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The Mummy - part of the Universal Classics Monsters Boxset [Blu-ray]
(Karl Freund, 1932)
Review by Gary Tooze
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 26,954,035,848 bytes
Feature Size: 20,266,702,848 bytes
Video Bitrate: 32.05 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 2nd, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1967 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1967 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
English (SDH), Spanish, none
• Commentary by Rick Baker, Scott Essman, Steve Haberman, Bob Burns, Brent Armstrong
• Feature Commentary byfilm historian Paul M. Jensen
•Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed (30:11)
• He Who Made Monsters - The Life and Times of Jack Pierce (24:56)
• Unraveling the Legacy of The Mummy (8:07)
• The Mummy Archives (9:56)
• Trailer gallery
• 100 Years of Universal
Description: From the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has been regarded as the home of the monsters. Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection showcases 8 of the most iconic monsters in motion picture history including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera and Creature From the Black Lagoon. Starring Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr., Claude Rains and Elsa Lanchester in the roles that they made famous, these original films set the standard for a new horror genre with revolutionary makeup, mood-altering cinematography and groundbreaking special effects. Featuring over 12 hours of revealing bonus features plus an exclusive collectible book, each film has been digitally restored from high resolution film elements for the ultimate classic monster experience.
The Mummy represented Boris Karloff's second horror starring role after his "overnight" success in Frankenstein. Brought back to life after nearly 3,700 years, Egyptian high priest Imhotep wreaks havoc upon the members of the British field exposition that disturbed his tomb (shades of the King Tut curse). While disguised as a contemporary Egyptologist, he falls in love with Zita Johann, whom he recognizes as the latest incarnation of a priestess who died nearly 40 centures earlier. Spiriting Zita away to the tomb, he relates the story of how he had dared to enter her ancestor's sacred burial crypt, hoping to restore her to life. Caught in the act, he was embalmed alive and his tongue was cut out for his act of sacrilege. Now that he has returned, he intends to slay Zita, so that they will be reunited for all time in the Hereafter. Despite its melodramatic trappings, The Mummy is essentially a love story, poetically related by ace cinematographer and first-time director Karl Freund. Jack Pierce's justly celebrated makeup skills offers us two Karloffs: the wizened Egyptologist and the flaking, rotting mummy, who though only seen for a few seconds remains in the memory long after the film's final image has faded. Best line: "It went for a little walk." The Mummy was followed by four stock footage-laden sequels, none of which approached the power and poignancy of the original.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Hardly a horror film in that it refuses to go for shock effects, this tale of Im-ho-tep, an ancient Egyptian priest brought back to life by an archaeologist, is a sombre and atmospheric depiction of eternal passion and occult reincarnation. The script throws up a heady mixture of evocative nonsense that bears little relation to the realities of Egyptian religion and history, but the whole thing is transformed by Karloff's restrained performance as the mummy who becomes, in his new life, an Egyptian archaeologist stalking Cairo in search of his beloved, a reincarnated princess; and by Freund's strong visual sense (he had previously been cameraman on Murnau's The Last Laugh, Lang's Metropolis, and the original Dracula). Not as great as Universal's earlier Frankenstein, but a fascinating instalment in the studio's series of classic fantasies.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Mummy keeps up the standard of the Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection on Blu-ray with an impressive, grain-filled, transfer. It is dual-layered with a high bitrate and has a tinge of green-infiltration in the contrast and shows a very slight amount of noise. Otherwise this looks quite brilliant offering a rich, rewarding presentation. grayscale is exceptional with focus on the ancient artifacts represented in the film. This Blu-ray appears to do its job well in advancing handily over the SD format. Those appreciative of a film-like presentation will enjoy the gritty textures.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1967 kbps is flawless. James Dietrich's score seethes beneath the surface jumping to life and strongly benefitting from the lossless transfer. There is a touch of depth and I suspect this sounds very accurate, or even improved, from the original theatrical presentation. There are optional English and Spanish subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
We are given the same two educational commentaries from the 2004 Legacy DVD edition by Rick Baker, Scott Essman, Steve Haberman, Bob Burns, Brent Armstrong and the second one by the knowledgeable film historian Paul M. Jensen. We also get sanother thorough David J. Skal documentary - this one is 1/2 hour and humorously titled Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed. It has Rick Baker, Behlmer plus archive footage of many. He Who Made Monsters - The Life and Times of Jack Pierce runs 25-minutes and is a newer (2008) documentary by Constantine Nasr all about Jack Pierce and his involvement in the Universal Monsters phenomenon. Unraveling the Legacy of The Mummy is 8-minutes and we also get The Mummy Archives - 10 minutes of a slideshow of posters and stills. There is a trailer gallery, a 100 Years of Universal piece and the disc is My Scenes- capable.
September 26th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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