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Blu-ray Review: Kevin Bacon Brings Light To ‘The Darkness’

Blu-ray Review: Kevin Bacon Brings Light To ‘The Darkness’

the-darkness-movie-2016-2

This week Steve Johnson takes a look at Universal’s release of “The Darkness.” This fantastic supernatural horror film stars Kevin Bacon and was produced by the team that brought us “The Purge” and “Insidious.”

Here’s a quick synopsis before we enter the darkness:

From the producers of “The Purge” and “Insidious,” comes this terrifying supernatural thriller starring Kevin Bacon (“Black Mass,” “X-Men: First Class”) and Radha Mitchell (“London Has Fallen,” “Silent Hill”). When their young son (David Mazouz, TV’s “Gotham”) brings home five mystical stones he found on their family’s camping trip to the Grand Canyon, Peter (Bacon) and Bronny (Mitchell) notice strange things happening in their house. Having awakened dark forces bound to the rocks, the family fights for survival as malicious demons feed off their fears and threaten to destroy them.

'The Darkness'

‘The Darkness’

REVIEW: Oh man! It’s finally September! You know what that means, right? We are right around the corner from Halloween! Unlike previous years, I am trying to ease into the season. It’s hard, but I’m doing my best. I imagine a week from now I’ll have the decorations up and will be downing pumpkin beer like it’s water. Anyway, let’s get down to the real business at hand. I fancy myself a slasher or creature feature fan but, lately, I have taken a turn toward the supernatural side of things. Recent films like “Insidious,” “The Conjuring” and “Sinister” sealed my new found love of the sub genre. “The Darkness” is the new kid on the supernatural block and it does not fail in its attempt to bring the spooky.

“The Darkness” begins with a seemingly normal family vacation to the Grand Canyon. While exploring the canyons, the Taylor’s young son stumbles upon some rocks that are not meant to fall into young hands. Upon returning home, the family’s struggles escalate and so do the things that go bump in the night. We are talking about mysterious noises and shadows, freak animal encounters, a neighboring dog that barks for no reason, and mysterious handprints manifesting out of nowhere. Yeah, good luck sleeping after watching this one late at night. The film starts off slow, but that is not to its detriment. I enjoyed the building crescendo of terror. Is this movie as good as “Insidious” or “Sinister?” No, but that doesn’t mean you should skip it.

“The Darkness” features great performances all around. Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell are great as the troubled Peter and Bronny Taylor. In full disclosure, I’m a huge Kevin Bacon fan. If he is in a film, I’m there with my money out. David Mazouz’s portrayal of Michael is fantastic. While he didn’t have much dialogue, he delivered the best performance in the film. Lucy Fry also delivers a solid performance as Stephanie Taylor. Be on the lookout for Paul Reiser as Kevin Bacon’s slimy boss. Imagine that, Paul Reiser playing a slimeball in a horror film. Damn you Burke … damn you … oh sorry … back to business.

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Universal has put together a fairly decent blu-ray package for “The Darkness.” The film’s transfer is flawless. This is especially evident during the family’s trip to the Grand Canyon at the opening of the film. As my fellow horror nerds know, a great audio mix is key for a supernatural horror film like this. This one delivers the goods and kept me looking over my shoulder. I suggest hitting the lights and fire this one up late at night.

The amount of special features on the disc won’t blow you away, but the quality of them will. The highlight is an alternate ending I wish they would have kept in the film. It is scarier and more shocking than the theatrical ending. I was genuinely spooked. Needless to say, I wasn’t roaming the hallways of my house in the dark after watching. Be sure to check it out. Rounding out the special features are nine deleted scenes, some of which would have been quite good in the finished film. Make sure you take a look at the deleted scene featuring Kevin Bacon in an elevator. I may never be able to get into an elevator at night again.

THE VERDICT: “The Darkness,” while slow at times, is a great entry into the realm of supernatural horror. If you are a fan of what Blumhouse delivered up until this point, you should head to the store and pick this one up. You will not be disappointed.

“The Darkness” is available now on Digital HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.

