BELOW THE EXISTING STORY BY MORIARTY, I HAVE ADDED HIS PLOT BREAKDOWN FOR THOSE THAT ARE INTERESTED. READ ONLY IF YOU ARE CURIOUS.
I have already contacted Moriarty about reserving a seat in his Time Machine for his jaunts to the premiers of STAR WARS: EPISODE ONE: THE PHANTOM MENACE and THE LORD OF THE RINGS flicks, but today... well we get his story of trying to see Episode One and seeing UNIVERSAL's THE MUMMY instead. I can tell you this, when I traveled to London I saw a TON of dailies and the film looked like it would work very well. ILM's work will blow us all away, as this stuff just amazed me. But enough of that... ON TO MORIARTY, OUR RESIDENT EVIL GENIUS!!!!
Hey, Head Geek...
Well, we've been busy here at the Moriarty labs recently. As you know, we're always working towards complete and total world domination, but that's not to say we don't have hobbies. One of them is time travel, a fairly useless concept that would provide more kicks than anything. We recently had a breakthrough, and I thought I'd write and share the experience with you.
When I realized, following extensive testing procedures, that I could in fact move backwards and forwards in time, my first thought was, "Well, then, I'm seeing the goddamn Prequel TODAY!!!" I set the machine for the end of May 1999 and started it up.
Traveling through time is not quite the experience I thought it was. It's kind of like hiccuping, farting, and being punched in the nuts all at once. Overall, I'd only recommend using it for things you really, really want to do. Still winded, I found myself in Westwood, ready to run to the Village and buy a ticket for Episode One. Imagine my disappointment when I found that the machine had only sort of worked. It was indeed May 1999, but it was mid-afternoon on May 11. I was too early.
Severely bummed, I picked up a copy of the LA WEEKLY to try and see if there was anything else playing that I was really interested in. As I was walking, I passed the National and saw that they were playing THE MUMMY. Realizing that new ILM work of any kind would be groovy, I decided to go ahead and see the film.
I had time to catch lunch, and walking around Westwood, I did get to see quite a bit of Prequel marketing material -- one-sheets, an ad in the window of Tower Records for the soundtrack, a display of several of the Prequel toys. One thing I noticed everywhere was the title. What was it, you ask? Let's see... THE SPECTRAL THREAT? No... THE GHOSTLY DANGER? Jeez... it was something like that. Honestly, it seems to have slipped my mind.
I made it back to the National with about ten minutes to spare. To my surprise, the theater was nearly full. There seemed to be quite a bit of buzz about the picture, and it sounded like word of mouth was very good. I was surprised, since I've pretty much ignored anything I've heard about THE MUMMY up 'till now. The lights went down and the previews began.
WILD WILD WEST was first up. Nice. I still don't care, but it was pretty funny, and it's got a great Sonnenfeld look. I got really excited when I saw the MAN ON THE MOON trailer. Wow! Holy cow! Jim is more Andy than I realized. There was a teaser for MYSTERY MEN that was very funny, focusing primarily on Mr. Furious, the Ben Stiller character.
The last trailer started, and the 20th Century Fox logo came up. All I remember of those next few minutes was color, sound, and the distinct sensation of the top of my head lifting off, turning inside out, then landing with the force of a nuclear blast. Yes, it was the trailer for the Prequel. Yes, it was pretty much what Garth described on his page. Until you've seen an image like Ewan, Liam, and JarJar piloting the Gungan sub or Darth Maul in a two-way lightsaber duel, you have no idea what you're in for. I felt like getting up and running out of the theater, yelling to everyone, "I'VE SEEN IT! I'VE SEEN IT!" Then I remembered that it was May 1999, and everyone had seen it by that point. This enabled me to stay in my seat and watch the movie that followed.
Astoundingly enough, I'm glad I did. Real glad. THE MUMMY is the first film by Stephen Sommers that I would recommend wholeheartedly, and there's one real simple reason. It's a good story. A darn good story, actually. It's loads of fun, but it never tips its hand too far by becoming a comedy. The horror in this film is big-time, and the work ILM has done rendering these bizarre and evil images is spectacular. How the hell did they find time in the midst of all the Episode One work? Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, two actors who do nothing for me typically, were loads of fun here, and most of that was chemistry. John Hannah, who's shown up in films like SLIDING DOORS, is the film's primary comic relief, and he does a nice job. Overall, though, this film succeeds on the strength of the work that Sommers has done. He knows this is a rollercoaster ride, and he delivers on that promise at every turn. This film is going to strike a strong INDIANA JONES chord for most viewers, and that's a good thing. This is the kind of film where there are real heroes, real villains, and real thrills. Next summer, when everyone is jamming the local cinema for the 11th viewing of THE PHANTOM MENACE (ahhhhh... that's what it was!!) do yourself a favor -- skip the crowd and check out this, the rebirth of the Universal Monsters.
Since I can only stay in any other timeline for four consecutive hours, I was pulled back to today almost immediately after the film's end. The trip was exhausting, Harry, but well worth the effort. If you're interested in more time machine reports, I may be able to work something out. I'm not doing it, though, for stuff like Pauly Shore movies. It's too painful. Maybe I'll try and see LORD OF THE RINGS next time. Until then, it's back to world domination.
And here is the latest bit that Moriarty wrote. Posted here for all you people that don't read TALK BACK.
Hey, all... "Moriarty" here. Thanks, JiveT, for the kind words. It always warms the heart to get such kind feedback. I chose not to include a plot breakdown of something so far in the future, but here it is, especially for you --
IMHOTEP, high priest to the Pharaoh, is doing the nasty with Ankh-su-namuhn, the Pharaoh's main squeeze. This is forbidden, and when the affair is discovered, she is killed and Imhotep is cursed with the worst curse that any Egyptian can be. He's buried alive, his body cursed to never die despite the flesh-eating scarabs he's buried with. When placing such vile curses, though, there is a danger. If Imhotep is ever released from his tomb, he will bring forth the Ten Plagues of Egypt upon the world, and if he is able to resurrect his lady love, the two of them will usher in the end of the world.
In the 1920s, O'CONNELL (Fraser's character) stumbles across the lost city where Imhotep is buried. He hooks up with a Egyptologist/librarian (Weisz) and her drunkard brother (Hannah), and the three of them -- working to beat a rival team of Americans -- heads out to the lost city in search of treasure. They end up unleashing Imhotep and all his evil, and have to find a way to defeat him and his army of undead priests. The Ten Plagues are all represented, and they're really evil, as are the various forms that Imhotep and his followers take. Suffice it to say that the film plays out like an old-fashioned adventure, with no pop culture references or soundtrack opportunities, and that's one of the things that's most charming about it. Now I'll just go take my ego, find JiveT's real name and address, and get to work unleashing ten plagues of my own.