XenForo Template Austin Powers Collection Release Date: Available now (original release date December 2, 2008) Studio: New Line Cinema MSRP: $74.98 The "Austin Powers Collection" on Blu-Ray includes the three movies from the popular franchise along with the majority of the extras from the DVD releases. While the collection is ideal for fans of all three films, separate releases would have been preferable for those only interested in the first film. As far as technical merits, the "...International Man of Mystery" has the best image with very good color, detail and clarity. "...Goldmember" on the other hand has a noticeably over-processed, granular quality. Audio is generally the same from film to film, exhibiting an increase in surround and LFE activity relative to the increase in the films' production budgets. Overall Score (not averaged): 4/5 The Feature Films: 3.5/5 Video Quality: 4/5 Audio Quality: 4/5 Special Features: 4/5 Continue reading for details on each title in the collection. Austin Powers International Man of Mystery Year: 1997 Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 1h29m MAIN FEATURESPECIAL FEATURESVideo1080p high definition 16x9 2.40:1May be in standard definitionAudioDolby TrueHD: English 5.1, Dolby Digital: English 5.1Audio standards may varySubtitlesEnglishNone The Feature: 4/5 The nefarious Dr. Evil - destroyer of all things groovy - is back and there's only one man who can stop him - Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery. The swingin' Brit spy from the '60s (played by Mike Myers) got put on ice to be revived upon his arch-nemesis's inevitable return. Thirty years later that day has come, but Austin has a lot of catching up to do. Dental hygiene is more important now, free love got slapped with a price tag, and the rules of the spy game have gone through a major re-write. But Powers is nothing if not a quick study and with the help of the lovely Agent Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley), it won't be long before he's got both his spyin' and swingin' mojo firing on all cylinders. When Mike Myers thrust Austin Powers upon the public over 10 years ago, some wondered why a character like him hadn't come sooner. After all, the '60s had been a go-to decade for mockery for some time already, right alongside the disco fever-filled '70s. But what set "Austin Powers" apart was not so much that it made fun of the '60s but that it also showed a genuine love and nostalgia for the era. Yes, its fashions were often ridiculous and some of its lifestyles ultimately life threatening, but there was a certain innocence and naiveté in its liberalism that got squashed in the subsequent, more cynical decades. Its ultimately that purity of heart - embodied by the foolish but endearing Austin - that comes through and it's ultimately what made audiences embrace the film and its singular sense of humor. Though its sequels suffered from the typical bloat and excess, there's no doubt that Austin Powers remains one of the more unique comedic characters to have been created in the last decade. Video Quality: 4.5/5 Encoded in VC-1, the film is correctly framed at 2.40:1 and free of edge halos and blemishes. Grain structure is nicely preserved with no obvious signs of noise reduction. Fine object detail and sharpness are generally very good, though wide shots can show a slight drop in detail compared to close ups. Black levels and contrast are also very good and colors have great depth and saturation, particularly during the hilarious credit sequence. Audio Quality: 3.5/5 The Dolby TrueHD track is nicely detailed with some decent wraparound moments, mostly due to some none-too-subtle music cues. Things get more active with directional effects and pans in the finale but they're not always seamless either. LFE is practically non-existent, though there's a decent depth and fullness to the audio overall. Dialogue is consistently clear and intelligible. The 640 kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 option sounds pretty rough in comparison, making the lossles track preferable as the listening option. Special Features: 2.5/5 The majority of the extras from the DVD release have been carried over. Video is in standard definition. Commentary by Mike Myers and Director Jay Roach: Myers and Roach turn in an entertaining track with the requisite blend of production anecdotes and