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THE MUMMY review

Hey there all you wrapping fans. I saw the MUMMY tonight and.....

Some of you are going to LOVE this movie. Some of you are going to HATE this movie. And me..... Well, I’m somewhere in the middle.

There is an awful lot to like in the movie, but ya know... I wanted it to be so much more. Whatever I say in the review, don’t let it deter you from checking what really amounts to some stunning visual effects, beautiful shots and a real popcorny sort of film.

I’ve had my finger on this film for a very very long time, and was quite taken aback by my dissatisfaction with the movie. I mean.... I liked the script. When I went to the sets, I enjoyed them. When I saw almost all the dailies when I was there... I liked them... But tonight... well... it just didn’t come together for me.

Instead, I’m left with a smile as I shake my head from side to side. It’s one of those for me.

I love Mummy movies. I’ve seen.... well... quite frankly... all of them. My favorite being the Karloff and Christopher Lee versions, followed by the Louisiana swamp one. My favorite Mummy anything was an awesome episode of AMAZING STORIES called MUMMY DADDY which really really was a funny take on the mummy genre.

In a lot of ways.... I think some of what is wrong with this movie reminds me of some of the problems with GODZILLA. First... Noone is taking what is happening seriously. Second... Faster and athletic mummies are not necessarily better mummies. Third... The cumulative effect of all the tongue and cheek stuff left the audience unafraid.

Let’s take a look at the first and third points to begin with. You see, for me, I had no problems with... the jokey start of the ‘1930s’ beginning, but as soon as... well, the Mummy starts walking around.... there should’ve been a major tonal shift. You know. Everything in life is fun and games until you are looking face to face with a 3000 year old unstoppable Mummy that wants your tongue, his eyes, and that schlong. Instead of cracking jokes, you shut your mouth, guard your eyes, tuck your tail and run.

The problem is... by having the characters so goofy all the time, you are left with no feeling of doom. The feeling that all of this doesn’t really mean anything. There are no real ominous shots. The movie doesn’t place FEAR into you. The old adage that Mummies aren’t scary cause you can out run them was basically true, but the key point has always been.... They’ll take as long as it takes to ‘get their job done.’ That was creepy. That no matter how far you went, how hard you tried to hide... Ultimately... it was going to get you.

I mean... this is what Michael Myers is. The whole slow walking killer is based on THE MUMMY and FRANKENSTEIN. And you know... I just wanted the characters to really be hit by the reality of the situations they found themselves to be in. You can laugh before and after... but not while... you know.

For me, because I didn’t see this ‘fear’ in the actors’ faces. Well... because of that, I didn’t see the mummy across from them. I never believed it was there because the actors’ eyes never really convinced me. Sure... ILM can place a reflection of the creature in the iris of the actor looking at the mummy. BUT ILM can’t place fear in their eyes. Watch that trailer for THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.... That’s fear. Look at Marion’s face when she’s face to face with the cobra. Watch Harrison’s face as Mola Ram tries to take his heart from his chest. That’s called fear. Fear of having your organs removed without your permission.

For me, I see the beautiful effects, my jaw drops when I see them. BUT I’m not afraid. The film has tons of what I call.... ‘Cheap scares’ You know... Something reaches out of the darkness. Something coming up quickly from off camera. That sort of thing. But... a quick jump scare isn’t what you want to do. You want to pull an Exorcist on their ass. You want these people left going.... DAMN, that ain’t real is it? Sheeshus that stuff’s friggin spooky!

In this film, the characters are startled, not scared. One of the reasons for this was the lack of atmosphere both visually and musically. Remember John Williams’ music as the ark is being opened in Raiders? Remember the music in THE HAUNTING?

But comparing this film to horror films is completely WRONG. It is not and never pretends to be a horror film. In fact, rather, it is an adventure fantasy film which firmly plants it into the Ray Harryhausen, George Pal and ‘Indiana Jones’ arena. Especially focusing on Harryhausen.

Now Harryhausen’s films never really had the greatest actors or directors in the world... but ya know what? The scores were un-friggin-believably cool. While watching the mummies and Brendan going at it, I was dying to hear Herrmann or Rosza music playing. Instead there was this.... seemingly happy jovial tune that didn’t work at all for me in the context of the film. God... to think what Elfman could’ve done with this material scares me. There was even a part of me that kinda wanted Gabriel Yared in there scoring. But.... alas... twas not to be.

Goldsmith’s happy music just didn’t do it for me.

You know... the sad thing for me wasn’t the actors. To tell the truth I fully believe that these exact same actors could have delivered this film in a different tone and it would’ve blown me away.

But you see. For me, they difuse every intimate scene with humor, refusing to allow anything serious to develop. Rachel Wiesz’ character can’t just have a serious heart to heart when Brendan’s trying to figure out exactly who she is.... Ah no. You see she has to be drunk, thereby making her character goofy. WHY? What purpose does that serve? I hate that.

I think there are hints of fire between these two, but just as I think I see a spark, a Harpo or a Chico appears to honk a horn and grab an ass.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that I want someone to make a horror film at this scale, but for real. Not some hybrid flick. But... It seems at least with the current mob at Universal, they aren’t in the Horror film arena, they’re in the Theme Park arena. This movie cries out to be a ‘ride’.

The sad thing is, Universal doesn’t see the serious horror projects as viable films. They believe that they just won’t make money. Never mind the history of their own films. Never mind THE EXORCIST or even ROSEMARY’S BABY.

The real Horror projects floating around out there are being scanned over in favor of goofy so-called horror films like THE MUMMY and IDLE HANDS. God, I hope THE HAUNTING is a real horror film. I hope that Artisan delivers the marketing dead on for THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and it becomes one of those ‘miracle’ indie films. I wish they’d greenlight projects like Stuart Gordon’s SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH or Guillermo Del Toro’s MEPHISTO’S BRIDGE or HELLBOY, but the middle management ridden Universal isn’t in the ‘executive decision’ mode right now.

Ya know.... I think I’m gonna get together with some friends, get a little tipsy and... see this at an early matinee with nearly nobody there. My audience was laughing way too much I think and as a result, it was harder to take any of it seriously.

The film is.... OK, it’s fun, it’s entertaining... But it isn’t Great. I wanted a Great film.

Here’s a note though... the younger audience members seemed to have a blast at the movie. They were screaming and horse laughing throughout the film. And it didn’t help this movie.

Readers Talkback
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  • May 5, 1999, 6:55 a.m. CST

    A dying breed, horror...

    by Serdar Yegulalp

    When I think of a horror movie, I do not think of the in-joke-fests of SCREAM or IKWYDLS. I think back to a time when people took getting scared a little more seriously than they do now. THE SHINING, THE EXORCIST, REPULSION -- these were all HORROR movies. They were designed to give you a shock, but intelligently. -- This is all stuff you probably know by now, but Harry's comments on what kind of movie this is vs. what kind of movie he was expecting, or what kind of movie it was derived from, are really illuminating. The trend is away from giving audiences that evil jolt and more towards just giving them a disposable rollercoaster ride. Then again, if you look at the world today, I'm not sure I blame them.

  • May 5, 1999, 7:47 a.m. CST


    by Aggie_Ed

    Hey, Harry, I was at the same Austin screening that you were at only I had to practically beg someone for an extra ticket and then got shuffled into the 2nd theater when the first was filled up with people saving seats. I'm in total agreement with you when it comes to seeing this movie without those "crazy" little teenagers. I had a guy sitting next to me who had the most annoying laughter. That, and the fact that I personally believe the Regal Lincoln 6 to be a 2nd or 3rd class theater, just didn't help the movie for me. I, too, will probably wait until next Monday or Tuesday and go to a matinee to watch the movie again in one of the bigger, stadium seated theaters. What can I say...bigger is better!!

  • May 5, 1999, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Harry! That's precisely why Armageddon sucked!

    by HAL9000

    I'm glad Harry made the comments about the overkill of unneccessary stock humor in The Mummy, because that's exactly why I had a big problem with Armageddon. The world is going to end, a gigantic piece of rock is going to annihilate us back to the stone age, and the whole motly crew of drillers dedicate the majority of their time to making bad jokes! There was no fear or tension in that situation! The grand scheme of things was diffused by the one liners, which I truly believe will be the ulitmate catalyst of summer event film demise. Didn't these studio morons learn anything from summer 98? Harry, if possible, can you justify your praise of Armageddon after your critique of The Mummys ludicrous tongue in cheek crap? Doesn't anyone have the balls to make a REAL Mummy movie? I wish George Romero made it, if it was PG-13 he would've at least had the dignity to not include the intelligence insulting humor. I'll see The Mummy for the fx, but I'm pretty sure that I'll be one of the naysayers. Anyone else want to join to club?

