By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
After looking at the second The Mummy trailer multiple times in the past few weeks since its release, I still can not shake the feeling I have seen this story before. I’m not as excited as the first trailer has led me to believe.
While I plan to see how this reboot helmed by director Alex Kurtzman and written by Jon Spaihts and Christopher McQuarrie pans out, I am setting the bar low because of what I have seen in past and present products about bringing dead Egyptians back to life. King Tut must be rolling in his grave; A film about his haunted tomb sounds like a better idea than where the creators are going with this film. At the same time, I’m left wondering if all the studio producers wanted is to take the best from what Stephen Sommers created from his trilogy and make simple creative changes to make this reboot seem original. After reading the fourth issue of Hammer Comic’s The Mummy, I’m finding I’m liking their story better. At least cults and hungry devourers from the afterlife are involved than a secret agenda which Dr Jekyll (played by Russell Crowe) no doubt harbours.
Much like Rick O’Connell, Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) is a soldier fighting in a war, and after a building gets blown up, he stumbles across a tomb (actually, a prison) which he makes the mistake of disturbing. He may also have a past that connects him to the Mummy (Sofia Boutella). Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) is just as smart as Evie and has knowledge of Ancient Egypt’s lines of pharaonic successors. As revealed in the first trailer, birds come crashing upon the transport plane carrying the sarcophagus, and as for whether the corpse was awake to summon them, that’s a detail not revealed. Maybe someone has read from a book to awaken The Mummy and to cause the carrier to crash. Everyone should be dead, except for Morton, and Jenny provides all the back story that’s needed to get people interested in this film up to speed.
By Ed Sum (The Supernatural Tempest)
CW’s Supernatural and NBC’s Grimm faces stiff competition when facing off against the forces of chaos. Fox TV’s Sleepy Hollow is successful in creating a melodramatic product and it one-ups the competing products by creating a wonderful undercurrent of terror. When this series features witches, immortals, ghosts, hobgoblins and demons, the Kurgan from Highlander the movie will have something to say about it in a series of flashbacks that may persist throughout this series run.
Clancy Brown has a role as Sheriff August Corbin, who is the first to encounter the Headless Horseman in the modern day. But little does he know that the thespian ideologies from secret societies may well be at the core of taking over the world. Corbin was in the middle of investigating this global conspiracy when he finally loses his head.
By Ed Sum
Star Trek: Into Darkness is a film that will no doubt have many fans wanting to make comparisons once the spoilers are known. By now, nearly everyone knows who the true villain is. This movie’s title card is enough to suggest the tone and direction. It’s to explore what drives men to do what they do. Sometimes that territory needs to be ventured into. And just where should the line be crossed?
The Prime Directive may be more than just a mandate to not interfere with fledgling civilizations, but in how culture gets developed. The intro is very Indiana Jones when Kirk and Bones are running away from some primitive tribe for reasons unexplained. Part of it may well do with causing a distraction so Spock can enter a volcano to save this tribe. But the plan has a few problems, and Kirk has to violate the Prime Directive to save his science officer.
In a plot that develops in one direction, the swing it makes is not necessarily politically driven. Some viewers may well read plenty of left-wing messages into this piece, but the way this film ends speaks for itself. Gone are the colorful suits the Federation that the classic and later TV series defined. When on duty, the standard red, blue and yellow are seen, but as for when they are presenting en masse, for the public to see, some viewers may well wonder what’s with the drab dark grey? Could J.J. Abrams version be a look in the mirror darkly? The first movie established the Spock from the original series universe does in fact exist. He chose to stay out of interfering in this canon’s timeline. As for what that means in this reboot as a whole, even this universe’s Spock is perplexed.