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DVD REVIEW: AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER

THE SKELETON KEY GHOST STORIES: THE GHOST HOUSE
November 24, 2002
RETRO TEN GRABS: BOTTLE ROCKET
January 3, 2003

DVD REVIEW: AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER

BUY IT AT AMAZON: CLICK HERE!
Buy me!STUDIO: New Line
MSRP: $14.96 RATED: PG-13
RUNNING TIME: 95 Minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES:
• Commentary by Jay Roach and Mike Myers
• Theatrical trailer(s)
• Infinifilm pop-up menus leading to:
• 12 behind-the-scenes featurettes
• 4 music videos
• The World of Austin Powers
• Visual FX Segment
• 24 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes
• DVD-ROM: Austin Powers Revoice Studio

After The Spy Who Shagged Me,
the thought of another Austin Powers movie was
about as inviting as an alligator chomp to the
loins. Overblown, scattershot, forced, and bloated
as a beached beluga, the sequel reeked of corporate
tie-ins and merchandising and while it made
four times as much as the original film, it
was absolute and utter overkill and a testimony
to the principle that more does not equate to
better.

Surprisingly,
as bad and offensive as the 2nd film was, the
3rd was fun and fresh and inventive. Just goes
to show that sometimes surprises come in bright,
gaudy packages.


Though her performance at Red
Rocks left something to be desired, Britney
Spears’ fans made sure to wear her signature
apparel anyhow.

The
Flick


The only remaining shot from
mid 70’s Disney flick
Matt Drastic: Penis
Composer
.

Reprising
all of the roles he played in the first films
and adding another, Mike Meyers is Austin Powers,
Dr. Evil, Fat Bastard, and now Goldmember in
the spy movie spoof series’ third salvo. As
his sexy foil he gets Beyoncé (no relation
to Harry) Knowles, a drastic upgrade over crazy-eyes
Graham from the last installment. Seth Green,
Verne Troyer, Michael York, Mindy Sterling,
Robert Wagner, and Clint Howard all reprise
their roles from the other films and Michael
Caine adds a bit of class as the misogynistic
father of the super-spy.



"It’s a giant radioactive
menace! Hurry, lets go buy used schoolgirl panties
from a vending machine!"

The
plot is secondary to the gags, and once again
involves a villain threatening to take over
the world, this time the skin eating, roller-skating
Goldmember (obviously a take on Auric Goldfinger,
this time a guy who had his Johnson hardened
permanently in a smelting accident). Plot in
spoof centric comedies is all about providing
plenty of opportunities for gags, and this is
no exception. Still, somehow this feels more
genuine and more intelligent than before.



If Dennis Haysbert had played
Hollow Man

I’m
not a fan of Mike Meyers… until now. The Wayne’s
World
stuff to me was a property whose
appeal I could simply not grasp and I personally
feel that the Saturday Night Live related
films represent an affront to good comedy, so
it’s been an uphill battle to find a warm spot
for Meyers. That said, the guy earns every cent
in these film and puts Eddie Murphy’s The
Nutty Professor
shenanigans to shame
with his portrayals under makeup. Fat Bastard
was sickening in the 2nd film, but somehow he’s
become sort of lovable since. No longer about
food hidden in rolls of fat and cups of piping
hot shit and more about fun dialogue and frank
discussions about his problems, Fat Bastard
was the character I least looked forward to
and ended up really appreciating this time around.
Dr. Evil’s the best character in the Austin
Powers mythos by far, getting the best dialogue
and the best bits of interaction with other
characters and here is no exception.


"Sir, before we go back
to the
Evilspeak fan convention
I’m going to get one more game of
Star Castle
in."


In
the second film, he was the only character to
emerge with dignity (aside from the Robert Wagner/Rob
Lowe stuff, of course) and here he gets to be
more of a good guy, and it works. The Austin
Powers character’s less showy and not strong
enough to pin the films on, so it’s great to
see Dr. Evil comes off well. Surprisingly, the
horrendously annoying Mini-Me character (played
by halfling Verne Troyer) is actually involved
in the film’s best scenes and the interaction
between the Meyers, Green, and Troyer trio is
classic.


"…and don’t you EVER mistake
me for Sheila E. again!"


Goldmember’s
probably the weakest of the group, but even
he gets some fun moments and each time I see
him the ridiculousness of the character gets
funnier and funnier. Meyers’ choice to pick
villains from the most benign places is a testament
to his flair for finding humor in strange places.



A look at the Oscar nominated short
Krystal:
The Making of a Fast Food Empire
.

This
should have sucked, but it’s so damn sharp that
it’s hard to find faults. Jay Roach, Mike McCullers,
and Meyers have somehow crafted the best film
in the series (and remember, the first film
was excellent) from what should have just been
spare parts.