  • May 5, 1999, 10:48 a.m. CST

    I agree 100%

    by Buck in H-town

    You are right on the money about THE MUMMY, Harry. Like you, I saw a sneak last night. My immediate thoughts were it seemed like an INDIANA JONES rip-off. Even a couple of jokes were stolen from INDIANA. ("I hate bugs" was much like "I hate snakes.") When the mummy finally appeared I was hoping for all hell to break loose only to be disappointed. What happened to all of the deadly plagues that were going to take over? The locusts came and went. Big deal. A decent matinee...not much more. Buck in H-town

  • May 5, 1999, 11:57 a.m. CST


    by W. Leach

    Today's horror film (with the exception of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT) relies to heavy on special effects to sell a movie. The phrase "they don't make 'em like they used to" applies here, folks. I'm not sure what signaled the beginning of the end for the horror film, but I'm guessing it happened around the time of FRIDAY THE 13TH. Instead of writing intelligent, flesh and blood characters, Sean S. Cunnigham simply wrote generic stereotypes with absolutely no realism or background to them. Hence, they appear, spout lame dialogue, fuck like jackrabbits, and get offed. This formula was repeated ad nauseum for eight more films, yet the public bought it each time. Why? Special effects. The public wants eye candy every five minutes, or they'll feel cheated. Today's general audience, for the most part, doesn't give a fuck about story or character. They want to put their brains on auto pilot, sit down, and not have to think about anything for the next hour and a half or so. That's unfortunate, because horror movies are so much scarier when you get to know the characters from the start. An excellent example: Werner Herzog's NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE. This isn't a film for the general public (or, P.W.S.A.S. -- People With Short Attention Spans). Herzog takes almost two hours to tell his tale, with hardly an effect in sight. There are long stretches without dialogue. If this was released today, it probably wouldn't even make the top ten weekend gross (I have to admit, Twentieth-Century Fox took guts in distributing this), but for me it's a hell of a lot more memorable than anything that followed it in the '80s and '90s. One more thing: How many BLAIR WITCH-style movies could have been made on the budget of THE MUMMY?

  • May 5, 1999, 11:04 p.m. CST

    Indiana Jones

    by JoeBanks

    I liked seeing that in your review you brought up the point I wanted to make. Indiana Jones is what we should be seeing instead of this kinda crap that just pales in comparison. I just cant understand how more fans like myslef arent speaking out and letting Rick McCallum and Lucasfilm know that we dont want to wait 5 years to see our favorite hero return. I saw the news that he said it would be 5 years before Indy 4 well thats just not gonna work. Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Rick McCalum and Harrison Ford need to make this film happen cause if it doesnt all of us are missing out on what could be one of the last great collaborations of our era(Steven,George, and Harrison). I just cant believe that a great property like Indy would be set aside yet other projects like the Mummy continue to try and fail at capturing his thrown. Thanks Harry.

  • May 6, 1999, 12:01 a.m. CST

    Amazing Stories

    by Inspector

    Harry, I have to agree about the Amazing Stories Mummy Episode. I loved that one. Especially the ending of it, how creepy was that. Glad someone else remembers that series.

  • May 6, 1999, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Amazing Stories, fond memories of

    by PDaddy

    I LOVED Amazing Stories. I was just a kid when it was on, but I always remember watching it w/ my whole family and being entranced. I think Alfred Hitchcock Presents was on just after it, and I loved that too. There was just something about AS that I loved as a kid - it's too bad that noone ever has thought to syndicate the old shows, or to restart the series in some incarnation. Thanks, Harry, for reminding me about that show. As to the Mummy, I'm now very worried. I HATE corny humor at INAPPROPRIATE times. I'm not against humor in "serious" movies at all, just put it in when the script allows for it. When it's time for us to be scared, KEEP us scared. It doesn't seem to be that difficult.

  • May 6, 1999, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Can Anybody Tell Me...

    by Weasel

    ...why the horror genre appears to be in such a severe decline? I'm sorry guys, I just can't get scared when horror movie protagonists trade witless barbs while being pursued by mummies, ghosts, werewolves or other assorted alien/supernatural horrors (look what's happened to the X-Files this season - it has become an absolute travesty, a failed tv horror series that, for some reason, now wants to be funny, but fails miserably). Many of you may disagree with me, but I still consider the original HAUNTING to tbe the scariest motion picture ever. It terrifies through subtlety, a concept that is apparently lost on today's audiences. I'm desperately hoping that the BLAIR WITCH PROJECT or even the remake of THE HAUNTING will jettison all that cool, hip self-referential pop-culture nonsense and help bring moviegoers back to the idea that horror films should, indeed, be horrifying. Seriously, I'd like some input on this. Once again, folks, thanks for listening.

  • May 6, 1999, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Horror movies?

    by Josh Acid

    Weasel - I'm not sure that the word "subtlety" exists in Jan de Bont's vocabulary, so I'm not putting too much faith in his HAUNTING (though you're right, the original is a hell of a great film). It's a shame they felt the need to remake it, though I love haunted house movies in just about any incarnation - from THE HAUNTING to the original AMITYVILLE HORROR - so (somewhat dispite myself) my curiousity has indeed been ignited a little in this new version. I am really pumped about BLAIR WITCH, and I'm glad to be seeing tidbits on its impending opening all over the place, as small as they may be. Hopefully it will become the horror sleeper we intelligent filmgoers have been looking forward to to put the ironic slasher/comedy/PROM NIGHT-ripping-off of the SCREAM craze into perspective. As for THE MUMMY, as far as it deviates from the story of the original version, the fact that they kept the title shows that they are trying to at least refer to that film. That being true, it seems that the revival of any of the classic Universal "Famous Monsters of Filmland"-type characters will lend itself more toward either parody or the "high-octane roller coaster ride" that THE MUMMY seems to be than toward a genuine fright film, at least with the current state of affairs of Hollywood horror films.

  • May 6, 1999, 8:12 p.m. CST

    By the way...

    by Josh Acid

    Harry, no offense, but I really don't believe that Stuart Gordon really has the skill to adapt Lovecraft for the screen (and he seems to love to prove it, too). The RE-ANIMATOR movies are fun, I agree, but I believe that Lovecraft's writing is the scariest stuff in print, and there's never been an accurately frighteneing Lovecraft film IMHO (the closest I've seen was IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, but there's the question of whether that should count as one, plus they still showed to much). The point of Lovecraftian terror and the Cthulhu mythos is that you see nothing; you create the terror yourself in your own mind. My favorite stereotypically Lovecraftian monster description (paraphrased for your enjoyment): "The monster was so scary that there is no possible way I could describe it to you, or else one or both of us would go completely insane." You can't do that with prosthetic make-up, Mr. Gordon.

  • May 7, 1999, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Want a mummy flick? see Talos the mummy

    by hkmovieman

    This movie is pale comparison to the most recent mummy movie before it Talos: the mummy

  • May 7, 1999, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Want a mummy flick? see Talos the mummy

    by hkmovieman

    This movie is pale in comparison to the most recent mummy movie before it Talos: the mummy

  • May 7, 1999, 3:24 p.m. CST


    by pebbless8

    Anyone, what do you think the opening weekend box office will be? let me know- Peb

  • May 7, 1999, 7:10 p.m. CST

    The Mummy

    by afsthumper

    Sigh....anyone else who was greatly disappointed, I am among you. I just got out of "The Mummy" fifteen minutes ago, but I feel like I just finished babysitting! Why? Throughout the entire movie Brendan Frasier is trading grade-school level taunts with his less-than intimidating foes. If you are planning to see this movie prepare for two hours of "I'm gonna kick your butt!" "Nuh Uh, I'm gonna kick your butt!" "Well, you're on the wrong side of the river dumbass!" Brendan, our dashing hero, wins one mature argument after another, complete with "no take backs." When I saw the trailor, I was expecting a creepy thriller with one of those Elfman-esque soundscapes that keeps goosebumps on your arms and your breath in the back of your throat for the full two hours. I guess after finding out that "George of the Jungle" was the lead, I should have known better. Sigh....

