February 3rd, 2009

THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR (2008) * ½

I never got around to catching The Mummy:  Tomb of the Dragon Emperor in the theaters, so I’m playing a little catch up here.  Since I liked the first Mummy movie more than most people and hated the second one more than everyone else; this may not be the definitive review for The Mummy 3.  Your mileage may vary of course, although with this bombing at the box office, I’d say that most of you didn’t like it either.

 

Kung Fu legend Jet Li stars in the History Channel opening scene as an evil emperor who conquers ancient China and uses the bodies of his enemies to make the foundation for the Great Wall of China.  Jet knows that conquering ALL of Asia will take a long, long time, so he hires a witch (Michelle Yeoh) to make him immortal so he can get the job done.  She casts a spell on Jet that turns him and his army into chocolate Easter bunnies and since Jet is evil and stuff, he kills her boyfriend out of spite.  That means that Michelle has got to use her voodoo to keep him immobile in his chocolate shell.  Centuries later, Brendan Fraser and his wife, Maria Bello (taking over for Rachel Weisz) go to China and are coerced into opening the tomb by some sleazy bad guys who want Emperor Jet to lead them to Shangri-La.  Fraser and Co. then seek out Yeoh (who’s immortal too, naturally) so she can raise the bodies of Jet’s enemies from the dead for the big Zombie Army vs. Zombie Army Braveheart style showdown.

 

Well… Army of Darkness it is not.

 

The Mummy 3 is just all kinds of stupid.  One character remarks that Jet has “power over the elements, he can control fire, wind, metal…”  Wait, METAL!?!  Since when did metal become an element?  Jet also has the power to turn into a three-headed, fire-breathing dragon too; just cuz I suppose.  Oh yeah and he can also turn into a hairy dinosaur looking thing too. 

 

Look… just don’t ask, okay?

 

The scene that really insults the audience’s intelligence is when Brendan Fraser actually beats Jet Li in a Kung Fu battle.  There is just no way that Li, one of the finest martial arts guys that ever lived could get his ass handed to him by a wimp like Fraser.  Mel Gibson and Danny Glover… MAYBE; but not Fraser!  And speaking of Fraser… Brendan, buddy; after this flick and Journey to the Center of the Earth, I think you need to put a moratorium on movies in which you play a constantly mugging archeologist who battles CGI monsters. 

 

Although the action sequences left something to be desired (they featured lots of literal fireworks but no proverbial ones); I will say this about the flick:  The CGI monsters are a lot better than The Mummy Returns.  (Remember the pathetic Scorpion King monster that looked like a refugee from a Nintendo 64 game?)  There were enough CGI mummies, yetis, three-headed fire-breathing dragons, and undead armies than you could shake a stick at, so you may get your money’s worth if you are watching this flick purely for the special effects work.  I also dug the scene where Jet ripped off his own face and threw it at somebody and the scene where lava shot out of his eyes in the end was pretty cool as well.  All in all, it’s marginally better than Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but that’s not saying much.

 

The Mummy 3 also features some of the worst dialogue you’ve ever heard in your entire life like, “I hate mummies, they never play fair!” and “There’s something incredibly romantic about vanquishing the undead!”  The ONE great line was a doozy though:  “You three-headed shape-shifting son of a bitch!”

THE 2ND ANNUAL VIDEO VACUUM AWARD NOMINATIONS

Okay guys, sorry I’m a little late getting out the nominations for the 2nd Annual Video Vacuum Awards (or as I like to call ‘em, The Viddies).  It’s been a busy week for me and I apologize.  Last year, Grindhouse walked away with FIVE Viddies, including Best Picture.  Who will win this year? 

 

Now 2008 was a great year for movies.  I personally handed out over a dozen Four Star reviews, something I’m particularly proud of.  Were the movies really that good or are my standards just really low?  Well… let’s not dwell on that.  In fact, let’s cut right to the chase.  Without further ado here are:

 

THE NOMINEES FOR THE 2008 VIDEO VACUUM AWARDS


 

BEST ACTION MOVIE

 

DOOMSDAY

THE INCREDIBLE HULK

IRON MAN

RAMBO

TROPIC THUNDER

 

BEST JASON STATHAM MOVIE

 

THE BANK JOB

DEATH RACE

IN THE NAME OF THE KING:  A DUNGEON SIEGE TALE

TRANSPORTER 3

 

