Blast From The Past … Genesis of a Calibrator … Part 4

AUSTIN POWERS – INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY                       New Line

A165

8.0

1.95 16×9; 1.33

5.1

Extras

Two Sided

Category: Comedy / Fantasy / Documentary / TV

What a wonderfully funny romp through the 60’s with this film.  There are so many references that the children in the audience didn’t laugh at half the jokes.  Elizabeth Hurley stars and she was chosen primarily because of the James Bond documentary she hosted in 1994 on the FOX network.  As a special treat for the Babylon 5 fans, Patricia Tallman shows up at the beginning as the Cigarette girl at the disco.  Some of the humor is so poorly conceived, but fortunately those are far and few between the good material.  It has been suggested that the humor is done like that to prove a point.  This one will likely show up on DVD as opposed to Laserdisc come October or November.  There are probably about four or five jokes that do not work at all, but other than those, the film is hilarious.  This is a definite too given the price difference.  This one had already been announced for release in mid October and it will be on DVD.  It will definitely be enhanced for 16:9 sets.  Word has it that it will include additional scenes and commentary from Mike Myers and the director, but these extras may be limited to the Laserdisc edition only.  All the pre order announcements seem to indicate that the film is 1.85:1 which is clearly not the case.  The DVD will apparently have all the extras as well which is a pleasant surprise.  The DVD has arrived when I bought it from Circuit City.  There are actually a few more extras on this version as compared to the LV.  There is a preview of the Lost In Space movie on this disc as well.  I did not realize that the film only had a running time of 90 minutes.  It felt much longer in the theater.  The actual aspect ratio on this disc turns out to be 1.85:1 after all.  The Super 35 production obviously used different aspect ratios … 2.35 in the theater and 1.85 for the home presentation to minimize on the loss of vertical resolution to the black bars.  The extras are very interesting indeed, but there turns out to be a problem with the access to the commentary tracks.  The Toshiba player has some form of inherent incompatibility problem because of the audio chip in the player.  The unit needs to go to a service depot to have the chip replaced.  Until that time, I have no commentary.  The picture quality is exceptional although there are instances where I do notice artifacts.  There are also too many other little clips for other films interspersed in the extra material.  They should have saved the space to improve the transfer bit rate.  Colors are vivid.  The Lost In Space commercial was also very interesting to watch.  Finally I can hear the commentary track on the new Panasonic machine.  The director and Mr. Myers actually talk from the different front speakers.  They joke quite a bit about character arcs.  With the return of the Toshiba player, now both units are fully functional.  Somewhere along the line, I heard that there was a sequel to this film being considered.  If done right, it has a lot of potential, but this parody stuff can only go so far before getting derivative and old.  A sequel to this one is in the works, but Liz Hurley is not in this one.  Seems Austin finds out that she is a Fembot.  And then on the Superbowl, a teaser for the next Austin Powers film that asks people to see Star Wars and then their film.  I’ve seen the new poster and it looks pretty nice with Heather Graham in several poses.  It’s in the theaters and the toilet humor is back.

AUSTIN POWERS – THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME                                New Line

A166

8.0

2.35 16×9

5.1

Extras

RSDL

Category: Comedy / Fantasy / Documentary / TV

The tables turn and this one begins where the original ends, but with two years missing.  The number two money maker of 1999, this one promises to look good and be just as funny, albeit darker in nature.  The disc is expected in November and it is unlikely that a cropped version will also show up on the disc.  There should be plenty of extras on this one.  There are also some hidden surprises on the disc like a Comedy Central special focusing on Dr. Evil.  Look for this hidden program in the special features menu after a few minutes.  The Dr. Evil rocket ship shows up and the Evil icon appears.  The commentary is done by three people and it comes and goes as the people sometimes do not talk for quite a few minutes and then it abruptly ends well before the end of the film.  It’s an interesting evening here in front of the keyboard as I elaborate a bit on a message to someone special … I declared that I have given up and am walking away.  In immediate hindsight, I think I had to burn this bridge to see if it could be burned down or if it was made of something more sturdy that even I was aware.  Well the bridge is on fire as I walk away.  The little voice in my mind wishes that things might turn out for the better here, but my pessimistic and fatalistic nature says otherwise.  Expect nothing and let it burn, everything else is a bonus.  A slow drawn out death, but I suppose I like it like  that.  I seem to be made to suffer, it’s my lot in life.

 

Continued in Part 5.

 

Michael Chen

Michael Chen is the only THX Video Systems Instructor in Canada, and beyond these borders, is one of just two THX Video Instructors in the entire world.  He has actively consulted with Spectracal and ChromaPure and has created numerous education videos on the calibration process with still more to come.  His Video Calibration Training Series has quickly become the most comprehensive and simple to understand learning tool on the market today.  He has also taught classes for both the ISF and Spectracal as well and is now spearheading his all new TLVEXP calibration training program. Let Michael teach you Video Calibration and add that additional income stream to your installation and integration business

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.