Quarantine Post #57: GoPro Hero 9


So I this will be a short post. If you have been following along with me, you know I am itching to start vacationing again… in the next few months… I am hoping to transform this blog into a travel blog, with an accompanying podcasts or Youtube channel. Or Both. In preparation for my upcoming travels and plans…. I decided to start looking for a something that will take better pictures than my iPhone. But as a person that is new to photography, videography, Vlogging and etc… I had no idea what I was looking for. None. But then I remembered my brother came on a family cruise with a GoPro he’d just purchased… and the footage from that was great. So that is where I started looking.

So I opted for a GoPro 9….

I called my brother up… and he had nothing but good things to say about it. He had a GoPro 5. He didn’t see a thing wrong with me purchasing one. So I went on the hunt… Usually when looking at purchasing something… the first people I go to are my family. In a lot of instances… they have great opinions and this was one of them. None the less… I still read the reviews online. (I wish people would learn how to write reviews…. You have to take what people write with a grain of salt.) There was an overwhelming amount of positive reviews. (There was a small portion of people complaining about overheating. And while that premise bothered me…. I didn’t think that I was going to be using enough to constitute overheating.) So I ordered it from Amazon. (Thank Goodness for 2 day shipping.) You can purchase it also at

  • Best Buy
  • REI
  • Target
  • B&H Photo
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods

Even with seeing the picture online… I am not sure I was prepared for the size of the camera. I was skeptical about what they said I would be able to capture with such a small device. But I stand corrected. I do remember the footage my brother shot. I’ll repost it from my blurb about the family cruise. If you have seen it already… Sorry. I remember that it is waterproof which is all the more reason that I made the purchase.

I remember standing in Target and looking at their GoPro display. (They have a wonderful presentation btw. All kinds of great video.) Target was where I learned that the GoPro are called action cameras… makes sense to me. Now with the pandemic… I haven’t had a lot of chances to try out the camera. So after purchasing it… it sat on my desk for awhile. I know that I promised myself that once when I was able to get out I would start a healthier lifestyle. It didn’t dawn on me that I could use test out on a bike ride. I gathered everything up and headed out to a trail that I enjoy. Here are some of the things that I noticed and enjoyed.

  • Color Front facing camera – (My brother did not have that on his 5… so that was super helpful. Vlogging comes to mind.)
  • The Hero 9 Black can capture up to 5K footage at up to 30 fps. For stills, you now get access to 20-megapixel pictures, which is up from 12-megapixels in the previous version. (Downside:T he disadvantage is that you’re limited to 30 frames per second (fps) in 5K, whereas at 4K you can shoot 60 fps.
  • The mounting arms are built into the underside of the Hero 9 camera – and that means you don’t need to worry about whether or not the camera will fit in any specific cases or on particular mounts or handles. You just screw it directly onto any of them using the standard screw pin. (This made it so much easier to ride and not worry about the camera.
  • Voice Commands- This was hands down the best thing to me…. it made it so much easier to get on with my ride without having to touch the camera all the time. (Watch out Whistler here I come. )
  • Automated Editing with the GoPro App – For a person just starting out… This is an invaluable tool. The GoPro app can automatically stitch together your footage and try to put together customizable arrangements of your shots to create videos. In the app, you can even get still shots from the video. (Downside: The other downside with shooting at 5K is that most mobile devices aren’t capable of playing it, so there’s no previewing in the mobile app. You’ll have to download the footage to your laptop or desktop.)

Smartphones can do most of what the GoPro can. You get HD video with image stabilization, and apps can provide in-depth time-lapse features.  The GoPro Hero 9 Black is a truly waterproof camera that can work comfortably underwater down depths of 33 feet. (I don’t see myself going down that far…. But it is nice to know.) The slightly larger display nets slightly larger icons and buttons, good if your fingers are a little clumsy like mine. I also bought some accessories…. The Chesty, Headband and the selfie stick are pretty awesome. And much easier to use than I thought. Made biking so much easier. Not to mention HyperSmooth. Stabilization is available in every mode. GoPro calls its digital system HyperSmooth, and it lives up to its name. The camera removes bumps and jostles from handheld footage.

I had no clue what I would get but this footage is much better than I expected.
Another one….

Needless to say, I have had a good time learning my little camera… and I can totally see myself snowboarding down Whistler mountain and capturing everything I can. If I had to assign stars, I would give it 4.5 out of 5. If you are active and want to capture great footage… this is the camera to do it. I did invest in the extra batteries and a charger. It came with 3 extra batteries that can charge at the same time. So if you plan on being outside for a while you may also want to invest in that. If you are active and want to capture great footage… this is the camera to do it. So that is all for now. So that is all for now.

Quarantine Post #56: The Mummy Returns


I am back with another post. It is time to get into the sequel…and usually sequels are terrible. And I fully expected to be let down on this watch when it came out in 2001. But it was great. The good thing that it had going for it is the fact that the some of the original cast returned. The Mummy Returns stars the returning cast of Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, Arnold Vosloo, John Hannah and Oded Fehr, and introducing Freddie Boath, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in new roles. The film grossed $202 million in the United States and Canada box offices and $233 million internationally, grossing over $435 million worldwide. The film broke the record for highest Friday and Saturday with $23.4 and $26.8 million. In its opening weekend, the film made $70.1 million, making it the second highest opening weekend of all time, only behind The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

Now… as is the case… I enjoy taking a look back at movies and talking about my thoughts on most of the scenes. Some funny…. some poignant… some just downright dreadful. So in no particular order… let’s jump into it.

  • As in the first movie, we start off with a pretty great prologue delivered by Oded Fehr. In the year 3067 B.C, the Scorpion King, a fearsome warrior who led a vicious campaign to conquer ancient Egypt, marches to the city of Thebes intending to rule. After a violent campaign between the Scorpion King’s army and the army of Thebes which lasted for seven years, the battle goes to the army of Thebes, who cast out the invaders into the desert of Ahm Shere. The Scorpion King soon finds himself the last living member of his army, all the others having died from the desert heat, exhaustion, and lack of food or water. At that point, the Scorpion King himself is dying, and in his last moments, he prays to the god Anubis, pleading for the chance to win one last battle in exchange for his soul. (Why do people always put their soul up for payment….? It always has catastrophic repercussions. Also did you guys see him eat that scorpion? It makes me want to vomit just thinking about it. I usually cover my eyes at that part.) In response, the god sends out a large black scorpion from the sands, which the warrior chews up, despite its successful attempts to sting him, which results in a great oasis sprouting from the desert.The Scorpion King, with his fallen soldiers replaced with the Army of Anubis itself, returns to Thebes and continues his siege, winning the city and killing many. Once the battle is ended, however, the Scorpion King’s soul is taken to the Underworld, as is the Army of Anubis. (All that you couldn’t even enjoy the win… Like what was the point? Ending up in the Underworld. SMH.)The King is branded by Anubis and will awaken 5000 years later. Upon awakening, anyone who kills the Scorpion King can either send his army back to the Underworld or use it to enslave mankind and take over the earth. His bracelet is left on sands and is now the guide to locating him and the Army Of Anubis. (Sounds like a fair trade.) Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHlJwLc5dno)

  • 5000 years into the future, in 1933 A.D. we see that Rick and Evelyn have been married for a while, and have a child Alex O’Connell. Alex is with his parents on an expedition. (Odd… because they are always doing dangerous nonsense. But maybe the best place for him to be is with them.) The O’Connell’s have reached a temple along the banks of the Nile where Evelyn seeks the Bracelet of Anubis, the emblem of the Scorpion King. Evelyn knows about the temple and how to access the Bracelet from visions that she has been having. As Evelyn looks at some carvings on a wall, Rick is told by his son Alex that the tattoo on his wrist is alike to a symbol that appeared in the atrium of the temple that they are exploring. (So important for later.) Three other treasure seekers, Spivey, Red, and Jacques, are also looking for the Bracelet of Anubis. Red goes after Rick and Evelyn, Spivey and Jacques stay behind to look for other artifacts. Meanwhile, Rick and Evelyn find and enter the chamber where the bracelet is kept. Evelyn struggles to open the box containing the bracelet, Rick finds the key and they open it to discover the Bracelet of Anubis while Red readies his pistol to fire. The chest containing the Bracelet is taken from its resting place, but at that moment, a rushing sound rings out: the O’Connell’s then realize that the Bracelet was under protection, for the inscriptions around the chest said that whoever opens the chest will “drink from the Nile”. (Evie claims that doesn’t sound so bad… Ma’am were you even in the first movie? Also Rick does point out that she said the same thing about reading from a book and look how that turned out.) With that, a large torrent of water comes down the corridors, taking Rick and Evelyn with it, almost drowning them as they take the chest with them. Rick and Evelyn are caught in the flood and barely cling for life. While trying to escape Alex mistakenly causes the crash of the supporting pillars within the main atrium, breaking through the walls and stopping the waters from drowning his parents. Remember the library scene with Evelyn? Yeah.

  • So… to Hamunaptra… Well the movie is called the Mummy Returns… but after the prologue… I have forgotten all about that… Once they start talking about Imhotep again… I was seriously wondering… How does tie in with the Scorpion King? Anyways…The excavators in Hamunaptra are paid by a cult lead by Baltus Hafez, curator of the British Museum. In a tent, a warrior named Lock-Nah states that the discovered Book of the Dead gives life. A woman named Meela Nais, who is revealed to be Anck-Su-Namun reincarnation states that the Book of Amun-Ra takes life away. Just then the excavators unearth a swarm of scarabs that devour some of the excavators and a couple of cultists. The cultists then force the scarabs back into the pit using flame throwers. (Flame Throwers seem a bit too handy for 1933… but I am no historian.) Most of the excavators and cultists rush over to the site as a corpse covered in mineral is lowered, it is revealed to be the remains of Imhotep. Meela watches in reverence at having discovered her former lover and Lok Nah uncovers an urn containing Imhotep’s mummified soldiers remains. Red and his friends who have arrived, revealing the cult wanted them to obtain the bracelet for them, push their way through the crowds of diggers. Hafez demands the Bracelet from the thieves, but Red tells his employer that the opportunity had passed them by; Hafez crossly insists that he and his cultists need that Bracelet, as Lock-Nah, Hafez’ enforcer, punctuates this by adding that they need it before it opens and drawing his blade out. (This man and his blade.) Only Meela Nais, ends the dispute by telling Hafez that she should have handled it. Hafez, in a resolute tone, tells Red and the thieves that he has a different chore for them instead, Meela demands where the Bracelet has gone; Red replies that it’s on its way to London. Shoving Red out of his way, Hafez declares that he and his cultists must go to London, unknown to them Ardeth Bay is a disguised member of the digging team and has been listening to everything. (And my love for Ardeth is reignited. Also isn’t he supposed to be stopping them from digging up the creature?”)

