Austin Powers in Goldmember appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though the newest of the three films, Goldmember offered the weakest visuals.
Sharpness was usually fine, but inconsistencies occurred. Wider shots tended to seem a bit on the soft side, factors abetted by mild edge haloes and some use of digital noise reduction.
Still, overall delineation seemed mostly positive, and I noticed no signs of jagged edges or shimmering. Print flaws stayed minor, which meant a couple of small specks but nothing notable.
With a broad palette, colors occasionally became a real strength. However, the hues lacked the expected pizzazz on a consistent basis, so the tones sometimes felt a little less dynamic than anticipated.
Blacks looked fairly dark and dense, while shadows appeared acceptable. Some low-light shots came across as a little thick, but not to an extreme. Overall, the image was satisfactory but not exceptional.
As for the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Goldmember, it lacked the flair and flash that I'd expect from a big budget spectacular but it worked acceptably well. For the most part, the audio image remained biased toward the front channels.
When it appeared, rear usage seemed pretty good, especially during the movie’s action sequences. However, those occasions occurred fairly infrequently. Still, the stereo imaging appeared positive, and the overall auditory impression remained reasonably broad and lively.
Audio quality was fine, albeit a little subdued. The mix used a somewhat low volume level that meant the theatrics lacked great punch.
Nonetheless, the quality was largely fine. Dialogue seemed natural and crisp, with no issues related to edginess or intelligibility.
Effects came across as realistic and clear, and they presented decent low-end material when appropriate, mainly via explosions and big sounds like that.
Music sounded reasonably full-bodied and vibrant and also displayed reasonable bass. Ultimately, the track appeared pretty good but it didn’t present a stellar mix.
How did the picture and audio of this Blu-ray compare to those of the original DVD? Audio seemed a bit more dynamic, while visuals came across as more accurate and clear. Though not a great presentation, the Blu-ray improved upon the DVD.
We get the DVD’s extras and some new material as well. MI-6: International Men of Mystery provides a four-minute, 20-second featurette about the British spy organization.
We see shots from the Austin Powers movies, behind the scenes images from the Goldmember set, and interviews with director Jay Roach, actor Michael York, and author Ernest Volkman.
This short piece chats about MI-6, its agents, and inspirations for Powers. The show offers a moderately interesting little look at the topic, but it’s too brief to be anything particularly useful.
For a short view of Cockney rhyming slang, check out English, English. The two-minute, 27-second clip features comments from actors Mike Myers, Michael Caine, and Michael York. Myers’ remarks prove especially useful as he reminisces about his father’s use of the slang and the ways it embarrassed him as a kid.
To learn a little more about the music of Goldmember, take a look at Disco Fever. This four-minute, 18-second featurette offers notes from music executive Danny Bramson, actor Mike Myers, music supervisor John Houlihan, costume designer Deena Appel. They discuss disco music and fashions and how they influenced the movie during this modestly useful program.
The last show briefly touches on it, but Fashion Vs. Fiction gives a little more depth about the film’s outfits. We see lots of early sketches and hear from Mike Myers, Deena Appel, department head hairstylist Candy L. Walken, and production designer Rusty Smith in this one-minute, 57-second piece. Despite the extreme brevity of the program, it covers the topic surprisingly well and conveys a lot of good information about the subject.
We also get a Fact Track. This text commentary uses the subtitle area as it provides small factoids that appeared throughout the flick.
It covers subjects such as alternate ideas for the film, facts about the actors and others, and facts about issues related to the flick. For example, we learn about subjects such as sumo wrestling and talent agencies.
The material usually seems fairly interesting, but the factoids don’t pop up very frequently. I doubt many people will want to try to attend to the film itself and read the fact track at the same time, as it could become distracting.
On the other hand, if you check out the movie just to examine the subtitles, you’ll feel irritated by the infrequent use of the feature. I like the concept, and the “Fact Track” includes some good material, but the presentation doesn’t work especially well.
Next comes an audio commentary from Jay Roach and Mike Myers, both of whom sit together for this running, screen-specific piece. The two also offered commentaries for the first two Powers movies, and this one seems pretty similar to those.
Actually, it probably provides the best of the bunch, mainly because Myers feels more comfortable here. He tosses out some funny material – such as an impression of George C. Scott as Patton interpreted through Dr. Evil – and keeps things light and lively.
The track covers a nice mix of influences for the film as well as technical issues and anecdotes, and it gives us a good selection of subjects. A few too many empty spaces occur, and Roach too frequently falls into excessive praise mode, but this nonetheless feels like an entertaining and useful commentary.
The Deleted Scenes domain includes 14 excised segments plus an “Outtake Montage”. The clips run a total of 22 minutes and 32 seconds of footage. The scenes offer a fair amount of amusing material.
Some of them fall flat, but many of them provide good stuff that definitely merits a look. Even the outtakes come across as abnormally entertaining.
One can watch the deleted scenes with or without commentary from director Jay Roach. He offers information about each of the clips and also usually relates why he dropped the segments. Occasionally he fails to convey that information, but Roach normally divulges why he cut the pieces, and the track gives us some good facts for the most part.
