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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Tale of the Mummy aka Russell Mulcahy's Tale of the Mummy [Blu-ray]


(Russell Mulcahy, 1998)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Dimension Films

Video: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:28:15.707

Disc Size: 24,424,688,569 bytes

Feature Size: 24,195,993,600 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.46 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 20th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 4289 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4289 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1740 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1740 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)






• Trailer (1:15 in 4:3 - 480i)





Description: When an archaeological expedition opens an ancient Egyptian tomb, the unimaginable evil of a cursed pharaoh—Talos—is unleashed! But before all are lost, team leader Sir Richard Turkel (horror legend Christopher Lee, Dracula) heroically sacrifices his own life to destroy the tomb and contain Talos once more. Then, years later, Sir Richard's granddaughter (Louise Lombard) sets out with her own team to finish her grandfather's work...not knowing that she herself is about to reawaken the supernatural terror of the mummified Talos. Also starring action star Jason Scott Lee (Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book), the heart-pounder Russell Mulcahy's Tale of the Mummy tells us that this time, there may be nothing that can stop the mummy's murderous quest for immortality.



The Film:

Poor Russell Mulcahy. Like so many young ‘n’ hot directors these days, he got his start directing music videos (won awards for his Duran Duran videos, actually), then tried to translate his visual skills into feature films. After a couple of training films (including Razorback (1984)), he had his immortal sleeper hit, Highlander (1986), due largely to the fact that the script handed to him was perfectly focused, and perfectly suited to the visual strengths of a music video director.

Excerpt from Cold Fusion Movie Reviews located HERE



Perhaps Hammer isn't dead after all? You may not have heard of this one, it certainly passed me by before slipping unheralded onto Sky Movies back in 1999. And it's taken me bloody ages to actually get round to taping and watching it (you know what it's like... you spend six months thinking "it'll be on again..." and then it disappears from the schedules). But I'm glad I did, because for the purposes of this web site, it's actually a bit of a cracker.

Okay, so it doesn't make much sense, the CGI effects are a bit ropey and the monster's not a patch on the one in that Brendan Frasier film, but it's still a good way to spend 90 minutes (it's infinitely preferable to Horror Of Frankenstein or The Witches, anyway).

Excerpt from British Horror Films located HERE


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Tale of the Mummy looks modest, but acceptable on Blu-ray from EchoBridge. If the transfer were any more robust - it would expose the weak CGI effects as fully transparent.  This is only single-layered and, because of a preponderance of dark scenes, has a lot more noise than if a higher bitrate were utilized. There is only a smattering of depth but some close-ups reveal surprising detail. No texture to speak of. This Blu-ray runs the more limited rendering - as expected - so I won't be too critical. Put your magnifying glasses away and it does a fully adequate job for a late Friday night viewing.


NOTE: Eric says: "Echo Bridge's TALE OF THE MUMMY - Miramax/Dimension's version was heavily re-edited for US release. The director's cut under the title TALOS THE MUMMY is roughly two hours (115 minutes in PAL vs the US version's 88 minute running time). The Spanish and French DVDs feature the longer cut, while the 2-disc German edition features both cuts of the film in English" available HERE.

















Audio :

The audio bests the video with a dynamic DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a whopping 4289 kbps. It's an imperfect mix but still can cause a few seat-leaps. A similarly lossless stereo is an alternate option. The depth is present enough to comment on and I thought it was an admirable track. There are no subtitles available and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Nothing but a very inferior trailer lasting just over a minute in 4:3 / 480i. So, essentially, there are no extras.



Don't get me wrong - Tale of the Mummy is highly imperfect. But there must be something about Russell Mulcahy's style that I am accepting or... forgiving. After all, I loved his The Shadow. This appears to be emulating the famous Hammer Horror films of old with less emphasis on effects and more of atmosphere. It also advertises more than it delivers in the 'classic' sense of the genre The EchoBridge Blu-ray is certainly no demo - but does the job of presenting the film, modestly, but superior enough over SD. I don't think this is such a bad purchase at the offered price. As with The Shadow - I liked it much more than most. Don't be turned off by all the negative noise - this has some definite mood value - if showing weakness in the plot points. 

Gary Tooze

February 29th, 2012



About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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Gary W. Tooze






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