  • Let’s see… I would guess now is the time for a bit of action… Enter the O’Connell’s again. The O’Connell’s arrive back to their mansion home in England, (courtesy of Beni.) with the Bracelet. Evie doesn’t want to unpack. She wants to head into her next adventure. Evelyn wants to journey to the Lost Oasis of Ahm Shere to find the Scorpion King by using the bracelet as a map. Rick protests this as he does not want to endanger their lives. Unknown to them Alex who is carrying the chest opens it and wears the bracelet which shows him a vision of Karnak. He fails to take the bracelet off and places a football statue inside the chest and rolls his jacket sleeve down to cover the bracelet. The O’Connell’s notice some female underwear and Rick irritably realizes it’s one of Jonathan girlfriends and goes to find him. Meanwhile, Lock-Nah and a handful of armed cultist thugs arrive at the O’Connell residence and head to confront Evelyn O’Connell, Hafez himself, accompanied by Meela, Shafek and two other thugs’ heads upstairs to interrogate Rick O’Connell about it. The cultists find Jonathan Carnahan instead, with a woman named Sheila, and the cultists thus mistake him for O’Connell. Jonathan has never been so unlucky… The wrong place at the wrong time… and for a group of people that seem to know everything… They don’t know their target. The cultists force Sheila out and confront Jonathan about the Bracelet of Anubis, but Jonathan, thinking Hafez is working for a man named Johnny that Jonathan is indebted to, pleads for more time to pay what he owes. Jonathan states honestly that he has no idea what they are talking about, but Hafez does not believe him, having Shafek take a dagger and hold Jonathan back. Jonathan states honestly that he has no idea what they are talking about, but Hafez does not believe him, having Shafek take a dagger and hold Jonathan back. Meela Nais then walks into the room with a basket in her hands, asking where Jonathan’s wife is, believing him to be O’Connell. Jonathan lies that Evelyn had gone off to Baden-Baden or Tibet, but that doesn’t stop her from taking a large snake out of a basket. At that moment… O’Connell comes in and she takes the snake and throws it at him… even though she is proud of her attack, O’Connell manages to catch the snake and throw it back at the cultists. O’Connell originally thinks that these people are part of one of Jonathan’s wild parties. Another cultist throws a dagger at Rick, almost hitting him, but dodging once O’Connell throws it back, hitting another cultist instead. Another cultist open fires with a machine gun, but O’Connell and Jonathan escape, with Jonathan pocketing the Spear from the curator’s hands. Here comes a bunch of people to shoot up your house. Rick seems to just want to be left alone.

  • On the other hand… Lock-Nah finds Evelyn and Alex and asks where the chest is. Evelyn, angry at the intruder in her home, draws out a sword from her wall and demands that Lock-Nah leave. As Evelyn demands that Lock-Nah must leave, several thugs step out from behind him, outnumbering Evelyn. As Lock-Nah declares that he will kill her and take it anyway, just then Ardeth Bay, a rival of Lock-Nah steps out to defend Evelyn and Alex. A fight ensues with several cultists brought down; Lock-Nah takes the moment to approve of Ardeth’s duelling skills before removing his cloak and joining in the fight. (This scene sets the stage for the battle between Ardeth and Lock Nah. Only one can survive.) Ardeth himself almost brings down Lock-Nah but is distracted as Evelyn is knocked out by another cultist. Lock-Nah overpowers the Medjai, slashing him in his shoulder and nearly killing Ardeth with a dagger before kidnapping Evelyn. Lock-Nah doesn’t realize that the chest’s contents have been altered by Alex. Check out the scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q720Fe7IDMk You have to love Lock-Nah and his cape.

  • So this is familiar… Evie being kidnapped in order to be sacrificed to bring back to Anck-Su-Namun. Rick and Jonathan escape outside and see Evelyn being taken by the cultist however are stopped from pursuing by gunfire. As Alex and Ardeth arrive outside an enraged Rick demands to know what Ardeth is doing and why Evelyn has been taken. (Poor Ardeth is the bringer of bad news.) Ardeth reveals that if they can find the cult leader Hafez then they will find Evelyn. Alex recognizes him as the curator of the British Museum and the group decide to follow. Ardeth then reveals that the cult has rediscovered Imhotep corpse and somehow the women with them knew exactly where Imhotep was buried. Alex then reveals he is wearing the bracelet however Ardeth then warns him that the bracelet being activated will result in the next apocalypse. (Ardeth is pretty dark… but his life is pretty dark.) Ardeth then reveals that they have seven days to stop the Scorpion king from rising and the cult intends to resurrect Imhotep as he is the only one strong enough to fight the Scorpion King due to the powers he possesses as a result of the Hom Dai curse and will gain command of Anubis’s army. (Ah… that was the explanation I craved. Bring back Imhotep in order beat the Scorpion King.) Arriving outside the museum Rick and Ardeth step out to engage the cult, while Alex and Jonathan stay in the car. While arming themselves with weapons Ardeth notices the tattoo and realizes that Rick is a fellow Medjai and quotes an old saying which Rick answers. However, Rick dismisses Ardeth statement and the significance of the tattoo. (More on this later.) Inside the museum Lock-Nah, along with the other cultist followers, participate in the ritual that will bring Imhotep back to life, performed in the storage facility of the British Museum. Evelyn is brought in by the cult members and awaken to realize in horror that Imhotep remains are inside of the chunk of mineral as Hafez performs the rite that would bring Imhotep back to life within the British Museum. The final incantations are read, and Imhotep breaks free of the mineral. Imhotep demands to know what year it is and is informed by Hafez that the Year of the Scorpion has come. Hafez and Lock-Nah use a syringe filled with acid to open the chest, expecting to find the Bracelet of Anubis inside; they find instead a statue of a baseball player, which had been placed inside of the chest by Alex when he inadvertently put on the Bracelet. Hafez asks Lock-Nah where the Bracelet has gone and Lok Nah realizes Alex is wearing it.

  • Rick and Ardeth hide behind a ledge and witness Imhotep’s resurrection and see Meela step into the room. Evelyn has a vision in which Meela appears as Anck-Su-Namun to Imhotep, as she has the exact appearance of his lost love. Meela then explains that she is Anck-Su-Namun reincarnated, to which Imhotep replies that she is only Anck-Su-Namun in body, but soon after calling back her spirit from the Underworld, she would be her true self and their love will once again be whole. Meela offers a gift to Imhotep: Evelyn O’Connell bound down by ropes and carried on board by several cultists; Meela knows that watching Evelyn die will please Imhotep, as he recognizes Evelyn at once. Evelyn is moved closer to a large stone basin that is filled with fire as Imhotep gives the order to have her burned. Evelyn is almost thrown in when Rick O’Connell leaps in and saves her before she can be harmed. The cultists then began to open fire as the O’Connell’s fire shots: Ardeth Bay covers the O’Connell’s from a staircase, firing shots at both the cultists and Imhotep, but the shots don’t register to Imhotep as they make holes but cause no permanent damage. As Imhotep witnesses both sides fighting, he sees O’Connell and is shot in the chest by the adventurer. The fight progresses on until Imhotep walks to a side of the loading dock where the urn containing Imhotep’s servants is stored: Imhotep opens the jar, unleashing four mummified soldiers, and gives the order to kill off his enemies. O’Connell and Ardeth Bay escape with Evelyn, unknown to them Jonathan has broken the key to Rick car and has somehow taken a bus to help them escape. (A double decker bus you guys…. of all things to steal and try to maneuver that thing down the street. But he drove the hell out of that bus.) The mummies then burst out, although Rick and Ardeth manage to shoot one down each the other two succeed in boarding the bus and Rick and Ardeth struggle to kill them, Jonathan struggles to maneuver the bus. Rick is fighting one mummy; however, his shotgun falls and is taken by Evelyn who saves Ardeth from being devoured and Rick punches the mummy and drops down as the bus top is torn off from going under a bridge, destroying the mummy. (Ardeth says… that this particular trip was his first bus ride. Well Ardeth… bus rides are usually not a life and death thing. Just throwing that out there.) Alex wanders to the back of the bus and is kidnapped by Lock-Nah and the other cultists. They prevent Rick from saving Alex by separating the bridge. Hafez informs Imhotep that his enemies have taken the Spear of Osiris, which Imhotep considers to be of little concern, as he states that his powers will be so great once he reaches Ahm Shere that nothing can stop him. Imhotep then leans in to kiss Meela, and although she loves him, she is still reviled at his appearance: Imhotep then puts Meela into a trance that enables her to see herself in her past life as Anck-Su-Namun. She sees Imhotep not as a mummy, but as his living self, whole again, who she kisses deeply, not seeing that she is kissing a mummy that is rotting away further as she touches him. While Rick embraces and comforts a crying Evelyn, Ardeth urges them not to give up as Alex is wearing the bracelet. Realizing they need to reach Karnak first, Rick decides to access transport so they reach Karnak before the cult do as the bracelet will show Alex the next step of the way. Check out the bus scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgBAJefErZY and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs1QcRTOMEg

  • The O’Connell’s, Ardeth Bey and Jonathan set out to try and rescue Alex from the cultists. Rick’s associate from his past adventures, Izzy, a pilot, provides group transportation in return for Jonathan’s gold spear. (Izzy is less than interested in helping O’Connell… apparently on their escapades… Izzy always gets shot. Jonathan is less than thrilled that he has to give up his gold spear.) Izzy’s plan? To take a dirigible. Izzy is like a mad scientist. The Medjai tribes band together and decide to journey to the desert of Ahm Shere to fight the army of Anubis, guided by Ardeth’s pet bird Horus who will act as a messenger for them. Imhotep and his cultists head to Cairo by train, Imhotep remains in a boxcar adorned with ancient Egyptian artifacts and antiquities. As the cultists travel on, Alex is brought forward to Imhotep, for the mummy wishes to speak with Alex. To hide his rotted appearance, Imhotep dons long black robes and a detailed dark mask. Imhotep speaks to Alex in Ancient Egyptian because he knows that the Bracelet of Anubis will grant him the knowledge of the ancient Egyptians, particularly their language. Imhotep explains that Alex is the chosen one and that Alex will guide their way to Ahm Shere. Alex, slightly frightened, attempts to defy Imhotep by stating that he might get them all lost, to which Imhotep commends Alex on having his father’s strength, and remarks to Alex that he still knows something that Alex does not: the Bracelet of Anubis is both a gift and a curse, and Alex explains that he already knows of the Bracelet’s properties: from the moment that the Bracelet was put on, the wearer has seven days to reach Ahm Shere before the Scorpion King awakens. However, Imhotep warns that if he does not enter the temple before sunrise on the seventh day he will die as the bracelet will suck the life out of him. This is where we get the awesome line… “My dad is going to kick your arse.” To which Imhotep waves him off stating his disbelief. Imhotep then waits in his chamber as the three thieves Red, Jacques and Spivey are brought in: the same three thieves that have been employed by the cultists and demanded more money from the job. They have taken with them the chest that once contained the Book of the Dead and five sacred canopic jars. Imhotep hides somewhere within the room and catches the three thieves off guard. Now keep in mind… if they had listened to their friend and not opened the box…. but no… they had to make fun of him for always thinking that things are cursed. The three thieves, horrified at the sight of that dead man, scream and fire their guns at the mummy, which has no effect on Imhotep, who simply stands there laughing. (Guns never work… when will people learn.) As Spivey heads back towards the door, Meela Nais appears through the spy-hole, telling him to open the chest that they brought, for the mummy wants the chest opened, and he tears off the lid, Jacques who knows of the chest properties cries out against it. The chest is opened and as the dust clears, the mummy is gone, he then appears to Spivey and comes down from the ceiling and seizes him by the shoulders and kills the screaming man by sucking out his organs, fluids and flesh, leaving the thief with a skeletal husk. The other two, distraught at what has happened, begin to fire at the mummy in vengeance but are killed off as well. The thief’s bodies litter the floor of the boxcar and Imhotep stands fully regenerated as Meela comes closer to him, bowing before him before sharing a kiss. Before long, the train stops in Karnak and Imhotep looks outside the window, seeing that Alex is trying to escape the train (That toilet that he crawled through almost made me vomit. But when your life is on the line.) and is being fired at by two cultists with machine guns. Imhotep uses his powers to lift the two men into the air, knocking them against one another and throw them at a pair of stone pillars. As Alex runs, the next location appears to him: the temple island of Philae, but the vision is interrupted as Imhotep strides in using his powers to lift Alex into the air.

