Tag Archives: Matthew Lillard

Scream 3 (2000) Review

Time: 117 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Horror scenes
Cast:
David Arquette as Dewey Riley
Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott
Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers
Patrick Dempsey as Mark Kincaid
Scott Foley as Roman Bridger
Lance Henriksen as John Milton
Matt Keeslar as Tom Prinze
Jenny McCarthy as Sarah Darling
Emily Mortimer as Angelina Tyler
Parker Posey as Jennifer Jolie
Deon Richmond as Tyson Fox
Kelly Rutherford as Christine
Liev Schreiber as Cotton Weary
Patrick Warburton as Steven Stone
Director: Wes Craven

As bodies begin dropping around the set of STAB 3, a movie sequel based on the gruesome Woodsboro killings, Sidney and other survivors are once again drawn into a game of horror movie mayhem.

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Scream 3 is widely regarded as the worst instalment in the franchise, however in terms of worst entries in horror franchises, Scream 3 is better than most. There are definitely some issues, but I had a lot of fun with it.

For a first in the series, Ethan Kreuger is writing the script instead of Kevin Williamson, and you really do feel his absence. The meta commentary is a little mixed, it’s not as smart as the last couple of movies. It takes on certain things like the abusive system and politics of Hollywood. The Stab movies were introduced in Scream 2 but I think Scream 3 utilizes them a lot better in the plot given that it’s set in Hollywood. However, sometimes the commentary is a bit too on the nose and silly at points. There is also a certain subplot that has either aged well or aged poorly in the movie, considering that Scream 3 is a Harvey Weinstein movie. At the very least, it makes the plotline a little more awkward and uncomfortable now. The plot is still entertaining and has good humour, even if they lean into that a little too much at times. The main trio with Sidney, Gale and Dewey as usual were the highlights and I liked how it continued their stories. However the movie does lack the wittiness and cleverness of the movies that came before, and is a very generic affair. It falls into the tropes that it tries to parody, which is never a good sign. There are some questionable story decisions too, particularly with some reveals at the end of the film. However the biggest criticism I have is for a particular aspect that bugged me for the whole film. I can buy that each Ghostface wears the same costume, mask and voice changer that gives them the voice of Roger L. Jackson. However, this Ghostface also has another magical voice changer that makes them sound like literally any character that they want, and I really didn’t like that. With all that being said, I really like how Scream 3 ended the movie with its last scene.

There are some solid performances and enjoyable characters. The main trio in Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette deliver as always, Gale and Dewey are front and center, but I also think this movie really rounds out Sidney as a character too. As for the newcomers, they weren’t really the best, just sort of okay. However, Parker Posey was one of the highlights of the whole movie, playing an actor who was cast as a fictional version of Gale in the newest installment of the Stab franchise.

Wes Craven directs this well, though in terms of direction and technical elements, Scream 3 is probably the worst in the franchise. There are some good set pieces, even if they aren’t on the level of the first two movies. But really, there weren’t many standout scenes, and none of them really bordered on being scary or suspenseful. The music is reliable as ever, with Marco Beltrami again doing well with the score. 

So unsurprisingly, Scream 3 is the worst of the franchise but is still pretty decent. While the meta commentary was very hit or miss and some of the story decisions didn’t work out, the cast and some of the set pieces were solid, and I still enjoyed watching it. Plus it ended on a note that would’ve been a fitting conclusion for the franchise if they didn’t continue it nearly a decade later. At the very least, there’s some enough good stuff here to make it worth watching.

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Scream 2 (1997) Review

Time: 120 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence and offensive language
Cast:
David Arquette as Dewey Riley
Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott
Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Cici Cooper
Jamie Kennedy as Randy Meeks
Laurie Metcalf as Debbie Salt
Elise Neal as Hallie
Jerry O’Connell as Derek
Timothy Olyphant as Mickey
Jada Pinkett Smith as Maureen Evans
Liev Schreiber as Cotton Weary
Director: Wes Craven

Sidney is in college and once again finds herself the target of a psychotic killer. However, this time, the killer’s murder count is higher and the killings more outrageous.

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Scream was such a success back in 1996 that a sequel was quickly greenlit and released a year later. While sequels to popular movies are often considered to be not as good, this is especially the case when it comes to horror sequels. Despite this, Scream 2 is quite good.

