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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.
Polka King
Courtesy of Sundance Institute
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‘The Polka King’ Review: Jack Black Strikes It Rich in a New Crime Comedy

“Sometimes,” says self-made musical impresario Jan Lewan (Jack Black) in The Polka King, “to make money you have to spend money.” The problem with Jan is he didn’t spend money sometimes, he did it every time. Every get-rich quick scheme he ever hatched up in his Pennsylvania gift shop required more investment than potential profit. He sold his polka fans on a “premium Pope package,” a lavish vacation to Rome that included a private audience with the Pope. But Jan had no way to deliver on his promise, so he just showed up at the Vatican with a briefcase full of cash. He got his audience, and delighted his tour group. But his “premium” vacation surely cost him more than he made.

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Category: Movie News Tags: ,
The Big Sick
Courtesy of Sundance Institute
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‘The Big Sick’ Review: The Cure for the Common Rom-Com

There’s always a stupid reason why the couple in a romantic comedy can’t be together until the closing credits. An ex-girlfriend or boyfriend appears at the most narratively conveniently moment, or one of the leads becomes a ghost, or there’s a misunderstanding that could easily be cleared up if the characters just sat and talked to one another for literally 15 seconds. One of the best things about The Big Sick is that the obstacles (plural, there are several) facing this relationship are real and relatable and believable and hugely serious.

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Category: Movie News Tags: ,
Cars 3
Pixar
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‘Cars 3’ Extended Look: Don’t Count Lightning McQueen (Or Pixar) Out Yet

To kids, Cars is a signature Pixar franchise, known for that little red race car, Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson). To older Pixar fans, Cars is known as Pixar’s red-headed stepchild, well below the rest of the venerable animation studio’s output. Cars was never particularly well-liked in the first place and then along came Cars 2 which was wild and weird and not particularly great (although the movie is so wild and weird it’s kind of interesting).

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Category: Movie News, Video Tags:
Golden Globes
NBC
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Watch Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig Deliver the Funniest Moment of the Golden Globes

The Golden Globes have a reputation as a kind of edgy awards ceremony. (Well, edgy by the standards of awards shows anyway.) But this year’s host, Jimmy Fallon, is about as edgy as sphere, and his monologue lacked the bite of other previous hosts like Ricky Gervais. The only really funny moment of the night came during one of the awards presentations, when Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig took the stage to give out the Golden Globes for Best Animated Feature.

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Category: Video Tags:
Golden Globe Awards - Season 74
NBC
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Watch Jimmy Fallon’s ‘La La Land’-Inspired Golden Globes Opening

The Golden Globes are underway, but if you missed the show’s big opening number, you can watch it right now, right here. Host Jimmy Fallon paid homage to one of this year’s big nominees, La La Land, with a musical number inspired by the film’s grand opening, where a whole bunch of people trapped in a Los Angeles traffic jam leap from their cars in a big song-and-dance routine. Fallon’s version, of course, included Stormtroopers from Star Wars, Game of Thrones jokes, and a whole lot more. Take a look:

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Category: Video Tags:
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
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‘Dunkirk’ Trailer: Christopher Nolan Returns With an Epic War Film

At this point in his career, after rewriting the rules of superheroes with The Dark Knight and rewriting the rules of movie dreams in Inception, Christopher Nolan can basically do whatever he wants. And what he wanted to do this year, apparently, was tell the story of one World War II battle. Dunkirk, which Nolan also wrote, follows Allied soldiers during the Battle of Dunkirk, where they were pinned down by German forces and had to enact a mass evacuation. This first trailer plays up the sense of danger and dread all around these men as they’re trapped and surrounded on this beach and picked off from the skies above by German bombers.

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Category: Movie News Tags:
Office Christmas Party
Paramount
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‘Office Christmas Party’ Review: A Comedic Lump of Coal

Too many Hollywood comedies, Office Christmas Party included, seem to expend all their creativity in the casting office. Filmmakers assemble these impressive lineups acting talent — and Office Christmas Party has as good a collection of actors as any comedy this year — and then sets them adrift in dumb stories with no jokes, hoping their evident charisma and endless improvisations will deliver enough laughs to fill out a decent trailer. The people in this movie are funny, but the movie would be a lot funnier if it gave those people some clever material to perform.

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Wedding Crashers
New Line
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A ‘Wedding Crashers 2’ May Be Crashing Multiplexes Soon

Journey back with me now to the heady days of the mid-2000s. George W. Bush was President. Iron Man was still known by most people as a Black Sabbath song. And a little raunchy comedy called Wedding Crashers became a phenomenon in theaters, crossing an astounding $209 million in the U.S. alone. The film cemented the bankability of its leads, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, and helped launch the careers of much of its supporting cast, including Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, and a young Bradley Cooper. The film, about a pair of bros who, y’know, crash weddings, is still remembered fondly to this day.

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Category: Movie News
Sony
Sony
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‘Arrival’ Review: Amy Adams Takes an Emotional Sci-Fi Journey

The 50th anniversary of Star Trek this week really put in perspective just how long we’ve been living with the concept of extraterrestrial. In 2016, there’s something downright familiar about aliens, maybe because in most situations our conception of them remains rooted in our conception of ourselves: They look like us with pointy ears or a ribbed nose, or they don’t look like us, but they behave like us, with motivations and actions that are easily recognizable and understandable. One of Arrival’s greatest achievements is the way it makes alien seem alien again: Strange and inhuman and beyond the limits of our comprehension. It readjusts our thinking about what life on other worlds might be like. And in doing so, it also readjusts our thinking about what life on our world can be like.

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Lucasfilm
Lucasfilm
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Steven Spielberg Gave J.J. Abrams Two Ideas to Use in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

It’s pretty well known that Steven Spielberg was a major force (h’yuck) in getting J.J. Abrams the assignment directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Lucasfilm wanted a director. Spielberg wanted Abrams to get the gig. “I brought J.J.’s name up,” he said in a roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I thought J.J. would be the best person to direct Episode VII and I called J.J. and said ‘Would you do it if it was offered to you?’” Abrams was initially reluctant (he thought his wife wouldn’t want him to take any more time-consuming franchise gigs), so Spielberg actually took Abrams and his wife Katie out to dinner on Lucasfilm’s behalf, asked Katie if it was cool if J.J. directed Star Wars, and basically made a Love Connection of the whole thing. The rest was history.

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Category: Movie News Tags:
Screen-Shot-2016-11-08-at-12.53.48-PM
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Here Are 25 Movie Ticket Stubs You Can Buy on eBay For Some Reason

As a movie lover, I’ve collected a lot of stuff over the years. I have an old 16mm projector reel sitting on my windowsill. My Blu-ray collection is dotted with little figures and models of famous movie characters and vehicles. I understand the urge to want to memorialize great movies and great moviegoing experiences. I even saved a few of my ticket stubs over the years. But I’ve never had the slightest urge to buy someone else’s ticket stub to a movie I didn’t see (or at least not at that day and location).

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Category: Weird News

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