AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER (2002)

Directed By: Jay Roach

Written By: Mike Myers & Michael McCullers Cinematography: Peter Deming

Editor: Jon Poll & Greg Hayden

Cast: Mike Myers, Beyoncé, Michael Caine, Seth Green, Michael York, Verne Troyer, Robert Wagner, Fred Savage, Mindy Sterling, Diane Mizota, Carrie Ann Inaba, Nobu Matsuhisa, Nichole Hiltz, Aaron Himelstein, Josh Zuckerman, Tommy Tiny Lister, Jim Piddock, Masi Oka, Clint Howard, Michael McDonald, Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, Steven Spielberg, Quincy Jones, Britney Spears, Burt Bacharach, Donna D’erico, Fred Stoller, Brad Grunberg, Greg Grunberg, Scott Aukerman, Nikki Ziering, Nathan Lane, Katie Couric, Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon Osbourbe, Kelly Osbourne, Jack Osbourne, John Travolta, Rob Lowe

Upon learning that his father has been kidnapped, Austin Powers must travel to 1975 and defeat the aptly named villain Goldmember, who is working with Dr. Evil.


This Is where the franchise jumped the shark. It got too big and popular for it’s Own good Believing it’s Own hype. Not only referencing itself but making fun of itself to be part of laughing with others. Which ends up damaging itself and not as much fun as the previous films.

The opening plays more like an mtv movie awards spoof than a witty or memorable opening. 

It also doesn’t help that mike Myers was taking out his problems over the problems he was having on a film project SPROCKETS with Ron Howard (supposedly) which is why Seth green dons a similar look as Howard towards the end.

The film is filled with stunt casting that makes it feel more like an homage. Having Michael Caine is more of a co-star than Beyoncé as the current love interest. Where it seems she is only in the film more out of popularity. Just as many of the cameos seem there only for their then current popularity and to be in on the jokes. Rather than it being more organically funny. 

It feels constantly like the steam has run out of the premise. As this is more mike Myers seems to make it more of an occasion to make it a show to try out and play more characters almost similar to Eddie Murphy in THE NUTTY PROFESSOR. 

The film just feels like gags and leftover fat from the previous films with tired jokes and bad attempts at pop culture humor. 

This could almost be like one of those spoof films that came out at the end of the year. That made fun of bee trends in all media culture but tried to tie it under one bow like DATE MOVIE or EPIC MOVIE or MEET THE SPARTANS. This franchise started off as an homage and felt original and now has become a spoof itself.

The second film in the franchise was good but while stretching it seemed to go all the way with what still worked. This feels like it was left out of shape and warped working in those perimeters.

If you enjoy mike Myers this film is for you more as a completist. But this feels like him at his most mega maniacal. As the film is just him going through excess

He also believes his own hype. Trying to bring in modern celebrities and have them make more fun of themselves but also show their own clout. As there truly is no reason for them to be here other than to show off. It comes off as begging whoever is popular at the time to guest star in the movie to get more surprises and show a sense of being somewhat timeless, it also truly dates itself, even though it tends to jump through time periods anyway. 

Grade: C-

BABY DRIVER (2017)

Written & Directed By: Edgar Wright 
Cinematography By: Bill Pope 
Editor: Jonathan Amos & Paul Machliss 

Cast: Ansel Egort, Lilly James, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, Jon Bernthal, Sky Ferreira, Paul Williams, Flea, CJ Jones


After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.


I Can’t say enough good things about this movie. Apparently, I drank it’s kool-aid and found it quite refreshing.

The film surprises, Every time Edgar Wright makes a movie it feels like a gift. Usually, it seems as it takes too long to get to us. Though it is always worth it. It gives us a glimpse of his creative imagination and skill. Even with high hopes always seem to underestimate him. The movie is quite a ride. Like a roller coaster that you never want to leave. Perfect for the summer or anytime. The movie has style for days and most of all just plain fun and never in a stupid way.

The film keeps up energy that is Infectious for the audiences. It’s a film that has a fun personality and doesn’t have to do too much to charm.

