The Mummy (2017) – Review

The first chapter in the rebooted Universal Monsters’ Dark Universe delivers a lot of set up and a bit of fun, but no real bang. The Mummy features Tom Cruise as Tom Cruise in a Tom Cruise movie that really wasn’t very Tom Cruise-y.

The Mummy is not a great film, but its fun. There’s enough action coupled with a little bit of mild horror and well-blow-average comedic levity to make it an OK popcorn flick to sit down and switch off. There’s not much to it.

Tom Cruise plays Nick Morton, a reconnaissance soldier that uses his job to pilfer and sell antiquities he finds in the Middle-East. During a mission he embarks on to find treasure he accidentally stumbles on an Ancient Egyptian tomb. Upon further investigation Annabelle Wallis’s character Jenny Halsey finds that the tomb was actually a prison holding a princess that seemed to have been scrubbed from history – Princess Ahmanet (played by Sofia Boutella).

Opening the prison has allowed her to return to power and escape. Ahmanet made a pact with Set, the God of Death, to bring him in to the physical world. In the past, she failed but now that she’s been released and now she wants to complete the ritual.

Cruise delivered an average performance, playing almost a caricature of himself. He pulled off some decent action sequences but nothing really stuck. Annabelle Wallis, brought nothing to the role of Jenny Halsey which had nothing in the script anyway, she was there to be a beautiful woman and barely a love interest for Nick. What she did provide was a link to the wider ‘Dark Universe’ through her job with Prodigium, enter Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll.

Crowe brought probably one of the more outstanding performances of the lacklustre cast. He portrayed your pretty standard version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (yes, Hyde also makes an appearance), with just a sprinkling of an organisation leader, a la Nick Fury from S.H.I.E.L.D in the MCU. His is a role I’d like to see developed further in the future of the Dark Universe. Now that I’ve mentioned the word developed, I should mention that there is no character development in this film, it seemed to all fall by the way-side while they set-up the franchise.

Sofia Boutella has brought fantastic physicality in her roles in Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond, her performance in The Mummy is no different. While she seems to never be a character with too much dialogue, what she does get to say isn’t bad. I’m not fluent in Ancient Egyptian but it sounded right (she also delivers about one line in English). She was a decent Mummy and provided a good looming threat.

The visual effects were pretty good, lots of sand and big sand storms, a bit of mummification and zombification and some Mercury which moved with a little too much life of its own in my opinion, but other than that I had no issues with it. Sound was good too but nothing stood out to me really.

The story flowed reasonably well providing a lot of exposition into not only the origins of The Mummy herself but really trying to push down your throat that this is the beginning of a new cinematic universe (just in case you haven’t worked that out yet). There was one plot point that seemed to break the in-universe rules they set up, but when you need something to happen and when you’re talking about a ‘world of Gods and Monsters’ you’re going to have to let some of these things slide.

The Mummy is a film its best to just switch off to and let it take you for a ride. The action in the film was enjoyable and the pacing was pretty good. One thing I want to praise the movie for is that it was only 107 minutes long! Though you could probably have thrown in an extra few lines of dialogue or a scene or two to either set up characters or show some development, I thought that the movie didn’t overstay it’s welcome. The mythology this film presented has piqued my interest in the Dark Universe (but that’s because I’m a sucker for Cannon), however the rest of the film was average, with nothing overly standing out.

2.5 Stars

The Mummy is in cinemas now.

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Cinema Forecast: June 8th, 2017

The Mummy

An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.

This film will hopefully mark beginning of a re-invigorated Universal Monsters franchise, bringing back old favourites like The Mummy, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, The Wolfman, The Invisible Man, Frankenstein’s Monster etc. They’re bringing some big names to this franchise. I think this is one to watch!

Director: Alex Kurtzman
Cast: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Russell Crowe

Churchill

A ticking-clock thriller following Winston Churchill in the 24 hours before D-Day.

Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Cast: Brian Cox, Miranda Richardson

My Cousin Rachel

A young Englishman who plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.

Director: Roger Michell
Cast: Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, Holliday Grainger, Iain Glen, Pierfrancesco Favino

 

Movie News – June 6th, 2017

Wonder Woman is officially the biggest opening for a film directed by a female in Hollywood history.

