The "Scary Movie" horror spoofs must be some kind of mutant, alien movie franchise. There's just no other explanation for the fact that the sequels actually keep getting better. And unlike the hilarious but indefensibly scattershot second installment, "Scary Movie 3" even has a coherent combo-platter plot.
Serving up campy twists on The Ring's" killer-videotape plot and the alien invasion from Signs" -- with a little mock-"8 Mile" thrown in for flava -- the story catches up with wide-eyed dingbat heroine Anna Faris (who goofed on Neve Campbell's "Scream" character in the first two films) after she has become a blonde TV reporter (a la Naomi Watts in "The Ring") who discovers the creepy VHS cassette that curses anyone who watches it to die horribly in seven days. But when she tries to warn the world of its dangers, her producer puts his foot down: "No more paranoid on-air rants about the supernatural!"
Meanwhile Charlie Sheen -- returning to the kind of parody he showed such a deadpan knack for in 1991's "Hot Shots!" -- plays a farmer and former priest (shades of Mel Gibson in "Signs") whose cornfields have been flattened in a mysterious "crop circle" that from above reads "Attack Here!" with an arrow pointing to his house.
Continue reading: Scary Movie 3 Review
Not unlike his cigar-shop patter with Harvey Keitel in "Blue in the Face," the great American filmmaker Jim Jarmusch has now released a feature length collection of café-style conversation. It consists of eleven semi-fictional segments, the first three of which were released as short films in 1986, 1989 and 1993 respectively. In each, various agents of cool meet at cafes for the title beverage and its symbiotic smokes.
The participants can be as well known as Stephen Wright, Roberto Benigni, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, Cinque and Joie Lee, Steve Buscemi, Steve Coogan, Alfred Molina, Bill Murray, the RZA and the GZA, or, like the gorgeous Renee French, they can be unknown to everyone except Jarmusch and a small cache of insiders. No less a talent than Cate Blanchett appears opposite herself, playing both a movie star and the movie star's lesser-known cousin.
Nothing much holds the eleven segments together, other than their luscious black-and-white photography -- shot by several different cinematographers over the years -- that only emphasizes the eternal coolness of smart people sitting around and talking about nothing. Certain lines of dialogue pop up more than once, and more often than not the talkers don't really connect on either a verbal or spiritual level; most of the conversations are lively disagreements. None of the world's problems gets solved.
Continue reading: Coffee & Cigarettes Review