HOME   News   Reviews   Adv Search   Features   My DVD   About   Apps   Stats     Search:
  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX
  • English: DTS 6.1 Surround ES
  Subtitles
    English
  Extras
  • Deleted scenes
  • 4 Teaser trailer
  • Theatrical trailer
  • 15 Featurette
  • Animated menus
  • 4 Music video

Austin Powers in Goldmember

Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 91 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

It all must seem so easy-peasy lemon squeezy when considering a sequel to a box office success. You’ve got recognisable characters, established stories and there’s really naff-all work to do other than write in a few new situations, bend a few of the old plots a little bit and come up with a few new gags, right? Ah yes, but as Austin Powers so fatefully says within the opening minutes of Goldmember, “you’ve also got to have mojo baby, yeah!”

Ouch kabibble, this all sounds like we’re heading towards a lambasting of this, the third Austin Powers film, right? Nuh-uh, but when plopped next to its two superb prequels there is definitely something NQR about it.

It’s almost as if it spends the entirety of the film trying to catch breath after the simply phenomenally OTT, cameo-stuffed intro – which we’re certainly not going to spoil for you. As for plot, well it’s probably more threadbare than its predecessors, which in many ways is quite impressive considering they could hardly be accused of being the full meat and two veg. After Dr Evil is caught by Austin in the first act, it’s down to newcomer Goldmember, a phenomenally toit, gag-a-maggot skin–eating guy who’s from Holland (isn’t that weird?) – an ageing disco king with more than a passion for all things bullion-esque – to be the big bad. You see, where Herr Doctor failed in his creation of a “tractor beam” (you must mime those quotes, naturally), Goldmember didn’t, so the two have teamed, with the help of Japanese bloke Mr Roboto (domo arigato!), in order to achieve their goal of – oh come on, does it have to be said? World domination, duh! Oh, unless they’re paid their ransom of one billion, gajillion, fifillion, shabba-doodle-ooly-million, sha-ming-gommy-shaly-million... yen, of course. There’s also a little matter of them having kidnapped Austin’s Dad, Nigel Powers. So Austin, who’s now firmly entrenched in the now it would seem, has to nut out when his father is – and pimps it back to 1975 in pursuit of Goldmember, hooks up with old squeeze Foxxy Cleopatra (who’s a whole lot of woman – and hair) then pinballs further through time in order to save the day. Again – for that’s what International Men of Mystery do, right?

"Your spy car’s a Mini?!”
“It’s not the size mate... it’s how you use it."

Featuring basically all the staples of an Austin Powers flick we’ve grown to love – the word play, the shadow play, the bodily functions, the judo chops – and adding a few newies such as some great fun with subtitles and even that classic 007 chestnut of recycling old actors who were once goodies as baddies, Goldmember is as chock full of shits and giggles as you’d expect. The casting of Michael Caine as Austin’s fahza could not have been better, Beyonce puts in a reasonably spirited, Pam Grier-inspired turn and most of the wonderful characters we’ve met previously show up in one way or another (although the not-so-wonderful Fat Bastard feels decidedly tacked on (which it must be said would take an incredible amount of sticky stuff) – but it’s a great chance for a fun The Matrix-styled wire gag) and the clever little references to daggy pop culture (old Styx songs anybody?) and spy flicks of yore still abound for those who are tuned in enough. Mike Myers’ fourth character, Goldmember, is certainly an acquired taste though, leaving me cold on first viewing and only just getting used to him by the fourth. There’s also a little advancement to the whole Powers lore thing, including a couple of big surprises which see established loyalties challenged and a great set-up for the inevitable fourth instalment in the series.

In the end, however, Goldmember just comes across as a series of loosely connected vignettes even more so than previous episodes – more like a series of sketches desperately linked by the most wafer thin of attempts at plot, and as such it lacks the heart of either International Man of Mystery or even The Spy Who Shagged Me. Well, perhaps not heart – “mojo” would have to be a better word for it. Baby.

  Video
Contract

Very shagadelic baby!

Oh alright –the vision is presented in anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1, the print is completely moley-moley-moley-moley-free and flawless, colour is as beautifully vivid as you’d expect – from the M&Ms-styled hues of Austin’s pad to the golden washes of Goldmember’s club (Studio 69) to the steely greys of Dr Evil’s various lairs – detail is top notch and save for one fleetingly obvious example of aliasing the print is pretty much perfect. It’s basically a switched on, totally groovy transfer that’s like worthy of such a recent film, baby. Seriously, this is one of the most smashing transfers yet seen by these eyes, what more do you need to know?

