One of the great things about an art history education is that it can lend to the appreciation of bad movies. Take, for instance, the "Terracotta Army", which I happened to learn about in an introduction to art history class. The ancient statues are featured prominently in the second Mummy sequel, titled The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. And since my class made me interested in the statues -- figures of warriors and horses that were buried near the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor in the Shaanxi province of China -- I am actually somewhat interested in seeing this movie, even though I'm neither a fan of the first two Mummy movies nor of director Rob Cohen, who took over the franchise from Stephen Sommers. Whether or not you too are familiar with the statues, you can see the ones reproduced for the movie in a great looking photo over at Cohen's blog (yes, he's blogging the production). Of course, if you are a cynic like myself, you will dismiss the coolness of the pic and continue your skepticism until the movie is released (and you'll probably not see it). But if you are also an artsy fartsy dork like myself, you might curiously attempt to at least see the movie for free when it arrives in theaters, if nothing else than to see how the art is presented on screen.

In other Mummy 3 news, Maria Bello, who has replaced actress Rachel Weisz as the character of Evelyn, spoke with SCI FI Wire recently about the role. She told them the character is the same person but she's now portrayed differently, as a "bad-ass action chick". For this, Bello had to train in the martial art of wushu, as well as in kickboxing, sword fighting and rifle shooting. Also, while rehearsing for the movie, she got a black eye from the butt of a Winchester. Those of you who thought she was sexy all beat up in that staircase scene in A History of Violence (I know you're out there) may hope she gains some more sightly bruises -- real or applied with makeup -- for the actual filming. As for me, I preferred Bello in the more-innocent cheerleader scene, so I'd rather its only the bad guys who get the bruises -- though as I said, I'll mostly just be looking at the reproduced art work. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor will be in theaters August 1, 2008.