Austin Powers in Goldmember Mike Meyers

Strike Three

10 Rotten Third Movie Installments

Catch Austin Powers in Goldmember during IFC's Rotten Fridays.

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Photo Credit: New Line Cinema/Everett Collection

Few things are as sad as two great chapters of a trilogy and then a supremely disappointing ending. Sure, there are tons of lackluster sequels, but what about the unfulfilling threequels? Inspired by Austin Powers in Goldmember airing this week as part of Rotten Tomatoes and IFC’s Rotten Fridays, here are some truly rotten movies that prove that good things don’t always come in threes.

1. Blade: Trinity

Despite the efforts of Parker Posey and Ryan Reynolds, Blade: Trinity was a real mess. Reynolds delivered most of his lines to a stand-in because star Wesley Snipes was in a feud with director David Goyer. Since Snipes wouldn’t come to set, Reynolds had a lot of time to improvise some funny lines that were left on the cutting room floor. Sadly, a great blooper reel does not a good film make.

Tomatometer: 25% Rotten


2. Alien 3

Ripley Alien 3
20th Century Fox

The Alien franchise was going strong, until Alien 3 came along. Hey, remember Newt, that little girl you loved so much from Aliens? Well, she’s dead. So started this grim sequel. It was David Fincher’s first feature film, but he came on as a replacement director after Vincent Ward’s concept involving monks living on a planet made of wood was abandoned. The “making of” documentary featured a scathing interview with Fincher criticizing nearly every aspect of the process. That interview was subsequently cut before release and now is nowhere to be found.

Tomatometer: 44% Rotten


3. Jurassic Park III

Jurassic Park 3
Universal

Though The Lost World: Jurassic Park already went way downhill by having a girl beat a dinosaur with gymnastics, Jurassic Park III managed to be even worse. Even with the return of Sam Neill and an addition of William H. Macy, the film still manages to be surprisingly boring and instantly dated. (Released in 2001 when cellphones were a hot new thing, a major plot point revolves around a ringtone.) If a ringtone is the most memorable part of a movie involving dinosaurs attacking humans, then something went awry.

Tomatometer: 50% Rotten


4. Austin Powers in Goldmember

Beyonce Goldmember
New Line Cinema

In hindsight, Austin Powers is a concept that could only carry one film. Yet he still got two sequels brimming with recycled gags and gratuitous celebrity cameos. Even the presence of Beyonce during the phase of her career where she popped up in random comedies and Michael Caine as Austin’s pop, Goldmember features Mike Myers as yet another character (the dull gold-obsessed title villain) and an overall feeling of been there, done that.

Tomatometer: 54% Rotten


5. The Matrix Revolutions

The Matrix Revolutions
Warner Bros.

The Matrix changed cinema when it was released in 1999. The two sequels, not so much. Though The Matrix Reloaded has its fans, moviegoers collectively scratched their heads at the confusing plot and incessant action sequences in the third installment. We love Neo. Super Neo? Not so much.

Tomatometer: 36% Rotten


6. Scream 3

With its snarky postmodern take on the slasher genre, Scream was one of the most beloved horror films of the ’90s. But by the time that Scream 3 rolled around in 2000, it was just another horror franchise spinning out diminishing sequels. The Jay and Silent Bob cameo says all you need to know about this forgettable tri-quel.

Tomatometer: 36% Rotten


7. The Hangover Part III

Though Hangover II did poorly critically, it earned $586 million worldwide. But Hangover Part III made a little over half that and all critical goodwill for the movie was gone. Since the movie opens with a giraffe getting decapitated, it’s pretty clear why it wasn’t a favorite.

Tomatometer: 20% Rotten


8. Home Alone 3

Home Alone 3
20th Century Fox

Home Alone 2 was just Home Alone but in New York, yet it still had a lot of charm and fun moments for kids. Meanwhile, Home Alone 3 was the first of the trilogy to lose director Chris Columbus, star Macaulay Culkin and the Sticky Bandits.

This time a kid named Alex (Alex D. Linz) accidentally gets a remote control car with a computer chip from a North Korean terrorist group. Already sounds like a fun filled family romp. Then, Alex gets chicken pox and has to stay home from school while his Mom is at work. For some reason the criminals come only during school hours to get back their chip, and booby trap-filled antics ensue. Though it does feature a young Scarlett Johansson as Alex’s sister, this movie was bad even by ’90s John Hughes-produced kid movie standards.

Tomatometer: 27% Rotten


9. X-Men: The Last Stand

X2 was an enormous hit and helped to set a high bar for X-Men films to come. Brett Ratner took over for Bryan Singer for Last Stand, and while it wasn’t a flop, it was a critical and fan disappointment. X-Men: Apocalypse even made a reference to Last Stand when Jean Grey says that the third film is always the worst of the trilogy (and frankly that film deserves to be on this list too).

Tomatometer: 58% Rotten


10. Superman III

When you think about what was missing from the first two Superman films, you probably don’t think of Richard Pryor. Yet, in the third film he plays a computer programmer who creates a synthetic Kryptonite which causes Superman to become really horny, moody and eventually just so depressed he blows out the Olympic flame and straightens the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Released in 1983 (and it shows), Superman III‘s comedy is super wacky, its villain lackluster (Robert Vaughn’s generic rich dude is no Lex Luthor) and its story lacks the serious tone of the previous Superman films. And for once, Richard Pryor isn’t funny! How that’s possible, one may never know, but Superman III proved that Superman’s true Kryptonite is a terrible screenplay.

Tomatometer: 26% Rotten

Catch “too rotten to miss” movies every Friday on IFC!

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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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Happy Tears

Binge Don’t Cringe

Catch up on episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia.

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Photo Credit: GIFs via GIPHY

A brain can only take so much.

Every five minutes, all day, every day, ludicrously stressful headlines push our mental limits as we struggle to adapt to a reality that seems increasingly less real. What’s a mind to do when simple denial just isn’t good enough anymore?

Radical suggestion: repeal and replace. And by that we mean take all the bad news that keeps you up at night, press pause, and substitute it with some genuine (not nervous, for a change) laughter. Here are some of the issues on our mind.

Gender Inequality

Feminist bookstore owners by day, still feminist bookstore owners by night, Toni and Candace show the male gaze who’s boss. Learn about their origin story (SPOILER: there’s an epic dance battle) and see what happens when their own brand of empowerment gets out of hand.

Healthcare

From Candace’s heart attack to the rise of the rawvolution, this Portlandia episode proves that healthcare is vital.

Peaceful Protests

Too many online petitions, too little time? Get WOKE with Fred and Carrie when they learn how to protest.

What Could Have Been

Can’t say the name “Clinton” without bursting into tears? Documentary Now!’s masterfully political “The Bunker” sheds a cozy new light on the house that Bill and Hill built. Just pretend you don’t know how the story really ends.

Fake News

A healthy way to break the high-drama news cycle is to switch over to “Dronez”, which has all the thrills of ubiquitous adventure journalism without any of the customary depression.

The more you watch, the better you feel. So get started on past episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia right now at IFC.com and the IFC app.

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