Scream 2 takes everything from the original movie and amps it up, including the charm, intensity and meta humour. Although it does tread familiar ground, it’s still solid on the whole. It also feels more confident than the first movie, and I found it more fun to watch. It still balances horror and comedy well and the meta-commentary is back, with some added elements. Naturally a new aspect is sequels, with Randy giving rules about horror sequels, but there’s also commentary on media violence, especially with the events of the first movie being turned into a horror movie called Stab. The commentary really isn’t as effective as in the first movie, but I still liked it enough. Scream 2 does a good job continuing the story of the main characters and develops them more, giving the main 3 or 4 characters stronger character work. That being said, with a few exceptions, most of the new supporting characters weren’t as entertaining or memorable. Some characters like Sidney’s boyfriend particularly don’t have much to them. One welcome change was with the location, moving from Woodsboro to a college campus, and that does help the movie feel somewhat fresh. The plot twists aren’t quite as shocking as in the first movie. As for the reveals at the end, without getting into it too much, only half it really worked for me.

As said previously, the returning cast and characters in Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette fare better here than in the previous movie. Their characters get more screentime, and development, along with being performed well as usual. Cox and Arquette as Gail and Dewey particularly get a lot of attention and focus in this movie and are a highlight, their chemistry is great. There are some newcomers to Scream who are good, including Timothy Olyphant, Liev Schreiber, Sarah Michelle Geller and Jada Pinkett-Smith, with Olyphant being the standout for me.

I think that Wes Craven’s direction is better here than in the first Scream. While it doesn’t have a scene as memorable as the iconic opening scene with Drew Barrymore, there are some great set pieces that stand out over the first movie, whether it be the tense chase scenes, or other suspenseful sequences, with a standout scene involving a car. The violence is also amped up considerably, with more elaborate and creative kills. The music choices and the score from Marco Beltrami are good once again.

Scream 2 was better than expected, especially considering the behind-the-scenes production problems it experienced. It’s not as good as the first movie, with the twists and satire not hitting as hard, but if you liked that first film, the sequel is definitely worth checking out. At the very least, it is probably one of the better horror sequels.

Scream (1996) Review

Time: 111 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence and offensive language
Cast:
David Arquette as Dewey Riley
Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott
Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers
Matthew Lillard as Stu Macher
Rose McGowan as Tatum Riley
Skeet Ulrich as Billy Loomis
Jamie Kennedy as Randy Meeks
W. Earl Brown as Kenny Jones
Joseph Whipp as Sheriff Burke
Liev Schreiber as Cotton Weary
Drew Barrymore as Casey Becker
Director: Wes Craven

A year after Sidney’s mom is murdered, more murders start to occur. She begins to suspect if these murders are related and tries to find the killer as everyone seems to be a suspect.

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I meant to revisit the Scream movies before the 5th film released in 2022, but I just never got around to it. Thankfully, Scream VI would be releasing the following year, giving the opportunity (and excuse) to come back to the iconic horror franchise. I’m glad to say that the original still holds up.

Scream was a game changer for the slasher genre and the horror genre on the whole, and a big part of that came from Kevin Williamson’s clever script. It’s a darkly funny satire and self-aware deconstruction of the slasher sub genre, which has held up well over the years. It is very meta but avoids bordering on irritating, it subverts the tropes, yet embraces them. It certainly helps that it is made by smart people who have an actual appreciation for horror. Scream balances all the elements quite well, there is some effective comedy and meta satire, but it still works as a great slasher movie in its own right. The plot is fairly straightforward, but it’s not generic by any means. Right from the famous opening sequence it has your attention, and while the twists may be somewhat predictable on repeat viewings, on the first viewing they are really effective.

While much of the characterisation is pretty standard as far as slashers go, the acting is great from everyone, with Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Skeet Ulrich, Rose McGowan, Jamie Kennedy and Matthew Lillard all delivering on their parts. Drew Barrymore is also memorable in her short screentime.

Wes Craven is already well versed in the horror genre with films like Nightmare on Elm Street and The Hills Have Eyes, so he was perfect for a movie like this, and this is one of his best works. As much as the movie serves as a satire on horror movies, it also succeeds as a horror movie itself. There are some great slasher sequences, a standout being the iconic opening scene with Drew Barrymore. The killer action is brutal, and it delivers on the violent deaths that you’d expect from a slasher movie, and especially one from Craven. An aspect that I particularly enjoy in all the Scream movies is that the killer Ghostface isn’t the typical inhuman Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees level of horror killer. They are very human, and as such are a bit of a klutz, constantly tripping over, falling into things, and even getting smacked by the person they are chasing. At the same time, they remain somewhat intimidating and the danger still feels real. There’s also a good use of music, and Marco Beltrami’s score is particularly fitting.

