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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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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