The Mummy is DOA.

Quick snopsis: A military scout and his buddy go hunting for treasure, battle nameless, faceless and, pointless enemies before stumbling upon the tomb of an ancient Egyptian diety (Ahmanet, the Mummy aka Boutella) who had sacrificed her family and made a blood pact with the god of death in order to seize power only to have been thwarted before completing her pact.  As it turns out, to complete her pact she has to sacrifice a man’s life to summon a physical embodiment of the god of death and, she chooses Nick (Cruise) to be her blood sacrifice.  The rest of the movie centers around the conflict between Nick’s desire to escape death and Ahmanet’s desire to complete her blood pact with the god of death.

My take: Simple enough plot to follow, except the movie is so depressingly cheesy, predictable and completely unimaginative.  The Egyptian narrative is completely white-washed, which is so appalling considering how minuscule the whole back story ended up being; honestly, the entire back story is pointless yet they managed to muck it all up.  For what?  If I had to guess, it’s quite ignorant and an obvious cash grab.  But, I suppose if you’re into that sort of thing, the movie could appeal to a basic prejudicial and discriminatory pomposity.  The movie seems to assume that its audience is ignorant but yet tries to present itself as something the audience should take seriously.  It’s a complete waste.

The plot points and the direction the movie goes in makes no real sense and there’s no reason for the audience to care.  The Mummy is supposedly all powerful yet she is easily captured and defeated at every turn.  The great powers she exhibits never threaten the main characters and fails to frighten the audience.  The film’s creators also make very weak attempts at making this a PG rated film; for example, there is no blood, nobody really gets hurt and, the only times someone faced mortal danger were when the black commanding officer gets stabbed to death and when the police officers get turned into zombified mummies.  Even in those times, the deaths were overly predictable and didn’t add anything to the plot in truth.  This was just a very forgetable and wasted movie.  Don’t bother  wasting your time to watch it.

The good thing the movie gets right are some of the special effects sequences.  The special effects themselves were quite cheesy and pretty bad but the sequences and ideas were interesting; for example, the underwater scene at the end, the plane crash scene at the beginning and, the sandstormy chase scene through the streets of London near the end.  Yet despite how interesting those scenes were, they didn’t add any tension or excitement to the story at all; all the action scenes were utterly predictable.  It was pretty dull.  And, to add insult to injury a sequel is teased at the end.  Why?  Why would anyone want to suffer through another pointless escapade with Nick and his trophy, Jenny?  There are better things to do, like watching paint dry.

One last thing, Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (played by Russell Crowe) is bombastically mixed into the plot for no good reason.  This was probably the worst rendition I have ever scene.  Crowe’s talent is completely wasted on this massively weak script.  The entire film fails to entertain and appears to be nothing more than a pitiful cash grab.  Stay away from this film.

Off Brand

Another great episode of ‘Better Call Saul’.  At this point, calling the show a pleasant success would be an understatement.  After finally seeing Chuck get his comeuppance, the show advances all of its plotlines in episode 6, ‘Off Brand’.  The theme of this week’s episode appears to be desperation, blind loyalty and, people breaking bad.  All recipes for collateral damage.

The desperate ones.  Jimmy suddenly finds himself suspended from practicing law for a year which presents a major threat to his livelihood.  Jimmy needs to find a way to keep making enough money to keep up with Kim and her continued trend upwards as a lawyer.  True to form, Jimmy refuses to be defeated.  He refuses to lose the two people who saved his life, Francesca and Kim.  Both women believe in him so blindly and he doesn’t want to let them down.  Considering what we know from Breaking Bad, we know that he’s going to break from Kim at some point.  The race is on to find out why and how that comes to pass.

Similarly, Chuck finds himself in a desperate panic.  His battle to belittle, embarrass and disenfranchise his own brother came at a cost of appearing insane in front off all the people that care about him.  Chuck is a already a sad and lonely man.  In fact, I’m pretty sure his entire assault on Jimmy stems from his jealousy of his brother.  Chuck can’t believe that even with all his success and intellect, he still ends up alone under some tin foils.  There’s no way that he doesn’t make another desperate play.  He has nothing else to lose.

Much like Chuck, Hector sees the end coming and is desperate to be relevant.  He pushes everyone around him to their breaking point to suit his own selfish whims.  Desperate to keep up with Gus Fring, Hector pushes Nacho to the brink of a mental breakdown while breaking down himself.  His obsession with out hustling Gus has completely clouded his judgment.  He can no longer see the forest for the trees.  We know it’s only a matter of time before Nacho and Gus fight back.