  • May 7, 1999, 7:42 p.m. CST

    I just sat back and enjoyed it.

    by Caligari

    I went in to see this film with lowered expectation. I absolutely despised "Deep Rising," and here that director was resurrecting the Mummy. I sat down in my seat mumbling, "Brendan Frasier is sooo miscast." But you know something, I enjoyed the movie. It put a smile on my face, I slid back in my seat, ate my popcorn, drank my pepsi and just enjoyed it. It reminded me alot of the Rocketeer, in many ways. The film is silly at times, but also exciting. This isn't a horror film, more like the films I loved as a kid: "Journey to the Center of the Earth," "Golden Voyage of Sinbad," etc. By the way, I love Mummy movies. Karloff was great, but I loved Christopher Lee in those stylish Hammer films. But, this isn't a horror movie. I agree with the reviewer, it would be great to see a classic monster remake done in a very scary way, but this isn't that movie. "The Mummy" is a saturday afternoon cliffhanger. No more, no less. Relax, chill out and enjoy.

  • May 7, 1999, 8:06 p.m. CST


    by NJFILM20

    I just got in from seeing "The Mummy" and I am sorry to say I wasn't that pleased. I dont know if I went in expecting to much or the fact that I had to piss really bad during the movie and it hindered my viewing experience but I think this one of the ones that can wait for video or DVD. Yes there were some parts that were really cool and Jaw dropping but it didnt save the movie. If they went for a more serious approach instead of injecting all of this comic relief, it would have worked. Also, some of the dialogue was pathetic..I wanted to remember some of it but thats how memorible it was...I forgot. Oh well. There's the first disappointment of the summer...cant wait for more. Later people.

  • May 7, 1999, 8:13 p.m. CST

    Almost forgot...

    by NJFILM20

    I think the best part of the movie was the preview for "End of Days". Looks creepy as hell.

  • May 7, 1999, 10:02 p.m. CST

    I don't want my mummy !

    by Bellringer

    The biggest problem with The Mummy is the mummy itself. At first, the mummy held some shock value...but as the movie continued...and as the mummy transformed back into the shaman priest (or whoever the hell he was)...he became less scary. A mummy is exactly ugly, grotesque wrapped-up in dirty cloths mofo...who should smell wretched like a nasty fart. -Bellringer

  • May 7, 1999, 10:12 p.m. CST

    worried ...

    by petros

    I don't like the sound of that review. I'm very suspicious of "funny" horror. I was against the idea of a remake to begin with -- how can you improve on Karloff? Maybe I'll go rent the 30s video. This is sounding too much like Stargate or Temple of Doom. Maybe I'll wait around for a movie version of Ramses the Damned.

  • May 7, 1999, 11:27 p.m. CST


    by wolf

    First off, I will agree with you, Harry, this indeed is not a very good horror film, and that is a crime since it is based on material that has traditionally been solid horror. However, I cannot say that I did not like it. I must admit, it was entirely not at all what I expected, and I'm certain that the twenty-odd people I went to the film with felt the same way. In all actuality, I expected less of a horror film and more of an adventure film, thanks entirely to the way that Universal chose to market it..."Enter a world of grand spectacle and adventure...on May 7, Universal takes you there, yadda,yadda..." What I saw began on an incredibly ominous note, then gradually transformed into some sort of cross between Indiana Jones and Army of Darkness...which, I have to say, wasn't all bad. There was certainly plenty of spectacle, the likes of which could not have been attained back in the days of Karloff or Hammer, and that was enjoyable. As the film went on I sensed the overall shift in tone, remembered that this was put together by the same guy who made Deep Rising, then realized that I could either turn my attention to what could have been different, or sit back and go with it. I opted for the latter and I had a good time. Yes, I do wish it had been a more serious film, but given what was there, I had fun. It's just a shame that it was created and sold as a remake of a classic(s) rather than as a movie unto itself, based on traditional material. Those were some fearless camels at the end there, though, weren't they?!?

  • May 8, 1999, 2:04 a.m. CST


    by Mark337

    When the mummy was "juicy" did anyone else think it looked like Sammy Davis Jr.? The jaw, look at the jaw. And what was with the girl and henchman being transported in the sand twister? This is a good candidate for MST3K, but since it was cancelled do it yourself, you'll enjoy the movie a lot more.

  • May 8, 1999, 10:44 a.m. CST

    You hit the nail on the head, Harry

    by Opera Ghost

    When I heard that Universal was wanitng to relaunch their Monsters franchise, I was ecstatice. Then I realized this is modern Hollywood we're talking about. I love Indiana Jones and Ray Harryhausen films, but you know what? I wanted to see a MUMMY movie. I knew that this film was going to emphasize the action/adventure angle, but the previews made it look like it was going to have a much darker tone. When are filmmakers going to quit putting "crowd pleasing" humour in movies? Look at The Matrix, guys. How many one-liners does that have? How big a sucess is it? Learn from it, Hollywood. One liners in the face of danger is NOT cool. Unless your name is Joss Whedon, don't even try mixing horror and humour. The characters in this movie were much too flippant in the face of immediate danger. Remember the scene in the 1932 version where the archaeologist is driven insane by the site of the Mummy? There was NOTHING in this new movie that could compare to that. The special effects in this movie were a distraction - give me Jack Pierce's makeup any day. Go rent the Karloff version. Thank goodness they didn't wreck Phantom of the Opera.

  • May 8, 1999, 11:54 a.m. CST

    hide your dung!!

    by Ender18

    I too had very high hopes for this movie but came out of the theater extremely disappointed. This is absolutely not a horror film and with all it's corny one liners ends up feeling like Armaggedon in Egypt. The thing I was most disappointed with was the fact "the mummy" only looked like a mummy for about two minutes. When a film is called "The Mummy" I expect to see a mummy, not fat, bald Egyptian guy. Since the begining was only part I enjoyed, the filmmakers should have set the entire movie in ancient Egypt and just forgotten about Brendan Fraser.

  • May 8, 1999, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Didn't like it. A few points why...

    by Scipio

    These are a few things that really killed the movie for me. First, I heartily argee that the toungue-in-cheek attitude should have been dropped and not been caried throughout the movie. Secondly was the constant habit of telling the audience what was going to happen next. This really started to annoy me. What kind of horror movie tells the audience who is going to die and how he is going to die before they kill him? Just consider: "Bob, you are going to die and you're going to be desiccated by the mummy" Next scene Bob dies and, yes, he is desiccated by the mummy. Scary, huh? The musical score didn't hurt the movie for me. In fact I didn't notice it at all. Either it meshed so well with the movie that it disappeared or, more likely, it was so bland that it quietly sunk beneath my notice. Brendan Frasier was miscast. Can he play a clean cut hero? Yes. Dangerous scruffy rouguish adventurer? No. Did anyone else notice that his pack of guns floated? Oh, BTW, the CGI was really nice.

  • May 8, 1999, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Come on, you guys...

    by Josh Acid

    This was a perfect popcorn movie, and if you went in there expecting a "Great" film, you must have been living on another planet since the mid-70's. When was the last time a film was marketed as a summer "ride" movie and turned out to be "Great"? Plus it was made by the "Deep Rising" guy, for the love of Peter. YOUR ASS - THE BUG WITHIN IT = ENJOYMENT OF "THE MUMMY".

  • May 8, 1999, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Thought is was a FUN movie

    by Unico

    I liked it, I laughed, Had some startled moments, and was entertained for an afternoon. If all you dumbasses would just sit back and relax and not nitpick movies to death or compare it to unbelievably high expectations then you'll have a guaranteed good time. The Mummy is not a horror film, it's an adventure ride with a great setup.

  • May 8, 1999, 4:44 p.m. CST

    The MUMMY&The Blair Witch Project

    by Scorebird

    Heh.It seems we have link this two movies by an impomptu "Six degrees of separation" game. Anywho... I think the MUMMY was enjoyable as action-adventure with horror bits movie,not as a staight horror;let alone H.P Lovecraftain horror. It seems,especially with the desciptions above,a true Lovecraft-type of horror may be THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (i.e hearing children laughing,growling noises,and twigs snapping in pitch darkness; "something" attacks the tent,etc.)

  • May 8, 1999, 5:23 p.m. CST

    should I? NAH.

    by 60091

    I was going to see the movie tonight but, after reading your review, I'll wait for the video. On second thought, I did see a picture of that stunning "cleopatra-like" babe, on the Official movie website. I wonder? Damn those movie people! Sex does sell! See ya. It's the Mummy movie tonight.

