Monday, May 20, 2019

The Mummy (1932)

I expected something very different from this version. I expected guy in bandages walking around and killing people. Old mummy movie I had seen was that kind of movie. This was actually good movie. It tells about Imhotep who was cursed to be living dead for trying to resurrect his dead love. And of course English archaeologists who find his tomb.

I always wondered why Boris Karloff's performance was praised. It was when I thought he was wrapped in bandages. He is more like hypnotic wizard. Without his performance the story wouldn't have worked. He brings other worldly tone to scenes he is in with still being relatable with his love story. He is not evil. He is more man trying to resurrect his love at any cost.

I didn't write anything about curse being connected to box rather than coffin in 1999 version review. It comes from this movie. I don't think it was explained in 1999 version. Here it is explained that the text in the box is more dangerous than man in the coffin. Which makes sense. I thought it was minor plot hole in 1999 version to make heroes find the coffin without getting the curse.

Quick comparison to 2017 version. Helen in 1932 version has more agency than Jenny in 2017. Let that sink in. To benefit 2017 version Tom Cruise doesn't act like he could force female lead to have sex with him which happens in 1932 version. I guess that was viewed romantic 1932. Outside that one scene male lead is overly romantic.

I have hard time putting first two versions in order which was better. 2017 version was the worst. 1932 and 1999 versions are both good and both are good for different reasons. 1932 made Imhotep more relatable thanks to Boris Karloff's performance but you have to endure 1932 acting from other actors and 1932 writing. Brendan Fraser can't carry 1999 version as well as Karloff. 1932 is more horror and 1999 more fun action. Both are worth watching. You can safely skip 2017 version.

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Mummy (1999)

After watching The Mummy (2017) I felt I had to get it out of my head with watching good mummy movie. I hadn't reviewed The Mummy (1999). So here it is. Some comparisons to 2017 version at the end.

The Mummy (1999) is adventure horror movie set to 1926. It follows two groups of archaeologists/grave robbers/adventurers as they found grave of cursed priest Imhotep. Other group gets cursed when they wake up the mummy of Imhotep. Survivors have to put end to curse before Imhotep becomes unstoppable.

Cast has interesting dynamic for this kind of movie. All three protagonists are comic reliefs to some extent. Rick is bit of a parody of typical action movie male lead. Evelyn and Jonathan are fishes out of the water as English upper class adventurers and Ancient Egypt fans. Fourth main comic relief is Beni who was Rick's untrustworthy friend and now other group's guide to the grave.  Fifth comic relief is drunken pilot who has lesser role. Everyone else play this more like serious adventure horror movie.

It doesn't go to Ash from Evil Dead territory. It stays more serious. I wonder how movie would have changed it Rick was played more like John McClane from first Die Hard or like Indiana Jones. I feel he was originally written that way but Brendan Fraser made it more parody of character type.

Watching 1999 version made me realize how Tom Cruise centric 2017 was. I was going to compare female lead Evelyn and Jenny but then I realized only Tom Cruise and Mummy did anything in 2017 version. In 1999 version Evelyn and Jonathan are important stopping Imhotep. They actually do something useful. American adventurers move plot forward by doing something. Beni moves plot forward by doing something.

I honestly can't think of any character on human side on 2017 version who did something that didn't involve getting Mummy or Tom Cruise to somewhere or telling Tom Cruise something. I take Jenny as example because she is character with most agency outside Tom Cruise and Mummy. First she appears to town where tomb is after Tom Cruise has found it. She talks herself into tomb so Tom Cruise can follow her there. She tell she wants coffin so Tom Cruise can give it to her. In England she follows Tom Cruise telling him what is happening and gets Tom Cruise to Prodigium. In Prodigium she tells Tom Cruise how to destroy dagger. It is like rumors of Tom Cruise changing the script were true.

1999 version is better almost in all ways. CGI is better in 2017 version but it doesn't matter when it is worse all the other ways.

Monday, May 6, 2019

The Mummy (2017)

The Mummy (2017) is first and only movie in Universal's Dark Universe. DC wanted to name its magical universe as Dark Universe. Like as opposed to Zack Snyder's light DC universe. This was new attempt to start Universal Monsters universe. Previous was Dracula Untold but it is already forgotten by most. So is this one too. Only thing remaining is DC has hard time to name their magical universe as Dark Universe if they attempt to do it.

I didn't have any interest seeing this in theater. I was kind of curious what it will be but it took this long to check the movie. I gave it fair chance. Sometimes I like movies other don't like. This isn't that kind of movie. This is lets throw things into script and hope audience can make some kind of connection between them kind of movie. There is Egyptian mummy found in Iraq because Crusader Knights' graves were found in London. Mummy's grave is found because two soldiers search it from over 100 km from where they should be. They order airstrike which exposes the grave. Then they are sent to London with the mummy for some reason. Like they don't have anything to do where they were and they won't be punished for disobeying orders.

