The Mummy (1999) - Ultimate Edition

Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Thriller
Universal || PG13 - 125 minutes - $0.00 || April 24, 2001
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2005-06-03


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Stephen Sommers
Writer(s): Stephen Sommers (story) and Lloyd Fonvielle (story) & Kevin Jarre (story), Stephen Sommers (screenplay)
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Jonathan Hyde, Kevin J. O'Connor


Theatrical Release Date: May 7, 1999


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:

    Disc 1:
  • Director & Editor Commentary
  • Actor Commentary
  • Actors' Commentary
  • "Building a Better Mummy" Documentary
  • Egyptology 101


  • Disc 2:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Visual and Special Effects
  • Storyboard to Final Film Comparison
  • Photography Montage
  • Pharaoh Lineage
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • The Mummy Returns Trailer
  • Highlights on The Mummy Returns


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

All the way back in 1999, The Mummy was a huge hit at the box office and made Brendan Fraser a star. For me, however, I found little to like about the film. I thought the writing was average and the characters to be one-dimensional. What I did not take into account, and maybe this is due to seeing so many horrid movies over the past few years since, is that The Mummy is a plain old fashioned fun flick. What the film also offered was ground breaking (at least 6 years ago) special effects (though today it is easily overshadowed by the likes of Star Wars: Episode III.

The Mummy is a good movie to watch on a slow and boring Saturday night.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

This two-disc "Ultimate Edition" comes with a good amount of features that will keep you busy enough for a couple of hours.

There are three commentary tracks:
(1) Director Sommers and Editor Bob Ducsay provide the more behind-the-scenes aspect talking about which scenes were CGI (by ILM), how and why the film was edited the way it was, how great it was working with this or that actor. It's the usual stuff from the duo but I do like there was two of them to bat about their stories...

(2) Actor Brendan Fraser gives the worst of the commentaries as he's left with merely telestrating what was going on screen. Throughout the film, he would give some tid bits about filming but primarily this was a bore and would have benefited having a partner in there;

(3) The last track comes from actors Oded Fehr (Ardeth Bey), Kevin J. O'Connor (Beni) and Arnold Vosloo (Imhotep) who banter back and forth and give some details from behind the scenes (Vosloo absolutely hated when he had to be mummified... as if he'd like it). Probably the better of the three tracks as you have enough voices to sufficiently cover two hours of film.

"Building a Better Mummy" is an extensive, 50-minute, documentary that painstakingly covers each aspect of the special effects portion of the The Mummy. The repetitiveness gets annoying after a bit, but on the whole it's worth watching if you like to know the behind-the-scenes details in regards to f/x.

The deleted scenes only run about two minutes and although there was no commentary accompanying them I'd have to guess they were cut to keep the movie going. If this were released a year ago I would imagine Universal would've tried to put them back in and pass the whole thing off as a "Director's Cut"... (a la xXx).

Visual and Special Effects covers five scenes from the film with the viewer being allowed to look at each stage of the visual effects (plate photography, visual effects elements, composited shot, final feature sequence). Each one has commentary with the effects guru explaining what each pass over does.

Storyboard to Final Film Comparison is, well, a comparison between the drawings made during pre-production and the final product we see. This is not the most exciting feature (and it's something seen on a majority of DVDs today), but I guess it's good to watch if you care that much about it.

The other fluff stuff include: a Photograph Montage which is a slide show set to the 'Mummy' score; Egyptology 101 is a history lesson about Egypt and the leaders (interestingly, the most know was King Tut who died before he was 20); Pharaoh Lineage is another history lesson; and finally there are some trailers (including one for The Mummy Returns).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Thankfully Universal provides a DTS mix as the Dolby Digital one is too quiet for an action flick. I always like the crank up the volume and get the full theater experience (something missing with DD most of the time). The picture looks pretty good though some parts would be a bit grainy... but it's not distracting.



.::OVERALL::.

The Mummy: Ultimate Edition is a good set and worth the money (which I think you can only buy via 3rd party as Amazon no longer carries it). If you're a fan of Sommers' new classic and like to know more about the movie, then pick this one up, otherwise, the single disc one would be fine for you.