| Flicks

FLICKS: The Mummy, Meagan Leavey & Past Life

Posted on 15 June 2017 by LeslieM

By Cinema Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

The Mummy’s Tomb starring Lon Chaney Jr. was featured on Svengoolie last Saturday night. Despite being filmed over 75 years ago, there is a creepy charm to this flick that features likeable victims and nightmarish visualization. Much like Disney’s Marvel and Star Wars franchises, Universal Pictures has mined their classic monster domain and has created their own dark universe franchise. The Mummy starring Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe is the first film of a projected series, much like Marvel’s Avengers franchise.

The 2017 The Mummy starts off with good intentions. This new mummy is a female (Sofia Boutella) who has a sibling jealousy with her baby brother. She is buried alive. Five thousand years later, a soldier of fortune named Nick (Tom Cruise) stumbles across the tomb and the evil she-mummy is unleashed in Iraq. The mummy goes to London and Nick meets Henry (Russell Crowe), a curator for all things monsters.

If a monster maven like Guillermo Del Toro had been involved, The Mummy would have been a memorable movie. The best action scenes occur early in the story and the last third of the film drags with repetitive action in the dark. A fight scene between Cruise and Crowe is marred by two other action sequences that occur at the same time. I love my classic monsters, but The Mummy does not jump start Universal Picture’s new universe.

Fortunately, Megan Leavey has finally arrived on the big screen. Based on a true story, New Yorker Megan Leavey (Kate Mara) has an attitude problem. She joins the United States Marines and becomes a Corporal. Having been a K-9 handler for the military police, Megan develops a special relationship with Rex, a dog who also has an attitude problem. The dog and the soldier develop a special relationship.

Rex and Megan go on two tours in Iraq before President George Bush ordered “the surge.” During the second tour, Megan and Rex are injured by an explosive device. Megan is sent home to recover, but Rex continues to serve in the war on terror. Despite having the comforts of home, Megan suffers from PTSD and longs to be reunited with Rex.

Megan Leavey is an emotional roller coaster ride from laughter to tears. Megan is Rex’s master, despite the fact that little Kate Mara could ride Rex like a pony. As the title character, she captures the authenticity of being a soldier. She is a stoic character with strength, but with real vulnerability. Given the audience reaction, Megan Leavey is easily the best movie on the big screen today.

Past Life opens Friday, June 16. Set in 1977, Past Life is directed by Avi Nesher and is based on the story of Israeli composer Ella Milch-Sheriff. It follows the life of her character and that of her sister, a journalist. The siblings uncover secrets about their father during World War II. There may be a Skype Q&A with Milch-Sheriff on Sunday, June 18 at the Living Room Theater, at Florida Atlantic University at 777 Glades Rd. For more information about theater, www.fau.livingroomtheaters.com.

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