Movie News

MORIARTY Unwraps THE MUMMY RETURNS!!

Published at: April 30, 2001, 2:30 p.m. CST

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

September, 1998. That was when we first started writing about Stephen Sommers and Universal and their new MUMMY franchise. It’s hard to believe we’re now on the eve of the release of a sequel already. You gotta hand it to these guys... if nothing else, they’re efficient.

September’s when I first remember hearing about Harry’s trip to London to visit the sets of the original film. It was one of the first times he went on a major studio-funded junket trip like that. His description of the film got me interested enough to start poking around for more information, culminating in my very first use of my Time Machine. I published my final review of the film the week of its release, and my feelings about it are largely unchanged since then. It’s not a film I spend much time rewatching, but I enjoyed it enormously on its own terms in the theater. That’s why I may have sounded particularly pissy when I wrote an advance script review of what was called at that point THE MUMMY 2. I was disappointed that it seemed to be nothing but set pieces tied together with the most paper thin of dialogue. Stephen Sommers took the time to speak to Harry about what I read, which turned out to be more of a detailed written pitch than an actual script draft. Once I heard that, I decided to just play wait and see with the picture. After all, if I enjoyed the first one, shouldn’t I expect the same creative team to come up with something equally fun the second time?

One of the things I like about Stephen Sommers is his sense of almost total abandon in the way his films are built. He’s not what I’d call reserved. There are several stretches of what seems like 20 minutes or more of pure action in THE MUMMY RETURNS, nothing but gag after gag after gag. In a way, it’s exhausting, but it certainly delivers on the promise of a pure popcorn summer film.

And isn’t that the point? I mean, this weekend is the beginning of May, the beginning of the summer movie season, and just as the first MUMMY kicked off 1999’s summer with a bang of big-budget FX, this one should do exactly the same. It’s funny... when I read the “written pitch,” I criticized the film for the exact things that play like assets onscreen. It starts in what feels like the middle of another movie, and it never stops to catch its breath from there. Here’s the glib description I originally ran:

”We learn at the beginning of the film that it's been eight years since the original. Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz have a kid now. He's your standard issue wise-ass kid who knows everything and is always getting into wild and wacky trouble. They're digging in a tomb in Egypt since they evidently didn't learn their lesson when they had to fight killer undead mummies in the first film. Turns out Weisz has been having crazy dreams about Egypt. They find some magic bracelet. Then we learn some stuff about a legendary bad guy called The Scorpion King that is all apocolypse, end of the world, don't mess with his burial place type stuff. Then some grave robbers fight with Brendan and his family. Then they go back to London. Then the naked chick from the beginning of the first film is reincarnated and goes to dig up Imhotep. Then he comes back to life. Then we have a lot of flashbacks to the first film, but they've added characters into scenes who weren't there the first time around and given the Pharaoh a vengeful daughter who just happens to be reincarnated as Rachel Weisz. Then the good guys go pick up John Hannah, who's running an Egyptian casino in London. It turns out he kept this special magical item we never saw in the first film. Some guys come looking for it. His place burns down. Imhotep brings his killer mummies to London. There's a lot of chase scenes. They go to Egypt. There's more chase scenes. There's an insane number of scenes where scarabs eat people. The Scorpion King comes back to life. There's more special effects. The movie ends.”

That’s pretty close to how it finally turned out. The much-bitched-about kid in the film is Alex, played by Freddie Boath, and I’m happy to report that he’s not your standard-issue movie kid at all. Far from it, actually. He’s a scrappy little guy who never gives in to cute, who carries his own weight over the course of the adventure, and who actually gets off a few memorable lines.

The other major detail that changed is the way John Hannah’s character Jonathan is introduced. He does not own his own casino. Instead, he’s the same sort of charming reprobate he played the first time around, and he’s using the home of Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evie (Rachel Weisz) as his own, trying to impress a leggy blonde. The reincarnated Anck-Su-Namunh (Patricia Velasquez) shows up looking for the bracelet of the Scorpion King, which Rick and Evie picked up in the film’s opening scenes, and mistakes Jonathan for Rick. His rescue sets off my favorite set-piece in the new film, a chase through London involving a double-decker bus and reanimated mummy warriors who are remarkably integrated into the scene. It’s the best CG in the film, and some of the best character CG I’ve seen so far. These guys have real weight and heft when they run down the street or when they attack Rick and Ardeth Bay (Oded Fehr), and they’re menacing.

