2001: A DVD Odyssey Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
(New Line)
Sound A- Picture A- Film C
Austin Powers is an acquired taste. I haven't been able to tune in to his wavelength, but those who have say this is a lot of fun. I had a couple of laughs, a few chuckles, and a smattering of titters, but that was about it. The biggest problem is that most of the jokes are milked until they're dryer than old Saturday Night Live skits—which most of them resemble. A lot of it seems to be ad-libbed, and many of the improvisations are not as clever as the filmmakers apparently thought they were. The video transfer is intensely colorful, though not otherwise exceptional. The sound is routine action-film stuff—effective enough, but I'm unable to point to any particular "Yeah Baby Yeah" moments.

Charlie's Angels
(Columbia TriStar)
Sound B Picture B+ Film C-
The plot is something about foiling a plot to use cell phones as homing devices, with Marty McFly's dad (Crispin Glover) skulking around looking sinister while badly in need of a nicotine patch—the ultimate action-over-plot production, with the core cast no match for the one in the original TV series, tacky as that was. The picture is unexpectedly soft and the soundtrack mostly annoying, but I admit that, after the first 15 minutes, I was too numb to appreciate any technical fine points.

Nutty Professor II: The Klumps
Sound A- Picture A Film C
The images look nearly as good as in the original, which remains one of my reference standards. The sound seldom does anything amazing, but it's superior to that in the original and snaps you to attention when it needs to. The movie itself, however, is something else. The original scored because of its charm—in that release, the dinner-table scenes with the Klumps succeeded because their outrageousness provided just the right counterbalance. Here the recipe is turned upside down—all Klumps, almost all the time, with little charm or warmth. Watchable, but only just.