Mamma Mummy Mia Madness!

by Aaron on December 16, 2008

in Home Video

  • Title: Mamma Mia!
  • IMDB: link
  • Title: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
  • IMDB: link

Fans of these films should find ample extras to warrant adding these titles to their respective library, but this humble reviewer thought both films were dumber than dirt that’s been molested by a mule-kicked hobo.  Mamma Mia throws down extra ABBA love with cut numbers and a sing-along feature, while the Mummy: TotDE documents nearly every aspect of the film’s production.

I’m not ashamed to admit it:  I love musicals. I positively adore ABBA.  I also love effects driven action films. And mummies.  Oh, yeah.. I loves me some mummies. But much like how I can’t stand Dunkin Donuts coffee because I actually *love* coffee and therefore instinctively loathe the zombie like imitation of the same, I hated “Mamma Mia!” and “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”.  Hell, don’t take my word for it:  Alan & Ian didn’t exactly dig them either: (Mamma Mia review / Mummy III review).  But you know what?  We’re not even going to talk about the movies because let’s face it: If you were thinking of buying these dvd’s, you’re probably already on board.  So rather than waste your time with a review you won’t agree with let’s just dive right in to the extras on these two Special Edition 2 Disc Spectaculars.

First up we’ll tackle the 2 Disc Special Edition of “Mamma Mia”.  From a picture/sound point of view I found the transfer and audio clean and clear.  Almost too clear, as each grating note sung by Pierce Brosnan and Stellan Skarsgaard was as if they were crooning directly into my skull.  Thankfully, the rest of the cast’s voices were strong enough (if still miscast) to carry the tunes.  I will say that whoever decided what trailers went on Mamma Mia needs to think for a second.  Musical featuring the songs of ABBA.  Hmmm, what market might be interested in that BESIDES white, family-oriented moms?  I wonder…, but apparently the exec in charge of placement sure didn’t.  Family TV shows and kiddie films.  Good choice, Brainiac…

Options-wise this baby is loaded: The obligatory director commentary (which did little to enlighten me as to why she made the choices she did, but was handy in pointing out the cameos I might have otherwise missed) and a (rightfully) cut number (“The Name of the Game”) reside on disc one, while disc two gives us not one, but two different featurettes on the film itself as well as a bit about the training regime the singers underwent, a ‘if you’re too dumb to catch this in the film’ showcasing of ABBA founder Bjorn Ulvaeus’ cameo, as well as outtakes and (again rightfully) deleted scenes.  If you’re into those things; cool.  Otherwise mostly bleh.

However I did enjoy the ‘Anatomy of a Musical Number: “Lay All Your Love On Me”’ feature, as it provides at least a somewhat illuminating look at the choreography and process of putting together a big musical number, which is in fact what I enjoy most about musicals.  Sadly the finished product doesn’t showcase the work and effort that went into the set-piece, but dance/choreography fans should find it a nice touch.

Lastly there’s the obligatory ‘Digital Copy’ available via the disc, which I suppose is like saying “Hey, let’s give you a less clear, lower quality version of the film that’s crippled with Digital Rights Management add-ons in the hopes that you never realize that you could find a far superior copy of the same film on BitTorrent.  Dear Hollywood:  Please stop. It’s a little embarrassing.

And now The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Here’s another options-laden Special Edition tacked on a film that Roger Ebert (to my eternal bafflement) called ‘The best of the series’.  Okay, so the bar isn’t set particularly high for Mummy films, but still.  Best of the series?  I suppose it all depends on whether you think the series is mega-dumb to begin with, but anyway…

Fans of both films will find ample extra material on these editions, and Universal certainly gives you enough to warrant the slightly higher price point, but in the end I’m forced to say:  I don’t care how fascinating the process is; I just can’t be bothered to care exactly HOW each piece of glitter was painstakingly applied to the turd.  It’s still just a turd dipped in glitter.

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