  • May 8, 1999, 6:03 p.m. CST

    horror movies

    by LeTo

    I haven't seen the movie yet but reading your reviews always help me to make a decision as if I should go see it or not. So as I can see, it is possible to like the movie or not. I will go see it and make my own opinion. As for the horror movie which scared me the most well, one of them is Ghost Story...Someone of you have seen it?? It was quite simple but so effective to me. That woman as the ghost scared me to cool! Anyway, that's all I have to say for now!! Will go see the mummy now!!

  • May 8, 1999, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Who is at fault?

    by Hildago

    You are all complaining that you didn't like the movie because you went there expecting to see a creepy horror picture reminiscent of Karloff's, but all you got was a slightly humorous, very glossy adventure movie. Now, the movie never claimed to be a horror film. Not the tag lines or the trailers even implied that it was a horror movie. So whose fault is it that you were disappointed?

  • May 8, 1999, 8:10 p.m. CST

    LeTo: GHOST STORY was pretty good...

    by Josh Acid

    ...But it was a little too gimmicky having all those legendary actors in one movie. I didn't think it lived up to the promise that their presence implied. Still, that dead lady in the lake is freaky as hell. Did you realize that that was Alice Krige from STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT? I didn't make the connection until I was re-watching GHOST STORY a few weeks ago.

  • May 8, 1999, 10:43 p.m. CST

    What could have been

    by Miklagard

    I saw THE MUMMY yesterday. And now after 27 hours, I still don't know what to make of it. I don't mean to sound like I did'nt like it, because I really did. It never lost my attention, the effect were good, and concept decent. Yet, I wish that the film would have stuck with the more serious issues at introduced at the beginning. Yet I tried to be funny to...and well I did laugh..alot. I just wonder what if it had explored the charector of Imhotap(I most likely did not spell that right)? I mean through most of the movie he is just one of those mindless monsters heading for a good slashing, the kinda monster that you just don't really care one way or another for. But what if they had explored his feelings more...instead of just making him a killing machine. At first he was just a priest trying to be with the girl who loves him. And at the beginning I really hoped that he would suceed. But of course that does not happen. The guards of the pharoh see to this! But when he awakens he is just well does not really appeal as good or evil. If they had kept this love thing going, I think that I would have liked it more...but they did'nt. So what do we have...a movie filled with super effects, and not much else....I really liked the effects, only wished they would have done more with the plot. Oh well, I will just have to wait for Rice's film.

  • May 8, 1999, 11:05 p.m. CST

    It wasn't that bad...

    by WizardX

    I think this was all about expectations. If you went in expecting the 30s Mummy, of course you would be. I went in fully expecting a fantasy-adventure film, and I enjoyed it a LOT in that regard. As for the tongue-in-cheek tone, that was maybe what I liked the most - Harry waxes philosophic for the "good old days" of the 30s, I rather enjoy the camp that came a decade or two later which attempted to mix plot, scares, effects, and humor in equal measures. And movies like that are rare these days. (Ghostbusters is a prime example... Would you argue IT should have been more serious?) I sat back, shut my brain off, and had a great time. (this was especially nice after being bored absolutely senseless for 2 hours during Entrapment a few days ago)

  • May 9, 1999, 2:06 a.m. CST

    The Mummy: great fun

    by dstroup

    Here's another vote in favor of this movie. You're all right, it *wasn't* a horror movie -- it was a *monster* movie, a different sort of critter entirely. Don't judge it based on what you thought you were seeing, or hoped you would see; it was fun, a wild ride, a kick in the pants, one-liners and all. I'll see it again, maybe even get it on DVD. For those who have compared it to Armageddon: look, that movie sucked for so many, complex reasons... The Mummy successfully hit a tone of action-comedy, Armageddon was just a mess.

  • May 9, 1999, 9:01 a.m. CST


    by Ender18

    Wheeeeee! The mummy is such a wild, thrilling adventure. I've never been on such an exciting adventure. Not only was it an exciting thrill ride but all those one liners were so hilariuos. I'm such a stupid fucking moron that it's the only kind of humor that I can contemplate. Jonathan: "What's that awful stench?". (Fat Egyptian guy comes down the rope.) Jonathan: "Oh". HA HA HA HA Whoooooooo! Get it? It's funny because I'm an idiot and I thought he was talking about the tomb, but he was really talking about the Egyptian guy. I guess my expectations were at fault. I expected a good film but I saw a piece of shit. So I guess I should have expected a piece of shit like everyone else, then I would be satisfied.

  • May 9, 1999, 9:47 a.m. CST

    The original vs. the new

    by Opera Ghost

    This is in response to the folks saying "Just sit back, turn your mind off, and have a blast." That would be all good and fine IF this movie wasn't called "The Mummy." If it was called something, anything else, I would have liked it more. But this was supposed to be a remake/reinvention of the original "The Mummy." Whether the original is to everyone's taste is inconsequential; I was very disappointed by this film. I knew that it wouldn't be an all-out horror-fest, and I expected an adventure, but it wasn't totally successful on that level either.

  • May 9, 1999, 11:21 a.m. CST

    The Mummy

    by jcm74

    The Mummy was the most fun i've had at a movie in a long time. I mean The Matrix was cool, but The Mummy was just plain fun. Was it scary? No. But, it was damn fun. The best thing to me was seeing a dad with his four year old son at the movie and watching how much this kid enjoyed it. It was like when my dad took me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark. I thought this was a great movie and i pray they make a sequel. Harry, not everything has to be super scary. Sometimes, it can just be one Helluva ride.

  • May 9, 1999, 11:33 a.m. CST


    by A Malchow

    Part of me wants to be surprised at the unrealistic expectations viewers had about The Mummy. Even before I had read anything about it (just two reviews and one news article about the slow development of the film), I could tell from the preview trailers that this was not going to be a horror remake of the original film. Everything about the trailers suggested a pulp adventure movie--like the B-movie Sinbad series or the big budget Indiana Jones films. Although I do enjoy darker types of films, I do miss this type of movie, which is usually low on blood and gore, high on action and daring-do. The last two films which were of this genre were the Rocketeer and the Phantom, both of which--although quite good--failed at the box office. And because of the failure of such films, another part of me can understand the expectations that The Mummy be more "adult" by being a horror movie with the gore and dark violence attached. These expectations of a darker type of film help fuel the current debate around Star Wars Episode One, as well. As such, I am surprised that The Mummy had the courage to avoid becoming such a darker film once it decided to be a pulp adventure rather than a monster movie. After all, a darker movie might well be a better box office draw. Still, I am hoping that the Friday box office success of The Mummy might well place a twist on that conventional thinking and convince viewers that not all entertainment comes from shocking violence and dark themes. Given the often unquestioned belief that darker movies are more mature movies, I wonder if the original Star Wars would have been as successful had it been released for the first time a few years ago. I wonder if Superman could have been made as optimistic a film now as it was in the 1970s. I wonder if The Adventures of Robin Hood would be seen as a "kiddie" film if it had been made today instead of back in 1938. A few weeks ago, these Talkback pages were full of impassioned defenses about movies in the face of the Columbine shootings, noting how dark and violent movies have entertainment value. While I agreed with the proper defense of free speech, I suppose I would find those statements to be a more courageous defense of all forms of film entertainment if it did not seem as if those were the only types of movies that some people can enjoy. What does it say if our expectations for entertainment only allow certain material to be seen as "mature" or "fun"? What ideas do we allow ourselves to be open to when we see movies then? What do we come to see as "sophisticated"? While The Mummy is not a flawless film (it is indeed quite short on characterization and depth), it is enjoyable and it does ask the viewer to develop a sense of wonderment (something which children seem more able to do than more "mature and sophisticated" adults).

  • May 9, 1999, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Mummified yesterday

    by Moby

    I got mummified yesterday and I thought it was a decent, though not all that thrilling or entertaining movie. If they had taken this out of Stephen Sommers(whose Mark Twain movies were good, but Jungle Book and Deep Rising awful)'s hands and into Tim Burton's, it would've rocked. The villain's powers looked really weak. I thought that as a silly, nostalgic trash romp, it was awfully uninvolving. It wasn't boring but it would be in the third or fourth viewings. This is the first movie I've ever seen where I enjoyed unrealism. The scene where Winston, O'Connell and the crew crashed through the sandstorm was amazing and worth the price o' admission. I really liked looking at the crash. Of course it was unrealistic(SPOILER: they climbed right out). But in a silly, fun movie it worked. Same with all the chasing of Brendan during the war at the beginning. Of course he could've easily been shot but this is the kind of movie where that's OK. Nothing against Arnold Vosloo, but he just didn't scare anybody. Scarier villain, faster pacing, and more sense of danger is all this film needed. You KNEW they would make it out alright. I gave the nostalgia flick The Phantom a 9.5 out of 10 and this just a 7.5 because of those three reasons. Anyways, the expectations, predictability, and lack of special effects sunk Godzilla, Harry. I really didn't feel like I was watching the big guy all over again over the weekend. The Mummy will be profitable, with a $44 million opening and the possibility of $75-$100 million before May 19th. Critics seemed to echo my sediments that The Mummy had a half and hour too much foreshadowing. I wonder if it will hurt return business, though(with George Lucas's opus around the corner) legs doesn't matter in early may. All movies will be crushed into submission with their business coming from people who couldn't get into Star Wars.

