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  • “THE MUMMY” (Review)

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    When it comes to horror, I’m Old School.  Mention “The Mummy” and I immediately think of Karloff’s 1932 classic… or Christopher Lee’s glorious Hammer remake… but there’s a new Mummy in town and this one is a total b!tch.  In an innovative twist, stunning Algerian actress Sofia Boutella plays Ahmanet, an Egyptian princess entombed alive after murdering her father and others during a savage power grab. Boutella is exotic, commanding and moves like a jungle cat – no surprise as she was one of Madonna’s dancers on her Sticky & Sweet Tour. Boutella also practically stole Kingsman: The Secret Service as the legless assassin. In The Mummy she owns the screen whenever she’s on.  This young actress has no problem facing down co-star Tom Cruise, a shoo-in for Dorian Gray as he seemingly hasn’t aged since Top Gun.  Cruise plays Nick Morton, a roguish soldier of fortune with a passion for antiquities who stumbles upon the princess’ hidden tomb thanks to a map stolen from a feisty British archaeologist (Annabelle Wallis).  Jurassic World’s Jake Johnson provides some comic relief as Cruise’s jokey army buddy who dies, then comes back to haunt him. Literally.  They ignore all the signs that this is one sarcophagus that should stay buried and fly it back to London, or try to – their plane crashes in an outstanding feat of action filmmaking that took over 16 parabolic flights to capture Cruise and Wallis knocking around in Zero G.  

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  • Ridley Scott Goes Back To His Alien Roots With ALIEN: COVENANT (Review)

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    Fans of the original Alien, the groundbreaking sci-fi/horror classic, will find a lot to like in the latest installment of this iconic franchise.  The plot is reminiscent of the 1979 film:  the Covenant, a transport ship in deep space, its crew in cryosleep, gets knocked off its trajectory by a solar storm.  The core crew reawakens to find a strange signal from a previously unknown planet… one that seems oddly perfect for their colonization mission.  Also onboard is a synthetic human named Walter (brilliantly played by Michael Fassbender).  Faced with years’ more space travel to reach their original destination, the captain (Billy Crudup) decides to explore this new planet as an alternative.  In place of the formidable Ripley, Covenant’s first officer Daniels (Katherine Waterston) is grieving the loss of her husband (James Franco in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it performance).  While softer than Sigourney Weaver’s character, Daniels has some of Ripley’s inner steel – and she’ll need it because once they land on the idyllic, but strangely empty world, things go south, fast!  The lush landscape is littered with small pods, which release tiny spores when stepped on.  Those drift into bodily orifices with horrific results.  Soon the landing ship’s sickbay has a formerly healthy crewman who is convulsing, screaming and bleeding out on the table. You don’t have to be a medic to know what’s coming next!  And then IT IS ON: the Covenant’s pilot (Danny McBride) manages a risky rescue of the stranded crewmembers but once back aboard, they discover they are far from safe!

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