Hollywood is notorious for being an industry dominated by men. Even now in 2017, women have to fight for the same pay for leading a film. I hope this is a step in the right direction. Wonder Woman opened to US box offices with over $100 million, the highest opening for a female directed film. What’s more is, this is a female led superhero film, something even Marvel hasn’t done. Admittedly, this should have been the first, it is Wonder Woman, but after almost 10 years Marvel still hasn’t pulled off this feat.

Patty Jenkins announced for Wonder Woman 2

Director of Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins has been announced to be directing the sequel. This is no surprise as not only was the film a huge opener in the box office, it would have been in her contract to deliver a sequel should the first find success. Jenkins has already said in an interview with EW that she knows where she wants the second film to go, “The story will take place in the U.S., which I think is right. She’s Wonder Woman. She’s got to come to America. It’s time.”

John Wick 3 will begin production later this year

Writer Derek Kolstad will return and will be working with Chad Stahelski on a third movie in the Keanu Reeves action movie. They have said that the film should go in to production in the American Fall.

Top Gun 2 gets a title and plot details, courtesy of Tom Cruise

After revealing that a Top Gun sequel was going to happen on Sunrise in Australia. Tom Cruise spoke to Access Hollywood giving us a title and a little of what we can expect.

“It’s not gonna be called Top Gun 2 it’s gonna be Top Gun: Maverick. I didn’t want a number. You don’t need a number. We’re gonna have the same tone that we had with the first one. Stylistically it’s gonna be the same. We’re gonna have the same score from Harold Faltermeyer. Aviators are back. The need for speed, we’re gonna have big machines. It’s gonna be a competition film like the first one, and it’s gonna be in the same vein, the same tone as the first one but a progression for Maverick.”

Last Weekend’s Box Office Report

# | Movie | Gross (in US$) | Days in Release | Total Gross (in US$)
1 | Wonder Woman | $5,035,387 | 3 | $5,035,387
2 | Baywatch | $2,589,935 | 3 | $2,589,935
3 | Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales | $1,852,832 | 10 | $7,367,546
4 | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 | $416,394 | 38 | $23,647,975
5 | King Arthur: Legend of the Sword | $352,073 | 17 | $3,645,866

Information gathered from The Numbers:
http://www.the-numbers.com/weekend-box-office-chart/Australia

Rock of Ages – Review

Broadway Stage meets Silver Screen once again with ‘juke-box’ musical, Rock of Ages!

It’s a typical story of mid-western girl who travels to LA to find fame and glory as a singer. There she falls in love with the first guy she talks to. Gets a job that people would kill for and is pretty much set for life in the city of angels. Until lead rocker of Arsenal, Stacee Jaxx performs at the Burbon Room. The story leads our characters to more or less stereotypical scenarios. With a few interesting/funny twists.

While we’re on the story, the script is… well… flawed. Corny one liners, obvious plot developments and some flat characters. Despite this, the film is lots of fun. You get a chance to sing along to some of your favourite rock songs from the 80s, like Just Like Paradise, I Love Rock and Roll and a double header from Journey with Anyway You Want It and Don’t Stop Believing. I found my self laughing at the stupid things the actors did and I would say that this film would have been so much fun to make.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for something fun to watch on a Saturday Night with a group of friends, this is definitely that something. Lots of fun, lighthearted, and it features some of the greatest songs in the world! If you want nothing but a good time, any way you want it, if you wanna rock or know what love is then the cinema isn’t too far away… this movie will rock you like a hurricane! I really wanted to say that!

2.5 Stars

Rock of Ages is in cinemas now!

Forecast – The Festive Edition

Looking for something to see over the Christmas Break? Or a DVD to give as a present? The New and Improved Nicholas Linde’s Film Blog is here to help!

CINEMA

New Years Eve

The lives of several couples and singles in New York intertwine over the course of New Year’s Eve. Starring: Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Héctor Elizondo, (Take a quick breath…) Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Til Schweiger, Hilary Swank and Sofía Vergara. It’s another attempt at the success of Love Actually… I fear for this film because we saw how well Valentine’s Day went, and with the same writer and director. Final Verdict: I doubt this will be worth seeing.

