Movie Review – ‘The Mummy’ is a Hollow Soul Wrapped in a Fun Adventure

the mummy movie

Many who hear the title The Mummy likely think of the 1999 Brendan Fraser movie, its two sequels, and that spinoff with The Rock. This is not that movie. We all know Hollywood loves trends. Endless sequels, remakes, reboots, and breaking up movies into parts, have all been the bread and butter of the industry. The Mummy directed by Alex Kurtzman and starring Tom Cruise hops onto one of those bandwagons (remake) with one additional one. It’s part of the “Dark Universe.”

With the outstanding success by Marvel Studios, cinematic universes are now tickling every Hollywood executives fancy and Universal Studios is no exception. The Mummy is the first of many monster movies to exist within the same cinematic universe. It’s important to note this before getting started. Understanding what a movie sets out to do is a big part of figuring out whether or not it’s any good.
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Movie Review – You’ll Wish You Were Dead by the End of ‘Rings’

Released in 2002, The Ring is a solid horror mystery directed by Gore Verbinksi with a terrific performance by Naomi Watts. It is a simple, effective story about a detective who needs to solve a murder mystery before she dies in seven days. You care about her character and feel the weight of time as she struggles to piece things together. Alas, I am not reviewing The Ringbut it’s ugly, unwanted stepchild.

Rings is the antithesis of its predecessor, and not in any good or admiring ways. It’s atrociously awful. Its only virtue is the cinematography from Sharone Meir (Whiplash) which frankly it doesn’t deserve.

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Movie Review — ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ — The Rare Horror Franchise that Deserves to Go Viral

2008’s Cloverfield was a decent monster flick that suffered from one fatal flaw: it was a found footage film that did not need found footage. Writer Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and director Matt Reeves (Let Me In) had proven they were more than capable of developing characters and building suspense the old fashioned way. The shaky camerawork and gimmicky “realism” just got in the way.

The argument, I suppose, went that massive disasters today are also viral media events. Horror should address the way we view catastrophes in the modern world: at a distance, from low res cellphone footage taken by onlookers. Fair enough. But the movie wasn’t committed to that perspective. We weren’t watching the monster from the camera phones of helpless bystanders on the ground. We were platform jumping across skyscrapers and going on missions like any hundred million dollar blockbuster. In the end, if the film aspired to ape the zeitgeist of genuine viral sensations, it achieved only their less flattering attributes: it lacked substance and faded quickly from memory.

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Movie Review – For Art Horror Fans, ‘The Witch’ Delivers

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The Witch is one of the more unique horror films you’ll ever see. That’s meant as an endorsement, but it could just as easily serve as a warning. It’s become increasingly clear over the last year, with the rise of indie horror sensations like It Follows, The Babadook, and Goodnight Mommy, that different sects of horror fandom want very different things from their scary movies. In one camp are horror fans who want only the scariest, edgiest possible films. They’ve been vocally unimpressed by this new wave of artistically excellent, but otherwise understated horror flicks.

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Movie Review — ‘Crimson Peak’ is a Little Undercooked

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Fantasy has enjoyed an upswing in the last two decades. Twenty years ago the term conjured for the public imagination images of Disney films, kitschy studio oddities like Willow and Labyrinth, and low rent embarrassments like the Dungeons and Dragons movie. Today fantasy films are often pitched as major awards contenders. They litter the summer and fall release slots. “Nerd culture” has not just been accepted by pop culture. It has become pop culture.

Guillermo Del Toro, the writer and director of Crimson Peak, is as responsible for the present climate as anyone. His early films Cronos and The Devil’s Backbone weren’t blockbusters, but they inspired the current generation of filmmakers and gave newfound legitimacy to ghost stories. His first foray into blockbuster filmmaking, Blade 2, is a rare beloved comic book hero film before the 2000’s onslaught. His 2006 Oscar nominee Pan’s Labyrinth is probably the most critically acclaimed fantasy of this century and rightly so.

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Movie Review — ‘Unfriended’ is Cheap Teenage Horror

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The following chat conversation was recently leaked online from the Universal servers. It regards the initial pitch meeting between executives and the screenwriter for Unfriended

StarvingWriter9432567 logged in

Writer: Hello? Hello? Is this thing working?

UniversalSoldier1 logged in

Producer 1: Who is this? How did you get this email?
Writer: Um… is this the 10:00 pitch meeting? I wrote a found footage horror movie.
Producer 1: Oh right! As you know following the success of Paranormal Activity we are contractually obligated to meet with any Joe off the street as long as they’re pitching an FFH.
Writer: I am aware. That’s why people write them.
Producer 1: Touche.
Writer: Why are we meeting online again?
Producer 1: Some people find my constant texting during meetings distracting.
Writer: Makes sense.
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Movie Review — ‘It Follows’ Might Be the Best Teen Horror Movie of All Time

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Perfection is an elusive thing. Critics like to reduce films, good and bad, to a shortlist of buzzwords like “character” or “plot” or “cinematography,” but the truth is that the ideal movie is always changing. That special something that makes It Follows the perfect movie for right here, right now, didn’t just jump out and attack me. Throughout the film I thought I sensed it, but I wasn’t sure if it was real. It stalked me home from the theater. It kept me awake at night. It simply would not go away no matter how hard I tried to shrug it off. With every lurid, scintillating shock scare, every development in its modest teenage soap opera, I felt like I was experiencing something I had always wanted but never been able to put into words.

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Movie Review — ‘The Babadook’ is a Modern Horror Classic

babadook - movie review

Horror is such a unique weapon in film’s arsenal. It’s easy to justify romance, drama, action, or comedy. You can always say, “I need more love or excitement or laughter in my life.” How many times have you heard someone say, “I need more fear in my life?”

Fear is uncomfortable. It’s not attractive.

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