BEST GROSSOUT SCENE

 

A DEFIBRILLATOR IS USED ON A ZOMBIE’S HEAD AND MAKES IT’S EYEBALLS EXPLODE in DIARY OF THE DEAD

 

THE CRAZY FRENCH BROAD USING A PAIR OF SCISSORS TO GIVE THAT PREGNANT CHICK AN IMPROMPTU C-SECTION in INSIDE

 

UWE BOLL TRIED TO DIRECT A LOVE SCENE WITH RAY LIOTTA AND LEELEE SOBIESKI in IN THE NAME OF THE KING:  A DUNGEON SIEGE TALE

 

A FAT LESBIAN GETS SHIT ON TO DEATH in KILLER PAD 

 

A WOMAN GETS HER GUTS RIPPED OUT AND THEN IS STRANGLED WITH THEM in THE MOTHER OF TEARS:  THE THIRD MOTHER

 

JOE FLEISHSHAKER GETS A CASE OF KILLER DIARRHEA AND PAINTS THE ROOM BROWN in POULTRYGEIST:  NIGHT OF THE CHICKEN DEAD

 

THE PUNISHER USES A NO. 2 PENCIL TO FIX HIS DEVIATED SEPTUM in PUNISHER:  WAR ZONE

 

RAMBO TURNS A BUNCH OF BURMESE SOLDIERS INTO ITTY BITTY PIECES USING A VERY BIG GUN in RAMBO

 

THE MEDICAL STUDENT AMPUTATING BOTH LEGS OFF A KRAUT WITH A GINSU KNIFE BEFORE CAUTERIZING THE WOUND WITH A FRYING PAN in THE RUINS

 

MICK JAGGER DRY HUMPS A PREGNANT CHRISTINA AGUILERA in SHINE A LIGHT

 

ANY SCENE INVOLVING JESS WEIXLER’S KILLER CUNT CHOMPING OFF CHUMPS’ COCKS in TEETH

 

A MEDIC REMOVES SEVERAL STAPLES FROM RANDY “THE RAM”’S BACK in THE WRESTLER

 

BEST COMEDY

 

CHOKE

ROLE MODELS

SON OF RAMBOW

TROPIC THUNDER

ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO

 

BEST COMIC BOOK MOVIE

 

THE DARK KNIGHT

THE INCREDIBLE HULK

IRON MAN

PUNISHER:  WAR ZONE

WANTED

 

BEST SEQUEL

 

THE DARK KNIGHT

THE INCREDIBLE HULK

QUANTUM OF SOLACE

RAMBO

RETURN TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP

 

WORST SEQUEL

 

DIARY OF THE DEAD

FEAST 2:  SLOPPY SECONDS

INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL

POISON IVY:  THE SECRET SOCIETY

THE X-FILES:  I WANT TO BELIEVE

 

BEST ACTION SCENE

 

JACKIE CHAN VS. JET LI in THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM

 

HULK AND ABOMINATION DUKE IT OUT ON THE STREETS OF HARLEM, WWE GRUDGE MATCH STYLE in THE INCREDIBLE HULK

 

IRON MAN DONS A MAKESHIFT SCRAP METAL SUIT OF ARMOR AND PULLS A REVERSE 9/11 ON A BUNCH OF ASSHOLE AFGHANI TERRORISTS in IRON MAN

 

THE OPENING SCENE SHOWCASING THE WHOLESALE SLAUGHTER OF GREASY GANGSTERS in PUNISHER:  WAR ZONE

 

RAMBO SHOOTS 2,600 PEOPLE INTO LITTLE TINY PIECES WITH A VERY BIG GUN in RAMBO

 

RIP AWARD FOR BEST DEATH SCENE

 

THE JOKER’S “MAGIC TRICK” in THE DARK KNIGHT

 

THE SELF-INFLICTED DOUBLE SKULL IMPALEMENT VIA SCYTHE in DIARY OF THE DEAD

 

GINGERDEAD MAN SHOVING A RED HOT CURLING IRON UP A GAY GUY’S ASS in GINGERDEAD MAN 2:  PASSION OF THE CRUST

 

A TERRORIST SHOOTS IRON MAN IN THE HEAD BUT THE BULLET RICOCHETS OFF HIS HELMET AND LANDS IN THE TERRORIST’S SKULL in IRON MAN

 

PACO BELL GETS CAUGHT IN THE MEAT GRINDER AND GETS TURNED INTO A SLOPPY JOSE in POULTRYGEIST:  NIGHT OF THE CHICKEN DEAD

 

THE VAPORIZATION OF AN ACROBATIC HOOLIGAN VIA ROCKET LAUNCHER in PUNISHER:  WAR ZONE

 

RAMBO CUTS THE HEAD OFF A BURMESE SOLDIER WITH A HOMEMADE MACHETE, GIVING NEW DEFINITION TO THE TERM “BURMA SHAVE” in RAMBO.