Melancholia

Lars Von Trier’s newest work. On the night of her wedding, Justine is struggling to be happy even though it should be the happiest day of her life. It was an extravagant wedding paid for by her sister and brother-in-law who are trying to keep the bride and all the guests in-line. Meanwhile, Melancholia, a blue planet, is hurtling towards the Earth. Claire, Justine’s sister, is struggling to maintain composure with fear of the impending disaster. Sounds like an interesting concept and it’s Lars Von Trier! Final Verdict: If you are in to a twisted form of drama/sci-fi… See this film!

Puss In Boots

Years before meeting Shrek and Donkey, the adorable but tricky Puss in Boots must clear his name from all charges making him a wanted fugitive. While trying to steal magic beans from the infamous criminals Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris), the hero crosses paths with his female match, Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), who leads Puss to his old friend, but now enemy, Humpty Dumpty (Zack Galifianakis). Memories of friendship and betrayal enlarges Puss’ doubt, but he eventually agrees to help the egg get the magic beans. Together, the three plan to steal the beans, get to the Giant’s castle, nab the golden goose, and clear Puss’ name. Ummm… Yeah… This movie should be good for kids… but to be purr-fectly honest (pun definitely intended) the Shrek franchise is dead and gone… this looks to be a feeble attempt to revive a series that only finished last year. Final Verdict: Good for the kids.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization’s name. J.J. Abrams and Tom Cruise produce while Incredibles and Ratatouille writer-director Brad Bird directs the latest in the Mission Impossible franchise. We’ll see how this goes… a sequel to this is a possibility as Cruise, Pegg and Bird are interested in a fifth film. Final Verdict: It’s Mission Impossible! (Possibly one for the Boys more than their dates).

Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Having bought a model ship, the Unicorn, for a pound off a market stall Tintin is initially puzzled that the sinister Mr. Sakharine should be so eager to buy it from him, resorting to murder and kidnapping Tintin – accompanied by his marvellous dog Snowy – to join him and his gang as they sail to Morocco on an old cargo ship. Sakharine has bribed the crew to revolt against the ship’s master, drunken Captain Haddock, but Tintin, Snowy and Haddock escape, arriving in Morocco at the court of a sheikh, who also has a model of the Unicorn. Haddock tells Tintin that over three hundred years earlier his ancestor Sir Francis Haddock was forced to scuttle the original Unicorn when attacked by a piratical forebear of Sakharine but he managed to save his treasure and provide clues to its location in three separate scrolls, all of which were secreted in models of the Unicorn. Tintin and Sakharine… One of the most anticipated films of the Summer! Steven Spielberg teams up with Peter Jackson, Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and many more to produce a film that in my opinion should win best animation hands down. If we can call it animation… the film uses 3D performance capture technology which makes the animation look incredible. Final Verdict: Super Excited!

Happy Feet 2

Mumble the penguin has a problem: his son Erik, who is reluctant to dance, encounters The Mighty Sven, a penguin who can fly! Things get worse for Mumble when the world is shaken by powerful forces, causing him to bring together the penguin nations and their allies to set things right. Hmmm… I don’t know about this film. Final Verdict: We’ll See.

The Iron Lady

Tells the story of a woman who smashed through the barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male-dominated world. The story concerns power and the price that is paid for power, and is a surprising and insightful portrait of an extraordinary and complex woman. Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher from what I’ve seen… WOW! Brilliant accent and reflecting the type of woman she was. Final Verdict: A must see! I Smell an Oscar!

The Skin I Live In

It’s definitely no Puss In Boots… Antonio Banderas stars in The Skin I Live In – In honor of his late wife who died in a flaming car accident, scientist, Dr. Robert Ledgard, is trying to synthesize the perfect skin which can withstand burns, cuts or any other kind of damage. As he gets closer to perfecting this skin on his flawless patient, the scientific community starts growing skeptical and his past is revealed that shows how his patient is closely linked to tragic events he would like to forget. Interesting concept, it’s in Spanish, so yeah… I’d like to see how this goes. Final Verdict: I might just stick to Darkman.

