Matt Singer is the managing editor and film critic of the website ScreenCrush.com. For five years, he was the on-air host of IFC News on the Independent Film Channel, hosting coverage of film festivals and red carpets around the world. He’s been a frequent contributor to the television shows CBS This Morning Saturday and Ebert Presents At the Movies, and his writing has also appeared in print and online at The Village Voice, The Dissolve, and Indiewire.
Matt Singer Biography
Everything that goes wrong in Poltergeist stems from an act of desecration; the building of a cookie-cutter housing development on top of an old cemetery. Some might find the sheer act of attempting a remake of Poltergeist similarly disrespectful; the 1982 original is something of a masterpiece of suburban terror. But if viewers can look past the sheer audacity of attempting another Poltergeist, they’ll find a solid modernization, the cinematic equivalent of a decent cover version of a great rock song. It’s totally superfluous, and not nearly as satisfying as the original, but well-performed and effective in its own way. It’s nice (or, in this case, deeply unsettling) to revisit an old classic in a new arrangement.
Roger Deakins is widely regarded as one of the greatest cinematographers on the planet (except by the Academy, who’ve inexplicably never awarded him an Oscar despite 11 nominations). Deakins’ name in a film’s credits is a guarantee that no matter how terrible everything else in a movie is (and he has shot a couple stinkers), the movie will look gorgeous.
After a series of fits and starts with Roberto Orci, who was supposed to write and direct the film before dropping out of the project, Star Trek 3 (supposedly aka Star Trek Beyond) is falling into place under the direction of Fast & Furious filmmaker Justin Lin. After Orci left, the script for the film was rewritten by Doug Jung and the reboot series’ Scotty, Simon Pegg. In a new interview with The Guardian, Pegg explained why Paramount hired him to revamp Orci’s screenplay. According to him, the studio is looking to make Star Trek “more inclusive”:
First of all, when last we wrote about this project, it was called The Belco Experiment with a ‘c.’ Now it seems to be The Belko Experiment with a ‘k.’ But it’s the same film, from a script by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. All that’s changed is one letter in the title. (Maybe there’s a real Belco out there that didn’t want their name showing up in a James Gunn horror movie?)
There have been a lot of tributes to David Letterman this week in honor of the venerable talk-show host’s last episode. (Ours, if you haven’t read it yet, is here.) My favorite so far, though, is this one from Late Night with Seth Meyers. Late Night was the show created by and for Letterman on NBC as a follow-up to Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. Letterman hosted Late Night from 1982 to 1993, when he defected to CBS to compete with The Tonight Show, now starring Jay Leno.
If you’ve been tracking the goings-on at the Cannes Film Festival this week, you know that one of the best reviewed films of the fest so far is Amy, a documentary on the life of the late singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse. The film, which is directed by Senna filmmaker Asif Kapadia, has gotten near-universal praise. It’s currently at 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with lots of other positive reviews out there that haven’t been added to the site yet (like a glowing rave from former ScreenCrush critic Jordan Hoffman at Vanity Fair).
Tonight at 11:35PM, for the very last time, a new episode of The Late Show with David Letterman airs on CBS. Even though I stopped regularly watching Letterman years ago, I, like a lot of folks of my generation, are approaching the occasion with a heavy, nostalgic heart. David Letterman was a late-night institution for over 30 years; my entire life as a conscious human being. I cannot remember a time before David Letterman. In a changing world, he was a constant, as certain as death and taxes.
In yesterday’s recap, I predicted that the 25 men on this season of The Bachelorette would choose Britt to be the woman they would all simultaneously date in a way that is not at all weird or uncomfortable. My wife, who got me hooked on this show in the first place and has a sixth sense for its plot twists, predicted it would be Kaitlyn, and she was right. My big mistake: Buying in to the narrative presented by The Bachelorette producers that most of the men were there for Britt, and were utterly smitten by her vivacious charm and outgoing demeanor. In doing so, I forgot the cardinal rule of The Bachelorette: Everything we see is a distorted version of reality, coaxed into being by the show specifically to swerve viewers with shocking twists. Trusting anything shown in The Bachelorette is like trusting a magician when he tells you he really sawed a woman in half.
Rejoice, Tom Cruise fans and dads everywhere! Jack Reacher, Cruise’s exceedingly satisfying adaptation of Lee Child’s popular literary hero, is getting a sequel. Deadline reports that Cruise will return for Jack Reacher 2, and in doing so will reteam with The Last Samurai director Ed Zwick and producer Marshall Herskovitz. Zwick and Herskovitz will reportedly rewrite the existing Jack Reacher 2 script by Richard Wenk, and Zwick will ultimately direct the film.
Conveniently, Mad Men ended the night before the eleventh season of The Bachelorette premiered on ABC. That means, by pure process of elimination, that The Bachelorette is now officially the best show on television.