I Love Gold!

Austin Powers in Goldmember is the golden finale to the unexpected hit trilogy. Dr. Evil’s newest plan takes him back in time to the year 1975. With the help of the titular villain’s cold fusion technology, he launches “Preparation H.” Mike Myers does quadruple duty by playing Dutch villain Goldmember (an obvious parody of Bond villain Goldfinger). He’s the least notable character Myers plays due to his disgusting habits, but he does have his moments. Fat Bastard gets grosser too after becoming a sumo wrestler. Austin goes after Dr. Evil, only to reunite with FBI agent Foxy Cleopatra. Played by a sexy young Beyoncé. Her character is a hilarious send up of Blaxploitation characters such as Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones. A lot of the plot involves Austin’s father Nigel Powers (played by Michael Caine), who gets kidnapped by Dr. Evil. Their funniest moment involves the two speaking English English. Through the course of the movie, a shocking family secret is discovered. Mini-Me also choses to side with Austin. Meanwhile, Scott gets more villainous. Despite good jokes like the misread Japanese subtitles or mole with a mole, a lot of the gags are repeated. Including the mistaken silhouette and sexually shaped spacecraft. Probably the funniest new gag is a film within a film titled Austinpussy. Starring Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow, Danny Devito, Kevin Spacey, and John Travolta. Austin Powers in Goldmember is more immature, but it’s a whole lotta movie to just ignore.

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Austin Powers and Foxy in Dr. Evil’s lair

Preceded by: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

I Shall Call Him Mini-Me

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is arguably the most memorable film in the trilogy. Since it’s the one that introduces iconic characters Mini-Me and Fat Bastard. It’s also notable for making the British slang term less vulgar. After the events of the last movie, Vanessa is discovered to be a fembot. Austin quickly gets over it and celebrates being single once again (much like how Bond girls are quickly forgotten). After appearing on Jerry Springer with Scott, Dr. Evil hatches a new plan involving a laser on the moon. The plan takes Dr. Evil back in time to the year 1969. Where a younger Number 2 and unaged Frau Farbissina greet him. But first, Dr. Evil hires a henchman to steal Austin Powers’ mojo. Mike Myers does triple duty by playing Scottish henchman Fat Bastard. He’s morbidly obese and famously says the line “Get in my belly!” Austin travels back in time to stop Dr. Evil after failing to satisfy Ivana Humpalot. Austin teams up with 60’s CIA agent Felicity Shagwell. Played by the gorgeous Heather Graham. While on their mission, the two encounter unkillable assassin Robin Swallows and the easily irritated Mustafa. However, no villain stands out more than Mini-Me. Dr. Evil’s clone played by late little person Verne Troyer. He’s silent, but full of fury. While some jokes have definitely gotten more gross-out, it nevertheless takes advantage of the hilarious characters they created. Its funniest gags include “zip-it” (instead of shush), the mistaken silhouette scene, and the rocket that looks like someone’s- Willie Nelson and many other celebrities make funny cameos as well. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is one groovy baby… baby.

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Austin Powers and Felicity take aim

Preceded by: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery & Followed by: Austin Powers in Goldmember

Yeah, Baby!

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is the James Bond parody we deserve. Growing up, it was practically impossible to escape Austin Powers. It was so quotable that I knew lines from the movie long before I saw any of them. The movie begins in the 60’s. Austin Powers is an exaggerated British spy with bad teeth and colorful suits. After a fight with his archenemy Dr. Evil, both are cryogenically frozen until the year 1997. Austin Powers is one of a few parody films that’s both hilarious and sincere. Austin’s horned up swinger attitude is lost on the modern sensibilities of his partner Vanessa Kensington. Played by British babe Elizabeth Hurley. Their best gag involves obscured nudity. Mike Myers is satirizing past Bond actors, but he does make the role his own. With catchphrases like “Oh behave,” “Yeah, baby,” or “Judo chop.” Myers does double duty by playing Dr. Evil, in a hilarious performance that very nearly outshines the hero. He’s an obvious parody of Blofeld with a hairless cat named Mr. Bigglesworth. His plan is to steal nuclear weapons, hold the world ransom for “one million dollars,” and use sexy fembots to kill Austin Powers. The only problem is he’s surrounded by frickin’ idiots that can’t even get sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads. Like Number 2, Frau Farbissina, and Mustafa (who can’t seem to die). His Oddjob-like henchman is the shoe throwing Random Task. Seth Green also stands out as Dr. Evil’s grungy son Scott whom he takes to father-son counseling. Other Bond parodies include much more obvious names like Alotta Fagina or multiple one-liner attempts. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is a very shagadelic riff on the spy genre.