  • I have never been a fan flashbacks… but this was done in the best way. We get a bit more backstory on everyone. Imhotep spends time with Meela, who sits beside him in front of a sacred pool of water within the ruins. Imhotep tells Meela that the time has come for her to resume being who she truly is, and places Meela in a trance that brings her back to her previous life as Anck-Su-Namun; the trance also affects Evelyn O’Connell, who is in a dirigible that is tracking the cultists, and so both women enter a trance that shows them their past lives. It is revealed that Evelyn is the reincarnation of Seti I daughter Nefertiri and that she and Anuck Sun-Namun were ancient rivals.  It is also revealed that Seti had entrusted Nefertiri with the task of watching over the ancient Bracelet of Anubis, the final remaining artifact of the Scorpion King. As the vision continues it is revealed that one day, for the entertainment of Seti and his courtiers, Nefertiri and Anck-Su-Namun duel in the royal court with sais (The inner TMNT girl in me loved every moment of this.), but quickly move on to other weapons before Nefertiri is eventually brought to heel by Anck-Su-Namun. It was after the battle had ended with her defeat that Seti made an announcement to his court: Anck-Su-Namun will be his future wife, as he believes that she can protect him from any conspirators, while Nefertiri will be charged with protecting the Bracelet. Nefertiri is evidently dismayed at the fact that Anck-Su-Namun will become her stepmother, but she does not voice any disapproval, most likely knowing that it will amount to nothing. Instead, she embraces her father and takes note that, Imhotep is exchanging covert glances with Anck-Su-Namun. (Ugh… and we know what happens here from the first. Through Nefertiri/Evie’s eyes, we watch the death of Seti.) She sees Anck-Su-Namun kiss, Imhotep. Seti enters the chamber and Nefertiri watches Imhotep remove his sword from his belt. Realizing their intentions, Nefertiri calls out to the Medjai, Seti’s loyal bodyguards that her father is in danger. Unfortunately, it is too late and the princess watches in horror as Anck-Su-Namun strikes the first blow to her father, stabbing him deeply in the back with a dagger, before joining Imhotep in stabbing the monarch repeatedly until he dies. After revealing her visions to Ardeth, he theorises that Rick is a reincarnated Medjai assigned to protect Evelyn and that Alex is the key to finding Ahm Shere. Therefore the three make up the three sides of the pyramid. Although disbelieving of this Rick acknowledges there might be some truth in what Ardeth is saying. At Karnak, Meela relives the moment that caused her life to end: the murder of Seti, and her suicide before the Pharaoh’s royal guards. Imhotep reads the verses from the Book of the Dead that bring Anck-Su-Namun’s soul back to Meela’s body, and both lovers recognize each other, share a passionate kiss. The O’Connell’s later arrive at Karnak and discover that Alex has left the clues to follow at each location so they can trace the cult. Check out the scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXTaxau_9CU

  • Lock-Nah has itching to kill Alex…. so when he finds out that Alex has been leaving his parents clues as to where he is going it could have ended badly. Imhotep decides to take matters into his own hands…. (Remember the sand….) Imhotep makes a wall of water that attacks the dirigible. The dirigible reaches a canyon and they see Imhotep tidal wave with the waters of the river, pursuing the dirigible. Izzy sees that the tidal wave is coming forward and ignites the engines full throttle to escape the flood and the tidal wave is averted. As the aircraft and its passengers continue through the canyon, Jonathan looks out and sees their destination: the lost Oasis of Ahm Shere.  The tidal wave returns (I mean, did we think they were actually going to get away.) Izzy again hits the engines full blast to escape the waters, but the engines overheat and the boosters on the dirigible burn out; as the craft remains stationary in the air, Izzy sinks into the cockpit meekly and the tidal wave takes the craft and its passengers down. The O’Connell’s crash in Ahm Shere and Alex is left grief-stricken at the seeming loss of his parent while Imhotep strides on triumphantly. Izzy stays with the dirigible in hopes of repairing it, (I still want to know how he was expected to fix this thing in the middle of the oasis.) O’Connell and his friends leave, Jonathan pockets the gold Spear given to Izzy. While Horus fly’s out to deliver another message, he is shot down by a cruel Lok Nah who has been watching the bird travel. Ardeth is heartbroken by his friend’s death and intends to leave so he can warn the Medjai about the army. However, Rick pleads for his help (“I need you to help me get my son back.”) and Ardeth agrees out of loyalty. The O’Connell’s prepare their weapons and Rick and Ardeth leave to save Alex while Jonathan and Evelyn provide cover fire. (I remember initially thinking… You guys are going to trust Jonathan with that? Seriously???”) he cult is attacked by a group of mummified pygmies which are ordained to kill off whatever humans they can catch. Ardeth duels and kills Lok Nah who is trying to retrieve the bracelet from Alex as it is the key to awakening the Army of Anubis. The pygmies attack and kill all the cult members but do not manage to capture the cultist leader Baltus Hafez, who abandons his two remaining men to die while he runs off; the pygmies leap onto the men and stab them with daggers and spears, killing them both. Continuing their chase, they swing through the trees and almost catch Rick O’Connell and his son Alex, but before one can attack them, it is blown apart by Rick’s gun. The pygmies, however, outnumber O’Connell and his family as they pursue them through the oasis, separating Jonathan Carnahan.  The pygmies continue to chase off the O’Connell family and reach a fallen log that the group cross like a bridge. Jonathan quickly catches up while Risk takes the precaution of throwing a lit stick of dynamite at the cannibals, which they catch and fight over before it explodes, tearing the fallen log in two and casting the pygmies down into a canyon. Alex then reveals the bracelet will kill him unless he reaches the pyramid and Evelyn sees the sunrise, so Rick grabs Alex and runs towards the pyramid to save his son. Check out the scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOxnZpP6ttU) I stood corrected because Jonathan and Evie did their thing when it came to providing cover fire.

  • Rick and Alex run to the pyramid, barely making it before sunrise. The bracelet detaches from Alex’s arm, and he can’t wait to get rid of it.  Ardeth leaves and regroups with the Medjai in case the Army of Anubis rises. Evelyn and Jonathan arrive at the pyramid and see that Rick and Alex have made it. Evelyn is caught off guard, Anck-Su-Namun sneaks up on her and stabs Evelyn in the stomach with a dagger, killing her. (Listen…. I was so mortified. I felt it was completely unfair.) Jonathan tries to help Evelyn by stopping Anck-Su-Namun, but is quickly deterred as Imhotep lifts him by his throat and throws him aside. (Poor Evie and poor Jonathan.) Anck-su-Namun walks into the pyramid with Imhotep and sardonically wave’s hello to Alex as she holds the Book of the Dead. Rick rushes to help Evelyn, however, it is too late.  While walking through the pyramid Imhotep steps onto a platform that is surrounded by two large statues, both of which to strip him of his immortality, taking away his powers. Imhotep states that Anubis has taken his powers, wishing him to face the Scorpion King as a mortal. However, Imhotep is firm in his decision to fight the Scorpion King all the same. Anck-Su-Namun begs him not to go; Imhotep insists that he can win the fight without his powers, reminding Anck-Su-Namun that if he dies, she must bring him back with the Book of the Dead. Anck-Su-Namun forbids this, saying she cannot bear the heartache of losing him again. He kisses her as a distraction, then proceeds forth to face the Scorpion King as Anck-Su-Namun screams after to him in despair. A heartbroken Rick embraces his son and leaves him outside while he steps into the Pyramid to avenge Evelyn death. Hafez enters a room inside the Pyramid and places his arm wearing the bracelet into a giant scorpion statue which regenerates the pyramid and awakens Anubis’s army.

  • Rick finds Hafez trying to remove his arm from the statue and states that Imhotep is a dead man. Hafez says O’Connell is too late. However, while trying to remove his arm, he cries out in pain as his arm is stripped of its flesh. Rick leaves and eventually finds Imhotep trying to summon the Scorpion King and they fight. The Medjai await the Scorpion King’s army arrival and see a shadow which causes the sand to become an ashy, tar-like substance, generating the soldiers of the Army of Anubis, which slowly,, from the ashes morph into jackal-headed humanoid mummies; the Army engages the Medjai in battle. The Anubis warriors are easily killed by decapitation and are soon slaughtered, despite inflicting heavy casualties on the Medjai. Ardeth notices the odd ease of their victory, and after hearing a rumble from ahead runs to the top of a dune, along with his men to see a mammoth, never-ending army of Anubis warriors, stretching off into the distance; the force they have just defeated was only the vanguard, and now the main army is bearing down on them, too immense for the remaining Medjai to have any hope of defeating. (My sister and I watched this together last night, and she was like…. ‘Rick better hurry up…. because Ardeth and the rest of the Medjai deserve better.’)  Jonathan comforts Alex over Evelyn death, Alex realizes the Book of the Dead can resurrect her and they collaborate to steal the Book of the Dead from Anck-su-namun. They find Anck-Su-Namun and Jonathan decides to fist-fight with Anck-Su-Namun in order to “teach her a lesson”; Jonathan is actually distracting Anck-Su-Namun from watching over the Book of the Dead and its key, which she has left behind as she fights Jonathan off, punching him hard. As the two fight, Anck-Su-Namun takes a pair of twin blades from a nearby staAlex asks Jonathan about the final stork symbol he can’t finish, Jonathan remembers the stork symbol as being Amenophus (He had better remember… since that is what Evelyn told him in the last movie.) and Alex finishes the final spell needed to resurrect Evelyn. Anck-Su-Namun is about to kill Jonathan when Evelyn, who has just been brought back to life by Alex, intervenes shaking her off before sending Jonathan and Alex to find Rick. Evelyn and Anck-Su-Namun fight as they had centuries ago and Evelyn fights and defeats Anck-Su-namun with the fighting skills acquired in her current life as well as those from her past life.tue and uses them in her fight, slashing Jonathan in the chest, and almost killing him before he can shake her off. The Scorpion King interrupts Rick and Imhotep’s fight and is revealed to have become a half-human half scorpion monster. (I just laugh at these effects now as I did them. There are a lot used in the movie but I think this was possibly the worst bit. The Rock deserved better. But it doesn’t take away from the movie.) Imhotep tells the Scorpion King that he is the Scorpion King’s slave, but Rick is sent to kill him so the King focusses on killing Rick and ends up killing Hafez who walks into the chamber.

  • While escaping from the Scorpion King Rick sees some carvings on the wall that reveals Jonathan stick is the weapon that can extend out to become a spear and kill the Scorpion King. Upon realising this Rick finally begins to believe in his destiny of being a warrior. (Now… didn’t Alex say he say this in the temple at the beginning of the movie??? LISTEN TO HIM!!!) Alex and Jonathan go to help Rick, who tells them that Jonathan needs to activate the spear before he resumes running from the Scorpion King. There is nothing better than Jonathan and Alex’s reaction to the Scorpion King’s form. But the second funniest thing had to be then arguing over the spear and how it is supposed to work. Alex and Jonathan finally get the spear activated…. (Thank goodness Jonathan stole the spear…. They would be stuck without it. Another point for Jonathan. ) Once activating the spear, Jonathan intends to throw it at the Scorpion King, but when he tries, Imhotep catches it and hurls the spear at the Scorpion King himself. Imhotep is trying to claim the Anubis army for himself. Rick manages to catch the spear before it can pierce the Scorpion King and runs him through himself, ordering him to take the Army of Anubis back to the Underworld with him which saves the Medjai from certain death, The Scorpion King’s death causes Anubis to turn the oasis back into a desert, and the oasis is being sucked into the pyramid. Rick and Imhotep are hanging from the edge of a pit that leads into the Underworld. Evelyn risks her life to save Rick despite his pleas for her to go, but Anck-su-namun refuses to save Imhotep. (The heartbroken look on his face when he sees Rick being helped by Evie when the woman he has risked 2 movies to bring back won’t even try and help him. I was appalled when Anck-su-namun ran off like girl…. what?) Seeing Anck-Su-namun abandon him, Imhotep willingly let’s go and falls into the underworld. Anck-su-namun later falls into a scorpion-filled pit and dies. (My sister said… “Good for her. She better not have gotten away.”) The O’Connell’s reach the top of the pyramid, which is being sucked into the desert. Izzy arrives with a modified dirigible and saves the O’Connell’s. Jonathan grabs the diamond at the top of the pyramid. (This man will risk life and limb for riches…. “It’s not worth your life….” “YES IT IS!!!!”) Ardeth Bay salutes them as they fly over him, Rick and Evelyn who have survived the events are happy to be together again and kiss in joy, much to Alex and Jonathan disgust. The adventure ends with Izzy and Jonathan comically arguing over the diamond Jonathan has taken. (Izzy knows it was Jonathan who stole the spear… and proclaims that the diamond Jonathan found is half his.) Check out the scenes here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTepzxirUBA and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYMfWitsqik&t=310s

My sister and I were discussing both movies the other day and she let it be known that she preferred the first movie to the second. I think I like the second just a bit better. Both movies are pretty fun and funny… I have to say sequels usually don’t hold a candle to the original movie… but this one hold up pretty well minus the CGI for the Scorpion King. I also have to say… adding a child to the mix is almost always a bad idea however Alex managed to be funny and his scenes with Lock Nah are gold. In comments, let me know which is your favorite movie… or your favorite scene from this movie.

