The Mummy [Blu-ray]
SRP $29.98 2.35:1 DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio 5.1 UNIVERSAL
 

Alas, UNIVERSAL has begun to release their first blu-ray titles, and with the initial release of "THE MUMMY," things look fantastic for the horizon! Already available on dvd, D-VHS, and Hd-dvd, the blu-ray is the best of all formats! 

Brendan Fraser stars as the amiable, tough, if slightly inept, hero, Rick O'Connell, an American in the foreign legion, as he battles mummies, a ghastly gigantic sand apparition and many more oddities, throughout this adventure/comedy, filled with some scares as well. Accompanying him are Rachel Weisz and some great supporting actors. But, the real star of the film is the CGI! Even with the phenomenal resolution of 1080p, the effects hold up well.

From the opening scene and throughout, CGI and other effects dominate the film, without overpowering it. The film's atmosphere is great fun, and feels like a great "Indiana Jones" film in many sequences, melding heroic action with comedy, great pacing and a invigorating, epic-like score.

UNIVERSAL has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/VC-1 blu-ray.  While there is some grain present in many scenes, it's never enough to diminish the overall quality of the transfer. Colors are rich and vibrant, and virtually every scene has phenomenal depth, although a few instances of flatness bare out here and there.  There are no artifacts to be found anywhere, although some blurring during faster movements is apparant.

UNIVERSAL has opted for DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio on their upcoming blu-ray releases(thankfully)and in comparison to the Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 offered on the previously available HD-DVD, it makes a huge difference for the better!  The entire mix is better balanced, with greater dynamic range in virtually every scene. Subtle effects as well as deeper bass moments will delight even the most scrutinizing audio critic. The fidelity of the score, as well as the entire 360 degree sound environment, make this one of the most enjoyable blu-ray experiences we've enjoyed this year!

All of the extras, including deleted scenes and  commentaries of the previous hd-dvd, are included, although featurettes,etc., are only presented in standard resolution.

UNIVERSAL has utilized their "U-Control" option to allow viewers to take advantage of Picture in Picture extras, also incorporating 1.1 technology. While this reviewer didn't always take advantage of the "U-Control" option provided on some Universal HD-DVDS before, it really offers some great advantages to the viewer, that are certain to excite. 

A trailer for the upcoming theatrical "The Mummy; Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" is included, in standard resolution.