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Scary Movie 4 - DVD Review

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</script></div>{/googleAds}Scary Movie 4 opens with a spoof of the Saw franchise in which Shaquille O'Neal and Dr. Phil (yes, they play themselves) find themselves chained to a grungy cell about to be injected with a deadly cyanide gas. Their only hope is for Shaq to make a simple free throw, which will unlock two lifesaving vials of antidote. But we all know Shaq can't make a free throw to save his life.

It's this kind of "wink, wink" self-deprecating humor that makes these spoof comedies work. We get to laugh alongside these characters as they (representing the Hollywood establishment) make fun of themselves. But for it to work over the entire length of the film, the jokes need to remain clever, fresh and must, at all costs, refrain from reaching too deeply in the juvenile humor cookie jar. But unfortunately for fans of the Scary Movie series, David Zucker who took over with No. 3 has run out of material and is satisfied with throwing the entire cookie jar at us just to see if something might stick. Scary Movie 4 is very rarely funny, but if potty jokes, Viagra sight gags, and Junior High humor are your thing, then this one definitely totes the note.

Taking the brunt of the goofs are War of the Worlds, The Village and The Grudge (let it be known, if you haven't seen these films, most of the fun will pass you by), but no film is safe from the ridicule and neither is any celebrity. Michael Jackson, Carmen Elektra, President Bush, and even Oprah Winfrey take it on the chin a few times.

Anna Faris returns as Cindy Campbell, who plays air-headed oblivion as well as anybody out there. But if she's not careful, she might just bury herself into the same inescapable slapstick crevasse that swallowed up Leslie Nielson in 1988. Here she plays Sarah Michelle Gellar's character from The Grudge who is taking care of an infirmed elderly woman (Cloris Leachman) in an Oriental-style house. Next door lives Tom Ryan (Craig Bierko), the Cruise character from War of the Worlds. When metallic iPods I mean tripods - begin to destroy civilization, Tom and Cindy grab the kids and go running for the hills, and into the plots of numerous horror flicks.

Even at a tad over 80 minutes, Scary Movie 4 is a bit cumbersome and tedious. It's like a long, drawn-out, Saturday Night Live skit, only not as funny. It starts out as a clever little mash-up of the Saw movies, Shaq's inadequacies and Dr. Phil's obnoxiousness, but it quickly loses its steam after the first scene, and grinds to a mean-spirited scatological halt. Even a recurring Brokeback Mountain pup-tent gag and a few Million Dollar Baby broken neck references aren't enough to save this one from the dung heap.

On a positive note, the special effects and cgi work were actually quite remarkable, especially for such a campy spoof movie. But while the alien tripods were realistic looking and although a significant portion of the budget clearly went towards the elaborate sets and intricate costumes, neither is enough to save the film from its own idiotic ridiculousness.


DVD Details:

Screen formats: Widescreen 1.85:1

Subtitles: Spanish; Closed Captioned

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; deleted scenes; director's commentary; making-of featurette.

* Commentary Track - with Zucker, producer Robert K. Weiss and writer/producer Carig Mazin.
* Deleted Scenes - 15 scenes that didn't make the final cut. With optional commentary from Zucker, Weiss and Mazin. Can be played individually or back-to-back.
* Bloopers - seven minute blooper reel
* Featurettes -
o The Man Behind the Laugh (03:43)
o Zany Spoof Humor - Zucker Style (02:57)
o An Interviewer's Worst Nightmare (04:57)
o The Visual Effects of Scary Movie 4 (08:29)
o Youngbloodz and the Red Weed (03:24)
o Rappers ... Actors (02:37)
* Trailers - Original theatrical trailer.

Number of discs: - 1 - Keepcase Packaging


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