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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 6/2/99

Austin Powers:
International Man of Mystery

1997 (1999) New Line Home Video

review by Todd Doogan, special to The Digital Bits

Enhanced for 16x9 TVs

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Film Ratings: A

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B, A-, A

Specs and Features

90 mins, PG-13, letterboxed widescreen (2.35:1), 16x9 enhanced, full screen (1.33:1), dual-sided, single-layered, Snapper packaging, commentary tracks with star/writer Mike Myers and director Jay Roach, 6 deleted scenes, cast and crew biographies, cameo menu, Music To Shag To animated sequence, theatrical trailers (including hidden Easter Egg trailers), animated film-themed menu screens with music, scene access (24 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1), French (DD 2.0), subtitles: English, French and Spanish

Yeah, baby, yeah! It's time to go back to theaters and visit with that groovy international man of mystery. It's only a matter of days before we can see the newest adventures of Austin Powers, but for those of us who can't get enough of that shagadelic spy, we have the supercool DVD of the original film. It's one smashing DVD special edition.

Okay, fine -- for those who don't know, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is the hilarious adventures of an over-the-top British secret agent (Austin Powers, brilliantly played by comedy whirlwind Mike Myers), who was frozen in the '60s, only to be thawed out to do battle with the nefarious Dr. Evil (also Myers) here in the '90s. The film is peppered with brilliant spoofs of Bond, Matt Helm, Our Man Flynt and a few other scat references to 60s spy flicks. And there are a few new comedic twists, provided by a truly stellar cast. This is an obvious statement at this point, but Austin Powers turned out to be the funniest flick put out in a long while.

But -- you know what? In this high-tech world, not only do we get this fab comedy that is Austin Powers, we also get dual versions of the film (anamorphic widescreen and full frame), and six deleted scenes (including the infamous Hooter's sequence, featuring Rob Lowe's cameo). There's also two different Bond-like endings where Austin and Ms. Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley) mysteriously find themselves in a raft in the middle of the ocean. "My movies always end this way." If you like lost footage, these scenes will make you randy. There's also a very funny, and very educational audio commentary track with Myers and Jay Roach, the director. Mike and Jay discuss comedy theory (the thawing of Austin sequence is a good example of Myers' theories in comedy put to work, and he fully explains them like he's teaching a class). They go through various other stories about the shoot, discuss cut scenes and have a good time.

But fun movies need fun DVDs right? This disc makes everything fun -- yeah, baby! The menu screens are animated with music. It definitely has a unique 60s feel. Behind the screens, you'll find a Q&A game that leads you to Music To Shag By, which hides an add for the soundtrack album, a cameo menu, a Spy Genre Retrospective, the theatrical trailer, and some Easter Egg trailers for Lost in Space, Dangerous Ground, Wide Sargasso Sea, Monkey Trouble, and The Rapture (hidden in the cast and crew bios). It's jam packed, baby.

That's all the good. A bit of bad is, this is an early DVD disc so, even though the widescreen is 16x9 enhanced, it looks not quite as great as it could. The colors are super, and when you see the image blown up, it looks pretty good. But (and there always is one of those) there is some digital noise, especially in the dark areas of the picture. The good thing is, since there is so much color (and wonderful use of it, I might add) you will hardly notice the problems. The Dolby Digital sound on this disc is near perfect though, right down to the commentary track, which is wonderfully done so that Myers comes out of the right channel and Roach comes out the left.

Suffice it to say, the disc is worth any penny you pay for it... even if you have to pay ONE MILLION DOLLARS! Alright, it may not be worth that, but this sorta disc's definitely our bag, baby!

Todd Doogan
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