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The Curse of King Tut's Tomb(TV) (2005)
Thousands of years ago, the great Child King Tutankhamen ruled. Few know the details of his life—no one knows the secrets of his death. All that is about to change. Free-spirited archaeologist Danny Fremont is certain that if found, King Tut's Emerald Tablet would hold the power to control the world. Unfortunately, the only one who believes Fremont is his nemesis archaeologist Morgan Sinclair, a member of a secret society who wants the tablet to harness unspeakable evil on the world and will stop at nothing to get it. With the help of a crackerjack team that includes the doubting Egyptologist Dr. Barakat, Fremont ventures into the Valley of the Kings, toward Tut's tomb, nearer the portal to another world, and closer to the truth behind a mystery that will change the world forever—or end it.
For more about The Curse of King Tut's Tomb and the The Curse of King Tut's Tomb Blu-ray release, see the The Curse of King Tut's Tomb Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 11, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.0 out of 5.
Starring: Casper Van Dien, Malcolm McDowell, Jonathan Hyde, Simon Callow, Leonor Varela, David Schofield
Director: Russell Mulcahy
» See full cast & crew
The Curse of King Tut's Tomb Blu-ray Review
Another forgettable made-for-TV miniseries unravels on Blu-ray.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, January 11, 2010
Finding the fourth emerald tablet is more important than life and death.
The Mummy is often cited as an Indiana Jones rip-off, but what happens when a movie rips off both the rip-off and the rip-offee? Usually, the end result is a rip-off of a movie, as in it's not worth the audiences' time, money and effort. Such is the case with the dreadful -- but admittedly better than many others of its kind -- The Curse of King Tut's Tomb, a movie that doesn't even attempt to hide all that it has "borrowed" from bigger and better films. Archaeology professor with the obligatory classroom scenes (but minus the "love you" girl) and sporting a leather jacket and hat in the field? Check. Bad guy that's a mixture of Indy's Toht and Belloq (check out the white hat with black band!)? Check. A race between two opposing sides to unearth an artifact that could shift the balance of power throughout the world? Check. Chase music that's reminiscent of John Williams' Indy score? Check. A female sidekick Egyptologist with an uncanny physical resemblance to The Mummy's Evie? Check. Unfortunately, this is isn't the latest lame attempt at contemporary Parody that's easily dismissible, but instead a movie that seems to want to be taken somewhat seriously. Another miniseries that's a flop and borderline disaster? Check.
Egypt's King Tut has prayed for the strength to defeat the powerful demon, Set. Taking on the beasts of the underworld with angel wings and a sword, Tut managed to close the portal between dimensions and, to keep Set rising again, destroys a powerful emerald tabled and scatters its four pieces across the globe. Centuries later, the dangerous Hellfire Council -- led by Nathan Cairns (Malcolm McDowell, Star Trek: Generations) and Morgan Sinclair (Jonathan Hyde, who was also in The Mummy) -- has secured three of the tablet's four pieces, no thanks to the hard work of Archaeology Professor Danny Freemont (Casper Van Dien, Starship Troopers) from whom the council has stolen its pieces. Both Freemont and Sinclair believe the fourth piece's final resting place to be in the long-sought tomb of King Tut, and a race against time and between good and evil ensues to locate the tomb and, more importantly, the fourth and final piece of the emerald tablet. To help the cause, Danny enlists the help of Dr. Azelia Barakat (Leonor Varela), an Egyptologist and secret admirer of Danny's work.
Its knockoff look and feel aside, there are a plethora of problems that drag The Curse of King Tut's Tomb down considerably, but there are also a couple of pluses that keep it from scraping the absolute bottom of the proverbial barrel. First of all, the film feels clearly overextended to reach the necessary three-hour miniseries runtime; this is a 90-minute movie dragged out to twice that length, with extended and dull chase scenes, blabbering backstory that can often be summed up in a sentence or two rather than a minute or two, and plenty of superfluous characters and scenes that generally serve only to confuse the plot and bog the story down. The acting is particularly horrendous as well; despite a few "name" actors, there's never a sense of the cast doing anything more than reading through the script with either over-exaggerated verbal emphasis and flighty body language or a lackadaisical, monotonous tone. Casper Van Dien (who looks like he has pinkeye throughout the movie) is about as believable as a renowned archaeologist as Denise Richards is a nuclear physicist, making the Starship Troopers alum connection come full-circle. Despite an over-the-top effort, Jonathan Hyde is generally fine as the villain, the actor having a bit of fun in an otherwise nondescript and wholly generic role. The film's greatest mystery comes in the form of Malcolm McDowell's character; the film's best actor is given one of its least consequential roles and seems to be in the movie for name recognition only rather than serving a useful thematic purpose.
