Scary Movie 3
It's not often that you find the third installment of a movie series to be better than the second. I had already sworn not to see this movie because in some ways I am still reeling over the heinous disaster that was "Scary Movie 2". I deduced that I would be in for more of the same degraded parodies via the Wayans Way. Well, director David Zucker, who took over (read: rescued) the franchise from the Wayans Brothers, gives us a comical flick that restores some of the validity to the movie parody genre. The main glitch however is that this movie parodies SO many movies, many of them recent, that it requires you to be familiar with all of them in order to truly appreciate the film. "Scary Movie 3" pokes fun at "The Ring", "The Matrix", "Signs", "8 Mile", and "The 6th Sense", but the way these movies are interwoven to form the fabric of SM3 is rather crafty. There is also a lot of star power in this film: George Carlin, Charlie Sheen, rappers Queen Latifah and Ja Rule, Leslie Neilson, Camryn Manheim, and blonde bimbos Pam Anderson and Jenny McCarthy lend their silicone cleavage to SM3's droll opening scene lampooning that of the "The Ring". "Scary Movie 3" is full of well known-faces, well-known movies, and some well-known gags. Good flick.
Czarina's Caustic Comment or Captious Compliment: This movie redeems itself so well, it's kinda scary.
A Man Apart
Vin Diesel takes a dramatic turn in "A Man Apart" as a DEA Agent bent on avenging his wife's murder. Agent Sean Vetter (Diesel) was part of a 7-year operation to take down Lucero (Geno Silva: Mr. Mulholland), a ruthless drug lord and his cartel. After hosting a celebration party at his beach-side home, the couple is ambushed in their bed by agents of "Diablo". Sean wakes up in a hospital to find that his wife Stacey (Jacqueline Obradors: NYPD Blue) had been mortally wounded and vows to find out who and why. During his quest for answers he pushes limits, alienates friends, and loses his badge. "A Man Apart" for some reason doesn't engulf you and while it has some valorous action scenes, there was no part of the movie that caused your pulse to quicken. The acting fell short of gripping you causing the entire the movie to feel fairly disconnected. I can't call "A Man Apart" bad, but I can't give it a rave review either.
Czarina's Caustic Comment or Captious Compliment: Vin Diesel is becoming a man set apart by progressively worse movies.
The Human Stain
Once again I have to say that Nicole Kidman is becoming quite the actress, perhaps her divorce from Tom Cruise finally woke up her talent. In "The Human Stain", she plays a woman with a past who becomes involved with an much older college professor forced to resign over an allegedly racist remark (Sir Anthony Hopkins), and who harbors a deep secret. Coleman (Hopkins) later meets up with a reclusive writer (Gary Sinise) and the two coordinate on a book to tell his story. The acting on Kidman's part was steadfast and she looks quite good, making the sight of her tight, lean body laying next to Hopkins's shriveled prunelike form aesthetically unpleasing to the eye. The film also contained Ed Harris as Kidman's shell shocked husband. The material and subject matter in this movie is quite heavy and not so much for entertainment as it is food for thought.
Note: Based on the Phillip Roth novel by the same name.
Czarina's Caustic Comment or Captious Compliment: "The Human Stain" will leave an indelible mark on you.
All Hail The Czarina