Hey there you, how ya doing? Me? I'm fine. Allow me to introduce myself I'm a man of many disguises. Some call me Harry, Moriarty calls me bastard. Heh... Well, as the old toot says below, I'm going to be leaving the country for a while... about 8 days. I'm on my way to a Film Festival called THE FLOATING FILM FESTIVAL where I'll explore the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and search for that Jurassic Park island... and pray I don't meet one of Moriarty's henchmen till he calms down at me putting his roommate's phone number on this site. Heh. Couldn't help it. Just had to. I should be seeing some interesting films, and having some fascinating journeys... I'm going with THE DUDE (the character that the Coen Brothers based THE BIG LEBOWSKI on) and hooking up with our dear Mr Ebert. Should be fun, I'm planning on taking my portable computer and getting TONS of writing done, but from tomorrow through next Sunday.... it'll be Father Geek, Robogeek, El Cosmico and Moriarty that'll be keeping the home fire stoked. Hopefully I'll be able to reach all of you from that boat... But I have no idea if they have internet connections on the S.S. MINNOW. I got my captain's hat, blue shirt and white pants all ready. But... here's Moriarty with his look (of disdain) at SCREAM 3....
Hey, Head Geek...
Sheesh... you take a guy up on his offer to help, you don't get much right to complain, but let me just ask you guys: how can Harry Lime stand it, living in a sewer like this? It's wet, it's dark, and I'm not even going to get into the smells. I maintain a pretty widespread network of tunnels here in Los Angeles, but they're clean and nice and totally empty. Sort of like the LA Metrorail tunnels, except we use ours occasionally.
Lime's been good enough to cough up his computer for the evening, though, and I first want to thank all the readers that have called me over the last few days. I understand Knowles is actually fleeing the country for a few weeks in order to avoid my wrath. He said he'd get me some help. He never said he was going to throw me to the wolves. I've received roughly 30 jillion phone calls in the last three days. Many of them were helpful concerned people who offered expertise in helping me unlock the mysteries of my Official Antique Piece Of Shit. To all of you, I want to extend my heartiest thanks. We'll show all these "law abiding" citizens what real evil's all about as I get things put back together with your help.
Today, I decided to take my mind off of these infernal computer issues by catching a screening of SCREAM 3. Now, maybe I was at the Avco Westwood premiere of the film. Maybe I was here in the Labs. Or maybe I just used my Miramax tunnel and just watched the damn thing in Bob Weinstein's office. Whatever the case may be, it wasn't really worth the effort. The charge has officially gone out of this franchise, and they're retiring it not a moment too soon.
Overall, I never thought SCREAM was the genre-bending masterwork that so many rushed to hail it as back in 1997. I thought it was fine, a modest piece of entertainment that was more clever than good. The sequel seemed like treading water for all involved, and I really didn't have many expectations one way or another for the final film. I liked some of the cast -- Parker Posey in particular -- and I liked the idea of ending it once and for all. Still, any time you go back to the well this many times this quick, the law of diminishing returns has to be taken into account.
Wes Craven has a sure, slick hand in bringing the whole thing to the screen, so I guess I don't fault him. At least this franchise is his, no matter what else you say about it. Unlike NIGHTMARE, Wes stayed firmly at the helm here, and his touch is evident in all three films. In this picture, though, much of the wicked sense of humor that marked the first two films to varying degree is gone. This film is much more of a straightforward horror thriller.
In fact, that's probably the biggest problem with the film. It sets out to tie up all sorts of plots involving the main characters, but that's not what made SCREAM such a kick. It's not a soap opera, and it's not really the characters that has kept people interested. It's the idea of being in a certain type of movie while acknowledging -- and hopefully breaking -- the rules of that genre. This film really doesn't stretch itself or its genre at any time.
The performances are fine, even if no one's really called upon to push themselves to any new places. Neve's been playing Sidney the exact same way for all three films. She's always been the Ripley/Sarah Connor/Laurie Strode model, the victim turned strong, and she just does another riff on it here. In some ways, these films resemble the ROCKY franchise. Sidney is adjusting, the murders start again, Sidney falls apart, the murders continue, Sidney gets fed up with being weak, Sidney fights back. All we need is a training montage as she prepares to kick some psycho butt in each film.
The Arquettes basically just have all their scenes with each other, and that's fine, except there's no real investment for us in how they'll turn out, since they've done the same dance all three times now, too. The one fresh thing Courtney Cox-Arquette gets to play is in her interaction with Parker Posey, who is playing Gail in STAB 3, the movie within a movie that is the magnet for all the murders in this film.
Overall, I think the big disappointments in this final chapter have to do with the resolution of the big storylines. I won't discuss the ending here, since spoiling the film would pretty much negate all reason for you going, but I can say that it didn't have the sort of truly nasty kick I was hoping for. I've heard all sorts of stories about rejected endings and infighting in terms of what we finally saw onscreen, and the heavy hand of Bob Weinstein is more than apparent in what we do see. Gee... think there's enough false scares and orchestral stings? Instead of just marking time, it would have been nice to have seen this last film try for something really innovative, something that shook up genre convention as much as the first film did in its own way.
If you're a big fan of the series, then you may find enough in this film to like, but casual viewers will find themselves growing impatient way before the trick ending(s) roll around. I know I did. In fact, all I could think about way getting back here to the Labs where I could try a radical recovery method for my hard drive involving hooking up my original 66MHz drive to Mongo's brain and piggybacking the two. Hearing Mongo rattle off sections of my '90s list gives me hope that we'll be able to pull it from the Word file and get it up online in the next few days, even before I install my new system. Until then...