Scream 3 (2000)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer-Canyon
Audio Commentary-W Craven (Dir), M Maddalena (Prod), P Lussier (Ed)
Alternate Ending-+/- commentary
Music Video-What If-Creed
Featurette-Behind The Scenes Montage
Biographies-Cast & Crew
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (75:32)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Wes Craven|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Case||Village Roadshow New Style|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, the usual Scream picture credits for the cast.|
Once again scripted by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven, Scream 2 was a respectable follow up to Scream. Having covered all of the genre references in the first movie, Williamson was left to devise a second story with half the original characters and a bucket full of recycled motifs. Darker and less spontaneous that its predecessor, Scream 2 just managed to milk the formula enough to sustain a feature-length movie, although it could not avoid the congenital defects inherited by all sequels conceived with exploitation in mind instead of passion and inspiration.
While Scream 3 contains specks of passion and dabs of inspiration, thanks largely to Neve Campbell and a fresh writer, its successes are not enough to overturn the law of diminishing returns. The jump scares and whodunit games are drawn out to ridiculous lengths, which are admittedly staples of the first two films. When the care factor for the characters is minimal, however, such gimmicks wear thin mighty fast.
Neve Campbell's portrayal of Sidney Prescott, a genuinely sympathetic character and perhaps the strongest female persona in horror from the last decade, is the sole reason why the Scream sequels deserve any artistic merit at all. Work commitments limited Campbell's involvement to 20 days, and it shows. After her opening scenes as a care worker for California Women's Crisis Counselling, Scream 3 takes a tedious detour to establish the plot and introduce new faces. We endure this chaff for an hour before Sidney involves herself in the new killing spree, which has links to her mother's B-movie acting career.
Set in Hollywood, the main story concerns the production of Stab 3, and for a while it's not clear which sequel is more ill-advised, Stab 3 or Scream 3. Writer Ehren Kruger does deserve credit for some surreal shifts in perception as the actors and plots of both movies grind against each other, as in the case of Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox Arquette) and her counterpart Jennifer Jolie, played by a juiced-up Parker Posey. As the cast of Stab 3 are killed in the order their 'real-life' characters died in, Sidney, Gale, and deputy Dewey Riley (David Arquette) try to figure out who is on the rampage this time.
While these remarks all constitute a valid enough appraisal, the average teenager couldn't give a toss about artistic merit or plot structure. Shocks, goofy humour, and a fast narrative are the only requirements. Scream 3 and the slasher movies it lampoons were always designed for the teen market, and on those grounds it performs admirably. A scare or murder occurs every 10 minutes, there are several suspicious, quirky characters, and the ending delivers the requisite violent showdown. However, without the wit and subversion that made Scream a modern classic, this sequel once again falls short of generating any real fear or surprises. For that kind of substance, watch the film that started it all: Halloween.
Like the prequels, Scream 3 was shot with anamorphic lenses on 35mm and framed at 2.35:1. Indeed, Wes Craven has become adept at composing for this wider ratio, which he had only used on one other movie before Scream. This terrific 16x9 enhanced transfer continues the level of quality we have come to expect from Roadshow, and ably shows off the lush cinematography.
Sharpness is very good throughout. The Dimension Films logo at the start is the clearest that I have ever seen it. Shots of Sidney's rural escape on a sunny day show off a myriad of wood textures and foliage details in high contrasts, as do the scenes of the Stab 3 studio lot. A glimpse of LA at 29:21 captures many pin-point details in the middle and far distance. Hair strands and facial nuances on close-ups were also rendered superbly.
Shadow detail was fine, or rather, it looked natural. On my Loewe TV the picture had a thick inky quality, which I assume is due to Peter Deming's cinematography. The effect was similar to the way David Fincher's films appear on DVD, which also feature solid, impenetrable blacks.
Colours were perhaps a touch oversaturated. Red tail lights on cars showed some colour bleed, for example at 50:31 on the Ford four-wheel drive. My TV does have a mild problem with smearing reds, so this may not be a transfer fault. Nevertheless, the image became more natural when I dropped the colour levels a few notches. Pumping the colours up to give a sickly sweet, larger than life aesthetic is one possible thematic reason for the oversaturation. If that sounds important to you, then leave the colour level as is, although flesh tones were less sugary with the colours muted; that is the only reason I decided to tweak them.
The source materials must have been pristine, because I noticed no film artefacts at all, and film grain was virtually non-existent. There were no compression artefacts either.
The well-placed layer change at 75:32 occurs during a brief, silent moment in the dialogue. It's good to see that Roadshow did not use an artificial fade-to-black here. In this scene it would have destroyed the tension.
The dialogue is slightly lower in the mix compared to other recent movies. This was not really a problem, since the flow of the action kept the sound effects and actors' speech from clashing. The trouble spots seemed to be isolated to the start of the movie; my notes made no mention of the problem after things got rolling. There were no distortion or synchronization problems, and ADR was obvious at times when characters spoke as they moved away from the camera.
Marco Beltrami wrote the music scores for all three Scream films. Not surprisingly, his contribution to this sequel continues themes, melodies, riffs, and shock cues employed before to create an instantly familiar musical backdrop. Sound fidelity is excellent, with a wide front stage and impeccable separation. Nick Cave's rendition of Red Right Hand 2, featuring new lyrics written for the film, sounds better than ever. The generic rock songs thrown in to populate the subsequent CD soundtrack are also mixed brightly.
The surrounds are used, sometimes arbitrarily, to distribute various musical stings around the viewer. This is cool if you like constant activity, but distracting if there seems to be no point beyond clumsily enhancing the atmosphere. Primarily, the surrounds are reserved for directional sound effects, which are flung around all parts of the room with a maniacal fervour. One of the best examples occurs when Sidney stumbles through her reconstructed bedroom on the set of Stab 3. Snippets of dialogue from the first film pan 360 degrees around the soundstage: a haunting and poignant moment that pushes your speakers' imaging capabilities to the limit. Screams and sudden noises ambush the viewer from all directions.
For some bizarre reason, low frequency content was limited. This may be more apparent if your front speakers do not handle frequencies lower than 50Hz too well. The Dolby Digital 2.0 track was warmer because the bass was not trapped in one discrete channel, although it was less directional than its 5.1 cousin.
|Surround Channel Use|
The low resolution Avid image is 16x9 enhanced and framed at 2.35:1. Audio options include rough cut Dolby Digital 2.0 production sound and a lively audio commentary by Craven, Maddalena, and Lussier.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Roadshow's superb DVD boasts almost all of the goodies found on its Region 1 counterpart, together with a fine PAL video transfer and a soundtrack that brings the entire room to life.
|DVD||Marantz DV-7000 (European model), using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Ergo (81cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder.|
|Amplification||Arcam AV50 5 x 50W amplifier|
|Speakers||Front: ALR/Jordan Entry 5M, Centre: ALR/Jordan 4M, Rear: ALR/Jordan Entry 2M, Subwoofer: B&W ASW-1000 (active)|