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Mummy [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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The modestly titled Ultimate Mummy Collection is an extravagant four-disc package that contains both The Mummy Ultimate Edition and The Mummy Returns Special Edition two-disc sets.
For his breakthrough into the blockbuster big time, director Stephen Sommers was determined to avoid the hackneyed Hollywood Mummy clichés of flailing bandages, somnambulant zombies and wooden acting. If you're happy to settle for two out of three then the finished film could be your cup of Egyptian tea, fully delivering on its visual promise but occasionally mired in a quicksand of stilted dialogue and plot contrivance. Anrold Vosloo is disgraced high priest Imhotep, awoken from his ancient prison to unleash his vengeful wrath in a whirl of computer generated pestilence and plagues; Brendan Fraser brings an infectious boyish enthusiasm to his Indiana Jones-style adventurer, while supporting players Rachel Weisz and John Hannah are mostly eclipsed by the spectacle on offer. The lavish DVD extras include deleted scenes, a director's commentary and, most interestingly, veteran effects supervisor John Berton presenting a step-by-step guide to some of the film's most extraordinary computer generated shots. There's also the obligatory "making of" programme in which everyone insists their primary concern was to ensure the effects never superseded the story. Unfortunately, this only makes you more aware of the script's shortcomings. --Steve Napleton
The Mummy Returns has an even more relentless pace and hammer headed tone than the first film--more explosions, more action and more mind-numbingly endless computer generated effects, set to a headache inducing surround soundtrack. The original cast are reunited and joined by WWF star The Rock (in a cameo role designed to plug his spin-off vehicle The Scorpion King) and young actor Freddie Boath who plays an English eight-year-old in the 1930s whose dialogue borrows from Bart Simpson. Still, despite the wearying relentlessness of its computer generated effects, endless chases and fights, this is undeniably fun popcorn fodder and provides some memorable scenes along the way, notably Rachel Weisz and Patricia Velasquez battling it out for the affections of nasty old Imhotep. Extras in this generous two-disc set include a decent commentary from the director and producer, DVD-ROM features, a 20-minute "making-of" documentary and a five-minute interview with the Rock. Best of all are the detailed special effects breakdowns of key sequences. --Mark Walker --This text refers to the DVD edition.
Top customer reviews
Both 'The Mummy' and it's sequel are the two gems of the saga that, in time, started to falter with some poor productions. I'm delighted that Universal have selected this original film as part of it's centenary celebrations as it has clearly become a modern day classic. The juxtaposition of the swashbuckling but ultimately careless Brendan Frasier and focus on historical themes is absolutely spot on, and makes for a hugely entertaining movie. I know many people that have watched this film who normally wouldn't touch anything with such a combination, but they loved it. And as a deep lover of Ancient Egypt myself, I get a great sense of release* from watching Rachel Weisz battle with history! Boy, she's beautiful and deadly...
... In short however, this release of The Mummy is flawless and I'll certainly be flicking through Universal's other '100' titles as they're all the same price. In case you're wondering what the 'Augmented Reality' deal is, you're given the opportunity to hold an Apple iOS device (iPhone/Pad) and point the built-in camera at the slipcover of this product. The Universal App (which you must download) then creates a 3D image on your screen of... well, I won't spoil it, but it's fun if you want to pass a minute or two.
*The release I refer to is PURELY cognitive.
It never set out to be a classic or cinematic masterpiece. It just provides a couple of hours of entertainment and as it cost less than £1 delivered, I easily got my money's worth.
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