The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Blu-ray (2008)

by | Dec 29, 2008 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Blu-ray (2008)

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, John Hannah, Maria Bello, Michelle Yeoh, Isabella Leong, Luke Ford, Russell Wong, Liam Cunningham   
Directed by: Rob Cohen
Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment  [Release date: Dec. 23, 08]
Video: 2.40:1 anamorphic/enhanced for 16:9; 1080p HD
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish, French DTS Surround 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Extras: Feature commentary with Director Rob Cohen; deleted and extended scenes; three featurettes (“The Making of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”, “From City to Desert” and “Legacy of the Terra Cotta); Picture-in-picture; Four U-Control features (“The Dragon Emperor’s Challenge”, “Know Your Mummy”, “Scene Explorer” and “Visual Commentary with Rob Cohen”); My Scenes; BD-Live bonus features; Digital copy disc
Feature Running Time: 112 minutes
Movie Rating: ****   Video Rating: ****1/2    Audio Rating: *****

In this third installment of the popular film franchise, a ruthless dragon emperor (Li) is released from a 2,000 year old curse and comes back to life.  The emperor sets his sights on world domination and devises a diabolical plan to accomplish it.  The only thing standing in the way of the emperor and his army of undead, terra cotta soldiers is the O’Connell family.  Rick (Fraser), Evelyn (Bello), and their young adult son, Alex O’Connell (Ford), chase the emperor from China to the Himalayas in their most challenging battle yet.  From my perspective, this third film in the series has two major changes from its predecessors.  The first change is that Maria Bello replaced Rachel Weisz in the Evelyn O’Connell role.  Bello is a fine actress, but she had some really big shoes to fill here.  Weisz was excellent as the plucky Evie, and Bello just doesn’t have the same on-screen chemistry with Fraser.  While the loss of Weisz may have hurt the film a little, the other change, shifting the location of the movie from the Middle East to China, was a clever idea and helped keep things fresh.  If, like me, you are a fan of “The Mummy” films, then I think you will find “The “Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” to be an enjoyable experience with its thrills, action and visual effects.  Recommended.

The high definition video quality of this Blu-ray DVD is excellent.  Images are pristine with razor sharp detail.  Blacks remain consistently dark throughout the movie.  Colors are warm and accurate with nicely-saturated hues.  Picture defect mastering is perfect with no major flaws or compression artifacts.  The overall audio quality is also excellent on the English DTS 5.1 track.  The soundtrack actively incorporates all of the discrete channels into its mix.  Dialogue is natural sounding and firmly rooted in the center channel.  The surround channels are aggressively utilized both for the sound effects and music score, plus also include numerous split rear effects.  The low frequency effects channel is very deep and provides some serious rumble.

– Calvin Harding Jr.

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