The Mummy (1999)

monster_month

The Mummy. Universal Pictures 1999.
The Mummy. Universal Pictures 1999.

Before watching the movie:

I only very recently, perhaps in the last year or so, learned that this movie is a direct reboot of the Universal Monsters version of Mummy lore. The original Universal Mummy may have greatly influenced popular perception of mummies, but it’s perhaps the most generic legend in the franchise. Even werewolves, which are perhaps more independent, have a greater connection to The Wolf Man than mummies.

Additionally, I always thought of this as a fantasy action film, while the 30s film is, like the rest of the 30s and 40s films, definitely positioned as horror. Perhaps the genre shift accounts for the unpopularity I perceive this movie to have, though I’m not sure it’s actually all that unpopular, considering it had a handful of sequels and starred Brendan Fraser at the height of his fame. On the other hand, maybe the sequels are on the strength of the overall franchise. I may understand better after watching.

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The World is Not Enough

The World Is Not Enough. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 1999.
The World Is Not Enough. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 1999.

Before watching the movie:

In some families, Christmas starts the moment the Thanksgiving desserts are cleared away, or sooner. However, I prefer to give it a few days before slowly creeping into the season. So here’s an action spy flick starring James Bond and notable Bond girl Dr…. ah.

I don’t think there’s a movie out there so tenuously linked to Christmas, but if this doesn’t count, the honor would probably go to Die Hard.

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Random Hearts

Random Hearts. Rastar Pictures 1999.
Random Hearts. Rastar Pictures 1999.

Before watching the movie:

I first heard of this movie in In The Can, a book about Hollywood missteps. When I selected it, I didn’t remember what the book had to say about it (I may have confused it with another entry), but I was fairly certain it had been in the book. I have a particular interest in movies that had potential but made a critical error, and in this case it sounds like a minor problem rippling outward: according to the book, Harrison Ford’s fame took too much focus that could have been spent on more interesting characters. Now I can decide for myself if that’s the case.

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Runaway Bride

Runaway Bride. Interscope Communications 1999.
Runaway Bride. Interscope Communications 1999.

Before watching the movie:

Once in a writing class, we were told to look at a collection of pictures from the art department and write some vignettes inspired by those images. I saw a picture of a woman stepping out of a pair of fancy shoes, and I think I connected that with this movie’s poster to write a scene at a wedding reception, but the implied plot was in an entirely different direction.

So apparently most of what I have to say about this movie before seeing it is nearly unrelated to it. I’m expecting a generic romantic comedy with one obvious unusual twist. And Gere and Roberts have had success before with Pretty Woman and I think a few others, so they should do well here.

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2001: A Space Travesty

2001: A Space Travesty. Cinevent/Helkon Media AG 2000.

Before watching the movie:

When I read the blurb, I realized I’d let the title trick me into thinking of it as a direct parody of “Space Odyssey”, which is a reasonable assumption but unusually late. It appears that it’s more a genre parody that got stuck with the title because everything got titles with “2000” in the late 90s.

I’m hoping this is more “enjoyably passable” like Spy Hard than “barely tolerable” like the Scary Movie series. Continue reading

Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands. 20th Century Fox 1990.

Before watching the movie:

As I think about what to write about my preconceptions, I realize that I know a lot about this movie, more than I remember at first glance, but I still don’t reallyknow about it. It’s just a thing that’s been there, and at the same time it makes perfect sense and is completely alien.

Johnny Depp’s character is a Frankenstein-type monster, I guess? That or an automaton. What’s important is that through a quirk of fate, he has vicious blades instead of hands, which is ironic because he’s actually very gentle. But somehow, that doesn’t seem powerful enough for such a popular movie.

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Office Space

Office Space. 20th Century Fox 1999.

Before watching the movie:

From time to time I pass up a film, and it goes on to get big. Then I start thinking about seeing it, but the moment has passed, and I just run into references here and there. Happily, nobody’s quoted Office Space to me in pieces. Yet.

There comes a point when I decide I might as well see what I’ve been missing. I’m told it’s supposed to be popular among people who work in the kind of offices it’s satirizing, but I haven’t met anybody who likes it who does. Or that many people in general who work in cube farms, really. They seem to be a mistake of the 90s that is mostly filtered out of the system. Even on The Office it’s not that bad. On the other hand, I wish I could work in a cube farm at least for a while.

Anyway, people like this movie. I want to too.

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