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LONE SURVIVOR: New Featurette Highlights The Stories Behind The Film

LONE SURVIVOR: New Featurette Highlights The Stories Behind The Film

Universal Pictures has launched new featurette from LONE SURVIVOR. Learn more about the real heroes of Lone Survivor in this new video, featuring interviews from writer/director Peter Berg and Marcus Luttrell, along with the families of the real-life SEAL team members portrayed in the film. LONE SURVIVOR is in select LA/ NY theaters on December 25th, and everywhere on January 10, 2014.

Based on the Book “Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson, the film stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Ali Suliman, Alexander Ludwig and Eric Bana.

'Lone Survivor'

‘Lone Survivor’

ABOUT LONE SURVIVOR
Based on The New York Times bestselling true story of heroism, courage and survival, Lone Survivor tells the incredible tale of four Navy SEALs on a covert mission to neutralize a high-level al-Qaeda operative who are ambushed by the enemy in the mountains of Afghanistan. Faced with an impossible moral decision, the small band is isolated from help and surrounded by a much larger force of Taliban ready for war. As they confront unthinkable odds together, the four men find reserves of strength and resilience as they stay in the fight to the finish.

Mark Wahlberg stars as Marcus Luttrell, the author of the first-person memoir “Lone Survivor,” whose book has become a motivational resource for its lessons on how the power of the human spirit is tested when we are pushed beyond our mental and physical limits. Starring alongside Wahlberg as the other members of the SEAL team are Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster.

Lone Survivor is written and directed by Peter Berg, who again crafts a striking portrait of the unbreakable bonds between men that he first explored in Friday Night Lights.

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Universal Pictures Deploys New Action-Packed Trailer For ‘Battleship’

Universal Pictures Deploys New Action-Packed Trailer For ‘Battleship’

Universal Pictures has just deployed their latest trailer for the action-packed flick, Battleship! Check it out below and weigh in with your thoughts!

Official Synopsis: Peter Berg (Hancock) produces and directs Battleship, an epic-scaled action-adventure that unfolds across the seas, in the skies and over land as our planet fights for survival against a superior force. Inspired by Hasbro’s classic naval combat game, Battleship stars Taylor Kitsch as Lt. Alex Hopper, a Naval officer assigned to the USS John Paul Jones; Brooklyn Decker as Sam Shane, a physical therapist and Hopper’s fiancée; Alexander Skarsgård as Hopper’s older brother, Stone, Commanding Officer of the USS Sampson; Rihanna as Petty Officer Raikes, Hopper’s crewmate and a weapons specialist on the USS John Paul Jones; and international superstar Liam Neeson as Hopper and Stone’s superior (and Sam’s father), Admiral Shane.

Berg directs this epic action-adventure also produced by Scott Stuber (Couples Retreat), Sarah Aubrey (The Kingdom), Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir of Hasbro (the Transformers franchise), along with Duncan Henderson (Master and Commander) and Jeffrey Silver (300). The film is written by Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber (Red).

On May 18th, the battle for Earth begins at Sea.

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Red Band Trailer For ‘Wanderlust’ Starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston

Red Band Trailer For ‘Wanderlust’ Starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston

A brand new red band trailer for Universal Pictures’ WANDERLUST has just debuted on BREAK Media! Directed by David Wain (Role Models) and produced by Judd Apatow, the raucous comedy stars Paul Rudd (Role Models, Halloween 6) and Jennifer Aniston along with a fantastic supporting cast including Justin Theroux, Malin Akerman, Kathryn Hahn, Lauren Ambrose, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Kerri Kenney-Silver and Alan Alda. Check out the hilarious trailer below and weigh in your thoughts! 

Find your WANDERLUST on February 24th!

'Wanderlust'

Official Synopsis: Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston star in Wanderlust, a raucous comedy from director David Wain (Role Models) and producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) about a couple who leaves the pressures of the big city and joins a freewheeling community where the only rule is to be yourself.