 

THE BUNK BED OF DEATH SCENE from RETURN TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP

 

CASTRATION VIA 4 WHEEL DRIVE JEEP in RETURN TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP

 

BEST SCREENPLAY

 

APRIL FOOL’S DAY for “IF THAT ENDS UP ON THE INTERNET, I’LL HAVE YOU RAPED BY A WIZARD!”

 

BABYLON A.D. for “I ONLY HAVE ONE RULE:  DON’T FUCK WITH ME!”

 

BABY MAMA for “IT FEELS LIKE I’M SHITTING A KNIFE!”

 

THE BANK JOB for “YOU CONNIVING CUNT!”

 

CHOKE for “THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH LOVE OR COMMITMENT.  I SIMPLY WANT YOUR SEED!”

 

THE DARK KNIGHT for “WHATEVER DOESN’T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRANGER!”

 

DEATH RACE for “FUCK UP MY RACE COCKSUCKER AND WE’LL SEE WHO SHITS ON THE SIDEWALK!”

 

DRILLBIT TAYLOR for “I CALL IT MEXICAN JUDO AS IN JUDON’T KNOW WHO YOU’RE MESSING WITH HOLMES!”

 

THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM for “CROUCHING TIGER, SPANKING MONKEY!”

 

FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL for “IS THAT A HAPPY TISSUE OR A SAD TISSUE?”

 

GRAN TORINO for “GET OFF MY LAWN!”

 

HAMLET 2 for “I FEEL LIKE I’VE BEEN RAPED... IN THE FACE!”

 

HANCOCK for “I WILL BREAK MY FOOT OFF IN YOUR ASS, WOMAN!”

 

HELLBOY 2:  THE GOLDEN ARMY for “I’M NOT A BABY, I’M A TUMOR!”

 

IN THE NAME OF THE KING:  A DUNGEON SIEGE TALE for “WISDOM IS OUR HAMMER.  PRUDENCE IS OUR NAILS!”

 

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH for “HUMONGOUS FUNGUS!”

 

JUMPER for “IF IT MOVES, I CAN JUMP IT!”

 

LOST BOYS:  THE TRIBE for “YOUR SISTER IS A SUCK MONKEY!”

 

MILK for “I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO YOU ARE, LATINO MAN!”

 

THE MUMMY:  TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR for “YOU THREE-HEADED SHAPE-SHIFTING SON OF A BITCH!”

 

PINEAPPLE EXPRESS for “WHAT’S DOWN THERE, THE RANCOR?”

 

POSTAL for “THE TIME HAS COME TO PLACE OUR SWORDS INTO THE GENITALS OF THE INFIDELS!”

 

POULTRYGEST:  NIGHT OF THE CHICKEN DEAD for “GRAB THOSE VEIN-FILLED PULSATING EGGS AND PUT THEM WITH THE BREAKFAST FOOD!”

 

PUNISHER:  WAR ZONE for “I’M GOING TO PUT YOU OUT OF MY MISERY!”

 

RAMBO for “LIVE FOR SOMETHING OR DIE FOR NOTHING!”

 

ROGUE for “I FUCKING HATE ANIMALS, ESPECIALLY THE ONES THAT CAN KILL YOU!”

 

THE SCORPION KING 2:  RISE OF A WARRIOR for “I JUST STEPPED IN SOMEONE!”

 

SEMI-PRO for “SWEDISH MADE PORN WAS THE ONLY THING THAT GOT ME THROUGH NAM!”

 

SHINE A LIGHT for “WE CAN’T BURN MICK JAGGER!”

 

SPEED RACER for “I’LL PINCH OFF THOSE TURDS!”

 

THE SPIRIT for “I’M GOING TO KILL YOU ALL KINDS OF DEAD!”

