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The Mummy: Year of the Scorpion

Gaith

Well-known member
Faneditor
original film name: The Mummy Returns
new film name : The Mummy: Year of the Scorpion
film studio name : Universal
edit crew name : Gaith
Date Original Film Was Released : 2001
Date Edit Was Released : Summer 2009
Original Runtime : 130 min
New Runtime : 66 min
Amount of time Cut/Added : ~67 minutes cut, a new 3-minute intro added

Fanedit details:
I honestly believe that (InfoDroid's fan edits aside) 1999's The Mummy remains the best archaeology-themed adventure movie since Raiders of the Lost Ark. And while there's no question that The Mummy Returns was a travesty (not only overlong and boring, but positively damaging to the integrity of the first film's characters), I think it does have an interesting core story.

To wit: The Mummy introduced two couples, Rick and Evelyn and Imhotep and Anck-su-namun. The Mummy Returns questions if their respective loves are indeed real, or simply infatuations. The perils of the Scorpion King's pyramid will put both relationships to the test. Admit it... that's a reasonably unique story hook for an action movie sequel, isn't it?
Unfortunately, this decent and fun flick was buried under lame jokes, lazy plotting and frankly gross insinuations about Evy's former life. If she's partly an ancient Egyptian princess, then she's also partly not her son's mother, and that's just messed up. I have therefore removed these noxious elements, as well as any narrative scenes that don't inform the overall emotional arcs (viz., the Scorpion King intro).
Because at least two superfluous sequences could not be removed invisibly (Evy's death, the collapsing oasis), I have added a handful of atmospheric title cards, as well as an introduction that humorously explains the necessity of their use. Thus, while my editing is not invisible, I nevertheless hope that the viewing experience is technically seamless. This unconventional method was a last resort, but I'm not apologizing for it. Besides, there may be future rescue attempts by the Des Moines Adventure Film Society! :)

The changes:
- Added titles explaining the necessity of title cards
- Added a prologue from The Mummy
- Removed all scenes before the O'Connell Manor
- Removed all references to Evy being a reincarnation of a long-dead princess. No, she isn't.
- Numerous trims to the fight in the manor.
- Removed all references to Rick being a Medjai. This subplot had potential, but it's superfluous.
- Shortened Imhotep's reincarnation. Rick and Ardeth don't encounter awkward mummies in the British Museum, and they certainly don't watch the rites without making any effort to stop them.
- Various trims to the Museum sequence. Alex doesn't talk about the golden pyramid's diamond, Jonathan isn't such a slobbering coward and the shootout is shortened.
- The bus chase has been almost entirely excised. It didn't move the story forward, and we've already had a lot of action.
- We never see the painfully unfunny motley thugs alive. Who cares?
- Various trims to make Izzy less annoying. Rick no longer threatens to shoot him.
- Cut the twelve tribes of the Medjai. No way were there that many of 'em!
- Cut Ardeth's silly bird in all but one shot.
- Meela's transformation into Anck-su-namun is now uninterrupted, and it's in aged grayscale.
- Alex no longer makes sandcastles; he merely draws maps.
- The wall of water has been heavily reduced.
- Ardeth doesn't hold his sword to Jonathan's throat, nor does he talk about Anubis' army.
- Numerous cuts to the pygmy attack to keep the story moving as quickly as possible.
- Rick doesn't outrun the sun.
- Evy doesn't die, nor does she get reincarnated and fight Anck. Jonathan doesn't fight Anck either.
- The Medjai don't fight the warrior-dogs... at all.
- The Rick vs. Imhotep fight is drastically reduced.
- Most of the close-ups on the CG Scorpion King's face have been removed.
- The entire collapsing oasis scene is excised. Ahm Shere survives!
- Heavy cuts to the denouement. The credits are now greyscale. The title specifies that it's an edit.
- Appended a Mummy 3 "best moments" reel.



Teaser Trailer: Available on the DVD.

DVD DETAILS
66 minutes Single Layer NTSC 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen with AC3-5.1 audio
LANGUAGE : ENGLISH (5.1)
MENUS : yes
SCENE SELECTION : yes
EXTRAS: Edit trailer, acknowledgments.

xvid avi details: COMING SOON

Hardware and software information:
Hardware: Windows XP, 500 mb RAM
Software:
- Womble MPEG Video Wizard
- Macromedia xRes (photoshop alternative)
- dvddecrypter

Time needed for the edition:
editing: a few weeks, off and on, including three or four full days of editing.

persons involved: Gaith



additional essay

(I recommend that this piece be read before viewing The Mummy: Year of the Scorpion. While it doesn't make up for The Mummy Returns' deficiencies, I hope the depth it gives the characters makes for a more involving experience.)



.................................................................Who the Duat is Meela Nais?
..............................An Essay on "Meela Nais / Anck Su Namun" from The Mummy Returns

By Gaith, Fan Editor of The Mummy: Year of the Scorpion

(click for larger)
Meela Nais, Baltus Hafez and Imhotep in the British Museum

..........One of the many discontents of The Mummy Returns is the seemingly arbitrary plotting concerning the character of "Meela Nais". The entire plot of the first Mummy, one recalls, came about due to Anck-Su-Namun's treachery against the Pharaoh in indulging her desires with Imhotep, and the latter's goal throughout that film was more or less limited to (in Beni's phrasing) "bringing his dead girlfriend back to life." Given this, one might expect to be given some explanation for how "Anck" (as director Stephen Sommers and editor Bob Duscay refer to her) came to be reincarnated, even if only in body, in the form of "Meela Nais" in The Mummy Returns. Alas, one would be wrong. This mini-essay, then, concerns my personal explanation of Meela's history, and how it informed an editing choice for The Mummy: Year of the Scorpion.

