Matt Singer Biography

What "What [Movie X] Gets Wrong About [Thing Y]" Reviews Get Wrong About Art

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by Matt Singer November 10, 2014 01:52 PM
Paramount
In the last couple years “What [Movie X] Gets Wrong About [Thing Y]” pieces have become one of the most common types of articles in all of online film writingdom. Their popularity is not hard to explain. Dopes like me see a movie like ‘Interstellar,’ filled with incomprehensible conversations about astrophysics, and they’re curious just how fast and loose the filmmakers played with the truth. The problem comes when authors take their nitpicks one step further into the realm of criticism; when “What X Gets Wrong About Y” becomes “What X Gets Wrong About Y—And Why That Ruins The Movie.”

'Short Term 12' Review

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by Matt Singer August 21, 2013 11:55 AM
There's an old expression about how all great art comes from suffering. Writer/director Destin Cretton may not agree with that statement, but his new film 'Short Term 12' is a great testament to it. It is set in a group home for troubled teens, where kids who have been discarded by life are saved and cared for -- at least until they turn 18 and get discarded again. These kids know suffering, and they transform that anguish into fuel for their stunningly beautiful art -- a phrase that applies equally well to the film itself.

'You're Next' Review

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by Matt Singer August 20, 2013 07:00 AM
Lionsgate
Watching Hollywood's endless parade of genre remakes, sequels and ripoffs can get pretty discouraging -- enough to convince you there's no undiscovered country left out there; that it's all been done before and filmmakers will keep repeating themselves over and over again until the end of time. Thank goodness, then, for something like 'You're Next,' which is scary and fun, and, best of all, fresh and original. It restores your faith in the future of horror movies.

'White House Down' Review

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by Matt Singer June 26, 2013 10:02 AM
Sony Pictures
'White House Down' has the disadvantage of being the second 'Die Hard'-in-the-White-House movie of 2013 after 'Olympus Has Fallen,' and the advantage of being superior to its predecessor in every conceivable way. It's better directed, better written, and better acted. The action is better, with more impressive special effects; the production design is better, with a much more convincing replica of the White House; the camerawork is better; with clear, lucid images. Where 'Olympus Has Fallen' was grim and stern, 'White House Down' actually embraces the silliness of its premise. It's more exciting and more faithful to the 'Die Hard' formula. This is still basically a shameless ripoff popcorn movie, but it's a shameless ripoff popcorn movie popped to near-perfection.

'Monsters University' Review

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by Matt Singer June 18, 2013 07:19 AM
Disney-Pixar
College is not an obvious setting for a Pixar movie. For all the vaunted animation studio's reputation for producing mature, adult children's films, college lends itself to a more immature brand of adult humor -- the kind with lots of nudity, profanity, and outrageous drunken antics. Sure enough, Pixar's 'Monsters University' brings new meaning to the phrase "safe school" -- this G-rated riff on 'Revenge of the Nerds' and 'Animal House' (they probably thought about calling it 'Monster House' at some point, right? They had to) doesn't push any envelopes in terms of content or humor. It's basically a formula college comedy, minus the raunch, in the world of 'Monsters Inc.' Nevertheless, it's a formula executed by some very talented animators, who've produced a lively, if mostly forgettable, movie.

The First Superhero Movie Ever: A Look Back at 'Superman and the Mole Men'

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by Matt Singer June 12, 2013 07:58 AM
Lippert Pictures
"Superman! Champion of the Oppressed, the physical marvel who had sworn to devote his existence to helping those in need!"
That's how the Man of Steel was described in his very first appearance, from the untitled cover feature from 1938's Action Comics #1 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. This week, the Man of Steel comes to 'Man of Steel,' the new big budget extravaganza directed by Zack Snyder ('Watchmen') and produced by 'The Dark Knight' director Christopher Nolan. It will no doubt feature the greatest cinematic representation of Superman the physical marvel to date. But the greatest cinematic representation of Superman, champion of the oppressed, may still be 'Superman and the Mole-Men,' a mostly forgotten 1951 feature that is the first superhero film to hit movie theaters.

'This Is the End' Review

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by Matt Singer June 06, 2013 12:27 PM
Columbia Pictures
This is the way the world ends; not with a whimper but with an extended improv session featuring Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and a fleet of other popular young comics. On an ordinary night in Los Angeles, the straight-up-biblical apocalypse begins. After the Rapture, our six heroes board themselves up in Franco's Hollywood mansion and wait for a rescue. It never comes. Supplies dwindle. Tensions mount. 'This Is the End.'

'The Internship' Review

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by Matt Singer June 06, 2013 10:56 AM
20th Century Fox
The term "product placement" feels insufficient to describe the role of Google in 'The Internship.' This is not so much product placement in a movie as movie placement in a product. For two hours, viewers are treated to a series of bright, high-energy sales pitches for the San Francisco search engine and its vast array of products and services -- Google Play, Google Drive, Google Helpline, Google Maps and, of course, plain-old Googley Google -- plus, occasional attempts at comedy from Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson while they stand in front of giant Google logos. Shameless? Absolutely. But that wouldn't be such a problem if 'The Internship' wasn't so mirthless, as well.