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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Horror > Scary Movie 4 – Unrated & Uncensored (HD-DVD)

Scary Movie 4 – Unrated & Uncensored (HD-DVD)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Film: C+



Though The Wayan Brothers created and launched the original Scary Movie, becoming a huge surprise hit back in 2000, the ran out of where to go with it and eventually left it to the Weinsteins to take over with new writers.  Jim Abrahams, Pat Proft and director David Zucker took over and the result is that the series has survived and grown into new directions.  Scary Movie 4 – Unrated & Uncensored (2006) may not be a comic masterwork, but it is a bit more hit than miss in its jokes, humor and send-ups in a way that holds up well with its HD-DVD release.


Brenda (Regina Hall) and Cindy (Anna Faris) are back, with Cindy falling for the exciting and none-too-bright Tom (Craig Bierko) who finds himself in a War Of The Worlds situation as an alien invasion is under way.  What is interesting is that there are some seriously big laughs in the smart screenplay, which is also obviously going out of its way to be stupid.  The supporting cast is also better than usual, including Bill Pullman, Leslie Nielsen, Cloris Leachman, Molly Shannon, Chris Elliott, Carmen Elektra and cameos by Charlie Sheen, Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Madsen and even mister-know-it-all Dr. Phil “quick draw with all the answers” McGraw turn up in what is surprisingly balanced casting.


To say anything else would ruin things, though this longer cut has a slightly better flow than the theatrical version.  The Grudge is sent up, though not enough ribbing of Sarah Michelle Gellar, but the bashings of the Saw franchise and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village are dead on.  For all the pastiche spoofs of late, this is one of the best in the cycle.  Don’t miss it, as long as you don’t have your hopes up too high.


The 1.85 X 1 image was shot in digital High Definition by Thomas E. Ackerman, A.S.C., and it proves once again that HD works better for this frame than for a 2.35 X 1 scope frame.  Also, this is just fine for a comedy sequel like this.  You can see it is shot that way, but it is not as distracting in this 1080p presentation.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 at Plus levels is also good, if not great, really kicking in when there are amusing action and chaos scenes.  The combination is just solid enough to be a step above standard DVD.  Also note that this disc offers some start-up troubles, so it is not your machine.


Extras include 15 deleted & extended scenes, bloopers, original trailer, Craig Bierko improvisation, seven featurettes including one on visual effects and an audio commentary with the filmmakers.  Not bad for a third sequel and the fifth one is on the way.  With as bad as Horror films have been lately, it can’t get here fast enough!



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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