The film maintains an excitement throughout which the audience feeds off of and feels a similar excitement throughout. Which are a difficult thing to do these days as in blockbusters and films things seem so routine and planned out. That the filmmakers seem to be all over the place. Here it feels like the filmmakers and cast are constantly energized by one another and even if not necessarily personal the film feels like there was a lot of passion going into it.  

It also is nice to see the film allows for homages and references to other films and pop culture. That won’t date the film necessarily but gives it more of a modern in the moment flavor.

Like how he obscures the violence while you feel the impact. Through clever framing and blocking. There are three-way chase sequences. Where the criminals are running from the cops then not trusting one another start running away from one another and trying to catch each other realizing the other has what they need

The film includes bad guys choosing to be humane, Good guys choosing to be bad. Action sequences that don’t rely so much on fighting hand to hand combat or toughness but agility and having peace of mind to figure your way out.

The film includes a love story that keeps it’s purity because the romance is never really consummated. So that it keeps an innocence but feels kind of melodramatic like a teen film from the 1950s with dreams of hitting the open road together. Maybe as the romance is so simple, sweet, and easy. Really built off of. Itching but attraction and politeness. That it feels like first love and making a connection. Something that at first is never complicated or at least it doesn’t seem that way. Though through the actions of the films proves that each of them truly rides or die for one another.

Like a comic book come to life. It knows what type of film it is and as long as you keep that in mind you should enjoy it. As it incorporates many little left turns of genre specifics into it’s crime and love story. It feels like a candy-sweet and filled with sugar that energizes you. As well as being that colorful. It Manages to keep an innocence and wonder, That keeps you caring.

The film manages to be thrilling and menacing in the right moments. So that you are on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen. So much effortless style that you can feel it but don’t realize how remarkable it is until later on thinking back about it and, you will trust me.

The movie lacks a certain depth and sustenance, but that is truly one of it’s few weaknesses overall. Which aren’t necessarily needed in this equation.

The lead played by Ansel Egort is kind of bland, but he needs to be as usually the main characters in these types of films are the strong silent type where you can easily read whatever you want into them. Here we are given more of his backstory, but the role seems to more take advantage of Ansel Egort physically as he is skinny and limber with a bay face. That is easy to mold him into whatever you need out of a leading man.

One of the reasons for the enjoyment of the film is the supporting characters who liven up the film and add flavor where the lead does not and really can’t as his character is pretty plain and simple. He is mostly driven towards newfound goals. Though there is a reason why Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx are in the movie. Whereas at first they just seem to be there to be named on the posters and big names who do nothing, but as the film goes along we see why they are in the film and are more than the unassuming roles we bought at first. They each get to reveal more about them than we originally thought. Not necessarily surprises but they liven up the film. To be more than just cops and robbers.

The big-name supporting stars are a revelation as at first they seem just there to be part of the background then they come out and show what they are truly all about. I mean this is a film where you have two Best Actor Oscar winners playing supporting roles. So there must be something about the script and film that got them to sign on in a diminished capacity (Yes I know they both were in the disappointing HORRIBLE BOSSES too. though I will think of that as more paycheck roles. Not so much here)

Jamie Foxx is memorable as an over the edge criminal who is antagonistic as he trusts no one. It seems with each crew baby works with there is one. Who more or less helps with the exposition.

Jon Hamm, seems a simple happy go, lucky thug, who comes out late in the film letting his inner psychopath out in search of revenge and retribution. He also has a certain bad boy handsome here. That makes him more a dangerous lady killer than just the usual leading man

Eiza Gonzalez is more the sexy wildfire who is both sexy and deadly but carries a kind of a mystery to her and proves to be more than what she looks like or what you would expect. though not featured too much she is a. Ice price of eye candy to go with the visuals.

Even Kevin Spacey is off the charts as the mastermind. Here he is more. Noteworthy for his middle-class menace where he can compliment and threaten in one sentence but you know he is never lying. We are used to him being the smartest person in the room and acting like he is above everyone else, but the last act moment truly shines his character in a different light. His upper-crust was doesn’t seem out of place. Nor does it distract or obstruct the flow of his character or the movie. If anything it helps feed it.