I heard many criticisms of the original film, complaints that it wasn’t scary enough or dark enough or serious enough, and those viewers are going to find the same things to be true about this film. It’s no darker than the original, no more serious, and I really don’t think of these as scary movies. But complaining that this isn’t a darker film is a lot like complaining that a musical has too much music in it. These are not serious horror films. They’re whole-hearted throwbacks to the days of the adventure serial, and they’re filtered through the uniquely campy prism of Stephen Sommers. He has carved a niche now that I think is his and his alone. Other directors who try this sort of approach to material (coughjoelschumachercough) inevitably screw it up, never getting the tone right. Sommers has such a love for what it is he’s doing, such a rabid enthusiasm, that I personally find it impossible to dislike.

This time around, his whole cast seems to be very aware of exactly what they’re trying to do, and they all hit the right notes along the way. I remain impressed by Brendan Fraser as a physical performer. There are very few credible action leads in his age group who are willing to play this sort of role without winking at the camera, without trying to be hipper than the material. Fraser throws himself into it fearlessly, and the result is highly entertaining, even if there’s less time spent on character than action this time out.

Rachel Weisz and Patricia Velasquez both handle their roles very well here, and they’re playing similar things, reincarnated women who provide strength for the men they love. Sommers writes his women with all the courage and charisma that he writes his men, and it’s delightful to see Weisz and Velasquez right there in the middle of the action, mixing it up, neither one of them willing to just stand off to the side and scream. I think Weisz gets lovelier as time goes by, and the gusto with which she attacks this particular role gives her a sexy sort of glow throughout, especially when she’s sharing a screen with Fraser. Their chemistry works better than the sparks between Velasquez and Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo), whose resurrection she arranges. Vosloo, looking more than ever like a rounder Billy Zane, isn’t given enough screentime to be a truly menacing presence this time out, but he’s got his moments.

And then there’s The Rock. If you look at his prominence in the ad campaign, you might think the entire film was about him, or at least that he would play a prominent role in the goings-on. Nope. Two minutes at the beginning of the film with no English dialogue and he’s gone until the final appearance of the monstrous Scorpion King, an ILM creation that features a synthetic reproduction of The Rock’s head. If there’s anything that keeps this film from being as much fun as the first one, it’s the final monster, which seemed distractingly artificial to me. Still, he’s just one part of the big finish, and I really like the armies of Annubis, so I guess I can live with it.

The reason I was so glib in my initial description of the film’s plot was because I found it all a little silly, and it is. There’s no denying it. But the energy of the film more than makes up for it, and in some ways, I think anyone who complains that a movie about reanimated mummies and other beasties fighting archaeologists is probably in the wrong theater to start with. Adrian Biddle's photography, as in the first film, is top-notch, and the substitution of Alan Silvestri for Jerry Goldsmith didn't noticeably impact the proceedings. There's some great ILM work here, and there's some other stuff that's a little dodgy. In particular, the backgrounds on all the dirigible sequences never really works. There's also an unfortunate TITANIC echo in one scene that sent the preview audience I saw the film with into fits of laughter. These are mere speedbumps, though, little things that get lost in the overall manic glee of things. No, they don’t explain the goings-on in any significant detail. No, the story doesn’t really add up to anything. No, there’s not a lick of subtext. Yes, there are crazy pygmy cannibal skeletons that are never explained, and powers are introduced with the same haphazard refusal to explain as new major characters. This is, in the end, a big giant thrill ride that's about absolutely nothing...

... and to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback

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  • April 30, 2001, 2:41 p.m. CST

    I really can't wait for this flick

    by Rowlf_the_Dog

    That's just what it's supposed to be too; A flick. 90 plus minutes of brain candy. Yum!

  • April 30, 2001, 2:43 p.m. CST

    First?

    by Al_Gore

    I'm first (or second)!!!!!!! I can't believe it. This more than makes up for that election I lost. I'd like to thank Jeevus, my parents, my sister, the old coot who lives right next to us and the academy. Thank you

  • April 30, 2001, 2:43 p.m. CST

    i'm there

    by Castor777

    i don't know what it is but i liked the first mummy. although this new one looks all the same type of thing i just don't seem to care - i'll be there. thanks for the review.

  • April 30, 2001, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Sounds good....

    by Brian 2000

    I have my ticket (c/o the dvd) and will be there to see if Sommers has in store for us another fun summer flick.

  • April 30, 2001, 2:46 p.m. CST

    BTW- Great review M

    by Rowlf_the_Dog

    It is a rare individual that will reverse or even alter their original opinions in such a public forum. Roger Ebert regained my respect as a critic when he did so with South Park BL&U. You gained even a bit more with this piece. Very cool.

