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Friday - May 4, 2001
- Summer Animation & FX Season Begins!
- The Mummy Returns Opens to Mixed (Mostly Negative) Reviews
- Star Wars II: Behind the Scenes of Making a Ship
- News Link of the Day - Video Game Industry Poised for a Shootout


Pearl HarborSummer Animation & FX Season Begins!
(by digitalmediafx.com) Today is the official launch of the summer movie season, filled with major FX movies and a variety of animated productions. Here's a quick look at May's four animated and FX creations:

The Mummy Returns (May 4, 2001 - FX Movie)
The summer's first big blockbuster is almost guaranteed to be The Mummy Returns, the sequel to 1999's hit movie, The Mummy. The Mummy Returns takes place eight years in the future where more than one evil force is unleashed for Rick O'Connell and friends to deal with. In the sequel, "O'Connell is married and has a kid who is as mischevious as his wife. Big time visual effects accompany this comedy action/adventure.


The Trumpet of the Swan (May 11, 2001 - Animated Movie)
Directed by Richard Rich (The Swan Princess, The King and I), The Trumpet of the Swan is an adaptation of E.B. White's book of the same name. The movie stars the voices of Jason Alexander, Mary Steenburgen, Reese Witherspoon, Joe Mantegna, and Seth Green. The Trumpet of the Swan is the story of Louis, a voiceless trumpeter swan and his adventure in learning new ways to communicate.

Shrek (May 18, 2001 - Animated Movie)
In what could possibly be the highest grossing non-Disney animated movie ever, Shrek hits theaters with the most expensive marketing campaign in the history of animated movies. Shrek is the story of an ogre whose precious solitude is suddenly shattered by an invasion of annoying fairytale characters. All these characters invade Shrek's domain after being banished from their kingdom by the evil Lord Farquaad. Shrek tries to strike a deal with Farquaad to get the characters out of his realm. The deal? Shrek must rescue and bring Princess Fiona to Lord Farquaad so that Farquaad can marry her. But things don't always turned out as planned...
Visit the dFX Shrek Movie Site here.

Pearl Harbor (May 25, 2001 - FX Movie)
Pearl Harbor is likely to be the highest grossing movie of the summer and possibly the year. Following in the footsteps of Titanic, Pearl Harbor tells a love story against the backdrop of a major disaster. But this disaster contains some of the best visual effects ever by Industrial Light and Magic even though Disney's budget for such effects was limited. There are no big acting names attached to Pearl Harbor, but the building anticipation for the film will easily make it a mega-blockbuster.

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The Mummy Returns Opens to Mixed (Mostly Negative) Reviews
(by digitalmediafx.com) The Mummy Returns - a nearly guaranteed blockbuster - opens in theaters nationwide today with much fanfare as the movie that opens up the summer season. Critic reviews have been mixed, but mostly negative. Nearly all critics agree that the sequel does not match the charm of the original. Here are a few critic quotes:

"…Like almost all sequels, though, the second isn't as fresh or as fun. The O'Connells don't get to meet cute, there isn't much romantic tension, and we don't have the fun of discovering characters the way we did the first time around. What it lacks in devilish charm, The Mummy Returns hopes to make up with grandiose effects..." - Gary Thompson of the Philadelphia Daily News.

"…For loop the loop summer action, The Mummy Returns delivers the goods, right? Well, yes, but we're letting blockbuster makers off too easy, settling for the distractions of computer wizardry rather than the dangers of emotional involvement. There's not one minute, not one, when we need ever fear for the O'Connells, because we know all along that the monsters are made of pixels and, in the age of sequels, families populated by stars are always safe…" - by Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly.

"…The Mummy Returns piles on at least as many subplots and legends as characters, and by the climax, Sommers is cutting among four battles being fought simultaneously. Action junkies may enjoy this non-stop barrage, which barely pauses for anything but the most rudimentary (albeit complicated) plot exposition. Others may become worn down…" - by Mark Caro or the Chicago Tribune.

"…From its gushing orchestral soundtrack to its unabating neo-nostalgia for another era of movie-making, The Mummy Returns may be dumb but it's assuredly delightful. For more than two hours the film holds you tight in its adventurous grip. Raiders of the Lost Ark it's not, but it blows away Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom…" - by Brian McTavish of The Kansas City Star.

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Star Wars II: Behind the Scenes of Making a Ship
(by digitalmediafx.com) What goes into making a ship for Star Wars: Episode II? George Lucas has released a short behind-the-scenes QuickTime movie that gives fans a glimpse into the process. Click here for Wedgie 'Em Out (the official name of the clip)

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News Link of the Day - Video Game Industry Poised for a Shootout

According to CNN:

"Microsoft doesn't settle for second place. The office desktop? Redmond owns it. Internet browser? Bill Gates and company won that years ago. A new generation of Web services? Already miles ahead. Now Microsoft is ready to jump into a new arena: your living room.
Later this month, the tech titan will finally unveil the Xbox, its high-profile entry into the video game business..."

Click here for the full story.

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