Tower Heist

Josh Kovacs is the manager of a residential apartment in New York. He is close to all the tenants, especially Arthur Shaw, a financier. One day Shaw is arrested by the FBI for fraud. Josh thinks it’s a misunderstanding that can be resolved. But later he learns that the employees’ pension which he asked Shaw to handle is gone. When one of the employees tries to kill himself, Josh’s views of Shaw change. He goes to see him and loses his temper. He loses his job. The FBI agent in charge of Shaw tells him that Shaw might walk and recovering the pension fund is unlikely. She tells him that it’s been rumored that Shaw has 20 million laying around if he needs. Josh thinks he knows where it is. So with two other employees who also lost their jobs and an evicted tenant, they set out to get into Shaw’s penthouse to get the money. But they realise they need the assistance of someone who knows what they are doing… Some of you may disagree but this film has not really caught my attention. It might be a laugh or two but yeah. I might skip this until I hear otherwise. Final Verdict: It is the only ‘comedy’ out this festive season… (Rom-Coms DO NOT COUNT).

War Horse

Young Albert enlists to service in WWI after his beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry. Albert’s hopeful journey takes him out of England and across Europe as the war rages on. I don’t know much about this film but I’m impressed by the trailer and I think I can feel an oscar coming on. Final Verdict: See It! It’s Spielberg and War… It’ll go far.

We Bought A Zoo

Set in Southern California, a father moves his young family to the countryside to renovate and re-open a struggling zoo. I’m sure it’s a nice film… But just not for me. Final Verdict: Up to you really… use your judgement.

DVD

Out Soon

Space Battleship Yamato

In the year 2194, alien marauders, the Gamilons, bombard the Earth with planetary bombs sent from space. Humanity fights back but is defeated and escapes underground. Five years later, those who remain on the devastated planet gather together for one last plan to save the Earth. Armed with mysterious alien technology and an old battleship called the “Yamato”, they embark on a quest to find a device that has the power to save humanity from destruction. The Japanese anime springs to a live action stage. – Perfect for your anime nerd friend.

Conan the Barbarian

The most legendary Barbarian of all time is back! The tale of Conan the Cimmerian and his adventures across the continent of Hyboria on a quest to avenge the murder of his father and the slaughter of his village. – For your fantasy action fan.

Friends with Benefits

Dylan (Justin Timberlake) is done with relationships. Jamie (Mila Kunis) decides to stop buying into the Hollywood clichés of true love. When the two become friends they decide to try something new and take advantage of their mutual attraction but without any emotional attachment. Physical pleasure without the entanglements. Sounds easy enough for two logical adults, right? Not so much. They soon realise romantic comedy stereotypes might exist for a reason. – For the Rom-Com lover (you could alternatively buy them a gun).

One Day

After spending the night together on the night of their college graduation Dexter and Em are shown each year on the same date to see where they are in their lives. They are sometimes together, sometimes not, on that day. – For the (Actual) Romance Lover. (A good late Christmas Present as this comes out on the 29th.

Priest

In a post-apocalyptic world, a savage war between man and vampire has raged for centuries. A warrior priest (Paul Bettany) receives word of fresh attacks, but now it`s personal, his niece has been kidnapped by a new hive of merciless vampires. To save her, he must break his vow of peace and hunt down the hive before it’s too late. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel and packed with bloodthirsty action, this full throttle crusade takes you on the hunt for a deadly new breed of killer. – For the Sci-Fi/Action Fan.

Out Now

Cowboys & Aliens

Blockbuster filmmaker Jon Favreau directs Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in an event film for summer 2011 that crosses the classic Western with the alien-invasion movie in a blazingly original way: Cowboys & Aliens. Joined by an arsenal of top moviemakers Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, he brings an all-new action thriller that will take audiences into the Old West, where a lone cowboy leads an uprising against a terror from beyond our world. 1873. Arizona Territory. A stranger (Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don’t welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrson Ford). It’s a town that lives in fear. – For the blockbuster lover.

Senna

A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34. – For the Motor Head.

Green Lantern

In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, an elite force of protectors for peace and justice has existed for centuries. They are the Green Lantern Corps. When a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of the Corps’ newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds). Bringing the popular superhero to the big screen for the first time, Green Lantern also stars Blake Lively (Gossip Girl), Peter Sarsgaard (Orphan), Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes), Academy Award® nominee Angela Bassett and Academy Award® winner Tim Robbins. – For the Kids.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

During experiments to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, a genetically-enhanced chimpanzee uses its greater intelligence to lead other apes to freedom. – For the Sci-Fi or Original Apes Fan.

Merry Christmas Film Fans!