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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Alex Kurtzman
Cast:
Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Russell Crowe
Writing Credits:
Dylan Kussman, David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie

Synopsis:
An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.

Box Office:
Budget
$125 Million.
Opening Weekend
$31,688,375 on 4035 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$80,101,125.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English Dolby Atmos
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
English DVS
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish

Runtime: 110 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 9/12/2017

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Alex Kurtzman and Actors Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson
• Deleted/Extended Scenes
• “Cruise & Kurtzman: A Conversation” Featurette
• “Rooted in Reality” Featurette
• “Life in Zero-G” Featurette
• “Meet Ahmanet” Featurette
• “Cruise in Action” Featurette
• “Becoming Jekyll and Hyde” Featurette
• “Choreographed Chaos” Featurette
• “In Search of a Soul” Featurette
• Animated Graphic Novel
• Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


The Mummy [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 4, 2017)

Back in 1999, a loose remake of the classic Mummy became a major hit. In 2017, Universal attempted to “reboot” the franchise and also launch a series of action/horror flicks called the “Dark Universe”.

Alas, the box office receipts that greeted the 2017 Mummy cast a shadow on these plans. Intended to be one of the summer’s big blockbusters, Mummy took in a weak $80 million in the US. Better performance overseas meant the film likely turned a slim profit, but this sure wasn’t the massive hit Universal desired and expected,

Did Mummy deserve better? Not really – while more entertaining than its many detractors claim, I can’t argue that the film suffered an unjust fate.

In ancient Egypt, Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) attempts to stage a coup against her father, Pharaoh Menehptre (Selva Rasalingam). His priests foil this plot, however, and mummify Ahmanet alive.

Fast-forward to present day and a soldier named Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) stumbles upon Ahmanet’s tomb. After archaeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) assists in the removal of the sarcophagus, authorities try to fly it back to England.

“Try to” being the operative phrase, as this doesn’t go well. From beyond the grave, Ahmanet’s power possesses Nick’s buddy Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) and disaster ensues, all with the result that Ahmanet eventually poses a major threat to civilization.

Has Tom Cruise turned into an anachronism? He’s the definitive movie star of the last 35 years, but he now faces a cinematic universe that puts less and less emphasis on the financial power of movie stars.

While I think Cruise boasts real acting talent, he does tend to specialize in the “Tom Cruise Character”. I suspect Maverick from Top Gun acts as the archetype: a charismatic, self-confident “Type A” who shows heroic prowess.

Cruise can flesh out that sort of role well, as even at the “advanced” age of 55, he continues to display great action star chops. He barely shows the years after all this time.

One negative side effect occurs, though, as almost every action flick in which he appears inevitably winds up as a “Tom Cruise Movie”. One can quibble about differences among the lead characters in the Mission: Impossible or Jack Reacher series, but in the end, they just become that “Tom Cruise Movie Persona” I mentioned earlier.

This occurs for Mummy as well, and it creates a negative aspect of the film, though not because Cruise does poorly in the part. While he fails to make Nick anything more dynamic than the usual “Cruise role”, he exerts his usual level of investment and energy.

No, the problem stems from the muddled nature of Mummy. With Cruise in tow, there seems to be a concerted effort to make the film line up with those other Cruise franchises I mentioned, and this just doesn’t work.

Sure, the 1999 Mummy hewed closer to action than to horror, but I didn’t mind because the filmmakers went all in with that choice. In this case, however, those behind Mummy never quite decide what sort of story they want to tell, so both the horror and the action suffer.

From what I know about the production, Mummy started as more of a horror tale but once Cruise got involved, he pushed it more toward the “Tom Cruise Action Experience” side of things. If true, that was a mistake, as it leaves the movie in a weird netherworld where it satisfies neither of its masters.

Oh, Mummy manages some good action at times, like the exciting plane crash sequence. And it churns out a hint of horror as well, mainly due to Boutella’s solid turn as the title character. Though allowed little room to play, Boutella creates a surprisingly creepy and effective persona.

All of this seems like enough to keep us with the movie as it goes, but it never allows Mummy to rise above a level of passable mediocrity. Granted, in the summer of 2017 – a season packed with many big-budget flops – “passable mediocrity” actually looks relatively good, but it doesn’t make Mummy something I can really recommend.

It’s just the movie’s lack of focus that alienates me. If Mummy better accentuated the horror or if it went full-on in terms of action, I think it’d give us something more satisfying.

As it stands, though, Mummy straddles too many fences. Honestly, it feels more like a Mission: Impossible flick with supernatural elements than a viable entry in the Universal Monsters realm.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio A-/ Bonus B

The Mummy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though more than watchable, the image seemed less dynamic than I expected.

Sharpness became a minor issue, as Mummy lacked the detail I anticipated. While the movie almost always displayed good accuracy, it could seem a little tentative and didn’t portray the clarity I thought I’d get.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I witnessed no edge haloes. Source flaws also remained absent.

Like most other big action flicks, Mummy opted for a heavy orange and teal orientation. Even when we went into the desert, those tones dominated, so expect orange-flavored sand. These hues seemed a little less full than I’d expect, but they still worked well enough.