It’s easy to see how and why Scream was so influential to the horror genre, leading to so many copycats with a wide range of success. However, none of them could achieve what the original film did back in 1996. On its own, Scream serves as both a dark meta comedy on horror movies, and a simple yet effective slasher film. It is well worth watching if you’re a fan of horror movies, especially slashers.

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Tale (2007) Review

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In the Name of the King 1; A Dungeon Siege Tale

Time: 127 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1]
Cast:
Jason Statham as Farmer
Leelee Sobieski as Muriella
John Rhys-Davies as Merick
Ron Perlman as Norick
Claire Forlani as Solana
Kristanna Loken as Elora
Matthew Lillard as Duke Fallow
Ray Liotta as Gallian
Burt Reynolds as King Konreid
Brian White as Commander Tarish
Mike Dopud as General Backler
Will Sanderson as Basstian
Tania Saulnier as Talwyn
Gabrielle Rose as Delinda
Terence Kelly as Trumaine
Colin Ford as Zeph
Director: Uwe Boll

A farmer (Jason Statham) sets out to rescue his kidnapped wife (Claire Forlani) and avenge the death of his son — two acts committed by the Krugs, a race of animal-warriors who are controlled by the evil Gallian (Ray Liotta).

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I wasn’t expecting anything when I was going into this movie, Uwe Boll’s first two Bloodrayne movies caused me to have this feeling. For an Uwe Boll movie though, it isn’t as bad as Bloodrayne 2; the movie does have at times decent action scenes. However this movie still wasn’t good on its own, it still has a bad story, average to terrible acting along with having a lot of things from Lord of the Rings which did bother me from time to time.

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The story doesn’t have anything interesting to offer, made worse with the movie being 2 hours long, it should’ve been shorter. The first act was set up poorly with characters that I didn’t feel attached to, not helping this is the dialogue which is poorly written, uninteresting and doesn’t further develop the characters. This may be an aside but Statham’s character is literally called Farmer. The most boring part of the movie was the second act, there wasn’t much going on. The third act was the most entertaining and had a whole lot of action scenes which were done okay but they didn’t have much story to link them together to make them interesting. The film has many plot holes, like in one of the final fights with Jason Statham and Ray Liotta, Liotta doesn’t use his magic at the beginning, despite being able to get rid of him in an instant. This movie also took a lot of things from Lord of the Rings, for example the last big battle scene was very similar to the Helms Deep scene from The Two Towers. Even the Krugs seemed very much like the Orcs. The writer of this movie actually rewrote 80% of the script because it felt too much like Lord of the Rings, it’s not just me finding it familiar.

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This film has a good cast, none of whom brings much to the movie. Jason Statham doesn’t make much of an impression here, he’s much better in other movies but I will say that he does well in the action scenes, as he usually does. Ron Perlman gives the best performance in the movie, he’s one of those actors who can bring anything to a movie but unfortunately his character still wasn’t given any depth or attention. Burt Reynolds is for some reason in this movie but he just didn’t bring anything to the movie; he looks like he doesn’t want to be there and is quite underwhelming and boring. On the complete other end from acting bored is Ray Liotta who plays the villain and is completely over the top. If you’ve seen the two Bloodrayne movies, you know that Uwe Boll doesn’t know how to direct actors in playing villains. A prime example is when Liotta shares a scene with Matthew Lillard, it’s like they are competing in a ‘worst performance’ competition.

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The action scenes in the first act of the movie are done poorly, the camera shook and cut often and they aren’t filmed well. Later on the action scenes improved, the camera didn’t cut and it was steady, however they weren’t very interesting or entertaining, they were just okay.

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I will say that this movie is better than some of Uwe Boll’s other movies but this is still a bad movie. It has the many things that Uwe Boll movies have, bad acting, poor writing, average cinematography and has many plot holes, on top of feeling too much like Lord of the Rings. In short, the movie is a poor man’s Lord of the Rings, it’s the best way to describe it. I heard that Uwe Boll made a good movie, Rampage, I would really like to see it sometime; I need to take a break from his movies.