Quarantine Post #55: The Mummy


It was a delight to see both the Mummy and the Mummy Returns on HBOmax. I loved these movies and watched them every time they were on tv. But it has been awhile since I seen them… It is unsettling to know that the movies came out 20 years ago. (It just means that I am getting older… ) But I was able to watch it this past weekend… and I am surprised…. that I still enjoy it. The effects are a bit outdated but even so they were still outstanding. I remember that younger me did have issues with people dealing with things they think they understand… Like you guys should not be down there reading books…. and bringing back mummies who will wipe out all of humanity… but I digress. In a testament to its rewatchability, you can come in at almost any point in The Mummy and you know you’re going to get caught on the couch, watching the next hour unfold.

The Mummy is a 1999 American film written and directed by Stephen Sommers. It is a remake of the 1932 film of the same name (Did you know it was a remake? I didn’t. Good times.)  with stars Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, and Kevin J. O’Connor, and Arnold Vosloo. The Mummy was theatrically released on May 7, 1999 and grossed over $416.4 million worldwide against a production budget of $80 million. The film’s success spawned the sequels The Mummy Returns (2001) and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) as well as an animated series and the prequel/spin-off film The Scorpion King (2002), which generated its own sequels.

We all know this story… and if you do not… I am sorry for you… you should get on that…. (HBOMax). When I first watched it as a kid… I had no idea that it was about reanimating a thousands year old mummy. There are supposed to be three components of a great blockbuster: heart, humor, and heroics. The Mummy had them all, along with a fourth: horror.

For this post… I am going to take a look at some of moments that I loved or scared me the first time I watched them. I may even throw in some random thoughts I had when watching. So… let’s get to it…

  • We are introduced to the backstory that is the catalyst for the movie. The high priest Imhotep has an affair with Anck-su-namun, the mistress of Pharaoh Seti I. Imhotep and Anck-su-namun kill the Pharaoh after he discovers their relationship. (Who has touched you?) Imhotep flees, while Anck-su-namun kills herself, believing that Imhotep can resurrect her. Imhotep and his priests steal her corpse and travel to Hamunaptra, the city of the dead. The resurrection ritual is stopped by Seti’s bodyguards, the Medjai. Imhotep is buried alive with flesh-eating scarab beetles. (Ewwww…) He is sealed away in a sarcophagus at the feet of a statue of the Egyptian god Anubis and kept under strict surveillance by the Medjai, sworn to prevent Imhotep’s return. This is one hell of a start to a movie… and… I felt a bit bad for Imhotep… (suffering the worst curse of being buried alive and eaten alive.) It is still one of the movie openings that I remember to this day. Check out a portion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3XXKF0oDtU

  • We next see Rick O’connell (Fraser) in the French Foreign Legion. This is the first time we see the relationship between Rick and Beni and it sets the stage for the rest of the movie. One group of Medjai led by Ardeth Bay stand vigil over Hamunaptra, witnessing a garrison of the French Foreign Legion that have found the ruins, setting up their post within the crumbling walls. Rick has been promoted once the leader of the garrison deserts the ruins on horseback, leaving his men on their own. O’Connell leads his fellow Legionnaires into successfully bringing down many Tuaregs, but as the battle wages on, the Tuaregs kill off more and more Legionnaires until only O’Connell himself and Beni are left. O’Connell blasts away many Tuaregs with his pistols, but finds himself outnumbered once his bullets run out. No help from Beni who tried to shut out O’Connell.  Running off into the desert, O’Connell notices a group of men on horseback watching him in the distance, Medjai, who decide not to kill him, as the desert would do that. I always laugh at this scene. There is something about Fraser’s facial expressions… that always send me into a fit of giggles.

  • We are introduced to Evie who is an aspiring Egyptologist. Everyone remembers her knocking down all the shelves in the library… (For a few laughs… Check out the scene here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOZZeuGaQro) Fun Times. But it is when her brother Jonathan says he found something down on a dig in Thebes that turns the course of the movie. Jonathan is hoping that he has found something valuable. Now… I have a friend that doesn’t care for Jonathan…. but unlike Beni…. at least I know whose side Jonathan is on… But at the same time… I understand her sentiments. The object is similar to a puzzle-box and clicks open to reveal eight different-shaped edges and a map made of papyrus. Evie and Jonathan show the item to the museum curator, who dismisses the box and the map inside as nothing more than fakes. Upon examining the box, however, the three scholars learn that the box was actually the key to Hamunaptra, and that the map within must be real. The curator idly holds the map for a moment and inadvertently brushes the paper against a small candle on his desk. The map half-destroyed, the curator states that it was for the best, as men had sought after Hamunaptra for many years, and none had ever found it, with most never returning. My favorite thing about the scene is when Jonathan accuses the curator of setting the map on fire on purpose… and the look on the curators smug face.

  • Cut to the jail… Evie learning that Jonathan lied about where he got the artifact. “You lied to me!” “I lie to everyone. What makes you so special?” “I’m your sister!” “Yes, well that only makes you more gullible.” They end up at Cairo Prison. Rick has been taken in under the charge of deserting his post in the French Foreign Legion. He is visited by Evie and Jonathan, who had come to ask about the small puzzle-box that O’Connell found while at Hamunaptra. O’Connell eyes Evie with some interest, and divulged the story of how he had found the box: he had been at the city when he found it. Since Jonathan is the man that picked his pocket and stole the puzzle-box from him, Jonathan was thus punched hard in the face by O’Connell… he deserved that. The great thing about the scene… that Evie just steps over her brother to find out if Rick will tell her how to get to Hamunaptra. Rick kisses her and tells her to get him out of there. At that moment, the guards in the cell seized the American and beat him, taking him away as they did. The warden stepped on the scene and revealed to Evie and her brother that the guards were taking him away to be hanged. Evie attends the hanging, despite the warden’s disapproval, and tries to barter for O’Connell’s freedom as the guards tied the ropes around O’Connell’s neck. I always laugh when the hangman asks if O’Connell has any last requests. When O’Connell responds that he wants to be let go… there is a bit of shock and turns to make sure that he should fulfill that request. Evie has to have a back and forth with the Warden to get O’Connell out… She has to reveal that he knows that location to Hamunaptra. Meanwhile… Rick is dropped from the scaffold… and now he is strangling to death. However, the warden was soon coaxed to release O’Connell as he was offered twenty-five percent of the profits made from the ruins’ discovery. The warden has poor negotiating skills. I watch this scene differently… knowing that Fraser almost choked to death. Poor Guy. Watch the scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW2QM6c1wAI

  • River Boat fire anyone…. Even though this is a serious action/adventure scene… the humor here is too much. Rick and Jonathan… Rick and Beni… Rick and Evie… There is a lot to love here. Once on the riverboat, O’Connell and his group meet other men seeking Hamunaptra: three American treasure hunters and their professorial consultant. The Americans make a wager with O’Connell that they would reach the City of the Dead first, which O’Connell sportingly accepts. They claim that they are so confident because they have a guide that had actually been there. (You can tell that Rick thinks that Jonathan talks too much. Rick doesn’t want the Americans to know anything about him or their trip.) Later that night, O’Connell tells Evie of his experience in the ruins, and that he comes armed because something resides in those ruins: evil. Evie, however, does not believe in curses and dismisses the notion of evil lying beneath the sands, hoping instead to find an ancient artifact known as the Book of Amun-Ra; eventually Evie leaves in a huff, leaving O’Connell alone until he meets up with Beni Gabor, whose actions of cowering in the ruins had almost gotten O’Connell killed. Beni reveals that he is leading the Americans to Hamunaptra, but asks why O’Connell, who had never believed in Hamunaptra, is returning. When O’Connell reveals that it is because Evie had saved his life, Beni sarcastically jokes about it: O’Connell not appreciating the humor and subsequently tossing Beni overboard. That night, a number of Medjai come aboard looking for the puzzle box and the map that Evie owns. One Medjai snuck into Evie’s room and holds her at the point of a blade. O’Connell bursts in guns… blazing and sets the room and the subsequently the boat on fire. O’Connell quickly shoots off many of the men, joined by the three Americans, but the Medjai have caused too much damage to the riverboat to remain aboard, compelling O’Connell and all others aboard to jump ship and swim to shore. The passengers all reach the riverbanks safely, but Beni and his employers succeed in obtaining the horses and camels from the boat, leaving O’Connell and his fellows to purchase their own rides at a Bedouin trading post the next morning. I spent a lot of time laughing at Rick and Evie’s interactions in this scene…. First when she storms off… throwing Beni off the boat… and Evie keeping Rick from getting his head blown off. Rick: “Can you swim?!” Evie: “well… yes… if the occasion calls for it!” Rick: Trust me! The occasion calls for it.” Watch the scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZBkTm19fmM

  • The race to the ruins is hilarious. Rick’s team has purchased camels since Beni’s group has all the horses. Traveling through the night… they wait for the sun rise to be “shown the way.” (It was the sleeping while riding the camel. I would never be able to do that. NEVER. I would be face down in the sand.) Then they resume their journey, each group racing against the other to reach the city first. The group consisting of Evie, O’Connell, Jonathan, and the Warden win the race, reaching the ruins before the others do. Beni processed to try and thrash O’Connell but O’Connell gets the best of him and throws him off the horse. (It makes me laugh every time.) Once camp is being set up, the Americans take the best areas to search for treasures to themselves, as the smaller group searches for openings to the chambers below. The funniest thing about this was… Rick trying to impress Evie with a kit he stole from the Americans. Watch the scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBTmNvvdpic The stuttering… the glances and then the “What are you looking at?!” to the warden. Too Funny. Also have to enjoy the misogyny from the Egyptologist. Making their way to the underground chambers, the group headed by O’Connell searches through the tunnels for any areas in which to dig and find treasures. Reaching the base of the statue of Anubis, the four treasure hunters begin to hear strange sounds coming from around the statue; guns out in the open, they turn around to face the source of the sounds, coming instead face-to-face with the rival group, also armed. With both groups meeting in the same area, the argument over the right to dig at the statue base begins, ending with the Americans and their diggers winning the statue base; as Evie notices quietly that there is another chamber below, she surrenders the chamber to the larger group.