  • April 30, 2001, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Is it possible for a movie to have too much action?

    by Sgt. Bilko

    The trailers for this movie wear me out...I can only take so much eye candy before my eyes want to vomit. Patricia is cute but I'd like to see her in a more serious role. If I go, it'll probably be for the JP3 Trailer, although it might be online by then anyway. Joe Johnston rules.

  • April 30, 2001, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Dissenting opinion

    by korbinDallas

    Although I might well go see this movie, I am not particularly excited about it. And the main reason is... the first one sucked. It sucked the way the movie The Haunting(1999) sucked. It sucked because the directors of both of those flicks gave over control to ILM to "have their way" with their moveis. I remember watching the "making of" for the Haunting, and the ILM guys were bragging about how the director would ask if they could do XYZ effect, and they said yeah, but what why not do XYZ+ABC effect, and then add DEF! de Bont should have reined those ILM dudes in! The first mummy flick suffered the exact same fate. Effects for the sake of effects... I mean, once all physical laws are tossed out the window (and very early in the movie), there's nothing left to be surprised by... nothing that shakes you. But then, I'll probably go to the sequel to see... the effects. Dang... if I weren't such a computer nerd and interested in CGI, I could avoid some really sucky films. Anyway... that's the way I see it. Sequels to movies that suck ususally suck worse. I just pray they don't make a sequel to The Haunting.

  • April 30, 2001, 3:18 p.m. CST

    let the summer begin mummy,pearl,tomb cant wait

    by jon-e-blaze

    plus swordfish and shrek i only wish spidey was on the menu and lotr

  • April 30, 2001, 3:40 p.m. CST

    The problem is it could have been better.

    by superninja

    Wiez was great in the first one. Oded Fehr was earth and sexy. Frasier was anachronistic and totally unbelievable. But they needed a "name" so forget making the woman the lead. I don't mind action, I just mind when absolutely nothing on the screen looks real. I'm a huge fan of egyptology, and I'd love for just once for someone to treat the genre with respect and not a ham-fist.

  • April 30, 2001, 3:40 p.m. CST

    All I want for Christmas is LOTR

    by Cabron

    Enough with the appetizers. Bring on the main course. I mean, have you SEEN the CGI battle scenes from LOTR. This doesn't seem to even compare.

  • April 30, 2001, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Bored to tears...

    by MrCere

    I was bored to tears by the Mummy. I just didn't feel the sense of danger or thrill that needed to be there for the action to have any meaning. It wasn't particularly clever or "cool" or engaging. I absolutely WILL NOT waste time or money going to a return of a sleep-inducing action film.

  • April 30, 2001, 4:08 p.m. CST

    titanic?

    by wordsavage

    I read the part about a "TITANIC echo" near the end of the review a couple of times, but I still don't get it. What is a Titanic echo?

  • April 30, 2001, 4:20 p.m. CST

    THE MUMMY WILL KICK SOME SERIOUS ASSES!

    by Matt

    This Movie will be great. It

  • April 30, 2001, 5:19 p.m. CST

    One reason to be skeptical about this movie. . .

    by Hardyboy

    In the ads, Brendan Fraser moans, "Mummies. . .I HATE mummies!" Excuse me, anybody see Raiders of the Lost Ark? "Snakes. . .I HATE snakes!" If they're ripping off the dialogue, what ELSE are they stealing?

  • April 30, 2001, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Finally an actual review

    by Siskels Ghost

    Its nice to come to this site and read a review actually about the movie. There wasnt one mention of what he had for breakfast, his father, or his bowel movements. He told me what to expect and a little bit of insight. Good review Moriarity

  • April 30, 2001, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Narrator has a point...

    by Uncapie

    ..."Lawrence Of Arabia" has some of the greatest battle scenes filmed. Much of the action was directed in the second unit, uncredited, by Andre De Toth. For you that don't know the name, he directed the 3-D version of the classic "House Of Wax". He also has one eye. Choreographing a thousand real live extras is a helluva talent compared to creating them on a computer screen.

  • April 30, 2001, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Hey dolphin

    by booksteve

    It's just a movie. Besides the demons are the bad guys and they lose. So take a chill pill.

  • April 30, 2001, 6:13 p.m. CST

    All I need to know: Rachel Weisz kickin' butt.

    by Sorcerer

    The fight scenes I've seen glimpses of in the trailer already have me hooked. Rachel's a hottie, and after her more passive (but still cute) role in the last movie, it'll be fun to see her kickin' ass and takin' names.

