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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mummies Don't Attack--But The Desert Vistas And Egyptian Sites And Artifacts Look Great
I recently picked up a couple of the newer IMAX 3D releases, and also had a chance to get an advanced copy of "Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs." Who doesn't love mummies after all? If nothing else, the 3D presentation should make the desert look great! While my experience with these 3D IMAX films has ranged from great (The Ultimate Wave: Tahiti) to not-so-good...
Published on March 20, 2011 by K. Harris

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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3D Review by a 3D Connoisseur
My ratings are based mainly on the QUALITY OF THE 3D, not the video content.

Not counting floating text, there are 7 out of screen effects. The first at about 5:30 minutes, a graphic that floats out an impressive 50% of the way, from the screen to the viewer. At about 10:00 the top view of a priest said to be chanting a spell is OOS from the waist up for 15...
Published on February 12, 2011 by Keith Niemeyer


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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mummies Don't Attack--But The Desert Vistas And Egyptian Sites And Artifacts Look Great, March 20, 2011
I recently picked up a couple of the newer IMAX 3D releases, and also had a chance to get an advanced copy of "Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs." Who doesn't love mummies after all? If nothing else, the 3D presentation should make the desert look great! While my experience with these 3D IMAX films has ranged from great (The Ultimate Wave: Tahiti) to not-so-good (Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia) to painful (Ultimate G's: Zac's Flying Dream), I wasn't sure what to expect of this film. A melding of science, history and archeology--the film is an interesting introduction to a number of topics. It is, however, definitely geared toward those with a limited knowledge base in these particular subjects.

Narrative: Largely an educational effort, the film combines modern scientists with dramatic recreations. There is a certain cheesy appeal to the actors portraying their historical counterparts, but they service brief snippets of history as opposed to any in-depth story. The film wants to convince us of the scientific and medical advances that studying the mummies can provide, but it's not a particularly compelling argument as presented. The film is most intriguing in its archeological component. I am, by nature, fascinated and fairly well versed on mummies--so nothing was groundbreaking. Geared at the pre-teen to early teen market, however, the film is a nice blend of material.

Features: Not a huge selling point, by any means, a "making of" featurette is provided that is approximately half as long as the original production. With the expansion of the DVD market, we've become pretty savvy about special effects and green screen technology--so there's nothing here that goes beyond rudimentary movie making. There are also a few trailers provided.

3D: OK, I know this is all anyone really cares about--but I'm telling you, if you aren't interested in the topic than the 3D can't really salvage any story. For the most part, this is integrated 3D and very little attempts to slap you in the face or pop out of your screen. If this is a prerequisite, there are better 3D options available. I, personally, thought the film looked lovely with the extra depth. The desert vistas and archeological ruins are captured in vivid detail and as I'm not planning an Egyptian sojourn anytime soon--this was easily my favorite aspect of the film! About 3 1/2 stars or 4 stars for younger audiences. KGHarris, 3/11.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3D Review by a 3D Connoisseur, February 12, 2011
By 
Keith Niemeyer (LaCrosse, WI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
My ratings are based mainly on the QUALITY OF THE 3D, not the video content.

Not counting floating text, there are 7 out of screen effects. The first at about 5:30 minutes, a graphic that floats out an impressive 50% of the way, from the screen to the viewer. At about 10:00 the top view of a priest said to be chanting a spell is OOS from the waist up for 15 seconds at 10%. Four times, windows float at about 20% while continuing to tell the story inside them, lasting 30 to 60 seconds each. The remaining OOS is of mummy toes; they extend 15% for 6 seconds.

No real complaints about the in screen 3D. Most of the footage is clear and excess parallax only showed itself a few times.

*** Nice views of Egyptian sites, tombs and mummies ***
*** My 3D rating is lowered due to lack of more 3D wow effects ***

MY 3D RATING = GOOD (poor, fair, good, very good, excellent)

Note: As far as the percentages go, everyone's eyes are different. What I see at 25% you may see at 15% or 35%. To fully realize how far something is out of the screen for you, pause on an effect and direct a partner with an extended finger to the tip of what you are seeing. You may be surprised.

Click on `See all my reviews' for the lowdown on other 3Ds
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun for budding Egyptologists, January 14, 2010
This review is from: IMAX: Mummies- Secrets of the Pharaohs (DVD)
Mummies have long been the subject of eerie fascination. These leathery, preserved bodies have fueled the imagination of novelists, filmmakers, and research scientists alike. Originally filmed in large format for IMAX theaters, Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs, which is one part recreational docudrama and another part high-tech science, takes a new approach to a general, introductory level overview of Egyptian spiritual beliefs and mummification practices.

Created with the young or general interest viewer in mind, this 39-minute documentary covers territory familiar to most with a passing acquaintance with Egypt. The general techniques and reasons for mummification are touched upon without becoming overly technical. But the unique areas are found in the film delving into modern research revolving around the creation of `fresh' mummies and the search for DNA in both these and ancient specimens in a search for genetically encoded malarial clues.

With three young children, we're devotees of the docudrama approach wherein historical events are reenacted with narration describing the historical detail. With an approximately 50/50 split between scenes of reenactment and more typical technical documentary scenes, the most memorable for our family is the discovery of the tomb of Rameses III and 40 other royal mummies in the 1880s. The details are unforgettable when given life by the actors.

