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MIRAMAX

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Keenan Ivory Wayans
Cast:
Anna Faris, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Tori Spelling, Christopher Kennedy Masterson, Kathleen Robertson, Regina Hall, James Woods, Chris Elliott, Tim Curry
Writing Credits:
Shawn Wayans , Marlon Wayans, Alyson Fouse, Greg Grabianski, Dave Polsky, Michael Anthony Snowden, Craig Wayans, Buddy Johnson (characters), Phil Beauman (characters), Jason Friedberg (characters), Aaron Seltzer (characters)

Tagline:
More Merciless. More shameless.

Synopsis:
All of your favorite Scary Movie characters are back in a laugh-packed sequel that scares up even more irreverent fun than the original! Marlon Wayans (Scary Movie, Requiem for a Dream), Shawn Wayans (Scary Movie, Don't Be A Menace…), and Anna Faris (Scary Movie) lead a stellar cast that takes extreme pleasure in skewering Hollywood's most frightening feature films and spoofing popular culture! Also starring Regina Hall (Scary Movie, Love and Basketball), Christopher Kennedy Masterson (TV's Malcolm in the Middle), Tori Spelling (TV's Beverly Hills 90210)… plus Tim Curry (Charlie's Angels), Chris Elliott (The Nutty ProfessorII: The Klumps) and James Woods (Any Given Sunday), nothing's sacred and anything goes in this outlandish must-see comedy hit!

Box Office:
Budget
$45 million.
Opening Weekend
$20.503 million on 3220 screens.
Domestic Gross
$71.277 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 82 min.
Price: $14.99
Release Date: 9/20/2011

Bonus:
• Behind the Scenes Featurette
• Alternate and Deleted Scenes
• Special Effects Tour with Lou Carlucci
• “Here Kitty, Kitty” Featurette
• “Scary Effects” Featurette
• Behind the Makeup with Barry Koper
• Sneak Peeks


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Scary Movie 2 [Blu-Ray] (2001)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 13, 2011)

When Scary Movie hit screens in the summer of 2000, its tagline promised “No Mercy. No Shame. No Sequel.” Well, at least the first two were correct, especially the comment about the lack of shame.

However, we quickly learned that there would be a sequel to Scary Movie. Indeed, such a prospect became absolutely inevitable after the flick’s stellar opening weekend; the unheralded film made an amazing $42 million in its first few days, a number that more than doubled its miniscule $19 million budget. Eventually it would earn a solid $156 million, a figure strong enough to make it the 9th top-grossing movie of the year; if fit snugly between the $157 million of X-Men and the $155 million of What Lies Beneath.

Unfortunately for the careers of all those involved, Scary Movie 2 didn’t prove to be nearly as successful. It took in $71 million, and with a much higher budget of $45 million, 2 struggled to break even. In 2000, I hoped this would mean no Scary Movie 3, but I guess Scary 2 did well enough to push the franchise ahead.

The first flick was moronic and unimaginative, and the initial sequel did nothing to improve the situation. Much of the original’s cast returned for Scary 2. After a totally incongruous spoof of The Exorcist that features James Woods, we soon catch up with some of the old gang. Cindy (Anna Faris) is still the perky girl next door, and friend Brenda (Regina Hall) remains the excessively expressive ghetto fabulous sort. Ray (Shawn Wayans) stays “secretly” gay, and Shorty (Marlon Wayans) continues to indulge heavily in the demon weed. (Ray died in the first flick, but as we learn in the disc’s extras, he came back to life because this was the sequel and anything goes.)

As the kids head to college, we meet some new faces. Buddy (Chris Masterson) wants to hook up with Cindy, who wants to just be friends, while Alex (Tori Spelling) wants to hook up with anybody. Theo (Kathleen Robertson) doesn’t have a well-defined personality or connection, but she’s really hot, so she’s in the film.

The crew comes together under the auspices of a psychology course led by Professor Oldman (Tim Curry) and his assistant Dwight (David Cross). They’ve engineered a study to investigate paranormal activities, and they trick the students into participating under the auspices of a sleep study. They head to Hell House for the weekend, where all something will break loose.

