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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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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

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

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

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

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

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

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.