The Mummy and The Mummy Returns
Written and Directed by Stephen Sommers
Starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Freddie Boath and Oded Fehr
The Mummy Features:
- “Buildling a Better Mummy” Featurette
- Running audio commentary with director Sommers and editor Bob Ducsay
- Visual and special effects formation
- Deleted Scenes
- Egyptology 101
The Mummy Returns Features:
- Running audio commentary with director Stephen Sommers and producer/editor Ducsay
- Interview with The Rock
- Spotlight on Location
- Visual and special effects formation
- Egyptology 201
- The Mummy Returns Chamber of Doom
- A special message from Oded Fehr
- The Mummy Returns PlayStation2 Video Game Preview
The Scorpion King
Written by Jonathan Hales, David Hayter, William Osborne & Stephen Sommers
Directed by Chuck Russell
Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Steven Brand, Michael Clarke Duncan and Kelly Hu
- Alternate version in advanced viewing mode
- Running audio (and sometimes video) commentary with The Rock
- Running audio commentary with director Russell
- Godsmack music video: “I Stand Alone”
- Fight sequence featurette
- Making-of featurette
- Special effects featurette
- The Rock and Michael Clarke Duncan featurette
- Production design featurette
- Animals featurette
- Scorpion King: Man or Myth? featurette
Released by: Universal Home Entertainment
My Advice: Buy it if you like it.[ad#longpost]Rick O’Connell (Fraser) is an adventurer. He finds himself forced into leading an expedition to the lost city of Hammunaptra with Evelyn and Jonathan Carnahan (Weisz and Hannah, respectively) and winds up way over his head in the process. Other than their survival of the ordeal, one good thing does come out of the expedition: O’Connell’s relationship with Evelyn. Which leads to the birth of their son, Alex (Boath) who has every bit of the adventerous spirit of his father with all of the smarts of his librarian turned researcher mother. It’s this combination that gets the entire family into the next adventure and the return to Egypt to save little Alex.
Of course, there is always a back story to go along with these adventures. One of the big bad guys involved with the rescue of little Alex is the Scorpion King. We should know a bit more about him, right? Well, okay. Mathayus (The Rock) is an assassin…and a pretty damned good one. He and two of his brothers are the last of their tribe. All of the other tribes in the area are leaderless and without cohesion. Mathayus gets hired to take out The Sorceress (Hu) who they claim is giving Memnon (Brand) his power. Oh yeah, Memnon is the Evil Man Who Would Be King in the neighboring city. And things just progress from there.
Well, if you are looking for some hardcore, popcorn munching action, you could do a lot worse than these movies. If you’re looking for a remake of the original horror classic by the same title as the first movie in this trilogy, you are going to be sorely disappointed. Fraser is a fine actor, he’s just not quite cut out to be an action hero, which is what the boneheads in Hollywood wanted to force him into. He’s made some better, more “artistic” films and was a bit more believable in the roles, so why couldn’t Hollywood just figure that out? Probably because of the huge box office that the franchise pulled in. Yeah, I know. Still, it looks like everyone involved had a great time making these movies and their on screen relationships are telling. Again, don’t expect cinmatic genius and you might not be disappointed by these movies.
If you are one of the masses who purchased these movies in their original DVD releases, be warned: This DVD set is nothing more than the exact same discs put in a different (albeit slightly more attractive) wrapping and re-released on shelves. If you would like to pick this one up for the package, you might want to hold off before you take your DVDs over to the local used DVD store. The packaging may be pretty, but it ain’t too functional. When you open the “Book of the Dead” flaps on the front, you are presented with a clear plastic case that holds all three movies. You have to actually remove this entire case to get to the second and third discs. It’s more of an inconvenience and I’m only mentioning it because I’ve got kids and am typically having to do things one-handed. This is not a one-handed case at all.
The commentary tracks for the first two movies are what you would expect from Sommers and Ducsay. They are high energy and informative and keep the same intense pace as the movies. It’s easy to see where the movies get that feel in listening to them talk. The other featurettes are pretty common stuff. The Egyptology sequences are pretty good, but only skim the surface what most historians would call educational. Still, their main point is to provide you with the same foundation that the filmmakers used to create their world, not to try to be historically accurate. Again, the discs that do have the outtake clips on them are well done. Sommers seems to take great pride in these (see my review of the Van Helsing Collector’s Set). They are well timed and entertaining to watch. I just couldn’t get past the amount of Scorpion King promo stuff they put on the Mummy Returns disc. It feels like there is more information about the upcoming movie than the feature they should be trying to support with this DVD. Oh well…
If you were thinking about buying these three movies (or even just the first two…) and haven’t already done so, you might want to pick these up. However, if you’ve already got the original DVD release, just let this one slide right by.