  • April 30, 2001, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Too darn scary for me. I want my mummy!

    by Regis Travolta

    Why is the Rock in this movie? He is a moronic imbecile so naturally they are spinning his character off for his own movie. I am certain after seeing this I'll be of the opinion that the Scorpion King is totally unnecessary. Yeah I know how popular the WWF is but I hate it and never watch it. And is that how movies should be cast? Based on a fake sport that airs on UPN and TNT? With a cast of larger than life idiots prancing around in underwear slamming each other onto the canvas and doing stupid stunts and making dumb faces and saying idiotic things for the idiots in the stands and watching at home? If so then why not just dump all actors everywhere and just cast sports stars? I'm sure Hulk Hogan would've enjoyed starring in this movie in place of Brendan Fraser and why not cast Chyna in place of Rachel Weisz? I will be avoiding the stupid Scorpion King movie when it comes out as Rockhead bores me to tears. But I will see this movie opening weekend.

  • April 30, 2001, 6:49 p.m. CST

    great review

    by akbuffy

    you hit it right man, action movie are supposed to be fun. they never explain and dramatize the audience. i loved the first one, it was funny, and kept me wondering what cool fxs very next, and that all i want from this one, a good time for $8.

  • April 30, 2001, 7:03 p.m. CST

    I'm there.

    by Sith Lord Jesus

    The first one rocked my ass, and this one likely will too. I never made the mistake so many did by walking into THE MUMMY expecting a horror film. I went in expecting a CGI cheese-fest, 1999's answer to INDIANA JONES and that is exactly what I got. I had a blast. This one will probably be fun as well. Here's hoping.

  • April 30, 2001, 7:12 p.m. CST

    but wait...i need clarification...

    by devil0509

    On this web site, I can't handle anything but either an unqualified "it sucked" or "it rocked". What is this? What does Moriarty mean? Help.

  • April 30, 2001, 7:43 p.m. CST

    I have seen the film and liked it

    by Witchiepoo

    Hello. I don't usually post to (or even read) Talkback because it mostly seems to be wankers shouting "It'll be the best thing ever!!!" or "It'll blow chunks the size of busses!!!", none of these sages having actually SEEN the film in question. However, I was at the world premiere last night (Sunday), and can assure you that if you liked the first Mummy, you'll like The Mummy Returns the same amount. It's silly, it's a summer action flick, it has little resemblence to anything actually Egyptian, it's part spoof, part honest action, and a lot of fun. Sure, it makes reference to things like Indiana Jones and Titanic, but that's part of the fun. There were some truly creepy/frightening moments, there were some roll-your-eyes dumb moments, and everything in between made for a fun flick that I think is worth seeing if you liked the first one.

  • April 30, 2001, 8:48 p.m. CST

    dolph

    by kojiro

    What the Hell was that crazy ass link? was that sad pos your page?

  • April 30, 2001, 9:11 p.m. CST

    I'm there...

    by buckna

    ...kudos to Moriarty for bringing up his earlier review where he trashed the flick before it had ever been made. The Mummy was a good kick-off to 1999, a fun summer movie as it is suppoused to be. I enjoyed it much better than many of the championed movies that summer like EP1. Strange that so many people vehemently hated it and still do, but oh well, makes sense with AICN. I assume the Titanic echo that Mori refers to is a seen on the ocean when somebody yells and there is an echo back at them, when of course there are no echo's at sea. Oh and Narrator, you do realize that the battle scenes in Braveheart, while not CGI, were not sea's of extra's either. Most of the shots of the huge armies on the hills were just about 100 or so and then digitally copied and inserted a bunch of times to make the armies look huge. Granted, most of it was real live extra's versus all CGI monsters though...

  • April 30, 2001, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Jesus... God... the holy trinity.

    by brian O' blivion

    Are they really the same being? I never understood that about this particular religious belief. Jesus is the son of God... but he is God?!? Care to explain that.

  • April 30, 2001, 9:39 p.m. CST

    I'll give this sequel a chance.

    by Psyclops

    To be honest, I couldn't stand 'The Mummy'. I know it was meant to be campy and fun... but I wasn't expecting that. If you think about it, the 'Indiana Jones' movies had moments that were far scarier than anything 'The Mummy' had to offer! I wasn't prepared for all the tongue-in-cheek humor that was laced throughout the first film. But I'm actually ready this time. I'm prepared for the mind numbing stupidity of a summer movie with some serious eye candy to show off!! I wanna see Brendan and Rachel kick some mummy butt! I want to see cannibalistic pygmy creatures run rampant through the desert! Bring it on, baby!!!! However,.... this isn't the movie I'm dying to see this summer. That would be 'Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within'. I'm telling you, I hated the video games with a passion and the movie was at the bottom of my list for this summer... but after those 17 minutes of footage screened at the Los Angeles Sci-Fi Convention last week... I know for certain that this will be the movie to beat. Trust me on this one.