Be aware that scenes of actual, unwrapped mummies are included frequently throughout the documentary. This can prove to be either the most appealing or horrific aspect of this title depending upon the sensitivity levels of your children (or yourself!). I wasn't sure how our children would react, but the lack of scary music or reference to manufactured "curse of the mummy" speculation helped them take everything in stride. The mummies are presented rather matter-of-factly with an appreciation for the discovery of potential knowledge hidden within their genetic structure and a general sense of wonder for the culture that produced them.

In addition to the somewhat brief feature, an additional 22-minute "making of" segment is included, with a strong emphasis on the challenges of filming for a large format. Educational add-ons such as an interactive multiple choice quiz, fast facts, and a "Meet the Mummies" section where educational details are provided for a number of famous mummies in an on-screen text format, add to the film's educational appeal for budding Egyptologists. The documentary includes standard scene navigation from an external menu and from within the film, and offers three language tracks - English, French and Spanish - all recorded in Dolby Digital 5.1.

Most of my memories from childhood studies of Egypt revolve around factual tidbits about mummies. I believe that they are nearly universally fascinating, and therefore make a great entry point into learning more about Egyptian history. Mummies: Secrets of the Pharoahs will make an appealing addition to any elementary or junior high course of Egyptian study.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Originally produced for showing in IMAX theaters, November 16, 2009
This review is from: IMAX: Mummies- Secrets of the Pharaohs (DVD)
Originally produced for showing in IMAX theaters, Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs is an amazing documentary about what modern science and archaeology have to tell us about the mystery of mummies - exquisitely preserved remains of ancient Egyptian citizens and kings. From the adventures (and hardships!) of excavating tombs, to the modern forensic science used to unlock mummies' secrets, to the extrapolated evidence of ancient Egypt's past and what it means for our understanding today, and even how knowledge gleaned from mummies affects medical science, Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs is utterly enthralling. Bonus features include a "making of" featurette shot in HD, a "Meet the Mummies" educational section, and a quiz. A beautifully filmed experience, Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs is highly recommended for Egyptology DVD shelves and public library collections. English/French/Spanish, widescreen, 39 minutes plus 22 minute "making of" featurette.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ancient Egypt brought to life., April 23, 2011
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When I got all my new 3D stuff I saw this film and I knew I had to have it.
I'm glad I bought it.
I just love anything that has to do with ancient Egypt or mummies.
The 3D is for the most part done extremely well without being overpowering.
The story is interesting and held my attention.
Direction, cinematography, music are all top notch.
And Christoper Lee as the narrator is just icing in the cake.
Does anyone have a more perfect voice?
All in all a fun, educational romp though ancient Egypt.
Not too deep or overwhelming a perfect introduction to the kids and adults alike who are interested in the subject.
Beautiful and done well enough for those of us who are already familiar with Egypt to warrant a purchase.
Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short but good, January 4, 2014
Less than 40 minutes, but it talks about the ancient Egyptians, their beliefs about the afterlife and why they mummified their pharaohs. It also discusses the cache in which Ramses II was found and how an American was involved in its recovery. I've seen a lot of video about ancient Egypt but still learned something from this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent, October 26, 2012
This review is from: IMAX: Mummies- Secrets of the Pharaohs (DVD)
This IMAX film reminded me of a children's film. It was very simple and easy to follow - perhaps too simple. The depth and complexity of Ancient Egyptian culture and their mummies seems to have been swept away in this one. It was a blend of reenactments, and some storytelling, without the straightforward scientific/historical documentary approach that I prefer. Still, Ancient Egypt is fascinating. The part that upset me the most was learning how the Abd el Rasoul family broke into tombs and sold off antiques - such precious knowledge and historical culture lost! I am so glad the Egyptian Antiquities Service was able to uncover the location of the pharaohs' tombs and preserve an important part of Egypt's heritage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the most fascinating or in depth thing ever filmed, December 25, 2011
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The documentary is decent, but as with most things made for IMAX, needlessly boring in parts. Is it necessary to devote 10% of the film to filming people in a lab not doing to much to explain the concept of DNA? There are not many if 3D "wowser" effects which is a shame considering the location and the opportunity. One bonus, the director of Egyptian Antiquities, AKA,the camera hog, appearances are kept to a minimum which is a rare thing in any film on Egypt.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 3D Could Have Been A Lot Better, October 4, 2011
By 
Dr. D (The Boondocks) - See all my reviews
Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs was the first 3D feature I bought to test out my new Acer 3D monitor, and let me tell ya...The 3D was TERRIBLE. I was expecting some nice pop-out effects, but in the forty-or-so minutes of this documentary, there was only one: a lizard that randomly comes out at you during one segment.

I'm sorry, but when I see 3D, I expect to see some really nice, cool-looking effects. I know that depth is a key element to 3D, but this video had too much inward depth and not enough OUTWARD depth. It works both ways!

From now on, my official 3D Blu-ray review ratings will consist of 1 star maximum for content and 4 starts for 3D quality (1 being very poor, 2: fair, 3: good, 4: excellent). Mummies gets the star for content, but a very poor rating for 3D. Hence. TWO STARS overall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting the first viewing, August 11, 2011
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This video was interesting to watch the first time, but if I had it to do over again, I would have rented rather than purchased. Not good enough to own IMHO.
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IMAX: Mummies- Secrets of the Pharaohs
IMAX: Mummies- Secrets of the Pharaohs by Keith Melton (DVD - 2009)
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