 

STARSHIP TROOPERS 3:  MARAUDER for “SOLDIER, MAKE YOURSELF USEFUL!  PICK UP THAT ARM AND FIND OUT WHO IT BELONGS TO!”

 

STEP BROTHERS for “I GOT A V OF HAIR GOING FROM MY CHEST-PUBES DOWN TO MY BALL ‘FRO!”

 

SUPERHERO MOVIE for “YOUR THIGHS LOOK LIKE COTTAGE CHEESE SOMEONE THREW UP ON THE SIDEWALK ON A HOT SUMMER DAY!”

 

TEETH for “C’MON, I HAVEN’T JERKED OFF SINCE EASTER!”

 

TROPIC THUNDER for “BEDS GIVE ME NIGHTMARES!”

 

WRESTLEMANIAC for “THEY GAVE HIM FIFTY LOBOTOMIES AND IT DIDN’T HELP FOR SHIT!”

 

ZOMBIE STRIPPERS for “GET BACK, YOU WALKING HERPE!”

 

BEST DIRECTOR

 

CLINT EASTWOOD for BEING 78 YEARS OLD AND STILL KICKING ASS in GRAN TORINO.

 

JON FAVREAU for THE AWESOME SCENE WHERE IRON MAN FLAMETHROWERS A BUNCH OF TERRORISTS TO DEATH in IRON MAN

 

MITCHELL LICTHENSTEIN for TEETH for DIRECTING THE BEST KILLER VAGINA MOVIE OF THE YEAR.

 

MARTIN SCORSESE for FILMING THE SECOND BEST ROLLING STONES MOVIE EVER in SHINE A LIGHT.

 

SYLVESTER STALLONE for KNOWING HOW TO FILM ACTION SEQUENCES THAT MAKE SAVING PRIVATE RYAN LOOK LIKE SENSE AND SENSIBILITY in RAMBO

 

BEST ACTOR

 

ROBERT DOWNEY, JR. as THE SUPERHERO WHO TURNS TERRORISTS INTO WALKING MOLOTOV COCKTAILS in IRON MAN

 

CLINT EASTWOOD in GRAN TORINO for KICKING THE SNOT OUT OF PUNKS

 

HEATH LEDGER for CREEPING UP THE JOINT in THE DARK KNIGHT

 

KEITH RICHARDS in SHINE A LIGHT FOR SAYING EIGHT INTELLIGIBLE WORDS

 

MICKEY ROURKE for FLYING OF THE TOP ROPE WITH STYLE in THE WRESTLER

 

BEST ACTRESS

 

JULIE BENZ in RAMBO for BEING THE SEXIEST CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY IN BURMA

 

OLGA KURYLENKO for LOOKING HOTTER THAN SHIT in QUANTUM OF SOLACE

 

RHONA MITRA for PLAYING A FEMALE SNAKE PLISSKEN CHARACTER in DOOMSDAY

 

CHRISTINA RICCI for ALREADY HAVING THE ANIME EYES NECESSARY TO PLAY SPEED RACER’S GIRLFRIEND TRIXIE in SPEED RACER

 

JESS WEIXLER as THE VIRGINAL HIGH SCHOOL CHICK WHO CHOMPS COCKS OFF OF RAPISTS WITH HER TOOTHY VAGINA in TEETH

 

BEST MONSTER

 

ABOMINATION in THE INCREDIBLE HULK

 

HULK in THE INCREDIBLE HULK

 

RAMBO in RAMBO, WHO SINGLEHANDEDLY WIPES OUT HALF THE POPULATION OF BURMA WITH A SUBMACHINE GUN

 

KEITH RICHARDS in SHINE A LIGHT

 

THE MAN-EATING VAGINA in TEETH

 

WORST MONSTER

 

THE MONSTER in CLOVERFIELD.  IT LOOKED LIKE A REJECT BUG FROM STARSHIP TROOPERS… 2.

 

THE SPIDER-MAN “ZOMBIES” from DAY OF THE DEAD WHO RUN LIKE JESSE OWENS ON CRANK, HOWL LIKE BANSHEES AND CAN WALK ON CEILINGS.

 

THE INVISIBLE SCORPION MONSTER from THE SCORPION KING 2:  RISE OF A WARRIOR.  SERIOUSLY, WHY PAY FOR THE SPECIAL EFFECTS WHEN YOU CAN JUST HAVE AN “INVISIBLE” MONSTER?

