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Volume 1, Number 15

This Week's Reviews:  Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

Video Reviews:  Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.



Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

(Dir: Jay Roach, Starring Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Verne Troyer, Seth Green, Rob Lowe, Mindy Sterling, Michael York, Robert Wagner, Kristen Johnston, and Elizabeth Hurley)

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BY: DAVID PERRY

Can I hear the critics reminiscing about Patch Adams. While not as sappy as that film, the new Austin Powers film seems to be getting the same treatment as Tom Shadyac's sentimental opus.

After being frozen in the sixties and unfrozen in the nineties, British super spy Austin Powers (Myers) must go back to 1969 when his arch nemesis Dr. Evil (Myers) and his henchmen have stolen his "mojo" while frozen. Without this sacred fluid, Austin cannot save the world and be the swinger he has always been. He teams up with Heather Graham as CIA agent Felicity Shagwell (wife Vanessa is taken care of in the first scene hilariously, followed by a funny opening ruined by synchronized swimming) to get back his mojo and save the world from Dr. Evil's destructive Moon based laser.

The 1997 suprise critical hit Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery has spawned a sequel not even half as funny or interesting. I'd be lying if I said the sequel was not funny since I laughed many times, but the laughs were not near as big or memorable as those in the original. I found International Man of Mystery to be the greatest blend of A Hard Days Night, the James Bond franchise, and Blowup I had ever seen or could ever imagine (paraphrasing my old review for the original), but The Spy Who Shagged Me seems more in the vein of gross out comedies like There's Something About Mary and Lost & Found than anything else. When Austin mistakenly drinks what he thinks is coffee, I was not laughing; when Dr. Evil finds the love of his life and begins to make love to her Dr. Evil style, I was not laughing; when sultry Graham is placed in the bed of a highly obese Scotsman (Myers, again) for her work and is forced to hide a tracer on his body (and leading to a joke more predictable than the ending of She's All That), I was not laughing. In fact the only time I found the film to be highly enjoyable and really funny were the scenes where there is a sort of sibling rivalry between Dr. Evil's son Scott (well done by Green) and Dr. Evil's baby-like 1/8th clone Mini-Me (Troyer). I may have a recommendation on here, but it is thanks to the few big laughs and still only a slight recommendation.

Two best parts promising a recommendation: a Honey Rider spoof from Dr. No with Graham in the Rider swimsuit and the pan up, and the film actually had Bob Roberts as president (that alone deserves kudos, so kudos to you, Mike Myers).


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Video Review:  Okay, I know that this spot is almost always my place to let off a little steam about some mistake or get my opinion out about something happening, but with how angry I am about Dreamlife of Angels, I decided to forfeit this section for once to have a retrospective to an old review. Guess what review... none other than Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. No I'm not using my free time from only having to write one review this week, instead I'm offering you the review I wrote back in 1997 with its release. There are things I probably would change now (the Farley reference seems out of place but it would probably stay where it was) and things are dated in it (by the way, Dr. Bean was changed to just Bean and was one of the biggest disappointments of the year in my opinion). I know, the writing might not be the best, much can be made better in two years, but just set back, relax, and think of the good old days as we walked into one of the worse winters for movies ever (sorry, I couldn't help throwing some blatant opinion into the section). So without any further adieu, here is my original review for AP1.



Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

(Dir: Jay Roach, Starring Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York, Mimi Rogers, Robert Wagner, and Seth Green)

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BY: DAVID PERRY

Once upon a time, I wrote about the worst thing in all of Hollywood, the scariest virus, is a Saturday Night Live alumni film. But Mike Myers, of Wayne's World fame, has proven that idea wrong for the time being. Not only is Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery a good film, it is also an extremely funny film. In fact, I'm going on a limb with this, but I would say that this is probably the second funniest film of this year (I'm very enthused over the fall release of Rowan Atkinson's Dr. Bean). Austin Powers is a perfect blend of James Bond movies, the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night, and another British film called Blowup.

In this, Myers plays Austin Powers, a groovy sixties swinging British super spy, who is cryogenically frozen in case of the return of his arch nemesis, Dr. Evil (also Myers; a complete carbon copy of Donald Pleasance as Ernst Stravo Blofeld in the Bond film You Only Live Twice) with his cat, estranged son, and group of henchmen (including the hilarious Random Task, who like Odd Job's hat in Goldfinger, Task throws his shoes). Along to help is a young British agent (Hurley) who Austin is sure is madly in love with him, so he sets out to "Shag her, Baby!" Meanwhile, Dr. Evil and his son desperately try to learn to bond. All this happens while Dr. Evil plans the use of his giant drill to make a big hole into the earth's crust, producing an unstoppable volcano.

Now all we have to do is wait for a funny Chris Farley or Adam Sandler film. Even if only in our dreams.


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Reviews by:
David Perry
1999, Cinema-Scene.com

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