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'The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor' (Two-Disc Deluxe Edition)

The third movie in the "Mummy" franchise is an odd bird. The budget's huge, but the story is pure Saturday-morning serial, often to the point of hokiness. That may play into the movie's favor on DVD; it's easy to appreciate the groan-inducing bits among a vocal group of friends. Also odd is that while some of the CGI translates very well to the small screen -- witness the final battle -- the medium is not as forgiving to other, faker sequences.

The story, such as it is, has Evy and Rick O'Connell accidentally helping their now-grown son revive another mummy. This time, it's an unnamed Chinese emperor played (too straight for such a campy story) by Jet Li. Maria Bello, incidentally, gamely replaces Rachel Weisz as Evy. Oh and one more thing: Brendan Fraser never once looks old enough to be Luke Ford's father. No surprise; only 13 years separate the two actors, and Fraser's baby face makes it seem more like 13 months.

The first disc contains the movie, deleted/extended scenes and commentary from director Rob Cohen. The second disc has seven behind-the-scenes featurettes. Plus, you can make a digital copy of the film.

DVD Bonus Features:

The Good: Want to know what goes into making an effects-heavy movie? Check out the featurettes; as you'd expect from a film as CGI-heavy as "Tomb of the Dragon Emperor," most of the bonus offerings deal with animating the world. There are, though, also some really neat looks at the casting process and finding the movie's varied setpieces.

The Bad: The deleted/extended scenes are all one chapter. That means no picking and choosing, or even jumping forward and back between them. Wade through the typical promotional opening, and the featurette about the real terracotta army is... well, about turning Jet Li into a terracotta mummy for most of the movie. Pity we couldn't have get more about China's real history.

The Price: $34.98

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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