Urinecatcher
& The Pisser of St. Ives weren’t the most
effective supervillains, but their UPN show
still managed to surpass
Birds of Prey
in the ratings.

The
series’ trademarks are all on display: innuendo
to spare (though I do miss the scenes where
Austin walks through a scene naked with various
objects strategically placed to imply sexual
connotations), a scene involving silhouettes
looking like they’re doing something nasty,
and over the top dance and action sequences
galore.

The
big money scene for this film is the opening
scene, and because New Line asked us to keep
mum about it for the theatrical release, I’ll
share now. The scene involves the filming of
an Austin Powers movie and a few of Hollywood’s
biggest names all cameo in a scene that manages
to match the action photography of Mission:
Impossible 2
and end with a series of
punchlines that keep outdoing each other (each
sequential cameo and then the way the director
of the film exits the scene) in a way that that
makes the film impossible not to fall for.

"You’ll pay me HOW much
to star alongside Lorraine Gary?"

There
are a few things that aren’t up to snuff: The
changing of the "sexy bitch" line
to "sexy beast", forcing returning
characters into the plot, Michael York, not
enough time spent with the young incarnations
of the characters (it’s a great sequence), and
while Knowles looks great her character isn’t
funny in the least.

Then
again, neither was Hurley’s or Graham’s.

Goldmember
is an excellent sequel, an excellent comedy,
and the breath of life the sagging franchise
needed.



A look at Seth Green’s inspiring
fight against the rather severe case of the
Ron Howards he picked up in the wilderness.

8.0
out of 10

The
Look

New
Line usually doesn’t mess around with their
transfers, especially with their infinifilm
and Platinum titles. This is a terrific transfer.

There’s
a lot going on visually in the film, with bright
colors, lots of usage of the entire frame, and
this disc looks absolutely gorgeous. I was especially
surprised how well made the film was when I
saw the film, and this transfer does nothing
to belittle that.

Watch
the opening sequence and notice how it compares
to most anything out there on DVD.

9.5
out of 10



Spielberg and Paltrow enjoy
a break during the tumultuous shooting schedule
for Project to Appease Kate Capshaw
#3
.

The
Noise

DTS
and 5.1 are present and accounted for, and they
come throttling forth in full effect. This is
a top grade DVD all around, and New Line did
a phenomenal job of taking this comedy and giving
it a really robust track.

Surprisingly,
the sound design is up there with most anything
else and while the film isn’t as reliant as
sound gags as it is visual ones, there’s not
a Mini-Me grunt, Shaguar rev, or Fat Bastard
bodily function missed.

Very
nice work.

9.0
out of 10

Guys, you know this smile. It
says "I’m all cute and stuff but all I’m
thinking is about how rich I am and how you
have better chance of digging up Gen. Patton
with your ass muscles than getting a little
rhythmic slap-slap from me".

The
Goodies

The
Infinifilm series is one of the better DVD treatments
going, but to see films like Rush Hour
2
and this get the treatment almost
seem like a waste of resources. 13 Days
is one of the best DVD buys there is because
of the treatment but to give this elaborate
treatment to comedies that are going to sell
like wildfire for DVD buyers not too concerned
with the filmmaking behind the stuff that makes
them laugh may result in the hard work going
unnoticed.

Still,
in a perfect world EVERY film would get this
kind of TLC.

The
Infinifilm process allows a viewer to watch
a film with the option of watching extra features
when prompted during the film. It’s a cool thing,
and while a lot of the Infinifilm treats are
short (two minutes or less), it’s a fun way
to watch a film you already know pretty well.

From
music videos to special effects breakdowns to
casting sessions to deleted scenes (there’s
some good ones) to stunt work, it’s all in there.
It’s one of the less stacked Infinifilm titles,
but it certainly plays to its demographic.

The
commentary track by Meyers and Roach is pretty
solid, though laid back and rather businesslike.
At times you wonder how in God’s name these
guys could crank out a series that’s grossed
almost 500 million dollars domestically. In
their defense, they often do defer the creative
praise to others, often telling us who came
up with what gag.

Overall,
a pretty good package that doesn’t live up to
15 Minutes or 13 Days
Infinifilm glory but still floors most so called
"special editions".

7.6
out of 10

The
Artwork

Buy me!
This
is a swank design.

The
addition of metallic ink and glitter in the
titles coupled with the blue case and the smartly
laid out design makes for a really nice DVD.

It’s
the same artwork from the theatrical poster
(for the most part), so that’s not a worry.
A tasteful, professional job.

8.0
out of 10

Overall: 8.3 out of 10