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
You think you know the “J.K. Simmons type” and then you look at his IMDb page. Yes, he’s played a lot of tough and scary dudes; the sadistic white supremacist on Oz, the terrifying music teacher in Whiplash, which netted Simmons an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. But for every intimidating Simmons role, there’s a softer one; the big-hearted father in Juno or the incredulous cop in the last Terminator. There aren’t too many actors who could convincingly play both bully blowhard newspaper publisher J. Jonah Jameson and crusading, confident Commissioner Gordon, but Simmons is about to in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
You can claim that the true star of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was Rey or Finn or Kylo Ren. Or you could go with one of the old guard characters like General Leia or Han Solo. But you would be wrong. The true star of Force Awakens was BB-8. Period. End of discussion. He was the best.
So far, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a beautiful tapestry of heroism, intricate plotting, and Spandex. 14 movies and over two “phases” in, things are going swimmingly. Hardcore fans are happy, the movies make billions of dollars, and the web of characters and their adventures is getting ever larger.
For several years now, I have heard that VHS is the new vinyl. But aside from the occasional thinkpiece on the topic, I haven‘t see much tangible evidence to support that statement. A couple of the few remaining video stores in New York carry the analog tapes, but there hasn’t been a surge in new stores or specialty shops full of vintage VHS or VCRs. (And I live in Brooklyn; if such a place existed, it would be here.) With a few minor exceptions, I thought VHS was basically dead.
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
1,083 reels of old film represent one of the great Holy Grails of movie history. They’re the unassembled components of The Other Side of the Wind, the final unfinished project of director Orson Welles. Shot over the course of many years in the 1970s, and starring a cast that included directors John Huston and Peter Bogdanovich, The Other Side of the Wind was a complex tale about an aging movie director attempting to mount a career comeback. (Surely the story had no personal resonance for Welles whatsoever.) Financial and legal troubles mounted, and Welles was unable to complete the film before he passed away in 1985. For decades, those 1,083 reels sat in a French film lab, waiting for the right team to come along and do something with them.
When all was said and done, the biggest movie of 2016 in the United States was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the only film of last year to gross more than $500 million domestically. Director Gareth Edwards managed to do something not even George Lucas had accomplished: Make a well-liked Star Wars prequel.
Trapped inside by today’s massive snowstorm? There’s a silver lining: Now you have time to watch the new Despicable Me 3 trailer 8,000 times.
The MTV Movie Awards are dead. Long live the MTV Movie & TV Awards.
Warner Bros. supposedly has years of DC Comics movies mapped out, but the map keep changing before our eyes. Officially announced titles include this year’s Justice League and Wonder Woman, and next year’s Aquaman and a Shazam movie featuring Dwayne Johnson. But beyond the immediate future, things look more hazy. Will we get a solo film with Ben Affleck’s Batman? What’s the story with The Flash, which has gone through directors faster than its title character could run on his cosmic treadmill. And then there’s the case of Superman. He got a sort-of sequel to Man of Steel in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but the Man of Tomorrow was mostly a supporting character in his own movie there. Will Warner Bros. deliver an official Man of Steel 2?