Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer was satisfying but not great.
For the most part, the movie exhibited good sharpness. A bit of softness crept into some shots, but these instances remained reasonably negligible. No issues with moiré effects or jagged edges occurred, and I noticed no edge enhancement. Source flaws were minor. Grain was a bit heavier than expected, and I saw a couple of specks, but that was it.
Colors were a great strength of the first film's transfer, and while they're good here, they didn't approach the "eye-popping" level on display with that effort. Hues consistently looked positive but seemed more subdued and not quite as bold. Blacks were deep and tight, while shadows showed nice clarity. All of this added up to a “B” presentation.
I felt the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Shagged worked well. For the most part, the audio image remained biased toward the front channels. Rear usage was pretty good when it occurred - some nice split surround effects popped up during the movie's climax - but these occasions weren’t terribly infrequent. Still, they added a lot to certain parts of the flick, and they gave the movie extra pizzazz.
I had no issues with the quality of the audio. Dialogue sounded natural, while effects seemed realistic and clear. Bass response was quite good, especially during louder sequences like the rocket launch. Music came across as full-bodied and rich. The track lacked the consistent zip to enter “A” level, but it was still quite good.
How did the picture and audio of this Blu-ray compare to those of the original DVD? Audio showed more pep, and visuals seemed tighter and more vivid. This became a satisfying upgrade.
All of the extras originally appeared on the old DVD. First up comes an audio commentary from director Jay Roach, actor/co-producer/co-writer Mike Myers, and co-writer Mike McCullers. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at cast and performances, story/characters and issues related to making a sequel, sets and locations, music, effects, influences, and connected areas.
While the commentary for International Man of Mystery could be a bit dry, this one proves to be livelier. The three participants interact in a fun way, with good wisecracks from Myers along the way. The track mixes fun and facts in a satisfying manner.
Behind the Scenes of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me lasts for 26 minutes, 18 seconds and acts as a nice complement to the commentary. It includes notes from Myers, Roach, producer Joe Lyons, choreographer Marguerite Derricks, costume designer Deena Appel, production designer Rusty Smith, and actors Rebecca Romijn, Heather Graham, Elvis Costello, Burt Bachrach, Jerry Springer, Elizabeth Hurley, Robert Wagner, Rob Lowe, Seth Green, and Michael York.
The show looks at influences, aspects of the story, cast and characters, choreography and costumes, set design, and a few other production areas. Obviously, it's not an exhaustive piece, but the show offers a good look at the way things worked on the set. As with the commentary, it's not tremendously informative, but it's a good watch nonetheless.
Originally an Easter egg on the old DVD, the Blu-ray features Comedy Central Presents “The Doctor Evil Story”. It runs 20 minutes, 10 seconds and works as a faux documentary under the "Spyography" banner. Robert Culp hosts the piece and it features interviews with most of the main characters in the film. The program's very funny and creative; I found it to be more enjoyable than the movie itself. (It didn't hurt that the show was 70 minutes shorter.) It's a very pleasant addition to this disc.
Also interesting are the 21 deleted scenes included on the disc. Most of these are pretty brief; as a whole, the 21 clips only amount to 18 minutes, 59 seconds of screentime. Still, they're pretty funny and entertaining – surprisingly so, given my general dislike of the film itself.
It's anyone's guess how they decided what to keep and what to toss; I saw little logical reason why many of these scenes didn't make the cut. The segments can be accessed individually or run back-to-back via “Play All”.
Three trailers for Shagged appear. Two of these are the teaser trailers – the ones that refer to Star Wars - and they are nearly identical; they differ only in the closing lines that Dr. Evil utters. The full-length trailer is completely different and quite entertaining.
Four music videos show up as well. We see Madonna's "Beautiful Stranger", Lenny Kravitz's "American Woman", Mel B's "Word Up" and Dr. Evil/Mini-Me’s “Just the Two of Us”. Amazingly, almost no footage from the film pops up in the videos; the "Word Up" clip uses a few seconds of outer space shots, but that's it.
That doesn't mean that the film tie-in isn't exploited, however. Indeed, each video features characters from the movie performing in the clip. It's pretty clear that a hierarchical system is on display here: Madonna gets Myers as Austin, Kravitz gets Graham, while Mel Bmerits only Troyer's Mini-Me.
Not surprisingly, Madonna's clip is easily the best of the bunch. It's a pretty good song and although the level of Madonna/Austin interaction isn't too high - much of the video consists of Maddy performing as Austin watches and reacts - it's still a lot of fun. Kravitz's piece isn't terribly special except for some rather, um, exciting shots of Graham gyrating to the music. Granted, late 90s Graham would be sexy making toast, but her actions here make the video well worth watching. (And again... and again... and again...)
While I do love the Spice Girls, Mel's clip is something of a dog. Forget the merits (or lack thereof) of her cover of "Word Up"; it's not bad, but it's not very good, either. However, the video is inane and dopey. Oh well - Mel should be happy she was included at all, I suppose. “Just the Two of Us” simply takes the scene from the movie and presents it on its own, so it’s not especially useful.
Of the three Austin Powers movies, The Spy Who Shagged Me remains easily the least interesting. While I don’t think the others are classic, they provide more wit than this somewhat forced flick. The Blu-ray provides good picture and audio as well as a satisfying set of supplements. This is a nice release but the film itself still doesn’t do much for me.
To rate this film, visit the DVD review of AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME