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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > History > Science > Ancient Egypt > Large Frame Format > Mummies: Secret Of The Pharaohs (2007/IMAX/Image Blu-ray)

Mummies: Secret Of The Pharaohs (2007/IMAX/Image Blu-ray)

 

Picture: B†††† Sound: B-†††† Extras: C+†††† Film: B

 

 

Though IMAX is being used as a presentation format for blockbuster feature films, many shorter science films that built the format up since the mid-1970s continues to be produced and one of the more interesting is Keith Meltonís Mummies: Secret Of The Pharaohs (2007) delving deeper into the real life subject (greenlit no doubt via the success of Universalís revival of their Mummy franchise as an action trilogy) to show us these amazing, priceless remnants of the past and what they tell us about us then and now.

 

Christopher Lee (the Horror genre icon who has appeared in the Hammer Studios Mummy films) does the narration for this rich, 38-minutes-long examination of the subject, with its scripted portion well-written by producer Arabella Cecil.As I watched, I realized the subject had never been tackled in any large-frame format, fact or fiction.The old Universal films were black & white, while the Hammer films only added color, good as that was.Later films (including Brendan Frazierís films) are all about digital effects.Seeing the subject this way offers a new angle on the subject and this is why it is worth your time.

 

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image offers the claim that the original IMAX film frame (a 1.44 square) was scanned at 8K progressive scan and though we do get some fine shots, others are a little softer than we would have liked and this is only here in a 2-D version.The film was issued theatrically in IMAX 3-D and Image will hopefully issue a Blu-ray like that down the line, especially as we are in the middle of a new 3-D wave.Reed Smoot was Director of Photography and knows how to shoot a large frame format.The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix is a little too much towards the front speakers and Leeís audio commentary too boxed into the center channel for my tastes.At its best, the IMAX screenings offered the terrific Sonics-DDP sound format that always impresses, but this seems a generation down as any flaws are not from the DTS lossless revealing any flaws.Still, it is not a bad combo, it not up to the best Blu-ray IMAX weíve seen.

 

Extras include a trailer and previews for other titles in the series in Blu-ray and DVD, a quiz, Meet The Mummies education section and 22-minutes-long Making Of documentary shot in HD.

 

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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