Tag Archives: actual locations

Monsters: Nothing Happens.

As much as I loved the premise of this movie and the idea of another Spielburg-like sci-fi alien film, it appears as if they progressive plot that should occur in this film is absent. Gareth Edwards had a great idea in posing a film in a world that has gotten used to a monster invasion, but this has been explored to a further degree in District 9. The aliens/monsters are still unknown in this film and are avoided at all costs. This creates a sense of mystery, but the end of the film leaves nothing learned. We still haven’t discovered the big twist that sets this apart from just a setup of a film. So close, and yet so far.

So the premise of this film is quite simple. Andrew Caulder (Scoot McNairy) is an investigative reporter in search of the next big story about the aliens that landed along the U.S./Mexico border. He has come the

Very interesting locations and commentary.

safe route into Mexico in order to retrieve his bosses’s daughter, Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able). After some complications and a wild night in Mexico, Andrew and Samantha miss the last boat before the season of the monsters activity. For a lot more money, the two are able to illegally and dangerously obtain a ride through the river and jungles of the contaminated zone.

The actual couple, Scoot and Whitney.

From this big buildup, we expect some really awe-inspiring and weird things to go down in the jungle. The make their way down the river, Anaconda style, and then Jeep their way through the jungle. Things go South for the assisting party, but Sam and Andy make it out scratch free. They make their way to a pyramid, have a moment, and become intimate after only spending a few days together. They head into America, desolated at the point of impact around the border, and spend the rest of the film in a gas station. You get a bit of monster interaction and a disappointing Quentin Tarantino ending. And that’s it. I didn’t reveal anything you would want to avoid in a spoiler alert of a review. That is literally it.

The entire film you learn nothing and don’t grow along with the main couple. (And they are a couple, interesting to find Scoot brought along his girlfriend for the ride.) The monsters appear violent, although the tone of the film suggests they are just living in the place they’ve found. They kill, they are attacked, and it

A bit of symbolism that shows nothing is going on, ever.

seems to be a mutual hostility between the two. I did like the political undertones of the “aliens” landing on the border of the U.S. and Mexico, but that’s about all I took away from this film. Yes, visually striking at parts, but those parts are about 5 minutes of face time the monsters get on camera in a 90 minute film.

Ah, is this the map that shows where our plot went?

I was impressed at the lengths that Gareth Edwards went to film his movie on a small budget. Filming without permission, actual locations, small crew. That’s the way movie are supposed to be made. Show the world you are depicting for what it’s worth. Pull no punches, never apologize for a things. I’m in admiration of Edwards guile and ambition, and just wish this film was better and more interactive. Maybe his version of Godzilla will be better. But for this film, I’ll give it a 4.1 out of 10.

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The Mummy/Mummy Returns: The Greatest Thing to Happen to Archeology and Egyptology Since Indiana Jones

So I just recently re-watched The Mummy and The Mummy Returns with my roommate and it was quite the nostalgic experience. I went back to a time where I used to be obsessed with the Eqyptians. I read books about them, I talk with my grandma about her trips to Egypt, she showed me slides, and, most importantly, I watched The Mummy series. I loved the story of Imhotep and how the story was interesting and at the same time based on historical evidence. The people, the places, the times of the Pharaohs, it was all real and interesting. And it was all set in the era of the archeologist. And automated weapons. What could be better?

So, basic plot of both films. Rick O’Connell (Brendan Frasier) and Evelyn “Evy” O’Connell, (Rachel Weisz) (Yes, they get married in the second. They even have a child! Imagine that!) accompanied by her brother Johnathan, (John Hannah) awake a mummy named Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo). He was never meant to be awoken, because of his travesties against Seti I. He was given the Hom Dai, the worst of all curses that transfers over into the afterlife. He fooled around with Seti’s wife-to-be Anck Su Namun (Patricia Velasquez) and killed Seti I. This story is all explained and re-explained in the two movies.

So Evy awakes Imhotep and the whole rest of the movie Rick and Evy race around Egypt attempting to stop the creature. And thus does the first one end. What’s nice about the second one is that it picks up from a point later on, and now Evy and Rick have a kid in tow. Their little “bundle of fun” Alex (Freddie Boath) puts on the Bracelet of Anubis and awakens the Scorpion King (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) who will bring about the next apocalypse. Those are Ardeth Bay’s (Oded Fehr) words, not mine. So this movie is about Rick and Evy vs. Imhotep in their race to the lost oasis of Ahm Shere to stop/utilize the Scorpion King’s army.

And these nice little action/adventure plots are what makes the movies. They’re not hard to follow, the keep up the suspense and action, and they’re academically infused with a bit of mythology and history. All based around the idea of a mummy coming back to life. Frightening, and at the same time mesmerizing.

I might be a little biased in my review because I grew up with the Mummy series, but these movies are quite fantastic. And no, I’m not including that hulking piece of garbage known as The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. That thing was awful. There’s no Rachel Weisz, the plot is rocky, there’s no Egyptian aspect to it, it’s just trash. If I had to do it, I would compare it to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Not as bad, but really detracted from the Indiana Jones series. But yes, The Mummy/Mummy Returns are quite fantastic in their scope. They use the history of the Pharaohs and the rituals of Egypt to spook and entertain. Setting it all in a early 1900’s era gives it that age of discovery and adventure around the world. And the use (?) of actual (?) locations really ties it all together. (I don’t know if it was filmed on location, but I do like all the pyramids.)

Brendan Frasier at his finest.

And the acting, quite frankly, is some of Brendan Frasier’s finest. He’s witty, but at the same time he can be serious. But I feel like that’s the way this movie was set up. It has the witty, corny lines (to a degree), but at the same time it has its serious parts and serious acting shines through. Rachel Weisz is always great (I can understand why she did resign for the Dragon Emperor) and John Hannah (although Scottish) does quite a good English accent. Probably not the point, but you can only see a little Scottish that pops through throughout the films. Oded Fehr is amazing and does a great job as an Egyptian Medjai. Kevin J. O’Connor always makes me laugh as Beni in The Mummy and whenever Rick O’Connell deals with him is great. I really appreciated Patricia Velasquez’s acting in the second Mummy as Anck Su Namun, trying to pretend to be a reincarnated version of herself. And the list goes on with cameos and small supporting roles that are all quite great.

So if you haven’t already seen these films, check them out. They’re worth the watch and are great for their entertainment value and scope in what they deal with. A definite 8.9 out of 10.