I could continue but you got the point. This continues until the end. When movie got interesting there was something stupid taking me of it. There were few interesting ideas but it wasn't enough when rest of the movie was mess. I didn't care about the characters. Nothing made me interested of the cinematic universe. Prodigium is mix of different styles without having any personality. It should have more steampunk. It was supposed to be mix of ancient and modern but it didn't have either enough. Modern things weren't modern enough and ancient were what they could gather easily from somewhere.

Prodigium was supposed to be center point of the cinematic universe. Two characters were introduced better. Jenny was practically love interest and damsel in distress. She was shown to be smart in few scenes but mostly she was damsel in distress. We probably were supposed feel bad for Doctor Jerkyll but he was ready to kill movie's protagonist to summon ancient god and kill it. We were supposed to looking forward seeing these characters again.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Avengers: Endgame (2019) - spoiler review

This is spoiler review. If you want non-spoiler review you can find it here.

I assume you have seen the movie or don't care about spoiling if you continue here. I tried to expect nothing when I went to theater. I could have never guessed Endgame would be time travelling heist movie. Or that Thanos will be killed during first half hour. Or that Thor becomes The Dude from Big Lebowski. Or that Hulk becomes Hulk with Banner's brain. Other studios wouldn't have taken this kind of changes with movie that puts end to eleven year long film series. I feel this was end of Avengers for some time. Next ten years are for others if they attempt to do something similar again. They got rights for Fantastic Four and X-Men. I expect next ten years to be about one of those groups. Probably Fantastic Four because X-Men have still one new non-MCU movie scheduled and there haven't been good Fantastic Four movies.

So why I think this is last Avenger movie. Only Hawkeye is left from original group. Thor will be with Guardians of the Galaxy and Banner-Hulk wouldn't work in future movies. They have Sam Wilson Captain America, War Machine and Scarlet Witch to make the team. Unless Spider-Man or Ant-Man and Wasp joins the team. It would be hard to get people excited about that team.

I am bit disappointed how Black Widow was killed. We waited for her solo movie but now it is confirmed she won't come back. Death scene was remake of Thanos and Gamora scene from Infinity War. This time it didn't work as well. It made sense from story's point of view. Soul stone wasn't anywhere until Thanos got it. Back and forth fight who can sacrifice himself or herself took bit too long. After Black Widow died there was almost nothing about her. Only mention she is not coming back. Compared to how Tony and Steve were send away this was almost like she was forgotten completely.

Going into movie it was expected at least Tony or Steve won't make it. Tony died and Steve decided to stay in past and grow old there. They can bring Steve back but Tony is gone. When they made Tony important for their heist I forgot he was likely to die. He was instrumental for their heist to work. But when Doctor Strange and Tony looked at each others I knew this was it. It was proper way to send away character who started the whole thing. Not sure if Tony meeting his father was that important in movie with running time of three hours.But they wanted that there before killing the character.

Steve got big moments showing he is worthy of Thor's hammer. This was hinted in Age of Ultron but now it happened. Bit of a fan service but this was time to do it if they wanted to do it. Steve's send off fit to character. He was always man out of his time and now he had change to get back to his time. Sending both and Black Widow in same movie was big move from Marvel Studios.

It wasn't completely clear have we lost Loki and Gamora. Movie established that only those who died during snap were brought back. Vision, Loki and Gamora died before that. Vision is not coming back. Loki escaped in past with infinity stone and younger Gamora came from past. Gamora disappeared but it wasn't sure if she died along Thanos' group or not.

About that. Movie took three easy ways out. Captain Marvel brought Tony back when it needed to happen and rat pushed correct buttons by mistake to bring Ant-Man back. Third was most problematic. Old Nebula and young Nebula had some sort of connection which let young Thanos to see what happened in future where old Nebula came and what they were trying to do. That was quite far fetched but needed to happen for Avengers to have obstacle to overcome.

I think rules of time travel are big mess if you analyze them further. They worked first time because there was so much going on. Next time I listen more carefully. It is problem they still have working time machine. There is no reason why they couldn't use it in future. It can also make people young again. Probably they didn't figure out in time way to return infinity stones and destroy the time machine.

I wonder what they are planning to do with Captain Marvel. She is One Punch Man or should I say One Punch Woman. That is how she was used here. She came to solve problems when she was needed. Other times others had to do by themselves until Captain Marvel was needed. I was looking forward second movie after her first movie. But now I am not so sure. She is made to be so powerful only thing to worry is if she gets to fight in time. It was like that in finale of her movie but it seem to be even more in this one. One Punch Man played that angle well. Will Captain Marvel do the same. Will her next movie be mix of One Punch Man and Psycho-Pass?