 

THE GOD BUG from STARSHIP TROOPERS 3:  MARAUDER for LOOKING LIKE A DISEASED CUNT ATTACHED TO A BUNCH OF ALASKAN KING CRAB LEGS.

 

THE PATHETIC WHITE TRASH ZOMBIES from TRAILER PARK OF TERROR.

 

BEST SCENE I COULDN’T MAKE UP

 

A GUY NAMED “BUD” TURNS INTO A ZOMBIE BUT DOESN’T EAT ANYONE BECAUSE HE’S A GODDAMNED VEGETARIAN in DAY OF THE DEAD

 

JET LI PISSING IN JACKIE CHAN’S FACE in THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM

 

WILL SMITH SHOVES A DUDE’S HEAD UP ANOTHER GUY’S ASS in HANCOCK

 

BURT REYNOLDS DRESSED AS A SAMURAI FOR NO GOOD REASON in IN THE NAME OF THE KING:  A DUNGEON SIEGE TALE

 

A CHINESE CHICK THAT INEXPLICABLY KNOWS HOW TO SPEAK THE LANGUAGE OF THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN in THE MUMMY:  TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR

 

VERNE TROYER GETTING RAPED BY MONKEYS in POSTAL

 

RAMBO BLOWS AWAY 2,600 BURMESE SOLDIERS AND ONLY RELOADS ONCE in RAMBO

 

SAMUEL L. JACKSON DRESSED LIKE A NAZI FOR NO APPARENT REASON in THE SPIRIT

 

BARRY BONDS TAKING A WHOLE BUNCH OF ‘ROIDS AND SHOOTING LASERS OUT OF HIS EYEBALLS in SUPERHERO MOVIE

 

GIGANTIC OSTRICHES TRYING TO EAT DREADLOCKED CAVEMEN in 10,000 B.C.

 

TRACI LORDS BLOWING BUBBLES OUT OF HER PUSSY in ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO

 

A ZOMBIFIED JENNA JAMESON SHOOTING BILLIARD BALLS OUT OF HER TWAT in ZOMBIE STRIPPERS

 

BEST FACIAL HAIR

 

JEFF BRIDGES’S BEARD in IRON MAN

ROBERT DOWNEY, JR.’S GOATEE in IRON MAN

AL PACINO’S GOATEE in 88 MINUTES

DENNIS QUAID’S BEARD in SMART PEOPLE

JOHN GOODMAN’S MOUSTACHE in SPEED RACER

 

WORST REMAKE

 

APRIL FOOL’S DAY

DAY OF THE DEAD

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL

PROM NIGHT

SISTERS

 

WORST STRAIGHT TO DVD MOVIE

 

APRIL FOOL’S DAY

DAY OF THE DEAD

FEAST 2:  SLOPPY SECONDS

SISTERS

TRAILER PARK OF TERROR

 

BEST STRAIGHT TO DVD MOVIE

 

GINGERDEAD MAN 2:  PASSION OF THE CRUST

LOST BOYS:  THE TRIBE

RETURN TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP

STARSHIP TROOPERS 3:  MARAUDER

WRESTLEMANIAC

 

BEST HORROR MOVIE

 

INSIDE

RETURN TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP

POULTRYGEIST:  NIGHT OF THE CHICKEN DEAD

THE SIGNAL

TEETH

 

WORST HORROR MOVIE

 

APRIL FOOL’S DAY

DAY OF THE DEAD

FEAST 2:  SLOPPY SECONDS

SISTERS

SPIRAL

 

BEST MOVIE

 

THE INCREDIBLE HULK

IRON MAN

RAMBO

SHINE A LIGHT

TEETH

 

WORST MOVIE

 

APRIL FOOL’S DAY

BOARDING GATE

DAY OF THE DEAD

FEAST 2:  SLOPPY SECONDS

SEX AND THE CITY
 

Hopefully folks, I’ll have the winners announced before that OTHER big award show takes place out in Hollyweird.  Stay tuned fellow Video Vacuumers!


PS:  If anybody has any ideas on who SHOULD or SHOULD NOT win, post a comment or two.  It may help to sway the judges.  (And speaking of swaying judges, I want all the nominees to know that I DO accept monetary bribes; so if you really want to win one of these coveted Viddies, all you got to do is grease my err... the 'judges'' palms.)