  •  O’Connell, Evie and Jonathan believe that they can find the secret compartment that houses the Book of Amun-Ra, and take it while the Americans are all distracted. As they are working on the ceilings, the Warden separates himself from the rest of the group, making his way through a passageway where he finds an elaborate mural on the wall. On the mural are several shiny stones, which the Warden identifies as precious and begins to pry off the walls with a knife. (My friend and I wondered why anyone would look at the hieroglyphics and think… “Oh… that’s blue gold.”) Jonathan manages, by accident, to find a compartment where a sarcophagus is stored, releasing a large stone coffin. While the two others present stand in awe at this find, the Warden is still prying stones off the walls elsewhere, until one stone, having missed his bag and fallen onto the floor, cracks open, revealing a living scarab beetle, that tears open the Warden’s shoe and eats its way up the Warden’s skin. (I remember when I first watched this scene for the first time… I remember being super grossed out.) The other three examine the sarcophagus that has fallen from the ceiling, and deduce that the puzzle box that had been the cause of the Medjai attack on the riverboat is the key to opening the sarcophagus. There attention is turned to the warden who kills himself because of the scarab. Eventually… after the Medjai tell them to leave Hamunaptra, (not to mention the I AM A LIBRARIAN scene…lol….), the treasure seekers of both expeditions return to the tunnels and chambers below: the Americans and their diggers returning to the compartment at the base of the statue, where they extract a wooden chest. As the three Americans step forward to pry the chest open, the Egyptologist informs them that the chest has a curse placed upon it. The Americans do not believe in the curse, although the Egyptologist warned them all that the curse would strike them all were they to open the chest. Regardless of the given consequences, the four Americans proceed to force open the chest, as Beni and their diggers run off in fear, thus putting them in danger in the event that the mummy was resurrected. The smaller group finds another item: a mummy that was preserved inside of the sarcophagus that they had found earlier. Oddly, his skeleton is entirely intact, and there are scarab skeletons inside the sarcophagus as well. The mummy had been buried alive and had managed to claw a message into the wall of his sarcophagus: “Death is only the beginning”. That night, as both expeditions talk about their findings over a campfire, Evie noticed that the Egyptologist has found the Book of the Dead and is attempting to pry it open with his hands, to no avail. Bad news abounds.

  • Cut to her reading from the damn book. No harm came from reading from a damn book. Right? (GIRL WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? WHY? STOP THIS!!??? Later, when everyone is asleep, Evie steals the Book of the Dead from the Egyptologist’s grip (in true Jonathan or Rick fashion) and uses the key to open the locks. Evie then opens the Book and begins to read the words aloud, not knowing that the mummy found below in the chambers is awakening. Dr. Chamberlain awakes screaming at Evie to not read from the Book, but the damage has been done. A swarm of locusts flies out over the horizon, engulfing the camp and its residents entirely. The expeditions are separated: the three Americans run down the corridors with a number of their diggers, but Burns, one of the three Americans, trips and falls, losing his glasses, which are crushed by Beni as he attempts to reach the others. Unable to see where he is, Burns stumbles about the corridors blindly, seeing a fuzzy-looking figure at the end of the corridor, but unable to see who it is. The figure sneaks up from behind him and attacks Burns as he screams in terror. O’Connell, Evie and Jonathan run through one corridor trying to escape the man-eating scarab swarms. Evie is separated from the others and falls through a trapdoor in the wall and finds herself in a dark chamber where she sees Burns, his back turned to her. When she tries to talk to Burns and possibly get her to protect him… Burns turns around to reveal that his eyes and tongue have been torn out. (That shook young me.) Evie is caught by the mummy… (the same one that her and the guys found.) The mummy has Burn’s eyes and tongue. Imhotep. The mummy walks towards her, believing her to be Anck-Su-Namun, and roars in anger when approached by O’Connell, Jonathan and the two Americans. O’Connell roars back in mock gesture and blasts Imhotep in two with his elephant gun, allowing the others to escape. The Medjai arrive and give Burns back to the Americans. Though at first Rick believes the Medjai to be responsible, the Medjai explain that they had in fact rescued Burns and he was lucky to survive before the creature could finish his work. Commanding them all to leave, Ardeth declared that his fellow warriors will go on the hunt and try to find the means to kill the mummy. Imhotep is walking plague upon all the earth. Ardeth Bay, explains that because they did not leave, they have brought forth an ancient suppressed evil that has been feared by the Medjai for over three thousand years, and Ardeth Bay informs O’Connell, who had shot the mummy, that mortal weapons cannot kill the creature as he is not of the mortal world. (I think it probably would have been effective if the medjai just explained why they shouldn’t be here.) Beni, on the other hand, who has been separated from the rest of the group, wanders the catacombs and finds himself face to face with the mummy; Beni tries to plead for his life with religious icons from different beliefs, but only the Star of David, the Hebrew symbol, appeals to Imhotep, who knows that it is the symbol of the former slaves. Imhotep declares that he has use for Beni, and that in exchange for his servitude, he would be rewarded greatly. (When Beni pulled out all the chains, I was floored… it was also the glaring indication to me that he was not going to make it. He had no real principles or morals…) Check out the scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dyWUrXZG_w and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDWR5RkWRTY

  • After everyone returns to Cairo… Rick says they should depart for parts unknown and leave the mummy to the Medjai. (Now…. he was a part of this nonsense…. and now he wants to leave. COME ON, RICK!)  Evie wants to return to Hamunaptra as soon as possible to fix the issue that she helped cause, but O’Connell tries to persuade her to do otherwise. Unable to convince Evie, O’Connell leaves her quarters to have a drink in a bar, where he finds Winston Havelock, an aging British airplane pilot that rues not having died in battle, who drunkenly laments his predicament aloud before leaving. O’Connell then meets up with Jonathan, Daniels and Henderson, the latter two planning to leave Cairo for Alexandria with Burns, but the boat will not leave until the next morning. Meanwhile, Burns, who remains in his quarters, meets with the mummy himself, who Burns is informed is a prince seeking to buy Burns’ canopic jar. Imhotep wears a mask and long dark robes to conceal his identity, with Beni as a mediator. Beni informs Burns that “Prince Imhotep” thanks the American for his hospitality, as well as his eyes and tongue, but Imhotep’s work is not yet complete. He proceeds to drain the life out of Mr. Burns as he screams in terror. (I would say poor Burns… but the older I get… I feel like he and all the group should have left well enough alone.) Henderson and Daniels toast O’Connell and Jonathan with a drink, but promptly spit it out, along with the other bar patrons once they see that it is blood, that is running from a fountain in the bar. (GROSS!!!!!) At that moment, thunder crashes and hail and fireballs rain from the sky, destroying buildings and incinerating people. During this, O’Connell finds Beni and attempts to force him to tell where he’s been, but a loud roar from upstairs of the building that Beni emerged from distracts them all, and O’Connell and Evie rush in to find Burns body. At the end of the room, in front of the fireplace stands Imhotep, already regenerating. O’Connell begins firing at the corpse but the shots do nothing, nor do those of Jonathan, Henderson and Daniels, who all open fire as well. The mummy throws O’Connell clear across the room, knocking down the other three men before proceeding to lean forward to Evie, thanking her for bringing him back from the Underworld. Imhotep attempts to kiss Evie but her cat Cleo makes her presence known by standing on the keys of a piano in the room; terrified at the cat, Imhotep groans aghast and departs the room in the form of a sandstorm out the window. I have come to enjoy Jonathan’s narration of the plagues…

  • Evie says that she is going to the only man she knows who will have the answers…. I should have known it would be her boss… The survivors (O’Connell, Evie, Jonathan, Daniels and Henderson) all head to the Cairo Museum, seeking the help of Dr. Bey. They found Dr. Bey in the company of the chieftain of the Medjai himself, Ardeth Bay… The three Americans and Jonathan point their pistols in their direction as Evie asks what the Medjai is doing there, to which Dr. Bey calmly asks them to lower their pistols so that they might explain. The curator goes on to explain that the Medjai are an ancient society that devoted itself to the protection of mankind for the past three thousand years, guarding the city of Hamunaptra from thieves and those that might activate the curse of the mummy, a goal which, thanks to Evie, has been brought to ruin. Evie is appalled that they are justifying killing of innocent people…. (Innocent…?) Dr. Bey explains that Imhotep, in his undead form, fears cats because they are the guardians of the Underworld and will fear them until he regenerates, at which point he will fear nothing, Daniels and Henderson being especially fearful of how the mummy regenerates. Evie notes that while the group was in Hamunaptra, the mummy called her “Anck-Su-Namun” and while they were in Burns’ quarters, he attempted to kiss her: Dr. Bey notes that Imhotep was cursed for his love of Anck-Su-Namun and that even after three thousand years he is still in love with her, (now…. that is love.) intending to bring her back from the dead and use Evie as the sacrificial victim needed. As Jonathan remarks that it’s bad luck, Dr. Bey states that it might give them the time needed to kill Imhotep, but Ardeth Bey looks up through the museum skylight to see that the sun is being blocked out, a sign that the mummy’s powers are growing. I enjoy that the Medjai called out our “heroes.” You started this mess. Later, at the residence where the survivors are staying, Evie asks who was present when the chest was opened: Burns, Henderson, Daniels and the Egyptologist, Dr. Chamberlain; Beni ran in fear before they could open the chest. Evie notes that they must rescue the Egyptologist and bring him back to Fort Brydon before the mummy can reach him.

  •  Evie asks who was present when the chest was opened: Burns, Henderson, Daniels and the Egyptologist, Dr. Chamberlain; Beni ran in fear before they could open the chest. Evie notes that they must rescue the Egyptologist and bring him back to Fort Brydon before the mummy can reach him; O’Connell agrees, ordering Evie to stay. Got to love the way everyone protests O’Connell… (I am torn between loving O’Connell for taking charge and wanting to protect Evie… but also… the way he demands she just do it.) Out of all people, he leaves with Jonathan. I guess that is not so shocking since he has been on the whole expedition with him.  The Egyptologist runs through the streets of Cairo with a canopic jar and the Book of the Dead, unnerved at the sudden darkness and unknowing that Imhotep, clad in ragged black robes and a hood, is hunting him. His run doesn’t last long… has he is hunted down and sucked dry. Poor Guy. Taking the jewelled canopic jar from Chamberlain’s withered grip, Imhotep turns around to face the window, revealing a face slightly more regenerated before dislocating his jaw to let loose a massive swarm of locusts, which swarm all around the locals as Imhotep strides through them. Beni, taking advantage of the Egyptologist’s disappearance, proceeds to ransack his office, looking for the Book of the Dead when O’Connell and Jonathan find him. Beni attempts to escape but O’Connell throws a chair at him, impeding him from jumping out the window. O’Connell demands to know what Beni is doing with Imhotep and what he gets out of it, to which Beni responds that as long as he serves Imhotep, he is immune from Imhotep’s powers. (“It is better to be at the right hand of the Devil… than in his path.” Well this can’t be true given what happens to Beni.) Demanding to know what Beni is after, O’Connell lifts the Hungarian up by his shirt towards the ceiling fan, at which point Beni reveals all: the Book of the Dead is what Imhotep wants and he told Beni that it would be worth its weight in gold. Beni goes on to say that Imhotep plans to use it to bring his “dead girlfriend” back to life, but that other than the Book and Evie, he wants nothing. About to say more, Beni is cut off when a loud screaming sounds outside, and Beni takes advantage of the three’s distraction by kneeing O’Connell in the groin and jumping out the window, escaping. I used to wonder why Beni wasn’t done away with earlier in the movie…. He has had to double cross a lot of people in his time…. I have only settled on that it has to be comic relief.

