Matt Singer Biography
As she recently told David Letterman, Jennifer Lawrence’s biggest fear is singing in public. Not death, not small, enclosed spaces, not tracker-jacker venom; singing in public. This posed a particular problem for the young star in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1’ because the script called for Katniss Everdeen to singing a song to her fellow rebels. And Lawrence had to actually sing it in front of the rest of the cast, a capella, with no voice double. The song, “The Hanging Tree,” is important to the movie. It becomes a rallying cry for the growing movement against the tyrannical President Snow and the rest of the Capitol. It needed to be real and heartfelt. And it needed to come from Lawrence.
The trailer for ‘Strange Magic’ boasts that the film comes “from the mind of George Lucas.” That great big brain has dreamed up some of the greatest movies of all time. But it’s also produced its fair share of clunkers as well. (Apologies, ‘Radioland Murders’ devotees.) It’s unfair to write off a movie based on a 150-second trailer, but so far, ‘Strange Magic’ looks a lot closer to the latter than the former. Whoa, this looks insane.
‘Mockingjay’ is the latest example of perhaps the single most frustrating trend in modern Hollywood: The part-ification of franchise finales. It’s no longer enough to make a successful movie, or even a successful series of movies; Hollywood now extends—or dilutes, really—these cash cows even further, by breaking their concluding installments in half. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you absolutely can judge a movie by its title, at least when that title includes the phrase “Part 1.” If it does, get ready for a languid, uneventful film full of set-up and absolutely zero payoff.
A sequel to Ben Stiller’s ‘Zoolander’ has been a long time coming. The original movie, which followed the hilariously dumb misadventures of a male model named Derek Zoolander (Stiller), opened in the fall of 2001. 13 years later, work is finally starting to ramp up on the follow-up. Actor and writer Justin Theroux will direct ‘Zoolander 2’ (which should be called ‘2lander,’ for obvious reasons), and Stiller will reprise his role as Zoolander, along with Owen Wilson as his model buddy Hansel and Will Ferrell as the world’s most evil fashion designer Mugatu. Deadline says that the returning cast now has its first new addition in the form of the lovely Penelope Cruz.
We’re thinking a lot today about Mike Nichols, the great film and theater director who passed away yesterday at the age of 83. If you’re new to Nichols’ work, or you’re a longtime fan looking to revisit some old favorites, here are a few of his best films that you can rent or stream right now. Just follow the links below to watch some classic movies.
Some ideas just aren’t cut out for sequels. ‘The Hangover’ was ingenious and hilarious—for one movie. But another ‘Hangover’? With the same guys? That doesn’t make a ton of sense. ‘The Blue Lagoon’ was striking and exotic. But a ‘Return to the Blue Lagoon’? More castaways? On the exact same deserted island? Sorry, no thanks. To the list of concepts that could not support a sequel but got one anyway, we can now add ‘Horrible Bosses 2,’ a flimsy retread of the 2011 comedy that had barely enough material to fill one film.
“Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me...” That is one of the most famous lines from one of the most famous scenes in all of cinema: Dustin Hoffman’s Benjamin trying not to be seduced by Anne Bancroft’s Mrs. Robinson, his father’s partner’s wife in 1967’s ‘The Graduate.’ The film was just the second directed by Mike Nichols, the enterprising comedian turned theater and cinema director, who died Wednesday at the age of 83.
‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1’ is a movie comprised almost entirely of deleted scenes. As it says right in the title, this isn’t the final chapter of ‘The Hunger Games’ series; it’s just the first half of the final chapter, and that’s exactly what it feels like. It’s table setting for a meal that won’t be served until next November. ‘Mockingjay - Part 1’ is good-looking, well-acted, and utterly inessential.
The whole Marvel Cinematic Universe is based around the fact that the strongest power in the universe are these magical Infinity Stones, gems of incredible power over time and space. When Ronan the Accuser combines an Infinity Stone with his hammer in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ he becomes nigh-invulnerable and almost unbeatable. The only things left to stop him from destroying the universe are the Guardians… and dance moves. Sweet hot funky dance moves.
At a glance, MasraniGlobal.com looks like any other website for a boring technology company, with details on its founder, Sanjay Masrani, his son and successor Simon, and their financial interests in construction, engineering, real estate, health care, and dinosaur theme parks. On second thought, perhaps that last part is a clue that Masrani Global doesn’t exist, except as a fictional company in the story of ‘Jurassic World,’ next summer’s sequel to Steven Spielberg’s ’90s dinosaur classic.