technical details. Deleted Scenes (6m25s) Five scenes that deserved to be removed. Alternate Endings (4m58s): Two versions of the ending that deserved to be replaced. Theatrical Trailer (2m21s): Anamorphic video and stereo audio. Title Recap The Feature: 4/5 Video Quality: 4.5/5 Audio Quality: 3.5/5 Special Features: 2.5/5 Overall Score (not an average): 4/5 The entertaining first installment of the Austin Powers franchise gets excellent video treatment, a good lossless audio presentation and a respectable set of extras. Austin Powers The Spy Who Shagged Me Year: 1999 Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 1h35m MAIN FEATURESPECIAL FEATURESVideo1080p high definition 16x9 2.40:1May be in standard definitionAudioDolby TrueHD: English 5.1, Dolby Digital: English 5.1, Spanish 2.0, Portuguese 2.0Audio standards may varySubtitlesSpanish and PortugueseSpanish and Portuguese The Feature: 2/5 Dr. Evil has returned (again) and set his sights on the one thing that has foiled his every attempt at world domination - Austin Powers's mojo. Traveling back in time with his 1/8-sized clone, Mini-Me, Dr. Evil successfully strips Austin of his "je ne sais quoi" and then trains a giant laser on Washington, D.C. But Austin is hot on Evil's temporal trail and, with the help of CIA Agent Felicity Shagwell (Heather Graham), will do whatever it takes to stop him, mojo or no mojo. Something did indeed get lost in the perfunctory sequel to "...International Man of Mystery." Replacing much of the cleverness - and dare I say - sophistication of the first film are easily dated pop culture references and gross-out, scatalogical jokes. The film's pacing is also a problem, amounting to little more than a string of dry set pieces. The movie does have its laughs - mostly around the Fat Bastard character (when he's not doing his business) - but after the humorous charm of the first film, "...The Spy Who Shagged Me" can't be seen as anything except a crude disappointment. Video Quality: 4/5 Encoded in VC-1, the film is correctly framed at 2.40:1 and free of edge halos and blemishes. Grain structure looks preserved with no obvious signs of noise reduction, but fine object detail and overall sharpness appear diminished compared to the first film. Contrast also seems a bit flat, though black levels are deep and stable and colors continue to have very good depth and pop. Audio Quality: 4/5 The Dolby TrueHD track shows increased activity in the array from the start with whizzing bullet and ricochet effects, though in general the mix seems more consistently enveloping. There's also more LFE than the first film and generally there's good fullness and depth in the lower frequencies. Dialogue is consistently clear and intelligible. The 640 kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 option sounds less detailed and expansive in comparison, but most would have hard time differentiating the two tracks without some aggressive A-B switching. Special Features: 3.5/5 Commentary by Actor/Co-Writer Mike Myers, Director Jay Roach and Co-Writer Michael McCullers: The trio turn in an engaging track with the requisite blend of jokes, production anecdotes and technical details. Comedy Central's "The Dr. Evil Story" (20m10s): The "Biography"-style fake documentary details Dr. Evil's rise to...evil. Behind the Scenes of "Austin Powers The Spy Who Shagged Me" (26m18s): The featurette covers plot, costumes and characters in typical electronic press kit fashion. Deleted Scenes (18m59s) Twenty-one scenes that mostly deserved to be removed, though the montage of outtakes is pretty entertaining. Anamorphic video with stereo audio. Music Videos (14m44s): Includes Madonna's "Beautiful Stranger," Lenny Kravitz's "American Woman," Mel B's "Word Up" and Dr. Evil and Mini-Me's "Just the Two of Us." Trailers (4m52s): Two teaser trailers and the theatrical trailer. Title Recap The Feature: 2/5 Video Quality: 4/5 Audio Quality: 4/5 Special Features: 3.5/5 Overall Score (not an average): 3/5 The disappointing second installment of the Austin Powers franchise gets good audio and video treatment and another decent set of extras. Austin Powers Goldmember Year: 2002 Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 1h34m MAIN FEATURESPECIAL FEATURESVideo1080p high definition 16x9 2.40:1May be in standard definitionAudioDolby TrueHD: English 5.1, Dolby Digital: English 