Nevertheless, The Curse of King Tut's Tomb does get a few things right, chief among them its reserved use of admittedly poor CGI. Unlike so many others of its kind, The Curse of King Tut's Tomb never feels like it's relying on the computer, instead using digital effects in support of the story rather than making them its defining attribute. Additionally, there's a decent sense of fun and adventure to be found should viewers be able to look past the overextended plot and obviously heavy borrowing from bigger and better films, two traits that are admittedly difficult to ignore. Still, there are times when the film is just good enough to hold audience attention, and if nothing else there are several unintentionally humorous moments that break up any monotony and elicit some laughs, even if they do come at the expense of the acting, script, or the egregious "nods" to Indy and The Mummy. Additionally, The Curse of King Tut's Tomb enjoys decent production values. The film's sets and props -- though not on the same level of excellence as a larger-budget film -- set a nice tone and look rather good, all things considered. Finally, Russell Mulcahy lends steady direction to the picture; the director of films such as Highlander, The Lost Battalion, and Resident Evil: Extinction, Mulcahy provides both a name and a fair amount of technical know-how to the picture, traits often absent in lesser made-for-television flicks.
The Curse of King Tut's Tomb Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Curse of King Tut's Tomb features a 1080p, 1.78:1-framed transfer that's not too shabby for what it is but not particularly attractive, either. Viewers will likely be impressed with the strong color reproduction and fairly high level of detailing seen in many places throughout the film; the opening ancient Egypt sequence sports eye-catching colors and finely-rendered textures of desert sand and Egyptian artifacts, not to mention a fair sense of depth, all of which is retained by-and-large throughout the remainder of the picture. Many scenes -- particularly those with predominantly earth-toned visuals -- take on a slightly warm tint, and flesh tones can veer towards a decidedly red appearance. The film looks incredibly smooth and clean in places, but in others -- notably in some of the darker scenes -- it exhibits a distracting level of noise. Additionally, the transfer features random artifacts, haloing, and pixelation in select long-distance shots. Overall, the transfer isn't bad for a bargain release, and it's on-par with what viewers of Echo Bridge's typical Blu-ray output can expect.
The Curse of King Tut's Tomb Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Curse of King Tut's Tomb arrives on Blu-ray with a total of four English soundtracks, none of which are particularly impressive. The sole uncompressed offering -- a two-channel PCM mix -- sports superior clarity when compared to the trio of lossy presentations; dialogue and musical reproduction are both suitably clear and crisp. Still, by default the PCM track is limited to the front channels, and the Dolby and DTS 5.1 mixes offer a more active -- but at the expense of clarity -- listen. Indeed, the film's action sequences are given a boost in terms of overall activity, with some discernible and welcome surround activity that helps add a bit of excitement to otherwise monotonous action. These tracks feel more open and alive, and feature a more natural ambient presence, even considering the lack of superior fidelity. None of the tracks, however, prove all that great and not one stands out as the clear-cut favorite among the four. It's up to each listener to choose between added activity or added clarity; there's no middle ground on this one.
The Curse of King Tut's Tomb Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Curse of King Tut's Tomb limps onto Blu-ray with but two extras. Shooting 'Egypt' in India (1080p, 6:36), as the title suggests, features cast and crew speaking on the process of filming in India. The Dark Secrets of the Hellfire Council (1080p, 3:03) features the cast discussing the background of the villainous organization seen in the film.
The Curse of King Tut's Tomb Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The Curse of King Tut's Tomb is a passable but ultimately superfluous made-for-television movie that's nothing more than an Indiana Jones and The Mummy wannabe. A semi-decent story is hindered by bad acting and an extended runtime, but helped by competent direction and decent production values. Still, the movie is completely forgettable and viewers will be better served to just watch the movies it copies instead. This Echo Bridge Blu-ray release is on par with the studio's average effort. Featuring passable picture and sound quality and a couple of throwaway extras, The Curse of King Tut's Tomb might be worth a rental for viewers inclined to give it a chance.
Blu-ray bundles with The Curse of King Tut's Tomb (4 bundles)
The Curse of King Tut's Tomb Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Echo Bridge Plan Blu-ray Releases for April - February 7, 2008
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment has announced they are releasing six films from their catalog on April 1st. Included in the slate are '10.5 Apocalypse', 'Blackbeard', 'Category 7: The End of the World', 'The Curse of King Tut's Tomb', 'The Last Sentinel' and 'Artie ...
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