Friday, February 20, 2015

SCARY MOVIE 2 (2001)

Directed By: Keenan Ivory Wayans 
Written By: Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans & Craig Wayans, Alyson Fouse, Greg Grabinski, Dave Folsky, Michael Anthony Snowden 
Based on Characters Created By: Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Buddy Johnson, Phil Beaumn, Aaron Seltzer & Jason Friedberg 
Cinematography By: Steven Bernstein Editor: Tom Nordberg, Richard Pearson & Peter Teschner 

Cast: Anna Faris, Christopher Masterson, Chris Elliott, Regina Hall, David Cross, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Tori Spelling, Kathleen Robertson, James Woods, Natasha Lyonne, Richard Moll, James DeBello, Andy Richter, Veronica Cartwright, Robert Schimmel, Tim Curry

A group of teens including Cindy Campbell and Brenda Meeks are invited to spend a night in Hell House. Professor Oldman has convinced them it is for a school project, but the night won't go past quietly. Master Kane is long dead, but still plans on enjoying himself, especially with Alex Monday. When things really start getting bad, the gang must work together to find a way to capture this ghostly menace.

As the first film was such a hit it was obvious there was going to be a sequel. One wishes they would have waited and worked on the script more as this film seems like a quick cash in on the original. It just feels too rushed. Far too much room to play with and try to come up with something in the spot and feels empty.

It's a shame as the film has potential. In fact there are quite a few hilarious scenes, but they are far and few in between. Which makes this film a very pale comparison considering how funny the original film was. The Wayans have said that this sequel wasn't as strong of a film because the studio wanted it released within a year after the first film's release. They felt it was too rushed.

This film was one of the first films that seems to stray wildly away from the storyline or rather already having a thin one. Gets distracted on gags rather then plot and uses the gags to fill out the room that the thin story left.

Characters who supposedly died in the first film all of a sudden come back like nothing happened playing the same characters. So strangely it's like the previous film never happened, though they are all still friends. Though some characters from the first film don't return.

The film is not a satire on the subject. Instead they go full on spoof. Throwing in low-brow gross Humor, but also more or less filling the film with spoofs and parodies of the pop culture at the time. Not surprising considering the film is made by Keenan ivory Wayans. The mastermind of the classic hit sketch comedy show IN LIVING COLOR which spoofed mainly pop culture at the time. That show did it cleverly while having an opinion and delivering a mini message at times. This film does it sloppily and just seeking to be goofy. Where half the time it makes no sense and even worse is how many writers it took to write this film. Which looks like they literally threw things at the wall to see what sticks.

Marlon Brando was paid $1 million to play Father McFeely in the The Exorcist spoof at the beginning of the film. He took the money and accepted the role, but got pneumonia a few days before shooting his scenes. He dropped out of the project, but was still allowed to keep the money, and was replaced by James Woods.

Considering the talent involved not only onscreen but behind the scenes director Keenan ivory wayans. This film should have been better then what it is. Especially considering the smart type of comedy he seemed to reveling in before this.

Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears turned down the role of Megan Voorhees.

Charlton Heston turned down the James Woods part

The cast is great and you know are capable of more. They are stuck here with a juvenile unimaginative script. Especailly when you have comedic heavyweights throughout the cast. Yet here they are only paid actors not writer/Performers so they try their best, but the material again doesn’t do them any favors.

According to Tori Spelling, her character, Alex Monday, was originally one of the leads. However, after refusing to do a scene where she had to be topless, Dimension Studios cut her out of more than half the movie. After that, her role was simply known as a "cameo", even though she was originally in 3/4 of the film.

The nonsensical plot seems dredged up more purely for gags and comedic set pieces that make no sense. And have such a broad humor that is so referenced from pop culture that they become instantly dated and old like post modern satire. They instead Become a good time capsule a place holder that whose humor seems more interested in shock value and pushing certain buttons past an acceptable point.

This has usually been the Wayans family Weakness. Cutting edge humor at the time that sets a precedent and some milestones, but also helped set the tone for less talented filmmakers to copy styles and put out spoof films similar. So that when Keenan makes his comedies. They look like the rest of them. Though these days at least he has tried to leave spoof comedy behind him to just make silly stupid comedies.

His filmmaking style always makes you aware of his budgets.

This is one of those films that is better remembered then actually are when you try to watch them again later in life. These are the types of films that unless you were around when these films were made and came out. The comedy ends up lost on you. Though luckily here some jokes ascend the passage of time.

At least the first film was one of the first satire of horror on the big screen in quite some time. So they had plenty of material. This film goes with what was current in horror the as well as in media. But the film seems to run out of steam early. Keep in mind at the time horror wasn't as popular or profitable if it didn't have a teen cast or based on better known horror films. At the time studios made them more grand and general rather than genuine and original.

Marlon Wayans is trying to carry the torch in his own series of horror spoofs without the talent of his brothers in the surprise hit movies A HAUNTED HOUSE and A HAUNTED HOUSE 2

The SCARY MOVIE franchise continued without the Wayans after this film and got broader and continued to go down in quality without then Wayans input. They also continued to lose it's central conceit keeping it more in title only. Rather instead interested in spoofing many events and films then combining them into some supernatural plot.

This film was infamous for a little while due to the. Opening sequence which is a spoof of THE EXORCIST that was going to feature Marlon Brando who had to drop out due to health issues. James Woods ended up replacing him.

This was the beginning of the downfall at least in quality for the series. Which actually could have stopped after the first one as none of the sequels came close in quality and originality as the first one

It also began the downfall for Keenan ivory wayans at least as far as material in his films.

I remember actually being excited to see this film. I liked the first one and found myself laughing a lot in the audience. So much that when i was working at a theater i would sneak into the the screenings just to watch my favorite scenes. When i saw this film I had an awful theater experience other then the film. due to the person who sat next to me. This stranger would laugh at each and every joke just a little too hard each time and shake the seats which were connected. So that anything funny would be drained by their laugh. So I came to dread any really funny joke knowing what I was in for. Let me explain furthur I remember seeing this film in the theater with my friends and it being so packed. That a stranger sat next to me and was very loud and obnoxious throughout. The eats were linked so that anytime they moved so did my seat backward and forward. The person would laugh at every joke not even the funny ones and while I might have found the jokes funny, the overbearing laugh my seat neighbor had drained any fun and humor that could be gleamed by it. They would also eat popcorn and laugh hard with their mouth open and full. So my first experience wasn’t the best. Though on subsequent viewings of the film there are plenty of moments and scenes individually that play like skits. They are entertaining enough, but the film as a whole still feels tired and by now of course half the jokes are dated and weak. As these films are more the beginning of yearly spoof films whose jokes only work in the pop culture of that year. None have great filmmaking but are time keeper spoof films that work like yearbooks

Grade: D

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