5.1, Spanish 2.0Audio standards may varySubtitlesEnglish and Spanish (movie and select bonus material) The Feature: 3/5 Austin's father, Nigel (Michael Caine), has been kidnapped back to 1975 by Goldmember, a freaky, disco-loving Dutch ally of Dr. Evil's. Traveling back in time, Austin manages to find his father, but not before Goldmember kidnaps him again, taking him back to 2002. With FBI agent Foxxy Cleopatra (Beyonce Knowles) in tow, Austin tracks down both Goldmember and Dr. Evil to find them hatching another plot to extort the world of billions of dollars. But this time Dr. Evil may actually be the one with a conscience. "...Goldmember" continues on the same path as the previous film, with more gross-out sight gags, pop culture references, and knowing winks to the audience. Being a few years more recent than the second movie, it doesn't feel quite as dated, but it's only inevitable. Still, the pacing of this final installment is improved, making it a slightly more enjoyable experience overall. Video Quality: 3.5/5 Encoded in VC-1, the film is correctly framed at 2.40:1 and free of edge halos and blemishes. Of the three films "...Goldmember" looks the most processed with a granular quality that seems like a strange trade for normal film grain. Contrast looks a touch washed out and though colors have decent depth, one can't help but wonder if they could have been better. Overall sharpness varies, with a noticeable drop in detail in many wide shots. Audio Quality: 4/5 The Dolby TrueHD track has similar qualities as the previous film, with healthy but judicious use of LFE and a generally enveloping soundfield. Dialogue is consistently clear and intelligible. The 640 kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 option sounds less detailed and nuanced, but most would have hard time differentiating between the two tracks without some aggressive A-B switching. Special Features: 4.5/5 The special features package carries over the pieces from the 2001 "Infinifilm" DVD release. It appears that all the video is in 1080p, but the only items that look the part are the music videos, trailers and deleted scenes. Focus Points: For those who don't mind taking diversions during their viewing, the branching feature makes accessible the special features videos at select points during the film. This is the Infinifilm feature under a different name. Commentary by Director Jay Roach and Actor/Writer Mike Myers: The pair turn in another engaging track with the requisite blend of jokes, production anecdotes and technical details. Fact Track: Subtitle feature provides a mix of relevant and random trivia. "MI-6: International Man of Mystery" (4m20s): A brief history of Britain's secret service agency and the notion of the "gentleman spy." "English, English" (2m27s): The ins and outs of cockney rhyming slang. "Disco Fever" (4m18s): A look at the film's '70s-flavored music and fashions. "Fashion vs. Fiction" (1m57s): Costumes, hair and makeup. "Jay Roach and Mike Myers: Creative Convergence" (6m13s): The cast and crew talk about working with Myers and Roach and describe the varying challenges of the production. "Confidence of Characters" (15m22s): The development of the film's major characters including Goldmember, Foxxy Cleopatra, Nigel Powers, and Young Powers and Evil. "Opening Stunts" (2m13s): A peek behind-the-scenes of the opening stunt sequence. "The Cars of Austin Powers" (2m13s): Designing and selecting the cars for the film. "Anatomy of Three Scenes" (10m59s): Behind the scenes of the opening musical number, the roller disco scene and the Fat Bastard sumo battle, with commentary by Roach. Visual Effects (3m56): Visual Effects Supervisor Dave Johnson gives a quick tour of the film's various special effects. Deleted Scenes (18m36s) Fifteen scenes that mostly deserved to be removed, with optional commentary by Roach. Music Videos: Included are Beyoncés "Work It Out" (3m53s), Britney Spears's "Boys" (3m42s), Ming Tea's "Daddy Wasn't There" (3m16s), and Dr. Evil and Mini-Me's "Hard Knock Life" (2m10s). Trailers (6m58s): Four teaser trailers and the theatrical trailer. Title Recap The Feature: 3/5 Video Quality: 3.5/5 Audio Quality: 4/5 Special Features: 4.5/5 Overall Score (not an average): 3.5/5 An improved third film gets a very good audio presentation, a diminished video transfer and significantly increased set of special features.