Blacks were dense and dark, and shadows seemed largely positive. Mummy came with more low-light shots than the average summer blockbuster, and those shots could lean a little too thick at times, but not to a problematic degree. In the end, this was a satisfactory but unexceptional image.

The film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack worked well. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the movie’s many action scenes used the spectrum in an active manner.

This meant a mix of standout moments. From a plane crash to the tomb excavation to other action beats, the track boasted plenty of strong sequences, all of which worked nicely. Elements blended together well and moved around the channels in a smooth, tight manner.

Audio quality seemed solid. Music was rich and full, while speech appeared natural and concise. Effects showed excellent reproduction, with clean highs and deep low-end response. The soundtrack lived up to expectations for a big budget action flick of this sort.

As we head to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director Alex Kurtzman and actors Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson. All four sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, sets and locations, production design, cast and performances, music, stunts and action, effects and connected topics.

At its best, this becomes a decent chat. Matters get a little messy at times, as the participants occasionally speak over each other, and more than a smidgen of happy talk materializes.

Still, we get a reasonable look at the production, and Kurtzman does most of the heavy lifting. The actors throw in their own two cents well enough to turn this into a moderately informative piece.

Four Deleted and Extended Scenes run a total of four minutes, 52 seconds. We find “Beautiful, Cunning and Ruthless” (1:42), “Your Friend Is Alive” (0:52), “Sand In My Mouth” (1:00) and “She’s Escaped’ (1:18).

These tend to seem inconsequential, so don’t expect much. At least “Alive” offers a brief comedic piece that involves a coroner.

A slew of featurettes ensue, and these begin with Cruise & Kurtzman: A Conversation. In this 21-minute, 15-second reel, Kurtzman and actor Tom Cruise discuss story/characters, cast and performances, stunts and action, effects, sets and locations, and their collaboration.

When Cruise gets involved in an interview, praise and hyperbole dominate, and that becomes the case here. Occasionally he and Kurtzman hit on some useful issues, but they usually just blow smoke and make this a less than informative piece.

With the six-minute, 52-second Rooted in Reality, we hear from Kurtzman, Cruise, Wallis, producers Sean Daniel and Chris Morgan, production designer John Hutman, animation supervisor Glen McIntosh, executive producer Jeb Brody, set decorator Jille Azis, supervising art director Frank Walsh, museum senior curator James MacLaine, and actor Russell Crowe. The featurette examines production design and attempts to ground the film. Despite some of the usual fluffery, we get a reasonable amount of content here.

Next comes Life in Zero-G: Creating the Plane Crash, a seven-minute, 32-second clip with Kurtzman, Cruise, Brody, Wallis, special effects supervisor Dominic Tuohy, zero-G pilot Jean-Francois Clervoy, visual effects supervisor Erik Nash, 2nd unit director/stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood, 2nd unit DP Andrew Rowlands, art director James Lewis, and property master David Cheesman. Like the title implies, this one looks at issues related to an airborne stunt sequence. It manages to become a productive use of time.

During the seven-minute, 39-second Meet Ahmanet, we hear from Cruise, Boutella, Kurtzman, Brody, Nash, McIntosh, Eastwood, special effects makeup designer David White, dancer Claudia Hughes, and hair/makeup designer Lizzzie Yianni Georgiou. “Meet” gives us notes about Boutella and her character. This gives us a bit of praise for the actor but it still musters some useful info.

For more with the lead actor, we go to Cruise In Action. a six-minute, nine-second piece with Kurtzman, Cruise, Johnson, Wallis, Eastwood, Brody, Tuohy, Daniel, Boutella, picture vehicles supervisor Graham Kelly and producer Sarah Bradshaw. As expected, we hear about the greatness that is Cruise. Though we find some decent shots from the set, this remains a fluffy piece.

Becoming Jekyll and Hyde lasts seven minutes, 10 seconds and features Kurtzman, Cruise, Crowe, Brody, Daniel, Hutman, Azis, Cheesman, costume designer Penny Rose, editor Gina Hirsch, and actor Marwan Kenzari. The show examines the movie’s depiction of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Though I feared it’d devolve into praise for Crowe, we actually get a pretty good collection of notes.

After this we find Choreographed Chaos, a six-minute, 35-second program with Kurtzman, Cruise, Daniel, Wallis, Nash, Hutman, Boutella, Brody, and associate producer Kevin Elam. “Chaos” discusses the London locations and aspects of the stunts/action. It becomes a decent but not especially memorable overview.

Finally, we get Nick Morton: In Search of a Soul. It fills five minutes, 43 seconds with remarks from Cruise, Kurtzman, Brody, Wallis and Boutella. We find a handful of superficial, forgettable notes about Cruise’s character.

Ahmanet Reborn provides an animated graphic novel. It runs three minutes, 52 seconds and adds to Ahmenet’s backstory in a mildly interesting manner.

The disc opens with ads for Atomic Blonde, Despicable Me 3 and Cult of Chucky. No trailer for Mummy appears here.

With a lot of action and adventure on display, The Mummy keeps us moderately involved in its material. However, it lacks personality and falls short of its goals. The Blu-ray provides generally good picture along with excellent audio and a generally satisfying set of supplements. While not a bad film, Mummy lacks much real punch.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.25 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main