George (Rudd) and Linda (Aniston) are an overextended, stressed out Manhattan couple.  After George is downsized out of his job, they find themselves with only one option: to move in with George’s awful brother in Atlanta.

On the way there, George and Linda stumble upon Elysium, an idyllic community populated by colorful characters who embrace a different way of looking at things.   Money?  It can’t buy happiness.  Careers?  Who needs them?  Clothes?  Only if you want them.

Is Elysium the fresh start George and Linda need?  Or will the change of perspective cause more problems than it solves? www.facebook.com/wanderlustmovie

Kmart has coupons or sales for most current DVD’s, like Wanderlust.


Wanderlust Redband Trailer – Watch more Movie Trailers

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Check Out The Latest Glimpse of ‘Battleship’ From Last Night’s Super Bowl

Check Out The Latest Glimpse of ‘Battleship’ From Last Night’s Super Bowl

Just in case you missed it during the excitement of Superbowl Sunday, Universal Pictures has released the latest glimpse of their upcoming flick ‘Battleship’. Check out the latest TV Spot below!

Synopsis: Peter Berg (Hancock) produces and directs Battleship, an epic-scaled action-adventure that unfolds across the seas, in the skies and over land as our planet fights for survival against a superior force. Inspired by Hasbro’s classic naval combat game, Battleship stars Taylor Kitsch as Lt. Alex Hopper, a Naval officer assigned to the USS John Paul Jones; Brooklyn Decker as Sam Shane, a physical therapist and Hopper’s fiancée; Alexander Skarsgård as Hopper’s older brother, Stone, Commanding Officer of the USS Sampson; Rihanna as Petty Officer Raikes, Hopper’s crewmate and a weapons specialist on the USS John Paul Jones; and international superstar Liam Neeson as Hopper and Stone’s superior (and Sam’s father), Admiral Shane.

Berg directs this epic action-adventure also produced by Scott Stuber (Couples Retreat), Sarah Aubrey (The Kingdom), Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir of Hasbro (the Transformers franchise), along with Duncan Henderson (Master and Commander) and Jeffrey Silver (300). The film is written by Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber (Red).

The battle for Earth begins at sea.

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New Games and Website For ‘Contraband’ Starring Mark Wahlberg

New Games and Website For ‘Contraband’ Starring Mark Wahlberg

'Contraband'

Universal Pictures has just rolled out their new CONTRABAND Hustle and Training Grounds games and they are now LIVE online! Before hitting theaters this weekend for the upcoming action-thriller starring Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster and Giovanni Ribisi, be sure to check out the new games, updated site, trailer and official synopsis!

Check out the new features below!

FACEBOOK APP: TRAINING GROUNDS
With five different jobs to choose from, users are tapped by some of the biggest guys in the smuggling world to see if they have what it takes. After they pick a job, they are tasked with assembling their very own crew of Facebook friends, to smuggle goods into the US and earn status in the criminal underworld. Every run has a different potential payout! Click here!

CONTRABAND HUSTLE GAME
Check it out here! Users are invited to help the cartel smuggle for a chance to win cash prizes!  Choose to either be a hustler by following the official Contraband Twitter account (https://twitter.com/contrabandmovie) and answering trivia questions, or a smuggler through the official Contraband Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/Contraband)! #ContrabandHustle

Synopsis: Mark Wahlberg leads the cast of Contraband, a white-knuckle action-thriller about a man trying to stay out of a world he worked hard to leave behind and the family he’ll do anything to protect. Set in New Orleans, the film explores the cutthroat underground world of international smuggling-full of desperate criminals and corrupt officials, high-stakes and big payoffs-where loyalty rarely exists and death is one wrong turn away.

Chris Farraday (Wahlberg) long ago abandoned his life of crime, but after his brother-in-law, Andy (Caleb Landry Jones), botches a drug deal for his ruthless boss, Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), Chris is forced back into doing what he does best-running contraband-to settle Andy’s debt. Chris is a legendary smuggler and quickly assembles a crew with the help of his best friend, Sebastian (Ben Foster), to head to Panama and return with millions in counterfeit bills.

