The Mummy Returns (2001) - Deluxe Edition [Blu-Ray]

Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Fantasy
Universal || PG13 - 130 minutes - $29.98 || July 22, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-07-31


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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

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Stephen Sommers
Writer(s): Stephen Sommers (written by)
Cast: Brandan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Oded Fehr, The Rock


Theatrical Release Date: May 4, 2001


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • U-Control (BD Exclusive)
  • Feature Commentary
  • The Mummy 3 Sneak Peak
  • An Army to Rule the World Part 2
  • Unraveling the Legacy of The Mummy
  • Spotlight on Location
  • Visual and Special Effects
  • Outtake Reel
  • Music Video
  • Lightening Crashes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (DTS MA), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

After the huge success of The Mummy there was no doubt in any one’s mind that a sequel would eventually come out. In 2001 The Mummy Returns was released, and while not as good as the first one, still is a great mindless adventure romp that is sure to entertain.

The great thing about The Mummy Returns is everyone is back including the cast and various film makers. So if you enjoyed The Mummy, then you will no doubt enjoy The Mummy Returns. Personally its not as good as it predecessor, but its only a slight notch down due to my reason below.

Since the film takes place several years after the first, the writers decided to do something that most TV sitcoms will do once the chemistry begins to get stale - adding a child to the mix. One of the worst things about this film is Alex O'Connell (Freddie Boath), the spawn of Rick and Evelyn. If there is ever a kid to hate in a film... this would be it. Right from the start he does nothing but screw up and cause annoyance in the entire film. Why, oh why did the writers have to give them a child? Was it really necessary?

In the long time that has passed since the conclusion of The Mummy most of the characters have improved their fighting skills making the film much more believable during action scenes. Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) who was the damsel in distress in the first film has some pretty amazing movies, and Rick (Brendan Fraser) especially has taken the action up a notch.

Other then the writers thinking it was a good idea to toss a kid into the picture (so soon), the film is actually pretty good and a worthy sequel. With a great mix of adventure, action, humor and still a bit of romance for the women, the film does not suffer from the usual sequel sucking syndrome that typically hits most franchises early on.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Universal has included a very nice slip cover as well as a redemption code (to be entered in online) for a free movie ticket to see The Mummy: The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor which opens up August 1st.

All Special Features are once again presented in SD.

U-Control (PS3 or Profile 1.1/2.0 Players Only) - Universal continues with their U-Control and once again have provided PiP videos, cast interviews and other nuggets of factoids. This is a great feature and if you don't like going through each individual features one by one it's a great way to get the best of everything wrapped up in a nice little, interactive package. ** BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE **

Commentary with Stephen Sommers (Writer/Director) & Bob Sucsay (Producer) - A thoroughly interesting commentary where both discuss various aspects of the film. This has a great tone to it and worth a listen.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragons Emperor Sneak Peak (~3 Minutes) - A very short look at the all new Mummy film due in theaters very soon. Pretty lame it's in SD. Exactly the same feature that is on The Mummy disc as well. ** NEW FEATURE **

An Army to Rule the World Part 2 (5:59) - An incredibly short look at the Scorpion King's army and how some of the bad guys in the film were designed. ** NEW FEATURE **

Unraveling the Legacy of The Mummy (8:07) - A short look at the original Mummy (and it sequels) and a look at the 1999 Mummy film. Exactly the same feature that is on The Mummy disc as well ** NEW FEATURE **

Spotlight on Location (20:03) - A very uninformative special feature that is your typical 'the film was great as is my co-stars...' type segments. Simply put, this is a fluff feature.

Visual and Special Effects:
- Imhotep Returns
- Pygmy Mummies Attack
- Anubis Warriors Rising
- Scorpion King Reveled

 This feature takes a look at the above scenes in various forms all the way until they get to the completed stage.

Also included is a short outtake reel (~5 Minutes), A Conversation with the Rock (~4 Minutes) and music video (~4 Minutes) by the band LIVE (Remember them with the hit song Lightening Crashes? Brilliant! Here... no so much).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The Mummy Returns is presented in its Original Aspect Ratio (VC1) 2.35:1 on a 50GB disc. Once again Universal has done a great job transition from HD DVD to Blu-ray and this release is nothing short of spectacular. The O'Connell home has numerous artifacts on display and all of them can be picked out from scene to scene. Blacks are very dark and the CGI has been taken up a notch from the previous film.

Universal continues to trend with dropping their old DD+ tracks in favor of DTS MA. Once again this is another demo sound track as everything here feels very alive and vibrant. I would even say this is a much better mix than The Mummy. Also included are Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks (in English, Spanish and French) as well as Dolby DTS tracks (in Spanish and French). The only bad thing here is that if you do not have a receiver capable of decoding DTS MA or a player (PS3, Panasonic DMP-BD50) you are stuck with the core from DTS MA or a basic Dolby Digital 5.1 track.

For those with the current HD DVDs wondering if they should upgrade... it's a tough call. The video and sound quality is better than the HD DVD version and while the Blu-ray version has some brand new extra features, the only one that's decent is the U-Control. Personally, I sold my HD DVD versions for these Blu-rays for a few reasons. The first being I really love slip covers and both of these releases included them. The second being with the new Mummy coming out in theaters (and eventually Blu-ray), it would bug me too much to not have all The Mummy (and even Scorpion King) movies on the same format. The upgrade in picture and audio was not a deciding factor in my decision.



.::OVERALL::.

The Mummy Returns is a successful sequel because it brings back all of the characters we loved from the first film. The Blu-ray release features spectacular picture and audio quality and while most of the special features are re-cycled from the previous DVD editions, they still will hold your interest for well after the movie ends.