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) who sees these events as a precursor to some horrible future calamity. She lives with her nephew Cody, who is gifted (or cursed) with enough clairvoyance to predict everyone’s future, but he becomes the target of so much unintended physical abuse that he becomes a poor facsimile of Kenny from South Park.

Meanwhile, former priest Tom Logan (Charlie Sheen) is trying to make sense of mysterious crop circles appearing on his farm outside Washington D.C. even though he lost his faith after his wife died in a freak accident (sound familiar?) while his brother George (Simon Rex) is more interested in fulfilling his dream of becoming a star rapper. Eventually the president (Leslie Nielsen) is called in only to make the movie even goofier.

The plot is nothing more than a way of bridging one bad joke to the next, and the movie’s better moments only happen when funny people such as Eddie Griffin or George Carlin make cameos. The talent gathered to make this movie is not the problem; it is how poorly it is managed. Even the opening scene involving Jenny McCarthy and Pamela Anderson (who looks like a special effect in this movie) is more compromising than titillating.

It also resorts too quickly to endless gags that go on way too long, such as a very awkward scene where George is trying to revive a victim of said videotape.

Picture and Sound

One of the few high points of the disc is the clear picture that should be expected for a movie made within the last year, but that only makes the vomit and snot and other bodily function jokes more visible and more tasteless. Same goes for the sound. Puking never sounded more realistic in Dolby Surround.

Special Features

The disc includes several deleted scenes that are really jokes that were not funny enough to put into the main feature and a blooper reel just four minutes long. The alternate ending throws a real curve ball in which George gets really, really angry and becomes the Hulk for no reason other than to poke fun at one more recent release. The punchline is that this Hulk looks better than the CGI-rendered version seen in theaters last year.

Other features include a 20-minute documentary, The Making of Scary Movie 3, where the filmmakers show no qualms talking about how they made up the movie as they went, completely rearranging scenes at the slightest whim. This is followed by The Making of Scary Movie 3: For Real, which is supposed to be the “unauthorized” version of the making of the movie where cast members pretend to hate each other and the crew try to make director David Zucker come across as some clueless boob.

The audio commentary by Zucker, producer Robert K. Weiss and writers Craig Mazin and Pat Proft suffers from the too-many-cooks syndrome of too many people talking while trying to follow the movie. They end up laughing too much at their own jokes, of course they love everyone they worked with, and keep referring to material on the “second disc,” even though the DVD is a one-disc set. Is that part of the joke?

Scary Movie 3 is one of those movies best viewed on cable late at night when you have nothing better to do and you are bored out of your mind. You will most likely want to change the channel, even while watching the DVD.

  • Jacques Noel: What is the name of the actress that was told at Brenda's funeral by the little boy with e.s.p, "He doesn't know you're a man. There's no way she's a man. September 13, 2006 reply