Things quickly fall apart and with only hours to reach the cash, Chris must use his rusty skills to successfully navigate a treacherous criminal network of brutal drug lords, cops and hit men before his wife, Kate (Kate Beckinsale), and sons become their target.

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New Trailer and Poster For ‘Battleship’ Featuring Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna & More!

New Trailer and Poster For ‘Battleship’ Featuring Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna & More!

Universal Pictures has just released the a new trailer and one-sheet for the highly anticipated action-adventure film BATTLESHIP! Check it out and weigh in with your thoughts!

Inspired by Hasbro’s classic naval combat game and starring Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna, Asano Tadanobu, and Liam Neeson, Battleship hits theaters on May 18, 2012.

Synopsis: Peter Berg (Hancock) produces and directs Battleship, an epic-scaled action-adventure that unfolds across the seas, in the skies and over land as our planet fights for survival against a superior force. Inspired by Hasbro’s classic naval combat game, Battleship stars Taylor Kitsch as Lt. Alex Hopper, a Naval officer assigned to the USS John Paul Jones; Brooklyn Decker as Sam Shane, a physical therapist and Hopper’s fiancée; Alexander Skarsgård as Hopper’s older brother, Stone, Commanding Officer of the USS Sampson; Rihanna as Petty Officer Raikes, Hopper’s crewmate and a weapons specialist on the USS John Paul Jones; and international superstar Liam Neeson as Hopper and Stone’s superior (and Sam’s father), Admiral Shane.

Berg directs this epic action-adventure also produced by Scott Stuber (Couples Retreat), Sarah Aubrey (The Kingdom), Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir of Hasbro (the Transformers franchise), along with Duncan Henderson (Master and Commander) and Jeffrey Silver (300). The film is written by Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber (Red).

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Syfy Ventures and Universal Pictures Launch Syfy Films

Syfy Ventures and Universal Pictures are joining forces to create Syfy Films, a new film company that will develop and produce Syfy branded theatrical motion pictures to be distributed by Universal. The new entity will leverage Syfy’s genre expertise to produce human and relatable theatrical releases from the worlds of science fiction, fantasy, supernatural and horror. Beginning in 2012, Syfy Films will distribute one to two films a year through Universal Pictures. The announcement was made today by Dave Howe, President Syfy and Chiller, Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Syfy and Co-Head of Content for Universal Cable Productions, Universal Pictures Chairman Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman Donna Langley.

“We know there is an incredible consumer appetite for genre content as proven by the top grossing box office films,” said Howe and Stern. “Partnering our brand with the theatrical talent of Universal Pictures, a premier motion picture company, will allow us to exploit our combined expertise and resources to create commercially successful quality films that have the potential to become great franchises for the whole company.”

“Syfy has been incredibly successful in finding ways to produce compelling entertainment for a specific audience,” said Fogelson and Langley. “Joining together to find moderately budgetedprojectsthat we can develop using their expertise and their brand is a great opportunity for both of our companies.”

Mark Stern and Donna Langley will jointly oversee the operation. Universal and Syfy are currently looking for a production executive to run Syfy Films which will be based on the Universal Lot. That executive will work closely with the Universal and Syfy creative teams to findprojectsthat they can develop by leveraging Syfy’s experience in developing genre programming. Universal will be responsible for distribution, marketing and publicity. Syfy will actively promote each film across Syfy’s television, online and mobile assets.

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Experience The Epic World of Scott Pilgrim at “Scott Pilgrim Vs. Comic Con”

Experience The Epic World of Scott Pilgrim at “Scott Pilgrim Vs. Comic Con”

Scott Pilgrim is ready to take on the Con!  Get ready for an epic showdown in San Diego! Scott Pilgrim is not only taking on 7 evil exes this summer, but he is also taking on COMIC-CON!  Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the epic world of Scott Pilgrim with the Scott Pilgrim vs. Comic-Con Experience. Fans will have the chance to meet the cast and creators of the film, play the new Ubisoft game, hear the soundtrack, make video postcards, create flipbooks, make limited edition t-shirts and more!