..........First, a disclaimer: I have neither read any script for The Mummy Returns (it being not, to my knowledge, publicly available) nor read the novelization. But then, I shouldn't have to - it's suspect enough when a supporting character is introduced outside of the bounds of a major franchise picture (as with "Kid" from the Matrix sequels, whose first exchange with Neo would mystify anyone not familiar with The Animatrix.) But Anck isn't a mere supporting character in the theatrical release of The Mummy Returns; she's one of its principals. We therefore should have been told who she is, and where she came from. (So far as I can tell, the name "Meela" is only spoken once, by Lock-Nah, in the British Museum.)

..........Happily, I have come up with a personal explanation not only for Meela's origin and motives but also those of the British Museum's Curator, Baltus Hafez (another sorely under-written character.) In my formulation, Hafez was a lowly scholar who, in the course of some rather esoteric researches, found persuasive evidence that the Scorpion King was due to reawaken in the 1930s well before the fact. If he could somehow resurrect Imhotep, whom he had also found rare writings about, surely the latter could kill the Scorpion King, take control of his army, and rule the world. Hafez would then, naturally, be granted dominion over a modest kingdom of his own.

..........The trick, of course, would be to make Imhotep feel a personal connection to him. Hafez knew that as soon as the twice-killed priest was resurrected, he would search for a female host for Anck's soul (remember that in the first film, Imhotep had chosen Evelyn for this very purpose). Without the Book of the Dead, still lost in Hamunaptra, Hafez couldn't summon spirits from the afterlife. However, he somehow managed to acquire enough magic to re-shape the developing fetus of a lowly and insignificant pregnant woman. What better gift for Imhotep than a bodily incarnation of Anck herself? Thus was Meela, destined to grow into the woman we see in The Mummy Returns' first half, born.

..........This explanation is supported by several scenes from the film in which we see Hafez advising Meela on how best to protect and interact with Imhotep. However, it is also foiled entirely by a moment during Meela's introduction to the newly-reincarnated Imhotep, when, after the latter declares that he will soon resurrect Anck in Meela's body, thus making their love whole again, Hafez rolls his eyes and walks away. As such behavior is obviously incompatible with my designs on the character, I excised this beat in my edit.

-----

..........On another note: one Katie Sullivan makes an interesting conjecture as to why Anck didn't rescue Imhotep at the end of the film, speculating that Meela's spirit had not been entirely overwritten by the reincarnated other, and that it was Meela that abandoned the former high priest. While this could have been a very cool theme for the movie to explore, it provides no evidence to support this idea. Sullivan assumes, moreover, that the love between the two Egyptians is real. But is it? They very possibly were only infatuated with each other in ancient Thebes, and it's entirely possible that such a shallow connection inspired Anck's attempted flight.
 

boon23

Well-known member
Faneditor
Cover Artist
Something new:

while recreating FE and scanning through all the posts, I found a review of this one:
A good edit. There are some "rough" areas that are noticeable but don't really detract from the overall viewing.

I especially liked the "film restoration" style of this edit. Gaith took the worst part of this movie (the opening with The Rock) and made it a fun, classic horror movie part (much like the original 1930's "The Mummy"). Gaith might have over-used the "damaged film" look a little too much in the opeing and there is a very rough edit/cut/transition to the main movie at this point, but overall it is a great start to a mediocre movie. The fade in and fade outs are a little too long (while dialogue has started or is still going as the fade starts/stops), but gain not so long as to seriously detract from the edit.

I DL'd the DVD version and the overall quality is good (4 out of 5), audio is good too (4/5).

Gaith has taken, for me, a very disappoiting film and made it a much better experience. I have a feeling others might take issue with the drastic reduction of "action", but for me, it was what was needed. Honestly, I get very bored with long action scenes. I am glad Evy the re-icarnation plot references are gon as well as the too long Pygmy attack scenes - without the long-winded pygmy scenes, the movie becomes MUCH more quick-paced without losing plot.
the poster, flyboy707, has already reviewed 48!!! fanedits, which makes him easily one of our most active reviewers on FE. His reviews are always written in detail and he rates the fanedits from good to bad. Now unfortunately he does not post on the forum, although he is a member. Otherwise he would be in the FE academy for sure.
Our rules say that 50 forum posts are needed to write an approving review for a firstling. I am overruling this hereby, because flyboy707 seems more than qualified to approve a fanedit.
So, this is hereby approved. Sorry you had to wait so long, Gaith.
approved.png
 

Captain Khajiit

Well-known member
Donor
Felicitaciones, caballero! I know you've been working on this for quite some time. I'm not a fan of The Mummy films, so I shan't watch this, but I was exceedingly pleased to see your edit on fanedit.org. :smile: This was a good call by Boon.
 

Gaith

Well-known member
Faneditor
:eek:

I... I don't know what to say... other than, that:

71104324.jpg

I'm the King of the World! Whoo-hoo-hoo!

Thanks for the congrats, guys! :)


boon23 said:
Sorry you had to wait so long, Gaith.
Not at all, my good Boon! You very promptly looked at my first draft, and that had a glaring sync error. You and the community have nothing but gratitude from moi. :wink:

In fact, as I've mentioned before, I watched this (second) draft last fall, and Womble dropped a few audio fade clips, resulting in three of four hard-ish cuts. I moved the clips in question to a different audio track, and checked that the resulting export actually included those fades. The question, then, is whether any other fades were arbitrarily dropped this time, and I haven't watched the whole, current v.3. (Which contains the Mummy 3 highlights reel; the uploaded v.2 may not; I can't quite recall.)

In any case, I highly doubt that v.3 could be less polished than v.2. So maybe I'll send Throw a v.3, and it could be swapped in for the existing TF, provided, of course, that future reviewers concur with flyboy707's approval? :)
 
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