Are ''Scream 3'' and ''Gun Shy'' really the best Hollywood can do? asks Rebecca Ascher-Walsh

By Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
February 04, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST
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Movie studios are dumping their losers into theaters

February is torture. As if it’s not enough that it’s gray and bleak and time to hibernate, there’s nothing to see. Please explain why studios get enthused about, ”Oh, it’s beautiful summertime! Let’s put out movies that will keep people inside!” or, ”Here’s an idea! People’s lives aren’t busy enough Christmas shopping — let’s make them stand in line for movie tickets!” But just when we enter a month where the only cheerful thing to look forward to is Valentine’s Day and the excuse it gives us to eat lots and lots of chocolate, the theaters are regurgitating Oscar fare we’ve had a chance to see for two months, or stuff we’d never want to see anyway.

Much has been made of Ashley Judd being such a megastar she can even open a movie like ”Eye of the Beholder,” as if audiences are so stupid we thought the movie must be great because Judd is in it. Hollywood, listen up: We went because we’re desperate. Because while we’re sitting there just waiting to be entertained, you’re using this month as a dumping ground, and frankly, it’s boring. Not to mention insulting.

But, hey — you win. This weekend you’re giving us ”Scream 3,” and even though No. 3 in a series usually spells disaster, we’ll be going and hoping for the best. And no doubt, we’ll also be lining up to see Sandra Bullock in ”Gun Shy,” even though the stupid title and deadly silence surrounding the movie doesn’t give us a great deal of hope. Ditto ”Simpatico,” starring Sharon Stone. Don’t know what it’s about, and the title sure doesn’t help, but the tag line reads, ”How much can three friends share?” More to the point, oh studio magnates, how much can audiences bear? When it comes to catering to your audience, skip ”Simpatico” — try a little sympathy instead.

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