And that’s where the majority of the film takes place. Not so loosely based on 1999’s The Haunting, the movie packs in additional parodies of flicks like Hollow Man, Charlie’s Angels, Hannibal and Poltergeist as well as that Nike ad in which some players create a beat with a basketball.

The structure virtually duplicates that of the first movie. That one worked around the framework of Scream but also featured many detours for spoofs of other projects. One big difference comes from the main parody. I thought Scream was a strange choice simply because it already mocked horror clichés; how do you parody a parody?

Nonetheless, at least Scream met one important criterion for a spoofable piece: it was a hit and was very famous. Indeed, Scream was unquestionably one of the most influential flicks of the Nineties.

The Haunting, on the other hand, was a near-total dud. It got terrible reviews and it stiffed at the box office. Were it not for that DVD’s stunning soundtrack - which keeps it alive for technogeeks like me - I think the film would have totally forgotten virtually instantly.

As such, it’s a bad source for a parody, and the fact that much of the film also takes off of Hollow Man - another weak performer at the box office - means that Scary 2 devotes much of its short running time to semi-obscure properties. That’s not a recipe for success.

In addition, the Charlie’s Angels scenes suffer from the same problem I found with the first movie’s emphasis on Scream. Charlie’s Angels embraced self-parody as it was, so it seemed odd to try to spoof that. It doesn’t work, as many of those scenes actually felt almost like outtakes from the original. Sure, some of them went over the top enough to be different, but too much was nearly literal.

All of these problems existed in 2001, and they fare even less well in 2011. Scary 2 relies on references to then-current properties that are now largely forgotten. If the film spoofed material closer to “classic” territory – like the opening Exorcist bit – it’d hold up better; it still wouldn’t be funny, but at least it wouldn’t seem so horribly dated.

A lot of the spoofs simply lasted far too long. The filmmakers grabbed something they liked and wouldn’t let go, so many gags continued well past the point of even theoretical usefulness. How an 82-minute film could feel so padded is a mystery to me.

As with the first movie, Scary 2 mainly takes a bit from the source inspiration and makes it nasty somehow. On occasion, this means something already gross becomes more disgusting, a factor that seems most evident in the early Exorcist sequence. Scary 2 retains the same overemphasis on potty jokes found in the first, however, and an awful lot of the flick revolves around some really nasty content.

You can probably tell that Scary Movie 2 didn’t do much for me, but I will admit I preferred it to the original. Perhaps because it operated off of more obscure sources, it seemed a little more creative than the first movie. No, I still never laughed, but I felt somewhat more amused this time.

Part of that stemmed from the actors. For some reason, Hall’s broad characterization of Brenda hit a more entertaining chord, and Spelling proved surprisingly deft as a comedienne; she never could act, but she can make fun of herself pretty well. It was mildly interesting to see respectable actors like Woods and Curry get into such nasty material as well.

Nonetheless, Scary Movie 2 felt like a pretty lousy piece as a whole. Its positives were minor, while its negatives seemed large. I didn’t loathe it as much as I did its predecessor, but I sure didn’t like it either.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture C/ Audio B/ Bonus B

Scary Movie 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Scary 2 came with a relentlessly mediocre presentation.

Sharpness was a consistent concern. The movie showed mediocre definition at best and usually delivered an oddly murky, fuzzy picture. I saw no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects, but some light edge enhancement occasionally crept into the image. In regard to print flaws, I saw a couple of small specks but nothing more.

Colors came across as moderately murky at times. At times, the tones seemed reasonably clear and vivid. However, a fair amount of the time they seemed somewhat blotchy. Black levels were acceptably deep and dark, and shadow detail seemed acceptable, though the movie’s general lack of clarity made these sequences seem less precise than they should. I suspect that many of the image’s flaws came from the source, but I can’t explain why a moderate-budget movie from 2001 would look so mediocre.

The film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack seemed better. The soundfield stayed mainly in the front channels. Music and effects spread nicely across the forward speakers and meshed together neatly, but the center dominated the affair. I found the mix to appear reasonably seamless and smooth.

The surrounds contributed general reinforcement, most of which featured the film’s music. Some effects stemmed from the rears as well, but mainly they provided little more than the movie’s score.

