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Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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If you don't think Austin Powers is one of the funniest movies of the 1990s, maybe you should be packed into a cryogenic time chamber and sent back to the decade whence you came. Perhaps it was the 1960s--the shagadelic decade when London hipster Austin Powers scored with gorgeous chicks as a fashion photographer by day, crime-fighting international man of mystery by night. Yeah, baby, yeah! But when Powers' arch nemesis, Dr Evil, puts himself into a deep-freeze and travels via time machine to the late 1990s, Powers must follow him and foil Evil's nefarious scheme of global domination. Mike Myers plays dual roles as Powers and Dr Evil, with Elizabeth Hurley as his present-day sidekick and karate-kicking paramour. A hilarious spoof of 60s spy movies, this colourful comedy actually gets funnier with successive viewings, making it a perfect home video for gloomy days and randy nights. Oh, behave! -- Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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International Man of Mystery [DVD].
The first in a trilogy (so far!) of comedy films spoofing the espionage craze of the 1960's - specifically the James Bond series. The director has claimed, in past interviews, they were referencing the Derek Flint films starring James Coburn, but I think this is just American pride talking as it's obvious for all to see that it's definitely Bond and, to a lesser extent, Harry Palmer who are the real influence on Austin Powers. It could also be argued that television's Jason King was also being channelled!
The film itself is very funny, especially if you're not offended by what is now considered to be crude, sexist humour which was very prominent during the sixties and early seventies and referenced here - think of television's Benny Hill, On The Buses, Up Pompeii and, at the cinema, the later Carry On films.
Mike Myers excels as the titular hero, Austin "Danger" Powers and also as his nefarious counterpart, Dr. Evil, who happens to resemble - surprise, surprise -
SPECTRE's Ernst Stavro Blofeld!
The film begins in the 1960's where super spy Austin and his partner, Mrs. Kensington (Mimi Rogers looks stunning in her leather catsuit!), track Dr. Evil to a nightclub. However, he evades capture and escapes in a rocket ship, which resembles, of all things, a Big Boy! Upon entering orbit he cryogenically freezes himself and his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth. Austin volunteers to also have himself cryogenically frozen so he can be ready whenever Dr. Evil decides to return to Earth. This occurs in 1997 and the rest of the film's comedy stems from Austin's "fish out of water" experiences attempting to adapt to this altogether less free and hip "brave new world"! He is assisted by the sexually uptight Vanessa Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley) the daughter of his now retired former partner. The plot is based upon the usual Bondian trope of the world being held to ransom, as Dr. Evil threatens armageddon with a stolen nuclear device. Austin and Vanessa have to somehow stop him before he uses the weapon. Much hilarity ensues.
Film ratio is 2.35:1. Audio is DD 5.1. Both are excellent.
Extras include, commentary, a new featurette, interactive quiz, trailer, etc.
As long as you aren't terribly offended by politically incorrect humour, then this is an enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half. If you ARE easily offended, then please feel free to @#&* off! ;-) It's a joke - so lighten up people! The world is dark enough already.
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