"Scary Movie 4"
Director: David Zucker
Fien Print Rating (Out of 100): 37
In a Nutshell: I think my problem here is that I skipped "Scary Movie 3" and thus I was missing important narrative information that would have made "Scary Movie 4" into a much more entertaining production. As has always been the case with this franchise, Anna Faris and Regina Hall are the best things it has going, two sharp comic actresses who could probably stand to get much much better material to spoof. Some of the targets here are just stale ("Fahrenheit 9/11"), some are lame (a "Million Dollar Baby" extended gag isn't worth the effort, despite Mike Tyson in drag) or both stale and lame ("The Village" was awful two years ago and it hasn't suddenly become a trendy fan favorite). It's the "Village" parody arc, a major part of the plot, that got me wondering how an 83 minute movie can seem over-long and draggy. That's not good for this kind of movie. "Scary Movie 4," thanks to a rushed shooting and editing schedule, will become the first movie to do a "Brokeback Mountain" parody. I can't help but feel it won't be the last.
ON THE OTHER HAND...
Director: Lodge Kerrigan
Fien Print Rating (Out of 100): 86
In a Nutshell: I didn't catch this one in theaters because, well, it was barely in theaters. But if you have the chance to see it on DVD, I recommend it highly, if you can stand it. It's the story of a man (Damian Lewis) who's shattered by the abduction of his young daughter. Or something like that. Thanks to Lewis' spectacular performance, it's a bracing study of a man pushed over the edge by grief and loneliness. In 94 minutes, the film is rarely off Lewis' face, but it can't quite get into his mind, which left me nearly breathless in anticipation and, more often, in utter dread. So many movies aspire to tension and suspense and think that the secret is in fast cutting. Those failed filmmakers should check out "Keane." This is a movie that's truly terrifying.