12/11/06 THE MUMMY'S TOOTH #5


Today is the quietly-auspicious launch of the daily Hsu and Chan webcomic, here at Spookingtons! Aint gonna make a big deal of it, here, since we're already on installment five, but I'd be much beholdin' to you if you'd bookmark and urge your friends and coworkers to do the same. Enjoy the tale of ancient curses!

As I write this, coincidentally, "The Mummy Returns" is playing on the Sci-fi Channel. This would be my first time seeing it, since I wasn't especially taken with the 1999 'original,' which both lacked the quiet dignity of the Karloff original and tried to make up for it by casting Brendan Fraser as Indiana Jones. To be fair, it wasn't a terrible movie, and Fraser handled the role with all the grace and wit he displayed in "Dudley Do-Right"-- which, granted, did itself lack the quiet dignity of the original.

But, hey, it was a monster movie, and dumb as it was, it was watchable in a pinch. The sequel, for whatever reason, thought that this was an unacceptable level of watchability, and made great strides in cutting that back by jamming an annoying kid into the works. Numerous horror filmmakers have learned that it's a wise practice to encourage some level of sympathy with your monsters, but the proper way to do this is NOT to introduce a protagonist so horrible and shrill that your audience is calling for his immediate evisceration.

And when I say 'immediate,' I mean that it BEGINS immediately, but carries on for a good, satisfyingly-long while.

Brendan Fraser returns, of course, playing Brendan Fraser with a gun. Also back from the first movie is Rachel Weisz, having shed her mild-mannered Librarian facade and reinvented herself as a tough, take-no-foolishness, adventure-ready skank. Add in every last member of the comic relief crew that wasn't technically dead by the end of the last movie and extensive CG effects bearing no noticeable improvement from the first outing, and you have a sequel that's been crafted to be basically the exact same movie, except consciously worse.

And yes, okay, I did still sit through the whole thing. That doesn't mean it's a good movie, just that I usually leave the TV on. I've watched "Battlefield Earth" twice.



Pull a quick save outta your butt for the still-neglected Hsu and Chan fan on your Christmas list with our dynamic-yet-fashionable (as far as T-shirts go) new designs!

All content copyright 2006 (or earlier-like) Jeremy "Norm" Scott, all rights reserved.