Meet the cast and creators: The cast of Universal’s action-comedy will be out and about throughout the convention. Check out twitter.com/SPvsCC for a detailed schedule so you can meet the actors playing your favorite evil ex, jerky jerk or high-school crush, as well as the creator of Scott PilgrimBryan Lee O’Malley, and director Edgar Wright!

• Hear epic live music: Two of the film’s stellar music contributors, Dan the Automator and Kid Koala, will spin, and Gorgeous Got a Gun, the winner of Sonicbids’ “Indie Rock vs. the World: Battle of the Bands” will rock your face off.

Create your own T-shirt: Choose from awesome Comic-Con exclusive designs to make a limited edition T-shirt that will make your friends jealous.

Moving Flipbooks: Grab your friends, stage a fight, and take home a flipbook that stars all of you!

Upload a video postcard: Instantly upload and email a personal video message to your friends about how awesome you are for being at Comic-Con.

Play the new Ubisoft Game: Be one of the very first to test out Ubisoft’s “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game” on one of several demo stations.

Check out the complete soundtrack: Hear the amazing soundtrack more than two weeks before the August 10 street date.

Get gift bags: While supplies last, your Comic-Con badge will score you a not-so-evil Scott Pilgrim gift bag.

Download the iPhone and iPad App “Pilgrim’s Punch-Out”: Get the action-packed game, our scheduled Comic-Con events, integrated twitter feed and live updates at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pilgrims-punch-out/id380736800?mt=8.

WHERE: Hilton Gaslamp Courtyard

San Diego, CA

For all of the latest updates, news and announcements follow the Scott Pilgrim vs. Comic-Con Twitter profile, http://twitter.com/SPvsCC.

WHEN: Thursday, July 22 (12 PM to 4:00 PM)

Friday, July 23 (10:00 AM to 4:00 PM)

Saturday, July 24 (10:00 AM to 4:00 PM)

Genre-smashing filmmaker Edgar Wright (Hot FuzzShaun of the Dead) tells the amazing story of one romantic slacker’s quest to power up with love in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.  In theaters nationwide on August 13, 2010. www.scottpilgrimthemovie.com

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Get Your Game On! Download A Free ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’

Get Your Game On! Download A Free ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’

Game on! Scott Pilgrim is ready for battle…are you?  If you haven’t heard then it’s time you did!

SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD is hitting theaters on August 13!  In anticipation of the film’s epic epicness!

Download the FREE Scott Pilgrim vs. the World iPhone/iPad app to play Pilgrim’s Punch-Out, the action packed game where you have to help Scott Pilgrim battle it out against Ramona’s seven evil exes as they arrive to kill him! Punch, block, and dodge toward victory, then follow up with a Super Move to lay the opponent flat. Use the News, Twitter, and Event Schedule in the Official Guide to Comic-Con 2010 to stay up-to-date with what’s happening at the convention. The app also has information on how to access exclusive content at the Scott Pilgrim vs. Comic-Con Experience when you show that you have the app. Add in movie trailers, sound bites and images and you’ve got the only app worthy of Scott Pilgrim!

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Avatar Creator
Don’t miss the chance to create your own Scott Pilgrim Avatar and share it with the world with the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Avatar Creator! You can also view some epicly clever creations in the picture gallery.

SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD is based on the comic series Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Mailey and features an all-star cast that includes Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick, Brandon Routh, and Jason Schwartzman. Michael Cera plays Scott Pilgrim, a bass guitarist for the garage band Sex Bob-omb who has just met Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), the girl of his dreams. However, things get a little dicey when he realizes that a nefarious league of exes control her love life and will do whatever it takes to eliminate him as a suitor. Scott will need to vanquish them all if he hopes to win his true love!

The film stars Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Brandon Routh, Chris Evans, Aubrey Plaza, Kieran Culkin, Brie Larson, Ellen Wong, Anna Kendrick, Mae Whitman, Mark Webber, Alison Pill and Satya Bhabha. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World hits theaters on August 13th.

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