  • May 9, 1999, 6:51 p.m. CST

    Mummy Madness

    by Marcion

    The author of this review was expecting way too much. The point of the movie was not to be scared, in my opinion. It was really, after all is said, just guilty decadent fun. It was never intelligent, but always fast-paced, and after a week of finals it really hit the spot quite nicely. One should never read in to deeply, or expect so much out of movies like these.

  • May 9, 1999, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Why does it have to be great?

    by mcarbone

    Why do you have such high expectations from this film? You say that you wanted it to be great and it wasn't. Why? I want every film to be great, but they just aren't, so I deal with it. You KNEW this wasn't going to be great - if you didn't, you're ignorant of Hollywood politics. This movie was a popcorn adventure money maker, that's all. I had a good time watching it, and I laughed a lot too (btw, I'm not a child, like you said the others laughing in the audience were). But I was laughing because . . . it was funny and enjoyable! Simple fun. Wanna see a great film? Wait for Star Wars or Eyes Wide Shut. Don't expect greatness from a film that occupies the same time slot as Twister, The Fifth Element, and Lost in Space. You'll just be dissapointed. There's a reason they released it before the summer.

  • May 9, 1999, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Harry's wrong on The Mummy

    by drjekyll

    After reading quite a few reviews on The Mummy I realized the problem lay not with the movie itself but with the audience perception of the movie. Generally, everyone who hated this movie expected a straight-up horror movie, which The Mummy is not. This film is not a horror film but a sort of comedic action-adventure film of the highest caliber. I lay the blame for this misperception on the marketing of the film. But this film judged alone on its merits and not what people expected of this film will find a pretty good movie that reminds one of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Harry, you need to see this movie again without the expectations and give it the fair viewing it deserves!

  • May 9, 1999, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Characters without character

    by Gwangi

    Harry, I completely agree with you that the tone is all wrong. There's a fine line between silly and fun, and the director had no idea where it is. I have an extensive review of this movie posted at my website at and I think the biggest problem with the movie isn't the tongue-in-cheek tone, but the lack of characters. None of them seem to feel anything - love, anger, fear. The Mummy is essentially a love story, or a story of lost love - but its core is missing. Why does the Mummy Imhotep love his girlfriend Anck-Sa-Namun? Because she wears a fishnet. Why does she love him? He seems to be nothing more than a smug, self-centered prick. The love story between Brendan Frasier and Rachel Weisz is equally unbelievable. We never believe, we never really care. All the CG locusts, scarabs and windstorms in the world can't make us care about a two-dimensional character.

  • May 9, 1999, 8:54 p.m. CST

    The Mummy

    by Pentagenet

    I saw the Mummy and really enjoyed it so did my girlfriend. I was at awe of the opening scene where it shows what Egypt would of looked like in its hey-day. And really I applauded the cutscenes away from some of what might have been too gory for kids to see, it left more to the imagination and was reminiscent of how horror movies used to be and it was tastefully done and what they did show was enough to satisfy myself at least and anyone who is not into gorefest films. Brendan Frasiers character was charming and the whole cast including Arnold Vosloo (Imhotep) seemed right for their parts. Despite what some people say alot of people in the audience were enjoying the film and laughing and some applauded at the end so suffice it to say it was well received and enjoyed by many. I went to see the Mummy to have fun and thats what I got plus it was a little scary especially the ending which I won't spoil (Laugh like it really matters now, hehehe) but anyway its a good movie to take kids too or your girlfriend, it is full of surprises and interesting special effects.

  • May 9, 1999, 11:14 p.m. CST

    The Mummy was funny

    by The Great One

    I saw The Mummy yesterday. I thought it was a fun film to see. Inititally, I wasn't sure what to make of it from the preview. Adventure or horror? Instead, I got comedy. This element saved the writer/director's previous film Deep Rising and added to the impressive special effects (i.e. the sandstorm) and action sequences (i.e. the ending swordfight with the guardians) of The Mummy. The acting was okay. Brendan Frasier, while not great, held his own as a lead character. Hopefully, after this film he'll get a chance to work in other decent films which will show if he has more versatility. Meanwhile, I truly believe, with the combination of all the previously named elements, that we finally have this decade's successor to the one of the coolest films of the eighties: Big Trouble in Little China.

  • May 10, 1999, 2:29 a.m. CST


    by JJB

    What's with you people? THE MUMMY was a lot of fun, propably one of the best movies I've seen so far this year for one reason: STORY. Now before you say I'm brain damaged consider this: How many Action/Adventure flicks(THE MATRIX especially) have a good idea but then blow it up by going 8 different directions with it in the middle of the movie? The Mummy was satisfying because it went from point A to point Z without messing around too much. It opened with a very convincing backstory(ILM ROCKS!!!) and segues into the "present" of the story with a very nice battle sequence. It also sets Brendan and the audience up with somebody to hate for the rest of the movie. Now there were things that didn't quite fit with THE MUMMY(why does the Museum curator try to fight the Zombies?) and it did feel like an Indy rip-off at times. But like Indy, it manages to achieve a level of scariness without going overboard and being too gross. THE MUMMY is a great warm-up for EPISODE I and should be in the top 5 movies this summer.

  • May 10, 1999, 6:12 a.m. CST

    The Mummy

    by TheHabs

    Perhaps this isn't the forum to mention this on, but this flick is going to make a lot of money for Universal. The producers realized that a straight-out horror wouldn't have mass appeal. This film will bring in all types: there's the horror fans, the Indiana Jones starved (such as myself), and especially the special-effects gang who loved films like Jurassic Park and Independence Day. The fact that kids can be taken to this film is a plus.

  • May 10, 1999, 11:11 a.m. CST

    God, some of you are pretentious!

    by RedBeard

    I'm getting really tired of those of you who are so devoid of any sense of fun or think that you're so goddamned brilliant that you can't just simply say "I didn't like the movie" or "you know, the dialogue was really bad or out of place here". Instead, you (and you know who you are) go on about "this was the most fucking insipid piece of trash that ever graced the screen! Kubrick would vomit if he saw this!" You know what? Fuck you. Some of us go to a film to be entertained. It either works or doesn't. If you think you can do better, GET A JOB IN THE FILM INDUSTRY! It's those kind of people who would look at the Mona Lisa (I'm not saying The Mummy is a classic, so don't even start) and would say "one of her tits is bigger than the other" (I have no idea if this is true, I'm just using her to make my point). Look, we all can tell the difference between a movie that is just for entertainment and those that aspires to be more, claiming superiority over a brainless movie isn't going to make your dick bigger! Oh, and all of you who claim "I never watch TV" but somehow know every episode of Seinfeld... you can kiss my ass too.

  • I ate most of my popcorn, and by that yardstick I would judge THE MUMMY as a success, if not an overwhelming one. Harry was utlimately put off his expectations, if not his desire for a true "horror film." For me, it was marketed as a sort of matinee adventure, and on that level it worked reasonably well. Could the self-effacing, endlessly referencing humor and one liners have been toned down? Certainly. Was it too predictable, too willing to telegraph its moves? Sure. It was well paced, however, and had enough money shots - not to mention the world's sexiest librarian in Rachel Wiesz - to make these flaws more tolerable. Obviously, this isn't THE EXORCIST or HALLOWEEN I, and it wasn't meant to be; it's more a rather less crass version of ARMAGEDDON, which was enough to meet my lowered expectations. Go in with the right expectations - and maybe a beer or two under your belt - and you'll likely find THE MUMMY a mildly diverting two hours with enough ILM magic to last you through until May 19.

  • May 10, 1999, 7:53 p.m. CST


    by Coswald

    I agree with your review. The film should have been Raiders Of The Lost Ark meets Alien, but instead it was Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade meets Deep Rising. Not BAD movies, but they lack the danger . . . the conviction to take an idea and go all the way with it.

