Laughter is the best medicine

  • 2004-01-22
  • By Laimons Juris G
Scary Movie 3. For the third time around the postmodern spoof of all spoofs is at it again. As tasteless and gross as these movies may be, there are a few funny bits contained in each and every one of them. Unfortunately, this installment is more of a disappointment than the first two in this series. Without a doubt, it's just as stupid and dumb, but lacking the verve and energy of the first film. As directed by David Zucker, "Scary Movie 3" is simply too old fashioned, corny and outdated. Zucker, along with his brother Jerry and Jim Abrahams practically invented this genre almost 25 years ago ("Airplane!").

The only continuing character in these films is Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris). This time around Cindy is a TV reporter. She is determined to prove that the mysterious crop circles on Tom Logan's (Charlie Sheen) farm are somehow connected with extraterrestrials and deadly phone calls. Even the president (Leslie Nielsen) seeks her help.
There were so many horror flicks made this past year, it's bewildering why the jokes concentrate on "Signs," "The Sixth Sense," "The Ring" and even "8 Mile," which is not a thriller in any sense of the word. It is a sad state of affairs when a brief bit about Michael Jackson is the hilarious highlight in this mostly groan-inducing send-up. You won't be scared silly this time around.
II 1/2
The Italian Job. Charlie (Mark Wahlberg) is the leader of a gang of thieves working for John Bridger (Donald Sutherland). A daring robbery takes place and they steal $35 million in gold from a safe in Venice, Italy. In a surprising double cross one of the crooks, Steve (Edward Norton), shoots Bridger, takes all the bullion and leaves the rest of the crew for dead. However, the entire squad survives.
A year later Charlie and the rest of the gang, along with Bridger's daughter Stella (Charlize Theron), have found Steve and plan to steal the gold bars back.
Loosely based on the 1969 film with the same title starring Michael Caine, the one fundamental question that comes to mind is - why remake the British classic? Actually, other than the title, the only part retained from the original is the extraordinary car chase using Mini Coopers. It's a fact that these supersmall cars are not allowed on California highways (or the subway system for that matters.) It's safe to say that his motion picture is pure undiluted entertainment. You'll have a good time whether the plot adheres to logic and reality or not.

Goodbye, Lenin! In the former East Germany Alex (Daniel Bruhl) is participating in a protest march against the communist regime when his loyal socialist mother Christiane (Katrin Sass) witnesses his arrest and has a heart attack. As she lays in a coma for eight months, the Berlin Wall falls and Germany reunites. When she finally awakes, the doctor warns Alex that she is in a delicate state and must have plenty of rest without any shocks. Being a good son he decides not to let her know that the D.D.R. no longer exists. "Goodbye, Lenin!" is a poignant and fascinating exercise well worth watching. But it is positively atrocious that in the version being shown in Riga the original German has been dubbed over into Russian, while the English subtitles have been removed and replaced by Latvian ones.