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
Good ol’ Franchise Viagra is at it again.
Agent 47 is a perfect assassin, designed in a lab to kill with ruthless efficiency and accuracy. Mad scientists tweaked his genetics to enhance his toughness and diminish his emotions, because emotions make people weak. In his line of work — murdering people, all day, everyday, for money — it is better not to feel.
If you follow even a couple of film critics on Twitter, then you know The Witch. This debut film by director Robert Eggers was a sensation at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Best Director award and also the award for Most Orgasmic Tweets By Film Critics. To wit:
A late August release date typically means one of two things: A movie is terrible or a movie is weird — and therefore difficult to market. American Ultra is a classic example of the latter. The trailers and posters mostly sell it as a wacky stoner action comedy, but drug humor actually plays a fairly small part in the film, which cycles through scenes of bloody horror, government conspiracy, and sincere relationship melodrama. Audiences might go in to American Ultra expecting The Bourne Identity meets Half Baked. They’re going to find something much stranger and more interesting (with a bunch of First Blood and a smidge of rom-com tossed in the mix).
It’s alive! Again! For the, what, twentieth time?
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (somewhere near West Orange, New Jersey) movies were simple things; made silently, projected in black and white. With time, their production grew more sophisticated. And as the movies themselves got more intricate, so too did their marketing. It wasn’t long into the history of movies that ads started carrying taglines; snappy ad copy designed to explain a movie’s premise at a glance and convince potential viewers to plunk down their hard-earned dollars for a ticket. Filmsite.org dates the practice all the way back to the silent era (“Love, Locomotives, and Laughs” read the tagline for The General), but the practice as we know it really came of age in the late 1970s, as the blockbuster era ushered in a whole new level of movie advertising.
Disney’s annual convention dedicated to itself, D23 (named, I assume, after the number of dollars you have left in your bank account after you go and buy lots of cool Disney swag), kicks off today, so expect plenty of news and announcements coming...
It’s a year of milestones for filmmaker Noah Baumbach. 2015 marks 20 years since his debut film, Kicking and Screaming, and a decade since his breakout indie as a writer and director, the autobiographical The Squid and The Whale. 2015 is also the first time in Baumbach’s career he’s released two features in one calendar year; his last effort, the outstanding While We’re Young, opened in theaters in April. Four months later, Baumbach returns with Mistress America, a bubbly screwball comedy about a lonely college freshman named Tracy (Lola Kirke) whose depressing social life gets a serious shot in the arm after she meets her vivacious new stepsister Brooke (Greta Gerwig).
I imagine my reaction to the news that Disney and Lucasfilm were going to make a movie about “Young Han Solo” — and that said film was going to be directed by the dynamic duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller — was the same as a lot of other movie nerds. It went something like this.
It was quite a surprise when Josh Trank no-showed his big panel at last spring’s Star Wars Celebration. As described by one journalist, Trank’s name was still being advertised “on the jumbotron at the convention center just moments before the panel began,” when his absence was explained by moderator Pablo Hidalgo, who claimed Trank was “under the weather.” That made it much less of a surprise when, a few weeks later, Lucasfilm announced Trank was leaving the Star Wars spinoff film he’d been developing with the company, supposedly to do something more personal and “under the radar.”