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 www.spookingtons.com 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.