Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs (2007) [Blu-ray]
|Genre(s): Documentary / Drama|
|Image Entertainment || NR - 39 minutes - $24.98 || November 3, 2009|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-10-05|
Writer(s): Arabella Cecil (written by)
Cast: Christopher Lee (narrator)
Theatrical Release Date: May 25, 2007
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Plot (from back cover): Unravel the enshrouded human time capsules that have become the most fascinating mystery of our time – Egypt’s mummies. Probe ancient tombs to uncover these carefully hidden phenomena, and experience the dramatic adventure of their excavations. Follow top scientists as they embark on a modern-day forensic investigation of the mummies, extracting clues from our past that could have an enormous impact on medical science in our future.
I actually love history. I find many things fascinating from a recent documentary on “Life Masks” that I watched on the History Channel and just general historical elements like the assassination of Lincoln or the many stories of World War II; it’s all captivating...
So I went into Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs expecting a rich history lesson, all be it perhaps a Cliff’s Notes version, on mummies but instead was left a tad disappointed. The feature only runs around 39-minutes and while I realize this was made for IMAX theaters and to show off the beauty of Egypt, I wanted more substance. I know this is a docu-drama more than a true documentary, but I guess I had one idea of what this would be and got something else.
That being said, I did find a few elements to be a little interesting. The filmmakers do some decent recreations of certain events and show some of the process of how mummies were made back in the day, the rituals followed and the reasons behind it. But it’s all a little too short for my taste and doesn’t probably translate to home theater viewing as it would on the giant IMAX screens (originally released in 2007).
The film is narrated by the great Christopher Lee who does a suitable job with that dramatic voice of his.
The Blu-ray isn’t particularly well stacked with features but there is decent “Making-Of” (22:23; HD) featurette, which is only 10-minutes shorter than the actual movie and more interesting; a Film Trivia Quiz for those who like to challenge themselves (for whatever reason); Fast Facts is just a text of some interesting tidbits about the subject of mummies; Meet the Mummies are another series of text with info on the various mummies including Rameses II; then there are some trailers for other IMAX movies including this one; and lastly there is a BD-Live portal (called “Live Connection” on the menu).
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
Obviously the biggest reason one would want the Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs Blu-ray is for its stunning 1080p high-definition visuals, and I will say that despite my lack of enthusiasm for the piece itself, it does look fantastic even on the smaller screen. It is extremely well detailed and the colors are fairly rich without being over amplified. The only flaw I noticed was during a black scene (transition), I saw some dust marks, so it’s not a flawless transfer, but still great nonetheless.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is fine for a release like this. You do have a musical score and dialogue levels seem to be at a good level to hear every word without having to crank up the volume. French and Spanish DTS-HD MA tracks are also available.
Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs is an OK little docu-drama with beautiful settings but I’m not really sure what kind of repeat value it has. Given it was shot for IMAX, you don’t quite get the same experience, plus it’s only 39-minutes long (because of the film). I can’t give it a recommendation unless you were one of the few people who caught this when it debuted two years ago.