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Matt Singer

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.
Movie Theater
Matt Singer
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A Step-by-Step Consumer Guide to Good Theater Projection

Rarely a week goes by these days without someone proclaiming movies dead or dying or zombified and feasting on the brains of their victims. (That’s what you get for turning your brain off at the theater!) Mainstream Hollywood has seen better days, but film as an art form is just fine; in a world where Moonlight, The Handmaiden, Arrival, and Loving are all competing for screen space, there’s still life left in movies yet. I’m more concerned about movie theaters, where the presentation of those films seems to get worse every single year.

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Category: Movies
Emojimovie
Sony
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Yes, That Is a Poop Emoji in the First ‘Emojimovie: Express Yourself’ Photo

Deadline reports that James Corden and Ilana Glazer of Broad City have been added to the voice cast of Emojimovie: Express Yourself, the animated movie about sentient emoji. Fine. That’s fine. But I’m more interested in the picture that accompanies the article, which features the poop emoji. Smiling. With a bowtie. Hair like the old Kids Crest mascot. Breaking the fourth wall by reaching around the borders of the image with its crap-stained hands. In a children’s film.

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Category: Movies
Disney
Disney
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‘Moana’ Trailer: The Rock and a Wacky Rooster Make Animated Waves

Not long ago, Walt Disney Animation Studios was all but left for dead. Disney subsidiary Pixar was the animated world’s critical darling, and its frequent box office champ. As 2D animation began to lose favor with audiences, so did a lot of Disney proper’s offerings. But the last few years have seen the Mouse House rebound in a major way, with some of the biggest animated hits in the company’s history, including Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia, which made a whopping $1 billion worldwide earlier this year.

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Category: Movies Tags: ,
The Girl With All the Gifts
Warner Bros.
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‘The Girl With All the Gifts’ Review: The Next Great Zombie Movie Has Arrived

The girl looks harmless. She has kind eyes and a sweet smile. She speaks politely to the armed guards who come to retrieve her from her prison cell. She’s the start student in her class. But there must be a reason she’s always shackled or a wheelchair, and the prison guards keep assault rifles trained on her at all times.

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Category: Movies, Reviews
Warner Bros./Paramount/Universal
Warner Bros./Paramount/Universal
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2016 Was the Worst Summer for Big Movies in 15 Years – But That’s Not the Whole Story

About two months ago, on a day when I was in no way questioning my career path and life choices, I asked a question: “Is 2016 the worst summer movie season ever?” In early July, it was probably a little premature to raise that issue, but with theaters were filled with dreck like Independence Day: Resurgence, The Legend of Tarzan, and Alice Through the Looking Glass, it was hard not to wonder. At that time, I looked at the Rotten Tomatoes ratings from hundreds of wide releases from the last decade, and found that while the overall scores from 2016 were basically in line with those from ones from each of the last five years, the scores for just the biggest movies, the ones like Tarzan or Independence Day with budgets in excess of $100 million, were way lower this year.

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Category: Movies
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
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‘War Dogs’ Review: Todd Phillips’ Best Movie Since ‘The Hangover’

Among the review quotes on the Amazon page for Guy Lawson’s Arms and the Dudes about a pair of stoners from Miami who became international arms dealers, is one from the magazine Mother Jones. “It sounds like a comedy flick.” It does, and now it is; War Dogs from director Todd Phillips. As the man who made Old School and The Hangover series, Phillips is a specialist in stories about men of limited intelligence and limitless ability to get into trouble. Finding the story of Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz, two ambitious bros who smooth-talked their way into a massive deal with the Pentagon supplying millions of rounds of ammunition to the Afghan military, must have felt like a gift from God. If Phillips and his screenwriters had simply invented these guys and their improbable rise to the top of the American military supply chain, no one would have believed it. But a look at the Rolling Stone article Lawson later expanded into his book confirms that a shocking amount of the events in this movie really happened.

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Stan’s VHS Collection
Golem 13
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VHS, Beloved Home Video Format, Dies at 40

Very sad news out of Japan: According to Mental Floss, Funai Electric, the last company making VCRs has announced that it will cease production of VCRs, “due to declining sales and difficulty acquiring parts.” Though effectively on life support for the last several years, the will mark the true and final death of the VCR, or video cassette recorder. It was 40 years old.

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Star Wars Rogue One cast
Lucasfilm
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It Looks Like ‘Rogue One’ Won’t Have an Opening Crawl

When the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story panel opened at Star Wars Celebration last weekend, it did so with this video, in which the classic opening crawl from Star Wars began to glitch and sputter and then shifted in space. The words flew toward the camera and revealed the full Rogue One logo title treatment, as seen below:

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Category: Movies Tags:
Girl on the Train
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‘The Girl on the Train’ Trailer: The Thriller That Shocked the World

We’re so close, guys. So close to the end of summer movie season and the start of the fall, when the weather cools down and the movies start to get interesting again. I don’t know that The Girl on the Train is going to be an awards contender, but it certainly looks like a juicy thriller.

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Category: Movies Tags:
John Williams
Vince Bucci, Getty Images
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Two Fans Played the ‘Star Wars’ Theme on John Williams’ Lawn, and John Williams Loved It

13-year-old trumpeter Bryce Hayashi got a nice surprise when he and flugelhorn player Michael Miller played an impromptu tribute to John Williams’ Star Wars theme on the lawn of the master composer’s house: Williams himself was home and came out to shake their hands and salute them on their fine playing.

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Category: Movies Tags:
LA LA LAND Teaser Artwork
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We’re Gaga Over the ‘La La Land’ Trailer

Just yesterday during a Periscope Q&A, someone asked me for my most anticipated movies of the fall. The clear #1 choice: La La Land, the latest film from Whiplash writer and director Damien Chazelle. One day later, the first teaser for the film is here, and I’m even more excited to see the movie, which opens later this fall following a premiere next month at the prestigious Venice Film Festival.

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