MUMMIES: SECRETS OF THE PHARAOHS
Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
Egyptian history is explored as we learn about one of the largest findings of intact pharaoh mummies to this day. This documentary focuses on the tomb of Ramsey and a bunch of his peeps discovered many years ago.
Is it good movie?
Do Mummies excite you? I’m talking about the non-CGI kind that just lie around and don’t really do much besides look old. If that type of thing is of interest to you, then you are going to love Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs. This little feature was originally created for exhibition in IMAX Theatres, and note that that would be for “exhibition”. This is strictly a documentary with interviews and a few re-enactments to emphasis the drama. While it may sound like something you might have watched in elementary school on “rain day”, it is a little bit more entertaining. The big difference is, this looks absolutely beautiful. This must have looked pretty astounding in IMAX. The desert sands that seem to go on forever, and the magnificent pyramids that Egypt is known for would have been a pretty amazing thing to see in IMAX. Sadly, I don’t happen to have an IMAX screen at home, so it just felt like a really well done episode of National Geographic.
Aside from the stunning visuals, the producers of this film got one thing very right, and that is Christopher Lee as a narrator. He is absolutely fitting for this type of thing and makes this history lesson a tad more interesting. What it comes down to is, what type of documentary interests you? I personally find anything about the ocean really amazing. I am a huge “Shark Week” fan, so that is always a good time for me when it comes to television. But when it comes to mummies, whether it be Ramsey (which this documentary is about) or Tutankhamen, I am not necessarily the target audience. Yet, for a history lesson about one of the most dramatic mummy discoveries in history, this is an extremely informative and visually impressive. Focusing on The Valley of the Kings, this discovery became a very informative event which helped us understand the past. This is definitely worth a look for those of you who are into bondage… you know what I mean.
Video / Audio
Video: This is a terrific Widescreen 16x9 transfer is quite a pretty picture.
Audio: The Dolby Digital 5.1 is also very good. This certainly does look much better than some of the educational programs that I used to see in school.
The special features for this particular film are fine, not nearly as impressive as you’d hope though. The first thing they offer is a Making of… (22:00) feature. The most interesting thing about this is you get to see the massive equipment used for IMAX. Very impressive indeed. While I wasn’t blown away by this, I still found it interesting as to the challenges faced when shooting this type of film.
The next couple of extras are of the point your remote and click variety. One offers you a chance to Meet the Mummies which is exactly what it sounds like. The next is a Mummies Quiz. Also pretty self explanatory. Really, what this DVD is good for is an educational tool for Ancient Egyptian studies and it don’t look too shabby.
Finally, we have Trailers for other films in this series. From Dinosaurs to Sea Life, they've got you covered.
I have to give credit where credit is due, while I wasn’t blissfully in awe of Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs, I was impressed at how beautifully produced it is. There are some magnificent shots that would have been amazing in IMAX. While it certainly doesn’t bring that awestruck power home, it still is quite beautiful. While I would prefer a nice “great white shark” type of thing, I will recommend this for history buffs and those fascinated by Egyptian history.