  Audio
Contract

Ooh, stereo-nerds will have an absolute field day with this one – friends of such people be warned and make suitable travel arrangements. Not content with boring old Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS sound, Goldmember rummages about in the sonic tricks bag for a while and emerges triumphantly with Dolby Digital EX 5.1 and DTS ES 6.1 mixes firmly grasped in its talons.

Not actually being a stereo-nerd, this poor technology-challenged reviewer could only make do with her apparently crappy old not-so-long-ago purchased DTS receiver. Suffice to say that Fook Mi, both mixes are absolutely mind-blowing on my set-up baby (agh, once you start with the “baby”s it’s very hard to stop, erm, baby...) – the subwoofwoof going spare without sounding sticky-taped on to proceedings, and all manner of effects, music and the like sailing all over the place like Mini Me on the receiving end of a Matthew Richardson goal kick. The gymnastics aren’t restricted to behind-you, behind-you, either, with some lovely separation work across the three front speakers. If you have unlimited funds and as such have the techno bits and bobs to cope with the seven channel mix, it would probably be safe to say it’s going to sound even better.

Other than George S. Clinton’s great scoring (and no, he’s not the Do Fries Go With Dat Shake? George Clinton), the soundtrack is another piecemeal affair, much more so than in the two previous films. There’s no big “hit” as such, with a few well-worn classic disco tracks – and a nicely constructed new one with many familiar cues – and the odd emergence of fab acts such as Pizzicato Five rubbing shoulders with the occasional new track, including what got shunted to the end credits, a gorgeous re-rendering of Burt’n’Hal’s Alfie by The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs (also Mrs Jay Roach), which should have featured in the beefy part of the film – see the extras summation for more on this.

  Extras
Contract

A very shagadelic array of bonus features has been included, although some twat deserves a good dragging across the frog and toad and a decent slapping for omitting a few which the Yanks get, most notably a read-along ‘fact track’ which is really funky. On top of this there’s the absence of the whole ‘Infinifilm’ interface, allowing branching to appropriate featurettes during playback of the feature and a DVD-ROM ‘revoice’ feature which could have been great fun to fiddle fart about with.

Anyway, most of the menus feature small animated additions, such as the main one which has Austin and Foxxy bopping about – even after the music’s gone. As for the remaining extras the powers (heehee) that be actually deigned to let us get in region 4, all of them are in enhanced 1.78:1 with Dolby Digital stereo sound (unless otherwise mentioned). Here’s a bit of a summation, Yeah!

First cab off the rank is a commentary, whereby director Jay Roach and the guy who did pretty much all else, Mike Myers, present an entertaining little track which is chock-full of anecdotes, scene analysis, credit where credit’s due and chat about the many, many bits of Goldmember they loved. If you’re looking for more techy stuff instead you may be better off investing some time in the many, many featurettes...

Which, as a hangover from their ‘Infinifilm’ roots, are stupidly divided into two sub-menus – the first being Beyond the Movie, and the second All Access Pass. Beyond the Movie contains just four - MI6: International Men of Mystery (4:26), a look at the British Secret Service and the emergence of the ‘gentleman spy’; English, English (2:31), offering some insight into Cockney rhyming slang; Disco Fever (4:25), which you can all probably guess the subject of; and Fashion vs Fiction (2:00) which presents a fab look at the costumes of the various time periods Austin and company flit about in during Goldmember. All feature interviews with cast and crew, and some offer interesting behind the scenes peeks as well.

Grooving on over to the All Access Pass area, we’re confronted with quite a bit more. Probably the pick of the litter (sadly Mr Bigglesworth has already been taken) is the deleted scenes - a total of 14 excisions adding up to 18:37, plus an extra 3:57 of random flubs in a montage (all in 16x9-enhanced 2.35:1 with DD5.1 sound – and all almost as good a quality as the main feature). Many of these scenes are utter cacks, such as meeting the Fooks once again, and many even more crazed Goldmember antics. The biggest crime foisted upon the film, however, is demonstrated here, with a simply beautiful little musical number (credited as, erm, Musical Number) featuring pretty much the entire cast singing bits of an Austinised version of the classic Alfie. Not only is it quite gorgeous, it would have injected quite the shot of needed heart the film otherwise lacks. The optional commentary with Jay Roach explains the reasons for its, and some of the other scenes’, cuts, and sadly it comes down to those frickin’ idiot test audiences yet again. The day filmmakers regain the confidence in their abilities enough to not rely on such utter ninnies will be a very great day indeed.

