Rebirth of the Dark Universe?

The seeming collapse of Universal’s Dark Universe cinematic universe should maybe be seen as a blessing in disguise.

Keep in mind Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy earned over $409 million on a budget of $125 million, which isn’t a terrible outcome (though promotional costs, which I haven’t seen, are important) and indicates an interest in the concept.

Interestingly, NOT casting Tom Cruise might have better shown how much interest there was in The Mummy–and by extension their Dark Universe–and likely would have cost less to produce, which could mean the movie would have had a better chance at profitability.

What Universal needs to do is to go back to the original movies–and for a start emphasizing horror, as opposed to action– and put Jason Blum at the helm because if he and his Blumhouse Pictures production shingle–conveniently at Universal as well–has proven anything, it’s that he knows how to make extremely profitable horror movies at minimal cost.

By way of illustration, Blum’s The Purge cost $3 million and Insidious cost $1.5 million and earned $98 million and $97 million, respectively.

Which is exactly what Dark Universe needs right now.

 

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Split – Trailer into Reaction

Split posterM. Night Shyamalan continues to have a very interesting career.

For awhile, he was by some considered the heir apparent” to Steven Spielberg, which is very rarified air.

And I can’t imagine that not going to his head a little bit, which probably has at least a little to do with Lady in the Water.

That being said, I thought you could see a decline in his powers with movies like Signs and The Village, despite both of those movies being very profitable and well-received–for he most part–by critics.

Though it was with the followups, Lady in the Water, The Happening, The Last Airbender and After Earth that his creative bankruptcy became apparent.

It’s also no coincidence all four underwhelmed at the box office as well.

Though Shyamalan continued to work, producing movies like Devil and working in television.

He came back to the cineplex in 2015 with The Visit.

And while not as good as his strongest works, such as The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, it was a return to form. It was released by Blumhouse Pictures, a studio built on low-budget horror and thrillers.

His follow-up, Split, also comes via Blumhouse and stars James McAvoy as a man suffering from multiple personality disorder.

The Secret Life Of Pets – Trailer

The Secret Life Of Pets – Trailer 1

With voice talent provided by Louie C.K. and Kevin Hart, you’d think that The Secret Life Of Pets would be pretty awesome, never mind funny.

The Secret Life Of Pets – Trailer 2

But if the reviews that are coming in are any indicator, then seeing this movie is akin to flipping a coin: you don’t know what you’re going to get, though it’s going to be either one of two things:

Either  really, really bad or pretty smart and amusing.

The Secret Life Of Pets = Trailer 3

And I have no idea which, but since I don’t particularly care about animated movies–I’ll see something from Pixar (The Incredibles are well, incredible) though I don’t find myself interested in most others, like as the Ice Age or Minions movies.

The Secret Life Of Pets – Official Final Trailer

Then again, Universal has at least $104 million reasons to think otherwise.

The Purge: Election Day – Official Trailer 2

2013’s The Purge was always a guilty pleasure of mine, despite that if you take away the fascinating concept of a 12-hour period once a year in which you’re free kill whomever you want, you’re left with what is a simple home invasion thriller.

With the 2014 sequel, The Purge: Anarchy the concept began to move away from its humble origins, becoming more overtly political.

And that’s okay, because otherwise the sequels would have been essentially remakes of the original movie.

Though change, like anything else, brings risk.

In this particular instance, for me it’s that the series has been building to a story about–potentially–the fall of the government in the United States that supports and promotes the Purge (after they attempt to use it to cover an assassination attempt on a Senator).

As I said, change is necessary, though I am not crazy about the direction; though I expect it to do quite well because they’re releasing it July 4th–Independence Day in the United States–which is more than a little bit brilliant.

Jason Bourne – Trailer

Paul Greenglass, the director of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum and Matt Damon are back with the further adventures of super spy Jason Bourne with Jason Bourne.

Though what I find most interesting is if Greenglass and Damon can make Jason Bourne relevant in these days where characters like Captain America play a similar role.

All the prior Bourne movies closed with the song Extreme Ways, by Moby, a trend I hope this movie continues.

The Darkness – Official Trailer #1

The primary reason I don’t believe in ghosts–besides never having seen one–is that if tragedy/violence of some sort is the reason for them being, then we’d be literally stumbling over them at virtually every step.

Think about it for a moment:  If you take even a cursory glance at the history of any country, you won’t have to search particularly hard to find many instances of terrible tragedy.

And those that you find will primarily cover the periods of time when we had written records, though it would be silly to think that such events weren’t happening throughout history, only there was no one to document them.

So there would literally be MILLIONS of specters all over the globe , based on events that happened long ago (never mind the violence we do to each other on a daily basis).

So, no, there are probably no such things as ghosts.

But there is a such thing as energy, which never truly vanishes, but only changes form.

That leads to another question, which is–when we die–where does the energy that once animated us go?  Does it dissipate like smoke in a breeze or do we run down like batteries on their last legs?

Or maybe that energy hangs around places where violent events happened, or maybe this power, which I like to call ‘remnant energy,’ hangs around.  And who knows?  Maybe it can even be tapped into by individuals in a particular state of mind or under extreme stress.

Or maybe certain structures can retain this energy, and perhaps amplify it.

Now those are interesting speculations!

The Purge 3: Election Year – Trailer

Screenshot 2016-02-12 19.49.08.pngYou can’t say that James DeMarco’s Purge movies aren’t ambitious.  The first in the series was essentially a high-concept home invasion thriller with horror overtones.

The sequel, The Purge: Anarchy took the home invasion idea, and introduced it into a city-sized canvas. This was the movie where you can see inklings of a political consciousness to the barbarous kull coming to the fore.

And with The Purge: Election Year events come to a head as the political system that spawned the monstrous assault on flesh and civil liberties, itself comes under assault.

That being said, I hope the movie uses its more overtly political thrust to to satirize some of our current politicians, which would not only could be fun, but add an extra layer of interest.

By the way, why is it that online dictionaries don’t have the word ‘kull?’  I know it’s a word, but apparently few other people do.

Update:  The reason the dictionary doesn’t have ‘kull’ is because it’s traditionally spelled ‘cull.’  Duh.