MUMMY, THE (WIDESCREEN)
Reviewed November 10th, 1999 by Staff
The film begins in ancient Egypt where Imhotep, High Priest of the Dead (Arnold Vosloo), has had the audacity to fall in love with the Pharaoh's mistress. When the Pharaoh finds them out, the two murder him. Then she kills herself, and Imhotep is captured. His punishment, of course, is death, but not just any death. He is mummified alive in a coffin full of flesh-eating scarab beetles, which look scary enough to make anyone quiver.
Now fast forward 3000 years to 1923 and the lost city of Hamunaptra, legendary City of the Dead and final resting place of Imhotep and his lover. Dashing legionnaire Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) leads a group of treasure hunters including Evelyn (Rachel Weisz), her brother Jonathan (John Hannah), and a weaselly scamp named Beni (Kevin J O'Conner) in search of riches. The visitors inadvertently reawaken the festering mummy of Imhotep, who is in no mood for merriment and after all these years wants nothing more than his body back, his lover back, and the rest of the world while he's at it. They find themselves faced with a torrent of terrors and a spirit whose evil knows no bounds.
The picture quality of this 2.35:1 anamorphically enhanced DVD is absolutely flawless. The real stars of the film are the people behind the scenes. They produced massive sets, repellent creatures, ingenious windstorms and clouds of dust, hordes of nasty beetles, and enough visual splendor to keep anyone occupied for more than a few repeat viewings. All of the colors are clean and crisp, which is amazing considering much of the movie takes place either in bright desert sun, or inside a dark pyramid.
In Dolby Digital 5.1, the soundtrack is incredible. The sound really makes the movie. Every speaker is filled with outstanding music and special effects. All of the speakers are active almost entirely throughout the movie. The final sequence will especially get your sub going. All of the actors can be clearly heard as well as all of the sound effects which are a huge part of the film. In a word, the sound is “perfect”.
This disc is totally packed with extras, of which the two most prominent are the audio commentary and the documentary. The commentary features the voices of director Sommers and editor Bob Ducsay explaining each scene in the film. The accompanying fifty minute long documentary, “Building a Better Mummy”, is very interesting when it comes to the many computer aided scenes. Another segment is “Egyptology 101”, is devoted to everything you ever wanted to know about pyramids, mummification, curses, plagues, and all else Egyptian. There are also several deleted scenes which are amusing, and trailers of this film, along with “End of Days” and “For love of the Game”. Also, if you have a DVD-ROM drive in your computer, you can access an interactive “Mummy” game, a couple of screensavers, and some electronic postcards.
This title is a perfect example of how Universal studios not only understands the DVD medium, but knows how to give the audience the most bang for its video buck.
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