Between the Streams: ‘The Mummy’ and the trouble with cinematic universes

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DT’s weekly entertainment show, Between the Streams, is your guide to all of the hottest, most important, and (of course) dumbest new developments in streaming and entertainment, providing a handy recap of the week that was, and a preview for what’s ahead. Follow us here every Friday at 2 p.m. PT, or add us via RSS, iTunes, or Stitcher at the links below to take BtS on the road!

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This week begins with Universal’s second try at kickstarting its Dark Universe film collection, resulting in abject critical failure. We’re talking, of course, about the new Tom Cruise-led monster movie, The Mummy, a reboot of the Brendan Fraser vehicle which itself was a reboot of the 1932 classic from the golden age of horror/monster flicks. The second big bomb from Universal (after 2014’s Dracula Untold) couldn’t even get off the ground with the charismatic star power of Cruise and Russell Crowe sharing the screen, and it got us thinking about Cinematic Universes in general.

Let’s face it, Cine Unis, as the kids definitely do not call them, are getting out of control. At their best, they create a sprawling litany of engaging stories which, while they may be popcorn flicks, celebrate all that’s fun about going to the movies. But at their worst, they devolve into plotted out cash grabs from drooling studio execs, who look at Disney’s golden geese in the Marvel and Star Wars properties, and see nothing but dollar signs. Sure, Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is about the money — what isn’t in Hollywood? But it’s also about a great plan and an organized structure that has a start (and hopefully) an end of some kind, while introducing a colorful spectrum of fun films along the way.

However, when studios think of nothing but the money to be made, you can get some pretty terrible results, in the form of billions of dollars worth of crappy movies. On today’s show we’ll go over some of the good and the utterly terrible efforts in the works as part of Hollywood’s seemingly endless new multiverse of film series.

Of course, there’s plenty of other interesting stories from the week that was to touch upon in today’s show. Outside of The Mummy — which sits at 18 percent on Rotten Tomatoes as we write this — there are some intriguing choices in the box office this week, which aren’t a part of a massive film cycle. Top on our list this week is It Comes At Night, a new horror film starring Joel Edgerton that looks to be the best new thing in theaters this weekend. We’ll also touch on some other well received films hitting theaters this week, including Rachel Weisz’s new thriller, aptly titled My Cousin Rachel.

And how about something completely different? It looks like Cowboy Beebop, the popular anime series that concluded in 1999 is coming back for more. The series is getting a reboot, with a blessing from the original production team, as a live-action series. It should be interesting to see how the exaggerated effects make their way to the live-action world. There’s plenty more to talk about this week, as well.

We’ve got news on Game of Thrones season 7, including the fact that the final episode will be the longest in the series yet, standing at 81 minutes. Essentially that’s an entire movie, which should help satiate those who were bummed about new developments, including fewer episodes for the final seasons, and rumors that the last episodes might not take to the airwaves until 2019.

Elsewhere this week, we’ve got a new trailer for a very different Cruise movie, Made in America, a Preacher preview, the new Black Panther poster, a trailer for Pixar’s Coco, and much more.

So tune in at 2 p.m. PT, or take our podcast on the road via the links above!