The Mummy UHD 4K Blu-ray
|Pros||Nice HDR and a decent Atmos soundtrack.|
|Cons||2K digital intermediate leads to noise and lack of detail, some shadow crushing.|
|Summary||The Mummy is a confusing mess of a movie that doesn't take the time to develop the characters or the world around them much at all. It is designed to setup for sequels in the world of monsters, and hopefully those will do a better job than this did.|
|Peak Brightness||1000 nits|
|Stars||Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis|
|Review Date||September 13, 2017|
Summary: An ancient evil is unleashed after centuries of captivity and her lust for revenge threatens to destroy the world in The Mummy, a spectacular saga coming to Digital on August 22, 2017 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand on September 12, 2017 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible franchise, Top Gun) battles the ultimate evil in a breathtaking version of the legendary and mystical monster that has captivated and terrified humankind for centuries. With more than an hour of never-before-seen bonus features, The Mummy 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™ and DVD reveal the deepest secrets behind this sumptuous and wonder-filled epic.
Thought safely entombed deep beneath the desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella, Star Trek Beyond, Kingsman: The Secret Service) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day. Her malevolence has grown over millennia and with it come terrors that defy human comprehension. From the sands of the Middle East through modern-day London, The Mummy balances wonder, thrills, and imagination.
The latest action-packed entry from director and producer Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek Into Darkness, Now You See Me) and producer Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious franchise), The Mummy also stars Oscar® winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind), Jake Johnson (Jurassic World, “New Girl”), Annabelle Wallis (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, “Peaky Blinders”), and Courtney B. Vance (“American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” Terminator Genisys).
Movie Review: The Mummy is a big, confusing mess of a movie. The trailers start out with promise, but things fall apart. The introduction at the start is a bit of a bad sign, as it has the feeling of the director needing to explain something but unsure how to do it in the film, so you get a voice over for part of it. Unfortunately, that is all the character development we get throughout the movie.
Tom Cruise is given the most basic backstory, but it isn’t developed at all and you wind up with no idea who he is in the end. Worse yet, he acts one way for the entire film, then at the very end acts completely differently for no reason that you can see. His character is also being controlled mentally by the Mummy for much of the film, but everyone around him seems OK with this and doesn’t try to change his mind when he seems to be making poor choices.
The rest of the characters also aren’t given much. Lots of them seem to be placed here to launch a new cinematic world (think Avengers or Justice League), but they don’t give you much reason to want to do that. I’m sure we’ll see a lot of horror movies coming after this, but hopefully, they offer more than the Mummy does.
Technical Review: The majority of The Mummy was shot on 35mm using anamorphic lenses, while some shots in the airplane and in water used the Alexa65. Having just reviewed Blade Runner, we know that 35mm anamorphic prints can be pristine, but here it comes up short. The overall image is often dark, and some shadow details can be lacking at points. There is grain and film noise that is present much of the time, worse in darker scenes, but even in some brighter scenes, you can still see it there. The shots that use the Alexa65 are completely clean and crisp, offering an improvement over the 35mm content. You can read more about the choices in this article about the cinematography.
The Mummy uses a 2K DI, so we see a lack of resolution in the final image compared to native 4K. The HDR highlights are handled well, with lots of flashlights, fires, and other objects that do a good job of catching your eye and adding needed pop to the image onscreen. The Alexa65 images look much better overall on the OLED with no noise or grain when compared to the 35mm content. I have to imagine they were also put through the same 2K workflow and not kept at their full 4K resolution.
The soundtrack is better, with good use of Atmos for a large number of special effects and action scenes in the movie. When an airplane flies out of a sandstorm, or into a flock of birds, the Atmos channels come alive and place you right into the action. Dialogue is easy to understand in the center channel, but it feels as though the full system isn’t utilized as much as it could be. The lower bass is less present than on other films, so while the soundtrack is authentic to the source, it just isn’t as dynamic as other films.
Special Features: Deleted and Extended Scenes, Cruise & Kurtzman: A Conversation Rooted in Reality – Tom Cruise and Alex Kurtzman discuss the making of The Mummy, Rooted in Reality – Filmmakers and cast reveal how they broke away from old tropes and traditions to create a dynamic and realistic 21st century monster movie, Life in Zero-G: Creating the Plane Crash – Watch Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, and the crew shoot the incredible plane sequence, Meet Ahmanet – Sofia Boutella shares the excitement of reinventing a monster icon, Cruise in Action – A behind-the-scenes look at Tom Cruise’s most memorable Mummy stunts, Becoming Jekyll and Hyde – Find out how the casting of Russell Crowe brought a bold new dimension to the roles of Jekyll and Hyde, Choreographed Chaos – Watch as cast and filmmakers create an epic outdoors clash between ancient and modern worlds, Nick Morton: In Search of a Soul – Tom Cruise describes what drew him to play a man seemingly without a soul, Ahmanet Reborn Animated Graphic Novel – Witness Ahmanet’s descent into the monstrous underworld as she is reborn into the Goddess of Chaos and Wrath, Feature Commentary with director and producer Alex Kurtzman, and cast members Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis and Jake Johnson.