Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mummies and Grand Canyon IMAX

Today, by myself, I went to the Tech museum to watch two IMAX films I was interested. I didn't feel like such a loser going by myself since it was technically at a museum and was "educational." But, I have gone to a movie by myself before in a movie theater so I don't know why I am justifying it. Anyways, I really enjoyed the "Mummies: Secrets of the Pharoah's." It was AMAZING seeing it on a giant screen as they traveled to many of the key places in Egypt- Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel- the masterwork of Pharoah Rames the Great. Such incredible cinematography. The film also showed how they recreated the Egyptian embalming process in modern times so that they could learn about the best way to extract DNA from the mummies (its in the bones- the skin, muscles, and tissues are all destroyed). I have loved Egyptology since I was in elementary school when my mom sent me to "Beyond the Basics"- this summer school program where I repeatedly studied the history and practices of Egypt. I learned something new that they had made an incredible discovery- even before Carter finding Tutankamun- of a tomb containing the mummies of several pharoah's- including Thutmose and Rames the Great. What an incredible find! I can't even begin to wonder about the amazement on the archeologists who discovered it. And then, several years later, the tomb completely collapsed- they removed the mummies at exactly the right time so that they could be preserved for all times. This film has made me want to go and see the special Tut exhibit at the De Young Museum, and even more so to actually go to Egypt.

I haven't been to the Grand Canyon- which is another place that I want to go- and so I was excited to see it in IMAX. However, I was not a big fan of the film- the was quite hokey and cheesy, and the film director couldn't make a decision about what the film should be about. There were some beautiful views of the Grand Canyon, but then the film spent some time about how the dams had started to destroy the habitat and composition of the vegetation off the Colorado River, but then they would cut to this group who was going white water rafting down the river (which was fairly intense- I had to close my eyes to not get nauseous). And then they didn't really end the film well- they only suggested that the way to improve things was for us to use less water (which seems fairly common sense to me). Overall, I enjoyed the spectacular views of the Grand Canyon but the overall film/story line was not very good. I do want to go to go to the Grand Canyon- just one destination on an ever growing list. These films are great because they show me what these places are like, but they only fuel my desire to visit these places in person.

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