  • May 10, 1999, 8:57 p.m. CST

    I'm a ho.

    by Josh Acid

    IMHO, I think the point the "yay-sayers" in here are tryin to make is that you shouldn't decide finally what a movie SHOULD be before you've seen it. That's the problem with film marketing these days: they make it look like the movie you want to see, regardless of the kind of movie it actually is. Right now horror and really cool visuals are "in," so with THE MUMMY they pushed those two particular aspects in the ad campaign. If you had seen DEEP RISING before going in, and you knew that it and THE MUMMY shared a writer/director, you would expect a bit of cheese and humor along with the horror and effects (and you certainly wouldn't have been disappointed). I'm just saying that it's helpful to know a bit more about this kind of movie than what the ads tell you before you go in. It's Hollywood's job to show what the majority of audiences want to see in the previews in order to sell tickets. Unfortunately, for audiences AND filmmakers, they are often very misleading.

  • May 11, 1999, 3:10 a.m. CST

    Not great, but a lot of fun

    by Jeffeeyore

    Before going to see The Mummy, know that it never tries to be serious, has some great eye candy, is a roller-coaster (come to think of it, it'll probably be a theme ride at Universal Studios soon) from start to finish, and I would say that it is a "popcorn" flick, except that some of the bug scenes would have had that popcorn coming back up for me...My advice for the next archaeologist/librarian/cowboy treauser hunter visiting these tombs: skip the readings from the Book of the Dead and look for the gold instead. And be weary of the guy with no skin who wants to "borrow" your eyes.

  • May 11, 1999, 10:42 a.m. CST


    by JaneDoe33

    I just can't believe Kevin Jarre had a hand in writing that thing. Wow.

  • May 11, 1999, 6:55 p.m. CST

    It was bleh!!

    by Miss Lavendar

    too much sand,desert,bugs. If it wasn't for that hottie Brendan,that cowboy dude that looks like a young Kurt Russell, and that hottie w/ the long dark hair w/ that tattoo on his face. I would have asked for my money back.

  • May 12, 1999, 9:31 a.m. CST

    the mummy

    by undone

    okay, i saw this movie last sunday, and i liked it. is it going to win oscars? naw. is it indy jones? heck no!did i get scared? no but that was good for me 'cause i'm the original chicken. i went because i wanted off planet for a coupla hours, and that's what i got. i'm happy. as for horror. well, i don't wanta get on a soapbox here--too hard for an old broad like me to climb back down--but in the face of all the horrors the real world has been dishing out especially in the last two decades, i suspect that it's going to be harder to really scare folks anymore. someone else said that the preview for end of days seemed scarier and i agree. one, 12/99 is right around the corner provided we don't get blown up by something or someone else first. second, guess what? the odds of any of us coming across a 3000 year old mummy are just about nil. the odds of us seeing the end of the world--well there's always a chance.......... bottom line, i took the movie for what it was--not high art, just a diversion. doing anthing else is just gonna give ya ulcers.......

  • May 12, 1999, 10:35 a.m. CST

    come to think of it

    by undone

    the last real horror movie i saw was bram stoker's dracula. okay i admit i saw it on hbo, but i didn't mean to watch but maybe a few minutes, and the next thing i know i'm sitting there watching the whole thing and getting abso-fraggin-lutely creeped out. and i'm a chicken by nature so that was not pleasant. excellent horror flick still, i liked the mummy. i'm sorry. i liked it.

  • May 12, 1999, 11:47 a.m. CST

    The Mummy is for kids...

    by jvoorhees

    This movie did not have ONE character that you can like. Frasier is still George of the Jungle with his goofy grin. The mummy's henchman was annoying as hell (jar jar in disguise???) If they wanted to make a fun adventure film with humor, that's fine. But it's not an adventure, it's not one bit funny, and the writing is horrible. Why does everything have to be a lame joke? The title character is very weak. He was not threatening. The effects ranged from good to OK. The makers of this saw Congo and Anaconda one too many times, then decided to see how bad the formula can get. This is for kids...they say Star Wars is made for young kids...Wild Wild West looks really cheesy...what's left for those over 20??? Lucas says Star Wars is for kids...FINE. But it can also be for adults like Episodes iv and v. Kids will still love it without the lame humor. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT should be the most anticipated film for adults this summer. And they're discussing The Mummy!! Why not just give us cyanide at the door??

  • May 13, 1999, 7:09 p.m. CST

    I kinda liked it

    by 60091

    Turning your mind off and lowering your expectations before seeing a movie does work. I saw The Mummy last Sunday, and I enjoyed it. I'll do the same thing when I see The Phantom Menace.

  • May 13, 1999, 7:20 p.m. CST


    by Vilos Cohaagen

    Just another example of what a sellout and dipshit Harry really is. The film didn't live up to his vision of what it should be. I got an idea for you Harry, get off your fat ass and write a better script and sell it then if you're so goddamn bright. Sure the dialogue wasn't Mamet and the plot had some holes in it but I'll let you in on a little secret "IT'S A FUCKING POPCORN MOVIE!" If I applied the same standards to The Matrix, a very long and boring and much overattted film then it would be crap too. It was fine for what it was, a popcorn movie, so long as you overlook all the problems with that film. And as for Goldsmiths score, Harry you better go to Beltone and get a hearing aid because you can't fucking hear. Better yet, listento the CD of the score. Some of the best action score cues in years with real energy. You obvously don't know anything about scores or composers or you wouldn't mention Yared even in the same sentence as Goldsmith or Rosza. The film works fine for what it's intended. If I would have wrote and directed it I would have gone for a more straight forward serious telling of the tale, ala Bram Stokers Dracula. But I didn't and Sommers did ok for what his intentions were. And it's sure ten times better than that piece of shit "The Faculty" that Harry whored off on this site as the best horror film in years.

  • May 13, 1999, 8:34 p.m. CST

    More on the Mummy

    by Vilos Cohaagen

    Since I raked Harry over the coals, I think I should also nail The Mummy for it's faults too in fairness. What bothered me most was the little asshole played by Kevin O Connor. I can't stand the guy. He always plays some smart ass dweeb who's main purpose is to drive you fucking nuts. I hated him in Deep Rising and was hoping to see him turned inside out in that film, but he survived. I thought he sucked in No Escape. The only film he may have been good in was Lord of Illusions and that was because he played a normal chracter with a real backstory, not some token jerk. I also thought the CGI Mummy from his resurrection to the point of his taking on of human form looked hokey and goofy. I think that CGI looks flat and has no depth of field to begin with, and that minatures and animatronics look better and more real in most cases. When they find the mummy in the coffin, he looks like a drippy skeleton, but then when he comes alive he looks like a crispy critter. Bad continuity on behalf of the effects groups. Other than that it was a fairly entertaining film so long as you take it for what it is and check your brain in at the box office.

  • May 13, 1999, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Bram Stoker's Dracula?

    by Josh Acid

    Why am I reading that people were scared by BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA? I've seen it twice, once in theater and once on video (to give it a second chance), and I must say that I can't think of a single part of it that scared me. It was a silly, overblown comic book movie from the same Coppola that made JACK. APOCALYPSE NOW was ten times scarier, and it wasn't meant as a horror film (certain Kurtz's-deathbed lines excluded). Can anyone tell me how it scared them? Maybe it's just because I'm from the streets and I'm jaded from the constant gat-fire outside my window.

  • May 14, 1999, 3:29 a.m. CST

    Mummy Rocked!!!

    by LadyVader

    I LOVED the Mummy! It was the perfect blend of humor, adventure, and luscious men. 3 of them...

  • May 14, 1999, 6:05 p.m. CST

    TPM and Mummy: Expectations

    by AnimeLink

    Starting to see a trend here. Seems that everyone's going into these movies (The Phantom Menace, The Mummy) expecting masterpieces. Okay, look. There's two types of movies you go to see. The "important" films that aren't so much entertaining as engrossing (a la Schindler's List, Godfather). Those movies you do not so much as enjoy as stand in awe of. Hell, most of us find watching the history channel talk about wars and such and we can say it was very interesting and all but did it make you excited, exhillirated, and convey a sense of overall fun? That's the point of the other movies out there. The Mummy and the Phantom Menace. These films are to be enjoyed, excite and thrill you. Not force provoking thought, or tickle your deeper cortex in philosophy. They're meant to be visceral pleasures. To look at them in the same light as the other category is just plain erroneous. I think Silverado was a great movie. I think Godfather was a great movie. Does that mean I believe they're in the same class? NO! But do I watch them over again at roughly the same frequency on VHS? YES! Guys, if you realize these things then you'll stop being disappointed. And then, I can't believe some people are arguing about realistic situations when we're talking about a movie where a decomposed dead guy comes back to life to reclaim his girlfriend. I.e., buy your popcorn and pepsi, sit back, relax and enjoy the flick. Then go out with your friends and carry on a conversation which uses more phrases like "wasn't it cool when..." rather than "that use of (blank) was so derivative..."

