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Scream 3

Definitely has its weak points, but overall a pretty good time!
I'll admit, I had low expectations coming into this movie. The whole teen-slasher movie formula is pretty tired by now, and I wasn't sure if even the Scream franchise's self-mocking humor could redeem it. Yet, on the whole, I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, the movie lacked solidity on the plot; yes, it was sometimes a little predictable. But this predictability didn't diminish the fright factor one bit. You hear the scary music, and you *know* someone is going to jump up at the window, but you still gasp and grab the person sitting next to you. It's involuntary, and that's what makes the movie entertaining. Fear is one of the most basic human emotions, and no matter how much we're expecting the scary killer, you're still shocked when you really do see him.

The plot, I do have to note, was a bit thin at times. It seemed at times to be struggling to connect with itself, especially when discussing events that took place in the earlier movies. It was in places such as these where Kevin Williamson's absence was truly felt. Williamson was the one who gave life to the characters; he supposedly had begun the series planning a trilogy, and it would have only been proper for him to stick it out until the end. Unfortunately, however, producer Wes Craven apparently felt differently, and the decision to substitute virtual unknown Ehren Kruger was a detriment to the plausibility. Now, don't get me wrong here, I did indeed enjoy the way Ehren Kruger writes; `Arlington Road' was enjoyable, and the writing in the `Scream 3' was certainly of high quality. It just wasn't *right*. First of all, Kruger has no experience with the genre, and more importantly, he has no experience with the `Scream' franchise. Joining as a writer in the middle of a series is always a difficult transition, and you could see a general stylistic difference between Williamson's and Kruger's screenplays. Kruger has a great deal of potential, but it must be refined first; the finale to as successful a series as the `Scream' movies is simply not the time to be testing untried talent.

The characters also seemed more artificial this time around than they had been in previous installments. After the last 2 movies, the only original characters remaining were Sidney (Neve Campbell), Dewey (David Arquette), and Gale (Courtney Cox Arquette). One would think that, after all this time, their personalities would truly shine, yet they come across as thinly as the new additions to the cast. While I mostly fault the writing, problems with the acting certainly existed; it seemed at times as if the actors were simply trying to get through the scene so they could go home. In fact, this `are we done yet' attitude was persistent throughout much of the movie, almost as if the cast realized that the slasher-movie boom was dried up, and they just needed to get through this final performance before putting the genre back to sleep.

I'm being a bit critical here, probably because the negative aspects are easier to put into words. What I do have to say, above all, is that I *liked* the movie, quite a lot. Looking at it as a reviewer, there were plot holes, and weak acting, and a fuzzy script written by an unknown; but looking at it as a teenager, I have to say that it was a fun movie. Although it lacked certain elements, it did manage to keep the most important: it was entertaining and enjoyable to watch. Just don't try to look too deeply, because you'll find that not much is there beyond the surface.

Meet the Deedles

Great for a babysitter...
Okay, so maybe I'm a little biased by the fact that I'm in my late teens, but personally, I wasn't a big fan of this movie. Very unrealistic, cartoony...in short, standard Disney live-action material. As adult fare, it definitely doesn't get a high rating in my book. BUT, the movie does have its merits. Specifically, like all Disney movies, it has an ability to enchant just about every young child under the age of 12. I saw it while keeping an eye on a group of 9-year-olds, and while I found myself glancing at my watch to see if the film was almost over, the children (boys AND girls, I might add!) were sitting on there seats watching in rapt fascination, wishing that they could BE the Deedles. I had the same experience recently when I watched in on TV with pair of 11-year-olds I was taking care of for the evening...they loved it! So, in short, I'd warn adults away from it, but don't ban it from your house, as it could come in handy if you have some unruly kids around!

Varsity Blues

Take it or leave it...
Well, the film had its good moments, but overall it was a bit of a downer for me...being not much of a football fan, it was hard to identify with the characters at all, and consequently their conflict seemed pretty distant. Everything seemed a bit contrived, and what few funny bits there were got lost among some of the nonsense...like, for example, the nudity. Very predictable ending, pretty transparent characters, and I could fully do without James Van Der Beek's southern Texas accent. I didn't think it was terrible, but it also isn't going to be making my top 10 list any time soon.

Empire Records

Number one, all-time greatest!
This has to be my favorite movie of all time. Maybe it lacks a little in plot, maybe the characters are a little thin sometimes...but so what? This movie doesn't try to rely on a plot, it relies on being fun, and it accomplishes it with flying colors. One of those movies you can throw in the VCR, microwave some popcorn, and just watch without thinking about. The perfect weekend movie, the perfect date movie...the perfect ANYTHING movie. Open 'til midnight, but you'll be watching it long after that!

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