And now it’s back to Rome, and more frickin’ featurettes... Rather than doing the sane thing and presenting one, decent-length whole – or adding a ‘play all’ option - there are seven little bitty ones. Jay Roach and Mike Myers: Creative Convergence (6:18) puts the wank back into titling for what is a simple look at the two’s creative pairing. The equally naffly titled Confluence of Characters opens up a sub-menu where four characters are looked at – Goldmember (4:06), Foxxy Cleopatra (4:24), Nigel Powers (2:12) and Masters Powers and Evil (5:02). These all feature interview snippets with relevant and not so relevant cast and crew, and are entertaining enough. They also have a very welcome ‘play all’ function. Opening Stunts (2:19) follows, and guess what? It analyses the somewhat mind-blowing opening sequence. Next up is The Cars of Austin Powers (2:19), which, as you may have guessed, is all about the music in the movie...

An Anatomy of Three Scenes ensues, another sub-menu which offers up Dancing at the Gates (4:53), Roller Disco (2:15) and Sumo Battle (4:04). If you’ve seen the flick they’re all pretty self-explanatory, and for those of a more technical bent are great fun. They also offer a ‘play all’ option.

Another sub-menu clocks in next, despite it only containing the decidedly non-wanky titled Intro (4:03) and Play Scene (0:42). Visual effects guy Dave Johnston breaks down a number of different effects shots for us, with particular attention paid to the brief one where Goldmember hoons his golden Sparrow into Dr Evil’s mobile lair. Not surprisingly this latter scene is that which makes up Play Scene, where each layer is shown one by one until the finished scene runs through.

Now that all those blasted featurettes are dispensed with, we can mosey on into the music videos, good buddy. Four are here, all of which have either a major or minor Austin Powers presence – Beyonce’s Work it Out (3:53); Ms Asparagus’ Boys; Ming Tea (the ‘house’ band as such featuring Mike Myers, Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet – plus two other guys (sorry lads)) – with Daddy Wasn't There and finally Dr Evil and Mini-Me with a fun piss take on rap vids in Hard Knock Life. None of these are 16x9 enhanced, and come in a variety of ratios.

I’m getting a bit shagged now – and I don’t mean in the satisfying sense of the word, either – so to wrap it all up there are five trailers, conveniently placed in the ‘Trailers’ menu. These consist of four teasers – all nameless but I’ll describe them as Time for a Little Austin Powers (1:43); two takes on The Epic Trilogy (0:30 and 0:33 respectively) and the Boogie Fever-infused He is Brilliant, He is Deadly and... (0:56). Finally, there’s the full length (2:20) trailer, which takes the “He is...” idea and runs with it, umm, longer. The latter is in 2:35:1 (yes, it’s enhanced) and they all feature Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.

Oh, just one more thing - if you’re on the hunt for Easter eggs it seems you’re out of luck, unless you’re lame and count the somewhat glaringly obvious link to DVD credits on the main menu.

  Overall  
Contract

DVD-wise the video and audio afforded Goldmember are basically faultless, although whilst the extras look plentiful it is all somewhat misleading when you consider their general brevity.

Film-wise, basically if you dug its two predecessors, you’re certain to dig Goldmember - it doesn’t expand much on what has come before, and is a little less well-rounded, but it does hold some fabulous laugh out loud moments which certainly won’t disappoint fans.

OK, exorcism time - groovy baby, baby, baby, fab, smashing yeah! Ah, I feel better now – shazam!


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=2317
  • Send to a friend.

    Cast your vote here: You must enable cookies to vote.
  •   
      And I quote...
    "Chock full of shits and giggles as you'd expect, but you’ve also got to have mojo baby, yeah! "
    - Amy Flower
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-535
    • TV:
          Sony 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Onkyo TX-DS494
    • Speakers:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse RBS662
    • Centre Speaker:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECC442
    • Surrounds:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECR042
    • Subwoofer:
          DTX Digital 4.8
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
      Recent Reviews:
    by Amy Flower

    The Simpsons - Gone Wild
    "Fox get the dartboard out again to compile another haphazard four-episode release of Simpsons episodes… "

    The Commitments: SE
    "A rollicking good flick that manages to be musical without being naff..."

    Placebo - Soulmates Never Die: Live in Paris
    "One for all Nancy Boys and Ashtray Girls to treasure."

    Amazon Women on the Moon
    "...worth a look if you’ve never before had the pleasure. Bullshit, or not?"

    Jack & Sarah
    "Proving that simplicity is no obstruction to brilliance, this is an ultimately sweet (but not sickeningly so) tale that gives all those bigger English films out there a more than respectable run for their money... "

      Related Links
      None listed

     

    Search for Title/Actor/Director:
    Google Web dvd.net.au
       Copyright © DVDnet. All rights reserved. Site Design by RED 5   
    rss