Matt Singer Biography
“From the studio that brought you ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’!” No, not Marvel; Fox.
For a while, the party line on the possibility of an ‘Iron Man 4’ was that it was not going to happen. And, at least technically, that’s still true—because instead Robert Downey Jr. is co-starring ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ where his Tony Stark and Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers will get into an epic superhero tussle.
Is there anything better than a movie with a great theme song? Arguably, yes. But I’m still fond of theme songs anyway, particularly when said theme song shares an exact title with the movie it’s from. The eponymous movie theme song is a rare and sometimes strange breed; sort of like a hairless sphinx.
Disney has had a lot of success turning their animated classics into live-action updates in recent years. ‘Maleficent’ grossed more than $750 million worldwide after ‘Alice in the Wonderland’ made over $1 billion. Another, fleshier ‘Cinderella’ is on its way this spring, and after that you can also expect a human-y ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ That film is expected to go into production later this year, and will be directed by ‘Twilight’’s Bill Condon from a script by Stephen Chbosky.
My favorite line in this trailer for ‘She’s Funny That Way,’ the new film by Peter Bogdanovich (and his first in eight years), is “This is all very confusing.” Because it is! It took me two viewings to start to pin it all down. So Owen Wilson plays a theater director, who hires a prostitute (Imogen Poots). She only, uh, “escorts” to pay the bills while she tries to make it as an actress, and then she’s hired to star in Wilson’s new play. And then Will Forte (who, according to Wikipedia, is the play’s writer) falls for Poots, and then Kathryn Hahn is involved as well (Wikipedia, which is never wrong, says she plays Wilson’s wife). So everyone is either working with or sleeping with everyone else. Shenanigans!
After stops and starts and leaks and reversals, Quentin Tarantino’s 70mm Western ‘The Hateful Eight’ is now, finally, officially, definitively, happening. The Weinstein Company announced today that production has begun in Telluride, Colorado.
It feels like several years have passed since Christopher Nolan released ‘Interstellar,’ but that’s just because I’m still stuck on that tidal-wave planet where time dilates and stuff. In reality, it’s only been a couple months since Nolan’s latest epic sci-fi film, which opened to positive reviews and, despite its heady subject matter, went on to earn more than $660 million worldwide. Love it or hate it, you have to at least respect the fact that Nolan’s still making huge blockbusters based on original ideas and deeply personal subject matter—as opposed to board games or toys or something.
When the X-Men return to the big-screen in May of 2016 they will face a new (and also super-old) nemesis: Apocalypse, an ancient Egyptian mutant hellbent on world domination. Onscreen, Apocalypse will be portrayed by Oscar Isaac, the rising star of ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ and ‘A Most Violent Year,’ and, later in 2015, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ where he plays Poe Dameron. In the comics, Apocalypse typically looks sort of like you see him above, with elaborate blue armor, slate-colored face, and inhuman blue lips. This look, it’s pretty clear to me, would not translate to film (at least not in a way that wouldn’t evoke instantaneous laughter from viewers).
Before he was George Lucas, the guy who changed blockbusters forever with ‘Star Wars,’ he was George Lucas, the guy who changed the way Hollywood used pop music with ‘American Graffiti.’ Though ‘Graffiti’ is maybe Lucas’ seventh most-famous movie, it was hugely influential in its day, and its massive grosses inspired so many imitators it essentially invented a new sub-genre: the radio-hit-scored ensemble coming-of-age movie. 40 years after creating that concept, Lucas returns to destroy it with ‘Strange Magic,’ a high-tech, low-brow update of that formula, with computer-generated fairies and bugs pining after one another over a soundtrack of classic pop songs.
Before the first line of dialogue or scene, before the first appearance of the star or opening credit, there are the studio logos. These animated introductions have become ubiquitous (and sometimes, in the era of elaborate co-productions, a bit oppressive), but they are also the way all Hollywood films make their first impressions, and that’s why some directors adapt them to fit the specifications of their particular production. The ScreenCrush staff (okay just me) gets a big kick out of movies that do this well, so we (I) decided to honor the filmmakers who feel the same way with this lengthy (but by no means authoritative list) of our (my) favorites. In rough chronological order (with a few exceptions to group multiple films by one director together), here are ...