Film Bits: Duncan Jones Returns to the ‘Mooniverse’ with ‘Mute’; ‘The First Purge’ Releases Predictability Unsubtle (and Kind of Amazing) Promotion

‘Mute’ Trailer Highlights Noir Influences

Director Duncan Jones heads back to his sci-fi roots in the first trailer for his new film, Mute. Set in Berlin—and in the same universe as his debut film, Moon, Mute follows the adventures of a mute bartender (Alexander Skarsgard) as he goes up against the city’s underworld following the disappearance of his partner. There’s a kind of Drive by way of Casablanca feel to the way the world is presented, which could either succeed wildly or fail miserably. Jones, previously touted as a potential saving grace for sci-fi following Moon, hasn’t found the same success in his movies since, but Mute does look like it could be a return to form for the director. As an added bonus, the director had previously promised an epilogue for the character Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) from Moon, so there’s always that to look forward to, if nothing else. Mute is set to hit Netflix on February 23.

(Netflix)

‘The First Purge’ Makes America Great Again

As unsubtle as they are, The Purge series has turned into something of an astute satire of modern political culture in America. The widening divide between the classes, the chasm between parties, the growing lack of empathy we have for each other, the general American bloodlust—all of these are explored in James DeMonaco’s surprisingly salient series. For his next trick, he’s taking us all the way back to The First Purge which, as you might have gleaned from the title, explores the origins of the infamous murder holiday. The first teaser gives us little by the way of detail for the movie, but it does manage to evoke the shallow sentimentalism of your average political ad, giving us at least a thematic taste of what to expect. To coincide with the trailer, The First Purge also released its first poster which is just as unsubtle (and honestly kind of amazing) as you’ve come to expect from the series. The First Purge hits theaters on July 4.

(Universal)

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