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Austin Powers and Vanessa at the poker table

Followed by: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Too Much for One James Bond

Casino Royale (1967) is the first unofficial James Bond film. Despite retaining the title of the 1st book written by Ian Fleming. All but two Bond films are distributed by Eon Productions. Casino Royale (1967) was intended to be a parody/satire of the spy franchise. Even though only four films were released (with the fifth released 2 months later). The biggest problem with the movie is the sheer lack of material to work with. The theme “The Look of Love” by Dusty Springfield is surprisingly good though. David Niven portrays Sir James Bond. As does Peter Sellars, Ursula Andress, Joanna Pettet, Daliah Lavi, Barbara Bouchet, Terence Cooper, and many many more. Because for some reason, everyone goes by the code name “James Bond” (almost like they predicted the future of the franchise). The real James Bond is retired, but comes out of it to fight SMERSH. He also has a daughter named Mata Bond and a nervous nephew named Jimmy Bond. With a plot to make himself more attractive to women. Played by a much less funny Woody Allen. In fact, just about nothing in Casino Royale (1967) is funny. Despite the all-star ensemble. It can’t seem to decide between satire and screwball comedy. Moneypenny and M still appear. Along with book characters Vesper Lynd and Le Chiffre. Played by original Bond girl Ursula Andress and the great Orson Welles respectively. The climax is just ridiculous. Involving cowboys, indians, animals, and everyone dying. Casino Royale (1967) is simply a weak parody movie that came out way too soon.

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The James Bonds play poker against Le Chiffre

Hello Oscar

Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult is the thirty-third installment in the Naked Gun series. The 30 other sequels aren’t worth talking about. In comparison to the previous two movies, Naked Gun 33⅓ doesn’t get brought up all that often (I almost considered skipping it). Even though it has a few set pieces that make it stand out. Specifically a prison and the Academy Awards. Leslie Nielsen returns for the third and final insult as Lt. Frank Drebin. Who is now married to his love interest Jane. Although Anna Nicole Smith is given a bit more attention. This is also notably O.J. Simpson’s last acting role before you-know-what happened. Frank comes out of retirement to stop a plot to blow up the Oscars. Leading to far more celebrity cameos than before, like the great Weird Al Yankovic. They continue to parody more pop cultural stuff as well. One of my main criticisms is the sequels reliance on raunchier jokes. Some that are a bit more eye roll inducing than others. Not to say it isn’t just as funny as before. Joking about the Oscars is a clever idea since there’s a lot to make fun of. Naked Gun 33⅓ is a worthy end to this delightfully screwball parody trilogy.

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Frank presents an award with Raquel Welch

Preceded by: The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear

Bad Cops, Bad Cops

The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear is the oddly titled sequel to The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! Since the first movie was such a success, it only made sense that they’d do another one. Even though most comedy sequels don’t perform as well as the original. While some people have called The Naked Gun 2½ better than the original, it’s hard to say that it is. The Naked Gun 2½ now focuses on a plot to gain control of the nation’s energy. They even work in a parody of President George H. W. Bush. They do put a humorous spin on the idea, but the subject of fossil fuels is still pretty boring even in a comedy. At the same time Lt. Frank Drebin is reunited with his love interest from the first movie played by Priscilla Presley. Leslie Nielsen is at his usual comedic best and O.J. Simpson’s role is still awkward. Unlike the original though, The Naked Gun 2½ works in a lot more pop culture parodies. Like the pottery scene from Ghost, Zsa Zsa Gabor’s arrest, the North by Northwest sex innuendo, or the moon from E.T. There are some good original jokes like the dinner scene, but overall the delivery seems a bit off. More than likely you’ll enjoy The Naked Gun 2½ either twice or half as much.

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Frank enjoys a lobster

Preceded by: The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! & Followed by: Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult

Freshly Squeezed O.J.

