New Line Home Entertainment
Cast: Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Kristen Johnson, Verne Troyer
Extras: Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Documentary and Trailers, Music Videos, Computer Game and much more
The result is immediate. While Austin is shagging up with Ivana Humpalot (a scantily clad Kristen Johnson from "3rd Rock From The Sun"), he feels he can’t live up to it any more. Shattered by his failure, Austin sets out to find the origin of his sudden weakness, and learns that he has to face Dr. Evil once again. In a great homage to "Back To The Future", he too travels back in time, only to learn that Dr. Evil now has reinforcement. Through genetic experiments he has created Mini-Me (Verne Troyer), an identical clone of himself, only 1/8 his size.
"Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" boasts an incredible cast, including performances and cameos by a large number of well-known and respected actors and actresses. Apart from Mike Myers himself, who appears in a number of parts, especially Rob Lowe makes a lasting impression in his very own Robert Wagner/Number Two impersonation. But it is the entire cast that carries the film along smoothly, creating cool and truly outrageous characters that are fun to watch.
New Line has long been on the leading edge of DVD technology consistently releasing some of the finest looking discs into the market. Given such a new film, the expectations are naturally very high, and once again New Line proves that they know a hell of a lot about producing a great DVD. The video transfer on this disc presents the movie in its original 2.35:1 <$PS,widescreen> aspect ratio in an <$16x9,anamorphic> transfer that is practically picture-perfect. The transfer is absolutely clean without any visible film artifacts. There is literally no noise or grain evident anywhere in the film. Even under the most
The soundtrack is phenomenally transparent and directional. It makes good use of the split surrounds – sometimes for effect purposes, sometimes to create a wider sound stage and sometimes to enhance the film’s ambience. Despite the film’s outrageous and somewhat frantic quality, surprisingly, the surround usage is hardly ever exaggerated however and always mixed in at a rather subtle level. Bass extension is also spectacular, especially during the more furious scenes, where your subwoofers will get to show off their muscles. Being a day & date release, "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" expectedly contains only English subtitles.
The disc contains a <$commentary,commentary track> featuring Mike Myers, director Jay Roach and co-writer Michael McCullers. Although the <$commentary,commentary track> is not as funny as I had expected, it is enlightening throughout. Sharing production anecdotes, thoughts, hinting out special things in the film and talking extensively about their ideas and purposes, the commentary reveals a good number of facts about the movie and is development. Make sure to give it a try.
The disc also contains a good "Behind-the-scenes" documentary that allows the cast to share their thoughts and memories with the viewers. It is very interesting to hear some of them discuss their interest in and stance on the film, and it is exceedingly interesting to see how Mike Myers himself looks at Austin Powers the second time around. Although the documentary does not reveal any groundbreaking things, it is a greatly entertaining roundup.
Three music videos and four trailers, round up the basic package of this disc. Digging a little deeper brings up a "hidden" special features page, dedicated to Dr. Evil, that gives you access to even more hilarious material. New Line has also been actively pursuing DVD-ROM content in the past, and it is hardly surprising that "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" contains a few exciting and entertaining DVD-ROM features. First of all, it contains the complete Austin Powers website, "Groove Central" on the disc, which all by itself offers plenty of things to explore.
But also a trivia computer game is part of the disc’s ROM section. Actually, trivia game is the wrong term for it. For all of you who are familiar with Berkley Systems’ "You Don’t Know Jack" series of games, this is what you get – a riotous Austin Powers version of the game with plenty of questions related to the movie itself, as well as the entire Entertainment industry in general. Make sure to check it out, as this award winning game engine plays like a TV game show with lots of witty commentaries and multi-player capabilities. Given the shagadelic and addictive nature of this one, you will have serious trouble putting it down. A few interactive episodes can be found on the disc as well, that provides fun while your working on your computer, and a continuously updated cast & crew list is also part of the DVD-ROM section. Too bad some of the features are not accessible form Apple Macs, mostly because Apple still has not released a final working programming interface (API) to developers, so don’t blame New Line for this.
Unlike many of the Saturday Night jokes that take cheap potshots at people or events, Austin Powers exhibits a much more sophisticated approach that works on many levels. Ultimately, it’s probably part of its success, and with this stellar DVD, New Line Home Video paves the way for a mighty groovy experience of the movie at home. This disc rocks – or should I say pops…