  • April 30, 2001, 10:08 p.m. CST

    The thing that scares me is

    by superninja

    the trailer moment during the big chase where Frasier says, "I hate Mummies." Really? Are you sure, because a Mummy nearly killed you in the first film! I mean, it was supposed to make me laugh, but it's not clever at all. So maybe I'm the wrong audience, I'll admit that. All I want from a movie is to be slightly clever. If it's not with the direction, then with the dialogue. Is that so much to ask?

  • May 1, 2001, 2:04 a.m. CST

    We can Critise Dumb Movies

    by MachineHead

    Something I hate about reviews of dumb but fun movies like TMR is that some people get defensive if anyone criticises for having a high stupidity level. Thats the point they said. Well no it isn't. Many bad films are dumb (Driven) and not fun. If a movie like TMR can entertain for 90 minutes and you don't notice the silly plot then its suceeded as mindless entertainment. If its crap and boring then criticism of its inhernet stupidity is justified.

  • May 1, 2001, 4:50 a.m. CST

    Dolphin, I hope you're joking. . .

    by RenoNevada2000

    . . . Because I seriously don't want to believe that you think Sommers and company are actually ENDORSING the practice of ancient Egyptian religions and trafficing with demonic forces. While not the biggest fan of organized religion, I still consider myself a spiritual person and try to live a good life. I somehow don't think that watching any movie is going to damn me to eternal torment as I have the ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality. (It's one of my superpowers.) The struggle between good and evil is ultimately at the heart of all drama. By presenting it in a movie like "The Mummy Returns" you are seeing the threat of evil trivialized, where it is defeated by cunning and good heroes. It's not downplaying the devil, but a form of laughing at him. (I'm no psychologist, but I'm sure part of the subconcious atttraction many have for these types of films is the vicarious thrill of watching a morally black versus white world in which the bad guys get soundly trounced as an escape from a world that is growing increasingly grayer all the time.) I hate to say it, but if you want to protect us from things that contain evil, demonic forces, you can start with "The Bible."

  • May 1, 2001, 6:21 a.m. CST

    The Mummy sucked. Cheap Raiders rip-off.

    by BudWhite

    Moriarty, what the fuck are you talking about? I can't see the Mummy Returns being any better than the original, and the original one blew donkey dick. The Mummy is a cheap, badly-directed, corny, wanna-be Indiana Jones. And it's NOT funny.

  • May 1, 2001, 6:29 a.m. CST

    Count yourselves lucky...

    by Salem Hanna

    ...all you stateside people. Us folks here in Britain don't get it til May 18th. Til then, I'm gonna enjoy the good weather that seems to have struck my region this week. First film was cool. In fact, 1999 was a pretty good end to the decade, something for everyone that year.

  • May 1, 2001, 6:44 a.m. CST

    FIRST!

    by Syrinne

    As in, re: the first Mummy flick: I remember the day I saw that thing. It was hot, in the 90's F, and New England humid, and all I wanted to do was escape. I hit the theater to see The Mummy - which I otherwise would not have bothered with, I think - and sat there in cool air while this silly, fun spectacle played before me. For the time and situation it was perfect. It wasn't a brainy flick, and yes, like Raiders/Indy trilogy it had the flavor of the classic serial adventures. Yet it was much more pleasing than a 15th watching of Raiders. It was a pulpy comic book brought very slickly to life, and I hope the new one is more of the same.

  • May 1, 2001, 7:58 a.m. CST

    the mummy returns

    by zippy-zip

    I loved the first mummy movie, I bought it. I saw brendan fraser on the tonight show and they showed a clip of the beginning of the bus chase. they run out of a building and weisz pulls a bench or something in front of the door and fraser says honey these mummies don't use doors (or something to that effect) I thought that was cute. I'm going to see this one. I'm glad it will be much like the first. The movie makers seem to want to always make things bigger,bigger,bigger. Raiders was good, but temple of doom wasn't. Star wars was great, Empire was good, Jedi was terrible with the ewokes tha that couldn't move their mouths.Also I don't think anybody was thinking about a real religion in mummy except in a vague way, nothing that would be promoting a religion.