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! cemented Leslie Nielsen’s status as the king of parody movies. Since he did nothing but comedy/parody roles after the movie came out. His deadpan sincerity made him the perfect lead in a comedy. The Naked Gun is based on a very short lived TV series (only 6 episodes) called Police Squad! From the same three guys who directed Airplane! So you know to expect some of the most hilarious comedy in any parody movie. The Naked Gun parodies cop movies and shows in particular. With plenty of off the wall gags in between. Leslie Nielsen plays Lt. Frank Drebin. The bumbling police lieutenant tasked with uncovering the mystery behind his injured partner Det. Nordberg. Played by “this didn’t age well” O.J. Simpson. Despite that, the ways he gets injured are hilarious. At the same time, Police Squad also protects the Queen of England from a plot to hypnotize people into killing eachother. The Naked Gun was always a comedy my parents called one of the funniest they’ve ever seen. It’s not hard to see why. Since it’s full of memorably funny moments. The opening with the car in various places, the overly happy date, the student driver car chase, the fight with the terrorists, the failed interrogation, wreaking the apartment, and the classic “beaver” line. Everyone should see The Naked Gun, since it doesn’t parody anything in particular. As long as you have a basic understanding of cop procedurals you’ll enjoy it.

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Lt. Frank Drebin takes aim

Followed by: The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear

One Hundred Percent Without a Doubt in My Mind the Absolute Longest Freaking Title that Ever Was or Ever Will Be in the History of Modern American Movie Making Period

Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh Eating, Hellbound, Zombified Living Dead Part 2: In Shocking 2-D has the longest movie title ever. Which is why somebody wrote a TV Guide article titled, “Most people cite Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh Eating, Hellbound, Zombified Living Dead Part 2: In Shocking 2-D (1991) as the longest English-language title of all time, but it’s clearly a gimmicky joke.” Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh Eating, Hellbound, Zombified Living Dead Part 2: In Shocking 2-D is a parody of Night of the Living Dead. In the way that they use all the footage of the movie and replace it with their own comedic dialogue. I say comedic, but I really mean stupid. Since Night of the Living Dead is public domain, there isn’t any copyright infringement. Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh Eating, Hellbound, Zombified Living Dead Part 2: In Shocking 2-D was only made, because they wanted to have a ridiculously long title. Since most zombie movies have words before and sometimes after them. Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh Eating, Hellbound, Zombified Living Dead Part 2: In Shocking 2-D is not worth the gimmick. Just watch Night of the Living Dead instead of Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh Eating, Hellbound, Zombified Living Dead Part 2: In Shocking 2-D.

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Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh Eating, Hellbound, Zombified Living Dead Part 2: In Shocking 2-D

P.S. April Fools!

Don’t Call Me Shirley

Airplane II: The Sequel went exactly how I thought it would. It came out only 2 years after Airplane! and was only made to capitalize on the success of it. Which means they played it too safe. Almost all of the jokes are reused from the first movie and the stuff that isn’t doesn’t compare. They were just trying too hard to be funny. Their biggest mistake was Leslie Nielsen not returning. Which is weird considering every other actor returns. Airplane II: The Sequel actually isn’t about an airplane (it’s still the same premise though). Instead, all the action takes place in a space shuttle. They do parody sci-fi movies, but it all felt a bit out of place. Not that I didn’t laugh. It’s just not hysterically funny like the first movie. One review I read said the movie might have been good if the first movie didn’t exist. I don’t really see things that way. Airplane II: The Sequel is a mediocre parody movie with or without the original.

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Ted (right) and Elaine (left) try to land the plane with death looming over them

Preceded by: Airplane & Followed by: Airplane III?

Shirley You Can’t be Serious

Airplane! will always be the greatest parody movie ever made. Which isn’t much of a stretch considering most of them suck. Airplane! was the first movie to do parody the way it did. Making a movie that targets a specific genre, jokes about everything, and takes itself very seriously. That’s what those crappy parody movies of the 2000’s were missing (you know which ones I mean). Not only is it a great parody movie, it’s also a great comedy period. And after watching it not once, but twice, I completely agree. You don’t even need to be familiar with what they’re parodying to find it hilarious. You see, back in the 70’s disaster movies were very popular. So it only made sense to mock them. Most people don’t know that Airplane! is almost a word for word remake of an old movie called Zero Hour!. All they did was add jokes and deliver it in a completely deadpan way. Which is why it works so well. Actors like Leslie Nielsen were known for their dramatic roles. Every joke he says is said with complete sincerity. Like the famous “Shirley” quote. There’s also a lot of great sight gags, like a Mayo Clinic with jars of mayonnaise. Or jive talk being treated like a language. Airplane! is seriously just as funny now as its ever been. “And don’t call me Shirley.”

Ted (right) and Elaine (left) try to land the plane with Otto the inflatable autopilot

Followed by: Airplane II: The Sequel