Saturday, August 02, 2008

FILM: New in Theaters - 8/02/08

I hate to break it to you guys, but The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor looks like it sucks. Not only is it getting bad reviews, but the graphics look horrendous. The combined efforts of Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, and Maria Bello (History of Violence) cannot save this train reck. Let's forget for a second that the producers want us to ignore the fact that they've replaced the clumsy-but-cute Brit Rachel Weisz with hard-as-nails American Bello, expecting us to bypass the obvious differences. But how could we ignore them giving the film to Rob Cohen (Stealth and xXx), who doesn't even have experience with this type of commercial film,when they should've just did what they had to in order to retain Stephen Sommers, who is busy with the much-anticipated G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra? Fortunately, they chose a dead weekend to drop their action film into theaters and just might succeed because of it. Honestly though, there are three reasons the previous Mummy films were awesome: 1) Brendan Fraser was handsome and rugged, which he isn't anymore; 2) The chemistry between Weisz and Fraser, which longer exists; and 3) the amazing graphics, which are nowhere to be found in this one. Oh! And did I mention that they changed the mummy. Yeah, it's Jet Li, but it's also inconsistent. They could've tried to bring the previous story full circle and develop some way to put that mummy's soul to rest, because, if you remember, he was swallowed into hell after his one true love ditched him. Whatever. I'll watch it on cable.

Your other options include:
Swing Vote: The results of a presidential election rely on the vote of one man: an irresponsible single father (Kevin Costner). Naturally, the presidential candidates invade his town and try to re-sell themselves to him before he votes...because he wasn't paying attention to the barrage of campaign posters, speeches, and stunts the first time around...which sounds like 80% of America (including me). The script was co-written by Jason Richman (Bad Company) and Joshua Michael Stern, but the trailer is funny enough for a rainy day viewing. It's been a long time since Costner's been king of cinema--strutting down red carpets alongside a non-racist version of Mel Gibson--and this film reminds you why he we loved him so much. Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, Stanley Tucci, George Lopez, and Paula Patton (Deja Vu) also star. Watch the trailer:

There's also the horror mystery The Midnight Meat Train that's based on Clive Barker's short story, know...does not involve meat. It does, however, mysteriously star Brooke Shields ("Lipstick Jungle"), Leslie Bibb ("Popular"), and Bradley Cooper ("Kitchen Confidential"). Yes, it's that low budget. Enjoy blood and torture tactics courtesy of one Vinnie Jones (Snatch), who these characters will come to know as "the butcher"...of the "meat" train. Am I grossing you out yet? For more visual details, click here.


  1. The one star I plopped on this clunky bore-athon is due to the presence of the great Jet Li as the evil Dragon Emperor of the subtitle and the gorgeous Michelle Yeoh as Zi Yuan, a witch who's been on the Emperor¹s ass for over 2000 years.

    Peter Travers
    Rolling Stone _mummy_tomb_of_the_dragon_emperor
    martial-arts superstar Jet Li triumphs as the mostly wordless evil Emperor Han of ancient China, a glowing magma spirit locked in a terra cotta shell.

    Jane Horwitz
    Washington Post 073100734.html

    Still, Li makes a great villain, using his powers to create fire, ice and other elements.

    Edward Douglas
    Coming Soon

    Toward the end of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh launch into a vigorous sword fight — and what a grand pleasure it is to watch these two world-class stars in action again...Their duel atop the Great Wall of China is a reunion of titans, an Old Timers' Day for two actor-athletes still in their sinuous prime. Forgive the effusions of an alter-kocker fanboy, but the flinty glamour of Li and Yeoh — buttressed by the stolid, sneering presence of top Hong Kong villain Anthony Wong Chau-sang (who in 1993 appeared in 15 films!) — is the best reason to catch this third in the series of Indiana Jones knockoffs.

    Richard Corliss

    A memorably badass Jet Li.
    Nathan Rabin
    AV Club

  2. Sounds like Tomb of the Dragon Emperor met everyone's expectations... Brendan Frasier tries too hard to act, so you can tell he's acting