  • May 1, 2001, 10:31 a.m. CST

    One of you geniuses help me out here.........

    by General Idea

    Ok, Armageddon was just on ABC last night, & I need someone to put into words what my feeling is here. I liked The Mummy, I hated Armageddon. Now I know why this is, but I don't think I'll explain it the right way. Is it that The Mummy doesn't take itself seriously? That it doesn't put space shuttles flying around like F-16's in it? Because The Mummy is obviously a ludicrous story, even more so than the asteroid thing, but it just seemed more fun because it told you after the first 15 minutes - "throw all reality-based criticism aside & eat your #%*$@'ing popcorn, this is just for fun." Now Armageddon was supposed to have been a summer popcorn fun movie also, yet I despise it. Is it because of the hokey animal-cracker romance scenes with Afleck & Liv? The way-too cheesey music in the film? I dunno, someone look into my head & tell me why The Mummy can be so much better than Armageddon. I'll toss my 6 bucks in to catch The Mummy Returns, because when I begin to hate ALL silly action popcorn flicks, it'll be time to turn myself over to the guys with the butterfly nets... Armageddon outta here. (props to whoever I stole that from) <General exits>

  • May 1, 2001, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Hey, dolphin558

    by Jaka

    GO TO HELL! AAAHHAHAAHAAHAAHAA! Fuck, I kill me. Math problem of the day 558+108=___(answer below). Have you paid any fucking attention to the satan worshipers that post on this site. Juses H Christ man! You're not saving any fucking souls here. And I will not give whatever that link is the time of fucking day. No support for you religious nuts. OK, gotta go masturbate to pictures of your sister before I bang mine. Holy fucking mother mary, I almost forgot about my apointment at the Church Of Satan at 1:00 O'clock. And just in case you where kidding....I'm not bible boy! Hahaahaahaaha!! Answer: 666!

  • May 1, 2001, 11:13 a.m. CST

    OK,OK...

    by Jaka

    Sorry. I'm not really a satan worshiper....just a poor lonely atheist who is already tiring of that fact that when Republicans are in office the inevitable "everything that's wrong is because you don't worship god" shit starts getting thrown about WAY TO FUCKING MUCH! But I digress...Glory was on a the local UPN affiliate here the other night. Widescreen and commercial free. Also not very edited. The "N" word was used liberally and much violence was shown. It was edited for time though I believe. It fit in a 2 hour time slot. My point, you ask, is that there are some EPIC battles, similar to Braveheart, that really aren't that epic. As far as the amount of people you THINK you see on screen. Just BEAUTIFULLY shot and edited. No need for CGI at all. I forgot how much I love that film. I think it is very underated. I wish more directors could, or would, go that route. It's so much more enjoyable. Especially in a movie set in the past. Sci-Fi can get away with it a little more.

  • May 1, 2001, 12:21 p.m. CST

    One thing studios do well . . .

    by Hud

    is lower our expectations so that nearly anything looks good. Harold, as movies are generally made for 14 year olds, why don't you have actual children review them (and their associated scripts, treatments, synopses, etc.)? It's embarrassing to have ostensibly grown men and women describing as "great" or "awesome" or "kick-ass" or generally speaking with exclamation points about movies that are almost universally unintelligent. They are not even especially entertaining. If you compare the way people look getting out of a swimming pool with the way they look coming out of a movie theater, I think you'd agree with Bunuel, who said people exiting a movie theater look like the dead. Why on earth would we as fans encourage the studios to spend millions on movies that in saner times would have been properly budgeted as exploitation fare and shipped to the drive-ins with the modesty they deserved? "Star Wars," "The Mummy," "Spider-Man." Sheesh. Do these need to be movies? Wouldn't they have been adequately entertaining as TV shows (or for that matter, bigger funny books)?

  • May 1, 2001, 12:33 p.m. CST

    The wallpaper is...

    by Jaka

    Is at least 2 vehichles, I believe driving toward the screen (figuratively speaking) with a big as cloud of...something in the background. Explosion...tornado....Also, it appears to be going left to right. With the little bit on the left a mirror image. But that's just my guess.

  • May 1, 2001, 1:17 p.m. CST

    'Popcorn films' are all well and good, but...

    by basara

    ... the reason I, and many others, don't let the Mummy slide with that excuse is- BECAUSE IT'S THE MUMMY!!! Such an awesome idea to play with, but instead we get midless crap. The Mummy has a well of possibilities, and with botomless Egyptian mythology to draw from. It should have been done in the vien of Coppola's Dracula. Now that would have been something. Couldn't Sommers have just taken a crappy property, and made it even crappier? Why did he have to take something that could have been great and put his touch of 'total abandon' (of quality filmmaking apparenty) on it. couldn't he have just made Deep Rising 2? All the other updates turned out good: Dracula, Frankenstien, Sleepy Hollow... And here sits the Mummy, an empty Crackerjack box. So Frustrating...