Audio quality worked fine. Dialogue was reasonably crisp and distinct with no issues related to intelligibility. Effects were clean and came across accurately without any distortion. The music sounded bright and full as well. This wasn’t a great mix, but it seemed fine – and it certainly seemed superior to the muddy visuals.

How did the picture and sound of this Blu-Ray compare with those of the original DVD from 2001? The audio was a little cleaner and peppier, and the same went for the visuals, though the improvements come with limitations due to the mediocre nature of the source. Yes, the Blu-ray seemed a bit tighter and clearer, but don’t expect miracles. This was an unappealing presentation on DVD and it remained that way on Blu-ray; if anything, the BD might highlight the weaknesses even more.

Most of the DVD’s extras come back here. Easily the most substantial area presents some Deleted and Alternate Scenes. The disc features 22 scenes, and these are divided into “deleted” or “alternate” sequences. The first 14 clips are deleted bits, while the final eight offer elongated versions of existing segments. Bizarrely, we actually get an extended version of a deleted scene; the film’s alternate ending pops up twice, and the second one lasts just a little longer. These run a total of 43 minutes, 51 seconds, so expect a ton of added material.

Surprisingly, some of the scenes are almost amusing. In particular, bits that involve Regina Hall and Tori Spelling could be moderate fun. As I noted in the body of my review, they offered some of the best parts of the movie, and it was good to see them expand their roles. Frankly, a lot of this stuff was better than work they included in the finished flick. Hey, the alternate ending also makes sense when connected to the movie’s opening; it would have bookended the film.

One additional note about the deleted scenes: no, the Brando material doesn’t appear here. As many know, Marlon Brando was originally hired to play the role of exorcist Father McFeely. However, he bowed out due to illness. From what I’ve read, I can’t figure out if Brando never shot any film or if he did some incomplete work. A listing on IMDB states he never appeared before the camera, but some other Internet scuttlebutt relates that he did perform a little work. Allegedly the Wayans brothers even claimed these would appear as an Easter egg. If that’s so, they’re hidden from me, as I couldn’t find them. I think the Wayans were joking, personally.

Scary 2 continues with a roster of featurettes. Though insubstantial in length, all of them are rather entertaining. First we find a standard Behind the Scenes Featurette. This piece lasts eight minutes and nine seconds and includes the standard roster of shots from the set, movie clips, and soundbites from film personnel. We hear from director Keenan Ivory Wayans and the major actors. Though it seems promotional at heart, the featurette is still fun, largely due to the good behind the scenes images and the glib comments from movie staff, especially Chris Elliott and James Woods. It’s not terribly educational, but it’s fun nonetheless.

The Special Effects Tour With Lou Carlucci gives us a five-minute and 45-second tour of the movie’s visual materials alongside its effects coordinator. Unlike most effects-intensive flicks, this one concentrates on practical pieces, so we learn about the fake bird poop, vomit, and other nasty things. This piece seems interesting and entertaining.

In a similar vein come both the 108-second Here Kitty Kitty and the 127-second Scary Effects, which concentrate on more traditional movie workings. The former shows some of the work done on the flick’s black cat puppet, while the latter gives us a look at different elements like fake glass, skeleton effects, and a revolving room. These appear surprisingly informative for their length, and they give us a nice look at the topics.

Following along the same lines, we get Behind the Makeup With Barry Koper. This four-minute and 16-second featurette gives us the scoop on the appropriate issues, and it’s also quite useful. It turns out Scary 2 has a very close connection to The Exorcist that we learn about here. Again, it’s awfully short, but it packs a lot of good material into its length.

The disc opens with ads for Scary Movie, Scary Movie 3, and the Scream trilogy. These reappear in the disc’s trailers area, but no ad for Scary 2 shows up here.

While not as terrible as its predecessor, Scary Movie 2 still left a lot to be desired. Its performers offered some decent work at times, but the film itself was largely a compendium of uninspired toilet humor. The Blu-ray offers pretty good audio and supplements but the visuals seem bland and mediocre. This is a passable Blu-ray for a pretty bad movie.

To rate this film go to the original review of SCARY MOVIE 2

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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main