Jay Roach and Mike Myers: Creative Convergence gives us a six-minute, 13-second featurette that tells us more about the main pair behind the Powers flicks. We hear from Roach, Myers, actors Verne Troyer, Michael York, Michael Caine, Beyoncé Knowles, Seth Green, and Mindy Sterling, makeup designer Michele Burke, production designer Rusty Smith, choreographer Marguerite Derricks, and editors Greg Hayden and Jon Poll.
Parts of the piece just inform us how wonderful Myers and Roach are, but we also get some nice notes about the challenges of Myers playing so many different characters. We also learn a little about the collaboration among the filmmakers, and “Convergence” seems like a generally watchable program.
Confluence of Characters contributes short programs about Goldmember (3:59), Foxxy Cleopatra (4:19), Nigel Powers (2:07), and Masters Powers and Evil (4:56). These run a total of 15 minutes, 22 seconds and offer shots from the set as well as remarks from Roach, Myers, actors Michael York, Michael Caine, Beyoncé Knowles, Josh Zuckerman, Aaron Himelstein, costume designer Deena Appel, makeup designer Michele Burke, department head hairstylist Candy L. Walken, producer John Lyons, and choreographer Marguerite Derricks.
The “Foxxy” section doesn’t provide much useful information – it mostly tells us what a natural Knowles is – but the other three segments offer some fun material.
We get information about the background of the characters and the actors and also see some great behind the scenes shots, especially for the bits about the young versions of Evil and Austin.
We get an examination of Goldmember’s slam-bang starter scene with the Opening Stunts featurette. A combination of shots from the set and interviews, we hear from stunt coordinator Jack Gill, stuntman Andy Gill, stunt motorcyclist Donna Evans, and skydiver stuntment Eli Thompson. The brief two-minute, 14-second featurette loosely touches on the stunts but it doesn’t offer much depth.
Another short piece, The Cars of Austin Powers also runs two minutes, 13 seconds, but it packs a little more information than “Stunts”. We see behind the scenes material and hear from picture car coordinator Josh Hancock and production designer Rusty Smith. Again, the information doesn’t delve too deeply, but we get a few nice facts about the different vehicles seen in Goldmember.
Anatomy of Three Scenes examines “Dancing at the Gates” (4:49), “Roller Disco” (2:10), and “Sumo Battle” (4:00) for a total of 10 minutes, 59 seconds of clips. Each of these combines footage from the set with commentary from the filmmakers. We hear from Roach mostly, but we also get some notes from choreographer Marguerite Derricks.
The remarks from the participants add some nice information, but the behind the scenes shots seem like the real gold here, as they give us some really cool material such as improvs from Myers.
In the Visual Effects area, we get an “Introduction” that runs three minutes, 26 seconds as visual effects supervisor Dave Johnson gives us an overview of the work done for Goldmember. He runs through a number of effects shots in this quick but useful discussion.
The Music Videos section gives us four different numbers. Beyoncé tries to channel Tina Turner (visually) and Aretha Franklin (vocally) for “Work It Out”. The video offers the standard combination of lip-synching and movie clips. Britney Spears’ “Boys” seems more successful: no film snippets, and it actually incorporates unique shots of Myers as Austin.
Ming Tea’s “Daddy Wasn’t There” mostly comes from the movie. It shows the song performance in the flick along with some additional Goldmember bits.
It offers a full version of the tune, though, which makes it more useful. Dr. Evil and Mini-Me’s “Hard Knock Life” also presents an alternate version of what we see in the finished film.
Within the trailers domain, we find five ads. We get four different teasers as well as one theatrical trailer. The first teaser is the best of the bunch, as it presents a ton of unique footage created just for the promo.
A running feature new to the Blu-ray, Focus Points presents short clips that pop up during the film. In these, we see various forms of footage along with comments from Roach, Volkman, Hancock, Bramson, Smith, Appel, Walken, Lyons, Derricks. Poll, Hayden, visual effects supervisor Dave Johnson, stunt coordinator Jack Gill, choreographer Marguerite Derricks, prosthetics artist Gary Archer, music supervisor Josh Houlihan, stuntpeople Andy Gill, Eli Thompson, Donna Evans, and actors Verne Troyer, Michael York, Mike Myers, Michael Caine, Mindy Sterling, Beyonce Knowles, Seth Green, Josh Zuckerman, and Aaron Himelstein.
The movie diverges to clips a whopping 78 times, with segments that run from a minimum of 17 seconds to a maximum of three minutes, 53 seconds. Only 25 of them run more than a minute, though, so the vast majority average around 30 to 40 seconds.
That makes them an awkward intrusion, as they appear so frequently that it becomes impossible to enjoy the movie with the “Focus Points” activated. Many of them appear elsewhere as well, so expect some redundant information and other repeated clips like deleted scenes and music videos.
Fans of the film may want to wade through all these snippets, but I’d prefer that the disc present them outside of the movie’s running time. There’s enough here to entertain, but the format becomes an issue.
Not as good as the first but much better than the second, Austin Powers In Goldmember doesn’t offer a comedy classic, but it provides enough humor to merit a look. Though the movie wallows in a little too much excrement – literally – it enjoys some good performances and quite a few solid moments. The Blu-ray presents adequate picture and sound along with a nice roster of extras. The movie could use a remastered Blu-ray, but it’s still a fun flick with mostly good reproduction.
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