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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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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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GIFs via Giphy

Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

via GIPHY

IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

via GIPHY

IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

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IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

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

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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