  • Now that the Egyptologist has been taken out… that leaves Henderson and Daniels. Daniels’ unease grows with having to guard the door and leaves to get a drink. Henderson proceeds to watch the door alone when the window opens with a blast of wind and sand, at which point Henderson is lifted up in the sandy cloud and sucked devoid of organs. The sand settles and Imhotep, almost entirely regenerated, strides toward the door, passing the corpse of Henderson. Imhotep enters the locked room by taking the form of sand and slipping through the keyhole, coming up on the other side to find Evie sleeping. Imhotep softly utters “Anck-Su-Namun”, shuts his eyes and kisses her, indifferent to her waking up screaming as his face starts to decay. What is the thing about Evie being kissed against her will?  O’Connell and Jonathan burst in, O’Connell yelling at Imhotep to get away from Evie; Imhotep hisses a retort in ancient Egyptian and O’Connell picks up Cleo, Evie’s cat, brandishing her at Imhotep, who roars in fear and blasts his way out the window. Obviously, the plan to protect everyone is not working and going down the tube pretty quickly. Check out the scene here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K58cPYCTiPM

  • O’Connell, Evie, Jonathan and Daniels are the only survivors and head to the museum to seek help from Dr. Bey and Ardeth Bay in examining the artifacts on display for clues as to the location of the Book of Amun-Ra, which can kill Imhotep, when they hear chanting outside and look through the window to see the people of Cairo, plagued with boils and sores. They march in a massive crowd chanting Imhotep’s name; they have become his slaves. (I think that… this scene freaked me out the most. The townspeople then proceed to try to break through the museum doors as Evie and Dr. Bey read from a slab covered in hieroglyphs, and Evie concludes that the Book of Amun-Ra is back at Hamunaptra inside the statue of Horus (god). Jonathan runs out to start the car for an escape and is almost caught by the enslaved townspeople but throws them off the trail by acting zombified himself, and he runs to the car, bringing it to the museum entrance where the five others escape the museum. Beni, however, catches them and alerts Imhotep to their presence (Beni is the worst. Throughtout the whole movie… the absolute worst. Jonathan is not this bad.): the mummy roars, and his minions pursue the car through the streets of Cairo. When a large crowd of them blocks the road, the car drives through them, and is covered quickly in minions who attempt to wrest the passengers out of the car, succeeding in throwing Daniels out, who is backed up into a corner and fires his guns at the enslaved villagers, quickly running out of bullets as Imhotep himself strides in. Daniels, in fear for his life, presents the canopic jar and Imhotep roars furiously, proceeding to kill Daniels and take his organs. Even Beni can’t handle the sight.

  • The remaining five drive through Cairo when the car crashes and the enslaved villagers swarm all around them, blocking the exits: Imhotep then walks coolly through them, fully regenerated and asking Evie to come with him, in exchange for sparing her friends’ lives. Reluctantly, Evie steps forward as O’Connell tries to stop her but Evie states that Imhotep still needs to take her back to Hamunaptra to complete the ritual. (Ardeth Bey points out that… She is right… It does nothing to help O’Connell feel better or Jonathan for that matter.) Leaving the scene, Imhotep goes back on his word and orders his slaves to kill the survivors as Beni pilfers the puzzle box from Jonathan. The survivors escape the slaves by diving down a sewer, with the exception of Dr. Bey, who stays behind to fight the minions at the cost of his life, allowing the others to escape. The next day, O’Connell, Jonathan and Ardeth Bay reach the Royal Air Force Airfield on the outskirts of Erfoud, where they find Winston Havelock, who asks about the mission, wondering if it is a deadly one, to which O’Connell insists that it is, and that he likely won’t survive through it. Winston is stoked to hear that he will likely go down in flames. (I am not even sure that stoked is the right word.) Upon hearing that it is a “kill the bad guy, rescue the damsel in distress, save the world” challenge, Winston accepts happily, offering his biplane, which has only room for a pilot and gunner: Jonathan and Ardeth are tied to the plane’s wings and the pursuit begins.  Imhotep has reached the desert with Evelyn and Beni in tow when he hears engines roaring in the sky and Evelyn looks hopefully up, knowing that O’Connell has returned for her. Imhotep, however, fights back by summoning all the sands of the desert and unleashing a vast sandstorm that pursues the plane throughout the desert. (Obviously, the desert is not for me… I really have a hard time with sand… so a being that can manipulate sand would take me out very easily.) The plane is soon engulfed in the desert sands as Imhotep attempts to kill O’Connell and his friends by causing the sandstorm to literally swallow the plane; Evelyn takes action and kisses Imhotep fully on the lips, ending his grip on the sandstorm but the plane crashes. Thinking the plane’s passengers dead, Imhotep calmly stride over to the ruins of Hamunaptra with Beni and a distraught Evelyn; the plane’s passengers, however, escape the wreckage alive, save for Winston, whose neck was broken in the sandstorm. The plane then begins to sink into the desert sands, taking Winston’s body with it, as O’Connell, Jonathan and Ardeth Bay pay Winston a silent salute at his help. I wanted to feel sad for Winston but he really wanted that heroes death…. so there wasn’t much to be sad about.

  • Ardeth, Jonathan, and O’Connell make to Hamunaptra and try to pry their way into the tunnels. Well mostly, Ardeth and O’Connell doing the hard work…. Jonathan is standing around barking orders… It makes a normal person want to punch him. On top of that…he starts playing with the scarab beetle. O’Connell (and Ardeth) have to stop what they are doing to cut out the bug and kill it giving away their position to the Imhotep. Jonathan can be funny but sometimes he is annoying. Imhotep hears the gunshot echo from the halls, knowing that O’Connell and his friends have survived. (Thanks Jonathan.) Imhotep reaches into the broken canopic jar that once had held Anck-Su-Namun’s heart and pulls out the organ, holding it in his hand before crushing it to dust and blowing it against a stone mural of two priests. Muttering an incantation, Imhotep brings the stone priests to life; the priests in the mural are two of his priests from ancient times who had been mummified alive by being encased within the walls. Imhotep gives them the order to kill O’Connell and awaken the other priests. The priests converge on our 3 guys but the guys are more than prepared. The three men take out their guns and begin to blast the mummies away, heading to the statue of Horus so as to find the Golden Book. Once O’Connell, Jonathan and Ardeth reach the statue of Horus, O’Connell and Jonathan begin to try and pry its compartment open as Ardeth provides cover fire. Once the compartment is opened, the Golden Book is extracted and Ardeth tells O’Connell and Jonathan to save Evelyn and kill the mummy off, leading the mummies away as he runs through a corridor, blasting as many as he can. O’Connell then lights a stick of dynamite and throws it into a dead end, blowing a hole through the wall and killing off more mummies: O’Connell and Jonathan then make their way through the hole and into the sacrificial chamber. I think my favorite thing about this scene… has to be when the priests appear and both Beni and Evie are startled by what they see. These two end up fighting with each other in the background while Imhotep gives instructions. The other funny thing….. O’Connell strikes the match on Ardeth Bey’s beard.

  • What is Beni doing during the search for the the Golden Book? Looting as much treasures as he can, loading a satchel of the pilfered gold and jewels onto the camels of the legionnaires that still linger about the ruins. The gold that he has collected, however, does not seem enough, so Beni returns inside, taking more treasures out. See? He could have rode off into the sunset…. but he never seemed that bright… so there you have it. Imhotep, having chained Evelyn to a sacrificial altar, begins to perform the incantations that would bring Anck-Su-Namun back, almost stabbing Evelyn fatally before Jonathan intervenes. While Jonathan stands at the height of a staircase brandishing the Book of Amun-Ra, (so much for the art of surprise…. but one could argue that was lost a while ago.) O’Connell sneaks into the chamber, takes a golden sword from a nearby statue, and begins take down the mummy priests, cutting Evelyn’s chains as he does. Jonathan then mistakenly summons up even more of the mummies, all sporting soldier garb and spears, compelling O’Connell to duel more of them. Dueling them on, O’Connell manages to destroy more as he runs down the stairs of the sacrificial chamber, decapitating two and burning one up until they finally outnumber and overpower him at the point of their spears, sickles and blades. Before they can bring down their attacks, however, the mummies are stopped by Jonathan, who reads the final incantations for the spell that summoned the mummies up, stopping them from harming O’Connell. Removing their blades from his face, the mummies stand motionless until Jonathan gives them the order to kill Anck-Su-Namun, which they carry out at once, despite Imhotep ordering them to kill O’Connell. Gotta love Evie screaming at her brother to finish the incantation so he can control the mummies. Also the way Jonathan just drops the book when Imhotep comes after him. He tries to get the book, but he is too late to save Anck-Su-Namun, who is hacked to death by the mummified guards. In anger, Imhotep lunges forward to strangle Jonathan, but O’Connell leaps forward and chops off the mummy’s arm, which holds onto Jonathan’s neck, the arm’s rotted sinews reveal that below his human appearance, the mummy is still a dead man inside. (Gross…. but not unexpected. And he even grabs the arm and reattaches it.) Jonathan searches through Imhoteps robes (left behind after his arm was cut off.) and takes the puzzle box needed to open the Book of Amun-Ra, using it to open the Book as Evelyn reads through it, looking for the spell that would stop Imhotep. Imhotep throws O’Connell against statues and the floor until he seizes O’Connell up by his throat, strangling him, and prepares to deliver his final attack, unhinging his jaw. Evelyn, however, reads aloud the incantations to stop Imhotep, summoning the god Anubis, who rides into the chamber on his chariot and drives through Imhotep, taking away his immortality. Anubis has not, however, killed Imhotep, and Imhotep moves forward furiously towards O’Connell, intending to kill him, but O’Connell is ready with his sword, impales the priest as he lunges forward. Evelyn reveals that Imhotep is mortal, and the mummy steps back dying into a moat, dying while numerous souls engulf him, reducing him to a mummy once more as he utters his final words: “Death is only the beginning.”

  • Beni is walking with a saddlebag full of stolen valuables from the treasuries, triggering the collapse of Hamunaptra by leaning the bag on a lever on the wall. Now here he is ruining things all over again. He could have left when he had the chance… I know I said it before, but it definitely needs repeating. O’Connell, Jonathan and Evelyn, hear the walls crumbling, take the opportunity to leave, though Jonathan has tripped on a staircase and drops the Book of Amun-Ra in a moat; Evelyn chastises Jonathan for dropping the Book before O’Connell and Jonathan hurry her along. Jonathan wants to grab something valuable on the way out. But I mean really… you guys have caused enough trouble.  As they are escaping the crumbling ruins, a familiar face follows them: Beni, who had tried to catch up with O’Connell, but could not make it through a collapsing doorway in time. O’Connell, despite Beni’s previous betrayals, makes an effort to help Beni out of the chamber, but could not pull him out in time as the doorways closes, sealing Beni in. (O’Connell is much better than me… because Beni would not do the same for him….A scarab appears atop a statue’s head and hisses menacingly at Beni, who tries to stave the bug off with his torch. With this, swarms of the scarabs came out to greet a horrified Beni. He tries to stave them off as well, only succeeding in causing more to emerge. Beni stands in the treasury trembling and whimpering with terror as his torch quickly dies out, leaving Beni to be devoured alive in the pitch black darkness. O’Connell, Evelyn and Jonathan run quickly from the ruins, reaching the surface as it crashes down in a massive series of dusty explosions. Once the trio have escaped, a hand reached out to Jonathan: Ardeth has escaped the ruins alive, astride a camel, and informs them that they have earned the respect of the Medjai for their defeat of Imhotep. (Jump scare for young me… but thank goodness Ardeth Bey is alive and well.) Blessing them in Allah’s name, Ardeth rides off into the sunset, leaving them behind as Jonathan complains that they go home empty-handed, but O’Connell says that he, at least, is not empty-handed, as he has found Evelyn, kissing her deeply. Gotta love Jonthan’s gagging sound. The three survivors then mount camels and ride off into the sunset, unaware that they have some treasures with them in a saddlebag, courtesy of Beni.