  • May 1, 2001, 1:18 p.m. CST

    General Idea - re Armageddon -

    by Syrinne

    - yeah, I just saw that thing for the first time last night too. What a piece of poo! I don't want to spend too much time/energy talking about it because it's so unworthy, but one thing that struck me as being a major difference between the two popcorny flicks is that: The Mummy had various action - fights, chases, booms, look out for that trap!, and so on. Armageddon had some intense scenes of ... people drilling through rock. WOW! Half the time they were jiggling the cameras (to add extra "excitement"?) so that I could barely even make out all the hardcore drilling action. Wake me when it's over! Another major difference was that one was a film involving some amount of fantasy/myth, and the other was in the realm of science fiction. You can get away with a lot more in the former - hey, it's magic; it's the power of the gods; and so on - but in science fiction, suspension of disbelief can go right out the window when you dumbly ignore all sense of physics, simple probabilities, and so on. Also just the premise that they'd get these drilling dudes and chuck them into space is pretty funny. As if real astronauts couldn't be trained to do what they did....

  • May 1, 2001, 1:31 p.m. CST

    More hollow CGI crap

    by PR_GMR

    I'll be skipping this one.I don't care how much of a 'popcorn movie'--To me it's just more hollor CGI crap with no story,no writing and no direction.

  • May 1, 2001, 5:34 p.m. CST

    THE ROCK

    by JOROCKIT2U

    FINALLY, THE ROCK CAN ALSO SHOW YOU HIS OTHER HIDDEN TALENT'S ON THE BIG SCREEN. NOW YOU CAN REALLY SMELL WHAT HE'S COOKING.

  • May 2, 2001, 4 a.m. CST

    dolphin558

    by Palmer Eldritch

    ?

  • May 2, 2001, 4:09 a.m. CST

    dolphin558

    by vertigo93

    Do I go to your websites exhorting you to go see ungodly films? That'll be a no then. As for you a-preachifyin' on AICN, get lost. Your evangelising is unwanted, uneeded and frankly unheeded. If your God wil send me to hell for seeing The Mummy Returns then that's a pretty petty, vengeful and petulant God indeed. So I'll take my chances. Take your narrow blinkers off or go paste your pious reviews on some awful Christian website. And by the way - IT'S A FILM. You know this anyway, but you're obviously someone who sees Satan everywhere from blockbuster movies to Ben And Jerry's ice cream. The Mummy Returns is not going to cause the end of Western Civilisation and it's not going to create a willing band of satanists ready to do the dark lord's work. Get a life.

  • May 2, 2001, 4:42 a.m. CST

    As a satanist, i think we should here my perspective.

    by Coopcooper

    listen to this dolphin character...goodness, ha! that mother fucker GOD wants to strip away all that you enjoy so he can mock the pitiable existence starved of human experiance all in his pompous ass name. what a son of a bitch. fuck him. now, these christians have satan all wrong. he just thought outside the box, so to speak. thought maybe god was getting a bit out of hand, so he was cast to rule over hell. and what did god do? cast down plagues, killing everyone who didn't believe in him, eating babies, that sort of thing. hell's a party place, man. its just like earth. life. its interesting, not a bunch of brainwashed fulls sucking jesus's dick all day. "metaphorically," of course. losers. so when the lights go down and the mummy comes across the screen, think of the dark lord, and how much you love him. or your pagan gods, or your love for sorcery, wiccan fetishes, porn, etc. the moral of the story is "fuck god". say it with me now. that's right. this has been brought to you in part by Coopcooper's foundation to rid the earth of whacked out evangelists, and to be horribly blasphemous without scruples at 8:30am on no sleep, while still making it clear that he respects all religions and beliefs, just as long as they aren't cramming them down his throat. and apologizes in advance for offending everyone. good day, guv'ner.

  • May 2, 2001, 11:22 a.m. CST

    re: dolphin558

    by cifra2

    Look, I'm tired of you religious people who think that God is by your side, so you can't be wrong, and you MUST save our souls. 1) I've been proven SO MANY times by God or Life itself (choose what you want), that my lifetime experience has shown me a new perspective and all the preaching seems now ridiculous to me. 2) My life has sometimes been so close to Hell, (even living in Hell itself, in one of the most horrible and dangerous cities in the Third World, at war) that every preacher I find, makes me wonder this: if you're so interested in helping people, why don't you really help them? 3)I've visited misions in Africa. Do you think they really help people? NO. They help SOME people, the "good" christians. If you're trying to survive and you can't be at church on Sundays, your children won't receive much help. That's the real truth about Christian Missions in Africa, so stop telling us why good Christians shouldn't see a movie... it's stupid and obscene.