  • May 14, 1999, 6:23 p.m. CST

    The Dummy

    by Goodgulf

    Harry hit it on the head. Anyone expecting to be scared shitless will be disappointed. The film claims to be action/adventure in the Indiana Jones mold, which it closely models. And it would have made a nice vehicle for Harrison Ford's return to the series. It had all the elements. And yet it lacked...what? Steven Spielberg? Too many wisecracks? The fact that after a while you wanted the mummy to WIN? That it lacked any characters you could care about? That if the director doesn't take the story seriuosly, neither will we? I could hardly call this an updated version of the Karloff film, which relied on mood and something called ACTING to spook the audience. The SFX were "ok", but I was more impressed by Jurassic Park. One respondant here mentioned the lack of continuity (referring to the slimy mummy in the coffin, and the completely dry mummy a second later). It may have been an oversight, or perhaps it was the best the editor could do when told to trim fifteen minutes off the film, which is what I suspect happened here (and the intervening scenes ended up on the proverbial "cutting room floor", with some bean counting schmuck declaring that no one would notice!). And yet, in fairness, it wasn't as bad as my son had warned me. I could watch it on video on a rainy Sunday afternoon with a bowl of popcorn and not feel too regretful for having lost two hours. But will I bother to rent the video? Probably not. I'd be more likely to rent the original, and maybe Frankenstein and Dracula (or any Indiana Jones movie).

  • May 14, 1999, 11:55 p.m. CST

    I love this page...

    by banessta

    I have watched "the mummy" before. And all my friends and all these webpages tell me they hate the movie. And most of them can't really explain why. I allways wanted to look at another persons perspective of the movie but all they'd say was I hated it. When I want to know more about a movie I'm com'n back to this page. Thankyou, Vanessa

  • May 15, 1999, 8:19 a.m. CST

    Capsule Review: "Piece Of Shit"

    by Gemineye

    Many people have posted simular reviews to my capsule review so I won't repeat this movie's many, many flaws again. I just want to add a few more random thoughts I have since viewing "The Mummy" at my local multiplex last night. Just being in a theatre mades me think of this Tuesday night, er, Wednesday morning at 12:03 am. So I go into "The Mummy" with lowered expectations, but hoping to be awed by some pretty cool special effects. I want an idea of what else is going on in EFX before we are presented with the (hopefully) state of the art opus this Wednesday. And the effects put the fear of God into me about The Phantom Menace. Because, once again, I see a two minute trailer, and the effects look stunning. But, when I see the actual movie, I am RARELY convinced that what I'm seeing is real at all. No suspension of disbelief, whatsoever. For instance, during the final battle Brendan Fraser's character (name escapes me already) gets into a save-the-babe battle with these re-animated mummy priests. The climb out of the ground and they are played by real people in mummy costumes, there's a threat there, y'know? Then, next scene, he's fighting them off, and they are so obviously CGI it's laughable on every level. One mummy spins around like a cartoon when hit, the next mummy gets divided in half, another's head gets chopped off and 'flies into the camera' screaming. So utterly unrealistic and cartoony.There is absolutely no restraint by these CGI animators, just because you can make something happen doesn't mean you should. So I am still prepared to walk into the Star Southfield theatre early Wednesday morning with the mind of a child, but I still am in total fear of Jar Jar. Binksophobia? Gungan Distemper? Ewokitis? Believe me, I'm a huge SW fan. Went to Denver and everything (was NOT disappointed, BTW).But if TPM is too childish, and the GGI too distractive,I hope that the lukewarm reviews I keep hearing about (I have read none & avoided most major spoilers)will force Mr. Lucas & McCallum to be more adult and less CGI for the final two Star Wars films. Sorry, back to "The Mummy". I must admit the prologue to the movie was almost but not quite worth the price of admission, and should be viewed on the big screen. The CGI in that is very impressive, I believe that CGI background shots are usually done best. The chick playing the princess walking around half-naked in the beginning was super hot, it's great they used a real woman instead of some breast-enhanced hardbody phony. But she was hardly on screen for a few minutes, and then we are left with bad acting and the lamest dialogue in recent memory. I wish we could have had 2 hours and 20 minutes of Egypt with the subtitles and the (almost)naked babe walking around. Oh please god let The Phantom Menace's EFX not suck even remotely as bad as "The Mummy"'s. At least I have those incredible-looking lightsaber battles to look forward to, they are (mostly) performed using real people. Somebody please convince me that I will not be horrendously disappointed this week!

  • May 15, 1999, 1:41 p.m. CST

    The Mummy

    by Launer

    I just wanted to point out that your problems with The Mummy appear to be primarily with the director - it is the director that chooses the tone. Then again, if the writer put in wisecracks when people should be shitting bricks, then it could very well be the writer's fault. Then again...if the studio took the script away and gave it to some gag writer to "punch up the dialogue", it's the studios' fault. I just wanted to tell you that as a screenwriter, I'm disgusted with horror films that aren't scary, and often fail on such a primary level it appears that no one involved in the film has any idea of what they're doing. I've written MY COUSIN VINNY, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS and RUTHLESS PEOPLE, and though they are comedies, I intended them to be "smart comedies". Instead I've gotten saddled with "whoop-de-doo" directors who make confuse stupidity and slapstick with genuine humor. It's pretty frustrating. I've written a horror film with comedy in between the scary scenes. I sold it to DreamWorks. Mr. Spielberg insisted this a horror film with comedy. I'm dreading what happened to The Mummy will happen to my film. Thanks, Dale Launer

  • May 15, 1999, 8:34 p.m. CST

    It looked good on the commercials...but alas...

    by alpha_doggie

    I was so disappointed with this movie. I agree with the review in every way. I thought it was going to be a serious movie, but the corny one liners got to me. They were so annoying. The first time I heard one of those lines I said to myself, "Damn, it's going to be one of those movies." The movie lost my respect after the first 15 minutes. The narrative in the beginning was cool and all, but when the actual dialogue began...Oh my god. I wanted to leave the theater. However, I stayed for the whole movie -- hoping that it might redeem itself. That never happened. I was somewhat frustrated after the movie. My reaction was the same -- I shook my head slowly as I walked out the theater. All my friends felt the same way. I gotta say, though, the effects were excellent. I guess the movie tried to play up to the same people that loved the Matrix -- hence, the opening day after Matrix. In conlusion, don't waste your money on this one. It's not even worthy of a rental. -- alpha_doggie

  • May 16, 1999, 12:35 p.m. CST


    by Josh Acid

    Noticed you didn't mention LOVE POTION NO. 9.

  • May 16, 1999, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Matinee. . .

    by thinman

    . . .if you didn't see this movie before 5, then you lost money. To borrow a phrase froma couple of years ago, this movie was "ass bad." As in, I'd rather chomp down on a rancid, pimply, hairy ass-sandwich than go near this film again. The Egypt intro looks like a video game, the characters are shallow, the dialogue is hokey, and the "action" is BORING. I thought I died and gone to a Tango-and-Cash marathon. Moreover, why does the bad guy want to destroy the world when he wakes up? I thought that he just wanted to get solid with his fishnet-wearing chick again. What a stinker!

  • May 17, 1999, 12:50 p.m. CST


    by Mondragon

    I liked this movie. It was fun, light-hearted, and not gory. True, it is not the greatest film I've ever seen, but not every movie can be Buckaroo Banzai (just kidding). The truth is, I saw it twice, and if I hadn't gone to see it the second time, I wouldn't have gotten my Star Wars tickets (negotiations up 'til the 12th!) When this comes out on video I will buy it.