The Mummy always delivers… I always watch it and I feel the same way I do as when I first watch it. Although, older me… does see the downside of people riding into a place they really know nothing about and not listening to locals and ruining things. The whole cast is fantastic. There are often comparisons between Rick O’Connell and Indiana Jones but I think that Rick holds his own. There’s a lot of funny dialogue in the movie. I was 12 at the time of the Mummy… so this was the first time I was into an action adventure movie…. Anyway good times…. Next look… The Mummy Returns.

If you love this movie…. let me know in the comments, your favorite scene and your favorite movie line. That is all for now.

Don’t you just love O’Connell?

Quarantine Post #54: Rurouni Kenshin Live Action


I, like most people who enjoy anime, was weary when I heard that they were going to do a live action of Rurouni Kenshin. I have seen what they had to offer already. (That awful Dragonball came to mind… and that damn… Death Note.) Sometimes studios need to leave well enough alone. Because I was weary… I waited until well after the 3 installment to watch all the movies in succession. I have waited until the last one to hit Netflix before I decided to do a post about it. I am going to preface this by saying not one movie let me down. I will get into all of the things that I enjoyed about this 4 part series… but first… a bit about Rurouni Kenshin…. (No, I will not be talking about the creator.)

Rurouni Kenshin, sometimes also known as Samurai X in the TV show, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The story begins during the 11th year of the Meiji period in Japan (1878) and follows a former assassin from the Bakumatsu, known as Hitokiri Battosai. After his work against the bakufu, Hitokiri Battosai disappears to become Himura Kenshin: a wandering swordsman who protects the people of Japan with a vow never to take another life. (Before watching this… I watched Trigun… and I got strong Vash vibes…) The manga revolves around themes of atonement, peace, and romance. The manga was serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from April 1994 to September 1999. The complete work consists of 28 volumes.

I heard my people on Twitter talking about the movie…. and NO ONE had bad things to say about it. So I had to figure out where I could watch it. To my delight, I found the first three on Amazon Prime Video.Shoutout to Prime Video for having both the Japanese version with subtitles and the English dub version. I decided to buy and not rent the Japanese version. (I figured I had to get faster at reading subtitles so… why not?) I trust my people on Twitter. Good times. So let’s start with the first one. Rurouni Kenshin: Origins was released in 2012… So when I watched it in quarantine… I was 8 years behind. The film was directed by Keishi Ōtomo and it stars Takeru Satoh and Emi Takei.

Rurouni Kenshin Part 1: Origins

Check out the trailer here: (https://www.imdb.com/video/vi2921248793?ref_=tt_pv_vi_aiv_1) I noticed that this live-action adaptation covers a mix of the first two story arcs of both the anime and manga. I wasn’t disappointed to see that much of the slapstick humor has been removed from the overall story, making for a more serious tone in the film. 

The movie opens with the Imperialist forces celebrating their victory in the Battle of Toba–Fushimi. It was a pretty bloody scene but the scene was captivating. We see the Hitokiri Battōsai walk away from the battlefield, abandoning his sword. But, the Battōsai’s old katana is not left alone. It is claimed by one of the fallen, Udō Jin-e. A decade later, Saitō Hajime and his fellow policemen investigate the murder of an undercover cop supposedly by the hands of the Battōsai. But Saitō is not convinced and suspects someone else… Takeda Kanryū, a wealthy, but cruel businessman. Meanwhile, the former Battōsai (now calling himself Himura Kenshin) arrives in Tokyo. While roaming its streets, he meets Kamiya Kaoru, the owner of her late father’s Kendo school. With her dojo’s name smeared by one bearing the name of Battōsai, she attacks him believing him to be the famed killer, but is proven wrong when Kenshin reveals he only carries a “reverse-blade sword”. The great thing about the first few minutes of the movie… was that can remember all these instances happening in the anime. I was super stoked about that.

Takani Megumi, a woman forced to make opium for Takeda Kanryū, escapes and turns to the police for a safe haven after witnessing the deaths of the other opium makers. However, Udō Jin-e, under the service of Kanryū, hunts her down, slaying everyone in the police station. (I had almost forgotten from the anime that she made opium…) But things really hits the fan when Kaoru crosses paths with Jin-e… There was no way she had a chance… (Because I have seen the show… I wasn’t to worried about her… but it is still captivating… I could feel her determination and fear. I was still on the edge on the of my seat.) She is injured in the fight, but Kenshin appears out of nowhere and saves her. (Okay… I will let you in on a secret… I am a lover of the whole damsel in distress thing. Although… I would never characterize Kaoru as a damsel.) Jin-e immediately realizes Kenshin’s hidden identity as the true Battōsai, before a swarm of policemen rush onto the scene, giving Kenshin and Kaoru a chance to flee. Kaoru leads Kenshin to her dojo where they will be safe. Later, a group of thugs under Takeda Kanryū attempt to take over the dojo. Kenshin beats down the entire gang without killing a single one before the police arrive. 

I won’t give away the whole movie… Just know that I give the casting director an A++. The acting was superb and the sword fighting was spectacular. I immediately recognized that there was no reason to be apprehensive about this film as Japanese cinema has a grand tradition of samurai movies. Maybe I was sucked in from the get go because I enjoy a good period piece. I was also drawn to the story because I wanted to know how they were going to play out Kenshin’s fight for what’s right without spilling any blood.

Another thing that I loved was the cinematography… There is breathtaking locations and shots that I had to add to my destination list. There is contrasting intense combat scenes and reflective drama. The action scenes have been choreographed to a T. They are epic and engaging which is always a plus and usually a hit at the box office. Right from the start, I knew that the action scenes set them apart from other live actions that I have seen. The fights use both changing choreography and camera techniques to keep the action consistently fresh and interesting. The added bonus is there is not a bunch of CGI. My friend and I discussed that there is a slight amount of wire work… but nothing that looks too crazy. It adds a bit to the action without looking fake.

The film became Japan’s eleventh highest-grossing film of 2012, earning ¥3 billion at the Japanese box office that year. It wasn’t released in the U.S. until 2016… and only in 27 theaters… (It is always NYC, LA…) I would have liked to see this on the big screen… but I live in the sticks… oh well.

Rurouni Kenshin Part 2: Kyoto Inferno

Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno is a 2014 Japanese film directed by Keishi Ōtomo. It is the first of two sequels to the 2012 live-action Rurouni Kenshin film, and was followed by The Legend Ends released later the same year. When I figured out that there was going to be more than one movie… I wondered if they could continue being great… or if I was going to be in store for the sophomore slump. I had an inkling that the antagonist was going to be Shishio (I mean… that is really the only main antagonist in the anime… so if they had gotten this wrong…) I did feel as though Shishio was a character that could so easily be done wrong. But because I bought the movie… I had to jump in with both feet.

In Settsu Mine, Saitō Hajime leads the Japanese police in tracking Shishio Makoto. Shishio being the successor of the Hitokiri (人斬り), or assassin after Kenshin. After working for Ishin Shishi, the new Meiji government tried killing Shishio by dousing him in oil and burning him alive. However, Shishio manages to survive and recruits an army led by the Juppongatana to get his revenge and take down Japan.  Shishio’s men massacre through the police, telling Saitō his plan to conquer Japan. After the events of the first film, Himura Kenshin continues to live in the kendo dojo of Kamiya Kaoru alongside Myōjin Yahiko, Sagara Sanosuke, and Takani Megumi. He is called by a government official, Ōkubo Toshimichi, to track down Shishio, who is terrorizing Kyoto and its surroundings. Though he declines the request at first, he relents when the official is murdered by Seta Sōjirō, Shishio’s underling. Check out the trailer here: https://www.imdb.com/video/vi3742411801?ref_=tt_pv_vi_aiv_1

Another chapter in this period piece… and this one was just as great… it follows that manga awesomely. The sequel improves greatly on first film by mixing action and the emotional turmoil that swirls around all of the characters in Kenshin’s extended adopted family. Here is where we see a turning point in Kenshin and Kaoru’s relationship… The on-screen action is exhilarating and fun… and is a continuation of the first film. Kyoto Inferno sets its own bar even higher. Kenshin’s almost-superhuman speed and swordsmanship are laid out in full glory, while still being believable enough to be “realistic”. Even though I have touched on this before… the cast deserves high praise… Takeru Satoh transformation into Kenshin is masterful to watch… so much so that I had almost forgotten I was watching a movie… It doesn’t boast a very complex story – it’s a straight forward action narrative, but the integration of the narrative into the rich historical setting makes the story more than worthwhile. Of course… I wanted to see how the movie matched up to the anime…. and youtube is the place to visit for that…. check out this scene: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt4AzCtmCD0)

I will say the village scene is my favorite… Good times. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilZZ2TM66Z8) I was not disappointed in Shishio either… They didn’t shy any from his backstory… nor his ruthlessness. The costuming continued to be better than I imagined. But I can only give this movie an A… no ++ this time because of the feels I had at the end of the movie… Not cool where they leave you at… but I still had another movie….

At the box office the movie earned a total of $52.9 million internationally. The film also held the top spot at the box office in Japan during its first week.It was the third highest-grossing film of 2014 at the Japanese box office with ¥5.22 billion.

Rurouni Kenshin Part III: The Legend Ends

So I had to jump right into the third movie… because… I had to know where that ending from the second movie was headed… Was it 2 am….? Did I have to be at work the next day? Sure… but that is irrelevant. Take a look at the trailer: https://www.imdb.com/video/vi2938026009?playlistId=tt3029556&ref_=tt_ov_vi

Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends was released in Japan in 2014…. so again… SUPER behind… but nothing like catching up in a week. I would like to point out… I usually don’t care for movies where actors are replaced. I know. I know…. It is sad. The new person could be spectacular but honestly…. It leaves me jarred and not caring about the story. So thank goodness… all the actors/actresses remained the same. Already starting off with a plus in the book.

We start off with a young Kenshin… In a flashback, Hiko Seijūrō finds young Shinta digging graves for bandits and slavers killed in battle. Shinta explains that all people are only bodies after death. Hiko decides to take Shinta as his student and names him “Kenshin”. Kenshin wakes up at Master Hiko’s home.  He has been unconscious for three days. Kenshin asks to learn the final Hiten Mitsurugi technique, “Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki“, in order to defeat Shishio Makoto and prevent his onslaught. Hiko agrees, and the two engage in a duel to start his training. I remember when I was watching this meeting in the anime… and it was the first time I saw Kenshin getting beat… I was blown away. This was no exception.

Shishio is still trying to take over Japan… Causing havoc all over the country. But I felt as though… these people tried to kill him…and then didn’t even do it right… the fact that he wants revenge seems like it makes perfect sense.

So this film takes a bit of a departure from the anime… and I was along for the ride…. Rurouni Kenshin Part III: The Legend Ends presents the viewer with a very common Shonen narrative structure. The hero, after having failed to defeat the villain, must be become stronger as to be able to destroy that same villain. Nothing wrong here… I expected and I love Shonen… (I paid no mind to those that wrote they hated it. I was here for it and they delivered.

Because this movie focuses on the final battle between Shishio and Kenshin, there is no real historical setting to the piece. The historical setting is underlined solely by the costumes which continue to be great. The entire final third of the movie is one long stretched action sequence. (You won’t catch me complaining at all.) What starts as several one-on-one battles, ultimately ends in an exhilarating four-on-one battle with Shishio. 

Rurouni Kenshin: The Final

Oh… are we burning everything to the ground? Oh okay Kenshin… Let’s do this.