  • May 2, 2001, 1:12 p.m. CST

    by Jabbathesltt77

    Man, i dont know about you guys, but i cant wait for this movie. What a wonderful piece of entertaining crap thisll be. And what is with all this bible thumping crap. Last time i checked God himself or the "LORD" didnt write the bible himself. So maybe the LORD couldnt give a crap about the "mummy 2", what with school shootings and famine and war goin on all over, i think the man upstairs got some bigger fish to fry.

  • May 2, 2001, 9:14 p.m. CST

    re:dolphin's message...

    by kojiro

    for an opposing view check out a nice little compilation entitled The Bible According to Mark Twain (or somesuch, my copy is several hundred miles away). As for myself, (just because I never miss the opportunity to say it): It is no coincidence that the Bible madkes the father of knowledge and dispeller of ignorance a lowly, slithering snake (paraphrasing someone else but I can remember neither who nor the exact quote). Also, Wicca has nothing to do with Satanism dude, way off there.

  • May 3, 2001, 1:52 a.m. CST

    as a former satanist....

    by Coopcooper

    yeah, i'm well aware that paganism and wiccan religions aren't satanist. i was just mentioning some of the "sinners" who don't believe in the christian "God." as a former satanist...blah blah blah. nit pick the holes in my sleep starved delusional rant all you like. deconstruct my poorly painted characters and historical inaccuracies. and then complain about the costume.

  • I love going off on mindless Christians. The disturbing thing is that I'm not sure Dolphin is completely mindless. He/she seems pretty smart. In a way that makes him/her (we'll assume it's a he, ok? Just so I can avoid future slashes) more frustrating, because there is a brain behind the propaganda. Look, I respect all religions ... you're a Christian, I'm down with that. I hope you go to heaven and God gives you a penthouse suite. If you're Buddhist, I hope you find Nirvana and float around aimlessly inside your own psyche for eternity if that's what you dig. If you're Hindu, I hope Shiva (I think that's the cat's name) gives you all the rewards you feel you deserve. JUST DON'T TELL ME I'M GOING TO HELL BECAUSE IT MAKES THIS PARTICULAR SINNER VERY PISSED OFF!!!!! Anyway, I doubt if you go see "The Mummy Returns" you'll be roasting marshmallows with Satan - if God exists (and I'm relatively certain he does) he's got other issues to deal with. He's filling hell up with the child molesters, murderers, and Republicans of the world. No room for us fanboys! By the way, I love Jabba the Slut's point about the Bible. Here's an interesting factoid: all five of the world's major religions (Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam) have the same message at heart: love your fellow man. What if God sent five messiahs to Earth and had them spread this message, which was then recorded by each messiah's disciples. Then every time a high priest recorded his thoughts in the context of the "holy word", it changed a little bit according to each one's personality and individual morals. Kinda like the game, "Telephone". And now everybody's fighting everybody because of it and people are telling other people they're going to hell, and no one's loving anybody, which is the exact opposite reaction to what God wanted in the first place! I'm sure he looks down on us every fucking day before he starts working (and it's a very, very long day for the Man Upstairs, I'm sure) and says, "Did I overestimate their capacity to understand my message? Did I underestimate their capacity for pettiness, violence, and exclusion? Where in My name did I go wrong?" Poor guy. I bet he reads Harry Potter every day and can't wait for the movie. I bet he thinks the Rock playing the Scorpion King is a brilliant idea! I bet he laughed his ass off at "Dogma" because he knows it's all true. In conclusion, God's a fanboy. And I bet it drives him nuts that petty religious lunatics like Dolphin keep people from enjoying good movies with their threats of hellfire and damnation. And if God IS what you say he is, Dolphin ... I don't want to go to heaven. They'll have to drag me in kicking and screaming before I sit around on a cloud singing about how marvelous God is all day. I'd rather go to hell with all the great artists, brilliant writers, and free love. What a fun place to hang out! Even if I am being tortured the whole time! Ciao...

  • May 4, 2001, 3:54 a.m. CST

    lester b, you're pretty cool yourself.

    by Coopcooper

    altho you lose some points for making a clear and rational point, as opposed to just blind, uneducated insults with no redeeming value whatsoever. just kidding...i think. seriously though, you bring up some good points. i have a lot of christian friends. and they're open minded to everyone, they seek to understand my opposing views. and interstingly enough, that attitude opened me up to conversation on the subject. i let my gaurd down. no longer rejecting faith and god, just waiting at an openminded clean slate, and not denying anything. its the "you're going to hell" christians that give god and the church a tarnished image. but back to lester, the idea that god sent all of the different messiahs is an interesting one. most christians would deny it, but one important thing is the fact that no one can say they understand gods ways. who knows? i sure as fuck don't. i'm just existing in an agnostic, searching kind of state. and right now, "c" is for cookie and its good enough for me. or something.

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