What is fun is that the villains or at least the threats to our young protagonist keep changing hands. As to who he has to be afraid of or see as a major threat and maybe overcome.

Now know this film is candy-colored and visceral with it’s excitement and shots. In the texture of course it never becomes as serious or as accomplished as films like DRIVE, THE DRIVER, and BULLIT. Though it does align itself as more of a lighter-toned chase film. It does have it’s own personality and identity. Though you would also check out those films to see where Edgar Wright might have gotten his inspiration. He even gives DRIVER director Walter Hill a cameo in the film. (Among other blink and you miss them cameos from Rappers Big Boi and Killer Mike)

Edgar Wright timed the character’s movements to the beat of the film’s songs. Even in the film’s credit sequence which is done all in one continuous tracking shot and take.

The film comes off as a nice movie that offers more of a lite touch. Though with humor and adrenaline-filled action scenes. That hardcore movie fans can enjoy for it’s more technical aspects and general audience members can enjoy as a fun action film. That is many things at once. As it pays homage to many films and genres which will seem familiar for many but new for some. One of them is a Teenage 1950’s film with diners and car racing and a love story in the middle with plans of running away together.

The soundtrack is the heartbeat for the film and the characters bot only the lead using it to fuel himself up. But also keeps the film moving. Along and on best and keeping the audience energized and going with it. Filling us with excitement and energy as well as adding some songs to our repertoire or recalling ones we think we know. As the cuts here are mostly deep ones

The film is wall to wall with music on it’s soundtrack that partially powers or motivates the protagonist due to a disability but also livens up the scenes making it feel like most of us have always wanted a soundtrack to go with our lives and actions. Sometimes with a popular song but mostly with something a little less unknown and obscure but fits the mood.

The film shows us this early in an inventive credit sequence and also in introducing us to the characters and situation in the opening scene. That allows for action but also alerts us to the character’s youth and sense of play in a tight situation. Which gives us a remembrance of the possibilities of youth? When you might never have known better about the dangers and situations you were facing. Even if you knew they were serious.

The film is lighter in touch than some more harder action movies which is part of the charm and broader appeal. 

For some they might find it too lighthearted or not enough substance and a general lack of action or even gunplay which might take them out of the film or find the film feeling like it is trying to hard to be cool. 

While it is a great film. It is also a film I can see younger people loving as it moves fast and really barely has anything offensive. Anything that does is on the edges and more due to language. So this is one of those movies I believe most ages can enjoy for the most part.

Another thing to admire about the film is that in these days of films filled with special effects for the smallest things. The director revealed that there was no CGI or green screen used to film the car chase sequences. The driving is all practically done.

It’s nice to see a film that is smaller budgeted and put out by a studio that is as exciting and fulfilling as the bigger budget blockbusters

Grade: A-

THE REF (1994)

theref

 

Directed By: Ted Demme
Story By: Marie Weiss
Written By: Richard LaGravenese & Marie Weiss
Cinematography By: Adam Kimmel
Editor: Jeffery Wolf

Cast: Denis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey, Christine Baranski, Glynis Johns, B.D. Wong, Raymond J. Barry, J.K. Simmons, Vincent Pastore

an unfortunate cat burglar, who is abandonded by his partner in the middle of a heist, and is forced to take an irritating Connecticut couple hostage. He soon finds that he took more than he bargained for when the couple’s blackmailing son and despicable in-laws step into the picture. Before long they’re driving him nuts with their petty bickering and family problems. The only way for him to survive is to be their referee and resolve their differences, before he can be nabbed by the police.

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HORRIBLE BOSSES (2011)

horriblebosses

Directed By: Seth Gordon
Written By: Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein
Story By: Michael Markowitz
Cinematography: David Hennings
Editor: Peter Teschner 


Cast: Charlie Day, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudekis, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Lindsay Sloane, Meghan Markle, Donald Sutherland, Julie Bowen, John Francis Daley, Wendell Pierce, Ron White, Bob Newhart 

Three friends conspire to murder their awful bosses when they realize they are standing in the way of their happiness.

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