  • May 17, 1999, 9:09 p.m. CST

    Star Wars: The Phantom Fanbase

    by solidsnake

    Excuse me, but shit, fuck, piss, damn, crap and hell!!!! I, like just about everyone else on the planet, have not seen the new Star Wars. Since I live in Australia, I will also be denied this PLEASURE a week or so longer than most Americans. However, since most Americans are as uniformed as I am at this stage regarding its quality, kindly SHOVE YOUR BULLSHIT NEGATIVE CRITICISMS WHERE THE SUN DON'T SHINE!!! Star Wars was never intended to be the greatest movie or series of all time, it was simply meant to be a fun escapism piece. One of the primary reasons Lucas didn't release the first part of the story in 1977 was because he thought world audiences were not mature enough to handle a movie where the hero didn't come out on top, the characters had a larger purpose than how many of each other they could kill, and the actors had more involved in their parts than whether to be a "goodie" or "baddie". I intend to enjoy this movie, whether or not the acting is the best I've ever seen. The only criticism I have for George Lucas is that apparently he misjudged the capacity of the movie-going world, in some cases, to grow up over twenty years. For those of you approaching this film optimistically, good going. For those of you who aren't, whether or not you have seen it, piss off and die.

  • May 21, 1999, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Had it been "R" rated...

    by MrGooey

    Yeah, they really did deflate any tension with the amount of "comic relief" in this movie. I thought it was pretty damned cool, though. Understand that had the movie dropped a large majority of the "humor", it probably would've been accused of being "too intense" for a PG-13 rating. It wouldn't have been accessible to all the pre-teens and wouldn't have had nearly the grosses it's gotten. Hollywood. It's all money, ya know. I still enjoyed it for all the dazzle. Could've been really great if aimed at adults, I think.

  • May 25, 1999, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Lawrence of Arabia meets Iniana Jones

    by X-Ed

    It was great fun! Especially in the old fashioned movie going sense. It was intense and up to date to satisfy the average joe w/ mental limits.

  • May 28, 1999, 4:18 a.m. CST

    The Mummy

    by jvan1

    Hello Harry, Yesterday I saw a journalist screening of The Mummy. Just a month ago I did some research about the film for an article that I was writing for the Dutch Science Fiction Magazine: SF-REPORT. The things I found made me very anxious to see the movie. When I left the moviehouse two hours later I had this split feeling; one one side I feled that I just saw the greatest adventure film since Indiana Jones and on the other side I had the feeling like it could have been more. This morning on my way to work I read the preskit and decided I saw a great Adventure film. Maybe it could have had more horror in it, maybe the mummy could have been more scarier. But overall it was a pretty desent movie. When I arived at my work I logged into your site, wondering what Harry thought. And wow you just wrote down the things I was thinking. Well that was my two cents on the mummy. Please forgive my next shameless plug: For all you Dutchmen out there, for more info about the mummy, the new star wars (wich is shown in Holland at the end of September) check out the latest edition of SF-REPORT

  • May 28, 1999, 7:55 a.m. CST it's a remake of ABBOT and COSTELLO meet the Mummy! I

    by CaptainBerryman

    GOSH! Did that suck! And now I see commercials daring me to see it ONE MORE TIME! Oh my GOD! I am sick of people trashing Phantom Menace and saying it is the year's biggest dissapointment. This one takes the cake. Not since Clive Barker's NIGHTBROOD has a film so moved me to soil myself just because the action on screen was boring. I'd rather see Spice World again than to watch this crap. Thge only good part was the beginning, when they showed ancient Egypt and Ahnksenamen (I spelled it the correct way, the movie f'd it up) stands there with her hot, half nude self. WHOA MAMA! Then it pretty much goes downhill from there. The effects were lame. I could've done better with cheesecloth and some bailing wire. I feel bad for BRandon Frazier because you could tell he wanted to do good. I bet they came to him and said "We want you to be in's a camp takeoff of the Mummy...kind of like the Zucker Brothers doing the Mummy meets 'Airplane.' " And he JUMPED at the chance to be this decade's Robert Hayes. If only he'd have known they'd markest this as the darkest movie of all time...almost saying "We dare you to see this, will f@#k you up for life..." then I bet he'd have said "WHOA, deal's off!" GOD this movie was bad...and in truth I enjoyed the ABC made for tv CLEOPATRA than this piece of filth.

  • June 19, 1999, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Mummy sucked!!!

    by Trisha

    it had so much potential and i was so disappointed. They could take some lessons from Bram Stoker's Dracula.

  • July 5, 1999, 4:50 a.m. CST

    Help me, mummy

    by Arcc

    Well, I went to see over here in England last week and I have to say - the trailers we've seen over here make it out to be action-pseudo-horror, with top effects sequences and speeding close ups of people saying 'we're in big troube' before showing another dark sequence of a meteor shower and a collapsing temple. And what do we get? Three arseholes running around the screen cracking one-liners and getting involved in ludicrous situations. Now, I did enjoy this film, because it was tongue in cheek and a bit of a spoof, but I can't help feeling that I would have enjoyed it more if the trailers and advertisements had been a little more accurate in their depiction over what it was going to be like. I don't know if you Yanks had similar trailers and ads.

  • July 11, 1999, 7:04 p.m. CST

    I know no one cares anymore...

    by Mishima

    The Mummy was finally released here in Australia. A few weeks after Star Wars actually. Hell, the thing was fun. More fun than Star Wars which was hopelessly sanitised and humourless. It wasn't a work of art, or the ultimate horror but, damnit, it kept a smile on my face.

  • July 12, 1999, 3:59 a.m. CST

    The Mummy

    by Indican

    This film is silly fun with a great smart ass tone. People need to quit expecting so much and realize that it's just a Saturday Afternoon Popcorn film.

  • July 21, 1999, 6:46 a.m. CST

    I LOVED this movie!!

    by Wesley Snipes

    Best action/adven flick of the summer... I went it with very low expectations and was blown away by how insanely entertaining it was. Matrix has a lot of cool bits, as does Ep1, but both suffer from extended exposition scenes which are nowhere near as meaningful or interesting as they're probably supposed to be. But The Mummy is pure entertainment - It's been YEARS since I've seen a movie so truly continuously entertaining. And I love the tip of the hat to all the cool 30s imagery/concepts, like the airfield in the middle of nowhere, the american explorer buddies, the legionnaires, etc. One thing though: See it on the biggest screen possible. It makes a huge difference. Wow. Go see it. And to heck with all the fools who hate this movie simply because they disagree with it on a philosophical level - It's not a horror movie, it's an adventure movie. Deal with it and move on.

  • July 22, 1999, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Rachel Weisz

    by Sorcerer

    I have some problems with the film, but they are moot as it introduced me to the lovely and charming Rachel Weisz. I thought she was just adorable; every time she was on screen I was captivated. A very sweet girl. Which is not to say that the rest of the film is without merit. As a 30's-style pulp adventure goes, it delivers, with a cool villain/monster, some good supporting characters (Ohed Fehr is terrific as the man in black), a convincing atmosphere, wonderful music, some good shocks, fun action setpieces, some good jokes, hordes of zombies and those nasty scarabs. And whatever problems the script had, the character of Evie was well-developed as well as well-cast. It's been a while since we've had a shy-yet-brainy heroine in a major action film.

  • Jan. 11, 2000, 4:57 p.m. CST

    the Mummy

    by krull_boy

    Leave the Indiana Jones Jokes Stuff to the original. The film could have been good too.

  • May 6, 2000, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Harry, you are deaf!

    by Drath

    I thought you'd smashed this beautiful score, and now I can read it. Man, Harry, you just missed the mango cart on this one. This score is breath-taking and it is a sin to just call it "happy." Goldsmith did a good job because the spirit of the movie is not as dark and brooding as you thought it should have been. I think you are wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong(sorry, but your reviews get too much attention for me not to get flamed when you do something like this). When Imhotep takes the Book of the Dead from the victom he's just sucked dry, I felt a little Mola Rom, and The Mummy's openning was a killer. Now sure there are no heavy handed moments like the Ark, but this movie isn't trying to be that serious. And if you thought it was supposed to be then you wanted a different movie(not this movie's fault if you were amped for a different ride, but to your credit you seem to know this). Honestly, I don't understand why you thought the movie would be a horror movie considering Sommers's resume and the ads which are clearly Indiana Jones meets Goonies(and please never compare the inferior home video crap Blair Witch Project to this gem of a movie). I don't think the movie would have been necessarily better than what it was if it had gone the way you suggest either. This is not a horror flick, and it doesn't have to be to be a good movie. And the score is GREAT! You're nuts to blast this score! Buy it, and buy it now, because it is a great musical work. You'll wish you had a score this good on future movies! "Happy." Sheesh. What a sappy way to categorize this one.

  • July 23, 2006, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Forgot most of this movie.

    by Wolfpack