The next desperate character is Gus.  Although he does a very nice job of keeping up the facade that he has everything together, we know that he is motived by the brutal execution of his friend and partner.  We also know that he is blinded by his rage towards Hector.  Gus has a great opportunity to get rid of Hector once and for all, through Mike, but he refuses because of his desire to make Hector suffer.  His desperation eventually will lead to him working with the madman we know as Walter White.  In ‘Off Brand’, we are introduced to Lydia; another one of the silent W.W. partners.

Finally, perhaps the most tragic of all the desperate characters, is Mike.  Mike is so desperate to have a family that he continues to cling to his dead son’s wife and his granddaughter.  His whole reason for being is to be with them.  Like Chuck, he is an old man who suddenly finds himself alone in the world.  Regardless of any success he might have had in the past, or his various skill set, he desperate wants to have a family and he is blinded by this need.  His relationship with his daughter in law is flawed because she seems to be a fragile person who keeps using him to support herself.  She just keeps taking and taking from him, and he keeps letting her get away with it.  We know that eventually compromises Mike and leads to his execution.

The blind ones.  The biggest one is Kim.  Jimmy is definitely going to break her heart and bring her ruin; or attempt to.  The best case scenario for her is that she or Jimmy ends things before it gets that far, otherwise she is going to be collateral damage.  Same goes for Hamlin, Nacho, Chuck’s ex-wife Rebecca and, Mike’s daughter in law.  These characters just seem to rely too heavily on unscrupulous characters who happen to also be materially duplicitous.  It’s only a matter of time before their “worlds” implode.

Breaking Bad.  Finally, we see the two major kingpins in this series, Jimmy and Gus, begin to break bad.  Jimmy coonceptualizes the Saul Goodman (‘ts all good) persona while Gus looks towards mass producing and controlling his own elicit drug empire.  Both guys are as morally corrupt as we remember.

Life (2017)

I just watched Life (2017), the sci-fi horror thriller by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, directed by Daniel Espinosa; and, it’s a mega-thriller.  I mean this film had me on the edge of my seat for almost the entire film.  The ending was really fun relief so I won’t spoil it for you.  Just wonderful.

First off, I have to commend all parties involved for creating such a gripping story given the limited space available on the space station.  It’s truly unbelievable.

When we are first introduced to our merry band of space-dwellers, we get a feeling that these are people living on the edge while trying to make sense of their lives as astronauts.  We get the, forgive the pun, gravity of the situated domain.  They are really on the frontier of life as we know it.  As if that wasn’t enough, they receive a package from a Martian probe returning home to Earth; and that’s when they (and us, the audience) get pushed even further to the edge of life.  Literally…okay, well, figuratively.  But really…

As you know from the trailers, the probe comes back with a life-form on-board; hidden amongst soil samples.  When the microscopic cell grows into a sentient creature in a matter of days, the crew begins to feel a sense of unease as to how to qualify their passenger.  When it attacks the biologist, all hell and panic, breaks loose; and the most thrilling, or should I say the most frightening, thing occurs.

You don’t want to miss it!  I guarantee that you won’t.  Just make sure you have the stomach or the nerve for it because Life is probably the scariest blockbuster film that’s been made in the last 5-10 uears; maybe even more.  It’ll have you on the edge of your seat with no relief until the end.  Awesome.  Hold on…if you can.

Definitely go see this movie with someone special; he/she will hold on to you for dear life.  Haha.

Ghost in the Shell

Turns out, it’s worse than all that.  Critics were way too kind to this movie.  Way too kind.

The best thing about ‘Ghost in the Shell’ is that Scarlett Johansson was cast in the lead role; but even that is faint praise.  The film somehow manages to make her as unappealing as possible by stripping her of everything that makes her likeable on screen.  And, they kept emphasizing that as if it was a good thing.

And that was the best thing about the film.

The rest is pretty forgettable.  Very drab.  Very bland.  Watching paint dry might be more exciting and meaningful.  There is basically no tangible artifact from this film; nothing of value or significance.  No world building.  No character development.  No reason to care or give a damn about anything in the movie.  The movie even gets its whitewashing of Asian characters wrong.  It doesn’t even pretend to understand Asian contexts.

Save yourself the time and don’t go and see this movie.  It’s probably the worst film of the year.  Save yourself the trouble; ‘Netflix & chill’ instead.

This movie has no plot worth talking about.  Sorry.