I was worried that with the pandemic… we were never going to get this final movie… Did it matter that I had no clue what the final installment would be about? NO! Covid ruins everything… Lol.. but I found something on Twitter that showed the final movie would be released on Netflix… and there was no one more ready than me.  It is based on the final arc of the manga series, but its story differs from the original. Check out the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAA1ZDSCWjI&t=17s

The leader of the Shanghai mafia, Yukishiro Enishi, arrives in Tokyo to search for the former government assassin Himura Kenshin. After briefly fighting the police force at the train station, he allows police officer Saito Hajime to arrest him, revealing in the process he was the man responsible to give weaponry for the late Shishio Makoto. Enishi was later released due to the Shanghai treaty. He and his allies, who all have a grudge with Kenshin, begin their assault on Tokyo.

For this film, we get a bit more about Kenshin’s past life… We as well as Kaoru learn that he was once married… and that is wife was killed. (Everyone else in the movie openly joke about her wanting to marry Kenshin. Jerks… And even though he appears oblivious… that is never the case.) Enishi Yukishiro bears a major grudge against Kenshin, for causing the death of his sister Tomoe (Kasumi Arimura), who was married to Kenshin… We learn through flashbacks of their history together, including how Kenshin got the crossed scars on his cheek. Part 4 sees a darker side to Kenshin. Despite his easy-going appearance, he was a killer and has caused great suffering in the past. Enishi’s desire for revenge is understandable and we are left with difficult questions about both of them. (I found myself wondering if Kenshin should make out of this one.)

The cast continue to deliver… and the costume and set piece continue to amaze me. I was all for it… and by the 4th movie… I really expected a lackluster go at it. The quality was on pace since the first movie. The action sequences remain bad ass… this was everything I wanted in a live action adaptation of an anime.

So that is all for now… every chance I get… I talk about this live action adaptation. It is hard to convince people to watch it… because we have all been hurt by live action before… but this is well worth the watch… I was coming home after work every day for almost a week to tackle a movie. If you have seen them… let me know your thoughts below. Apparently there is also a prequel out… called Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning. I am not seeing it anywhere to watch just yet… but when I get eyes on it… I will probably post about it. Looks like it was released in April 2021… so it should be soon.

UPDATE: So I am back to add to this post because since I put this out about a month ago…. Netflix added Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning. Younger Kenshin makes for a great story. We get to see younger him standing up for what he believes in and taking up his sword for a future of peaceful times. Compared to the other 4 movies… this movie is definitely the bloodiest. (But this is before Kenshin takes up his oath to not kill…. in his days as Battosai the manslayer.)

Remember that brother who was after Kenshin for his sister’s death…?

Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning is a 2021 Japanese live-action film directed by Keishi Ōtomo. It is the fifth and final installment in the Rurouni Kenshin film series. The narrative of the film approximates the plot of the manga’s “Recollections / Reminiscence” arc, earlier adapted into the 1999 OVA Trust & Betrayal. The film is a prequel to the others and depicts how Himura Kenshin received his cross-shaped scar. It focuses on Kenshin’s past as the assassin Hitokiri Battōsai during the final years of the Bakumatsu and also explores his relationship with a woman named Yukishiro Tomoe.

The fifth installments does something different than the first films… it shows an aspect of drama, and a much darker, introspective tale of the main character Himura Kenshin. The Beginning examines a time before the Meiji restoration when the young Himura volunteers to fight. Due to his ability to handle a sword he is ordered to become an assassin. The job profoundly jades Himura… you get the sense that he doesn’t want to kill but will do so because he sees it as the only way to move forward. However, the task of being an assassin has left him with no clue how to interact or relate to people besides killing.

The action scenes in this movie are badder and bloodier than the last few movies… but no less choreographed. This being the “final..”, I was worried that I would be underwhelmed… but rest assured that nothing of the sort happened. But this was a somber movie… there was no comic relief (Sanosuke… or Yahiko)… Kenshin carries the weight of doing what he thinks is right for the greater good and it can be hard to watch. The film opens with a dramatic and exciting fight sequence, where Kenshin takes down an entire army of fighters. On a rampage, we see him kill anyone and anything, even when they beg for mercy in front of him. This is where Kenshin gets his first slash on his cheek, the first part of his classic X-shape scar. We are taken through Kenshin’s backstory… He has a chip on his shoulder… he isn’t even close to his fellow companions… often sitting alone… and not engaging others. We are then introduced to Tomoe, who is very similar. She has a gentle presence but there is something about her that didn’t sit right with me. We watch their love develop through death and destruction. Their storyline is a slow-burn… and you guys know by now how much I love a slow burn. (Check out the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0vN_2MRR50)

It is very rare that a live action movie based on an anime is any good… much less a 5 movie franchise. But these were a delight to watch… and I strive to get more people to watch them…

Quarantine Post #53: Atlanta Comic Con 7/2019


This is a blog post that I should have done ages ago… I can’t believe that I let so much time go past without writing this up. I remember sitting home with bored as hell and leave it to television for giving you ideas. Sitting at my computer on a Tuesday night watching Hulu and looking for something to occupy my upcoming weekend… (I do not pay for commercial free Hulu… I just refuse.) Leah and my sister had moved away and there wasn’t a bunch to do or anyone to do it with. But they advertised for the Atlanta Comic Con. I had never been to a convention… Several of my friends had been to Dragon Con/SDCC/NYCC and the Anime Expo and talked about how much fun they had…. and I remember adding a con to my list of new things to try out. So with nothing else to do… I decided to see what this was about. I found out later that this was probably a good one to start out with because it is no where near as big as other cons but it is growing… I look forward to seeing how things will work out for them in the future.

For those not familiar, Atlanta Comic Con is a comic book convention located in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Georgia World Congress Center. Featured are exhibitors that cater to a wide-spectrum of interests including comic books, magazines, toys, games, Star Wars, Star Trek, anime, manga, cosplay, artwork, sketches and apparel. In addition, a roster of comic industry professionals, and comicdom-related celebrities are in attendance for attendees to meet and greet. 

I am not cosplayer (although a lot of people I work with think that because you like anime you are automatically a cosplayer. They were disappointed on Halloween.) I was hesitant about heading to a convention… as I am about concerts, music festivals, and sporting events. I am not a fan of large crowds, but I never let that stop me from having a good time. By Friday, I ordered the tickets and parking passes online from Eventbrite. Luckily, the site is easy to use. (Normally, when I purchase tickets… it’s a done deal. It is happening.) I was on my own… but I quickly found out that was okay.

Saturday morning… I put on my favorite (and at the time my only) Bleach t-shirt….(I promise that will be important later.) and headed to downtown Atlanta. Not really sure what to expect at a convention. I just figured that I was going to look around until I got tired. Leah pushed me to download the app for the convention so shout out to her for helping out the newbie. That was so helpful. So for other newbies…. and/or people that don’t know… DOWNLOAD THE APP….

It has maps and panel schedules. So damn helpful.

There was nothing better than seeing Kevin Conroy on the panel list… and the TMNT (1987) voice actors were there. I knew what I was going to do before I got there. So I am off. Heading to downtown Atlanta. I had to park a few blocks away from the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) and had to walk there. Prior to this, I am not sure I had ever been to the GWCC before… and I guess I was surprised to see so many people there for different events. There was a youth basketball tournament and a cheerleading competition… so I had to get over the fact that there was going to be a lot more people than I originally thought. Interestingly enough, things were sectioned off pretty well. With no idea where I am going… I figure I should follow the people in costumes. In no time, I was able to get my armband… (I only bought tickets for one day because I wasn’t sure how I would like the convention.) I have to say though… walking in I knew it was going to be great.

If y’all knew how many times I watched this movie as a kid…..

There’s nothing better than having a friend messaging you talking you through things. You guys may find this funny. There wasn’t a lot of people that had arrived first thing but the people that were there were decked out in awesome costumes. And when I message Leah about it… I will never forget her response… “Ask them to take pictures… they usually enjoy that and are happy to do it.” Going forward this will be my new rule for conventions. It was extremely easy.

Look at that wig… Shout out to the Midoriya Cosplay. This was one of the better ones I had seen.
This was not my only Todoroki sighting but this is awesome.

Since there wasn’t a panel that I wanted to see right away… I was able to stroll through the tables and buy plenty of merchandise. Now… I am sure that there is a learning curve when it comes conventions but let me tell you guys…. definitely bring cash. I am not a person that carries cash all that often (usually I lose things pretty easily.) Thank goodness a lot of vendors have credit card readers. But it is easier to have cash so keep that in mind. There was an ATM but the withdrawal fee was ridiculous.

The vendors had fantastic stuff. Several places that sold shirts… and off the anime characters I love on display. I ended up buying several posters. Some of the vendors have cards and websites… A lot of it was great shit… and I regret that I didn’t save enough money to buy all the things.

Look it’s my favorite character… so yeah I had to get it.
Kenshin and his reverse blade
These turtles had to be my obsession as a kid.
I love me some Aizawa

I was able to score some 3D prints from https://wizyakuza.myshopify.com. I loved what I was seeing and got a bit carried away. As you can see from their website… they have a lot of great stuff. You can order from them and get them sent directly to your house. Good times… I probably should have paid attention to that and not spent a bunch of money right away.

I am able to display my love of MHA. This is DOPE!
If you watch One Piece… I feel you can’t help but love ASL.

I ended up having to hurry to the BATMAN/KEVIN CONROY PANEL. It was packed in that room but listening to him talk was great. There was also a panel where I listened to the origins to the present of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I did miss the panel where I would’ve gotten to listen to the voice actors of the 1987 cartoon. Le sigh. So kids… always double check panel times… use the app… and try to start moving to panel locations early. GOOD TIMES.

There was a point where I bought lunch from some of the vendors just outside the doors… and sat and watched people as they were coming in. Obviously.. I picked a great spot for candids… Lucky for me I had the iphone at the ready. I see the Joker was pretty popular.

This was awesome… she looks great… I am totally not this creative.
There were 100s of Joker’s and the awesome thing was they all looked totally different.
Trafalgar has arrived. I really need a Trafalgar coat.
I was loving the Black Cosplayers.
Oh! Can’t forget Quailman

The highlight of the trip was seeing people in Bleach costumes…. because as you know this was before we got the epic announcement that they are going to animate the final arc. FINALLY. I didn’t expect to see any costumes… or anyone reppin Bleach… but I HAD to get a picture with this one guy.

This had to be the highlight of the day for me… (You know besides Kevin Conroy of course).

He was with his girlfriend and I was hesitant about it but she told me after the fact…. that he really wanted to do this costume but he was sure that no one would want to take a picture with him. He almost did want to come. And she is sure that he is glad that he did come. She was glad that I was sporting the shirt and thanked me for making his day. I told him…. I loved his costume and I am glad I am not the only one still repping Bleach. Good times.

The only other thing was the meet and great. They had some great people there… Sean Schemmel, Kevin Conroy… (these lines were ridiculously long)… I was amazed that you could not only pay for a picture but you could pay for the VA’s to do a voice recording on your phone… if I had the time or the patience to wait in those line…. I would have totally hopped on that. (Just imagine Kevin Conroy saying… “I am vengeance…. I am the night…. I AM BATMAN!)

So all in all… I had a great time… even though I went by myself… Next time I will drag Leah and my sister Momo… The good thing about being by myself is that I could leave when I wanted to. I left around 4 but the party went on until midnight. So remember people…

  • Stay hydrated
  • Rest when you need to
  • Use the app
  • Ask questions if you need to
  • Bring a snack (or two if you need to.)
  • Bring a bit of cash for merch.

Anyways… I will be going to more cons in the future. But I will always remember my first one…. NEXT STOP DRAGONCON… MAYBE. lol

Lots of One Piece in the house. Monkey D. Luffy on deck