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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.
Sony
Sony
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Denzel Washington Will Play ‘The Equalizer’ Again Next Year

I liked The Equalizer. I liked it more than The Magnificent Seven, which director Antoine Fuqua and star Denzel Washington made after The Equalizer (and is out in theaters today, read our review, plug plug plug plug plug). The Equalizer, loosely based on the TV show of the same name, was a very confident and occasionally very amusing action thriller that was fully self-aware. It’s basically a perfect basic cable movie; you pop in, you watch Denzel beat a room full of guys without breaking a sweat, and then you brush your tweet and go to bed. And the ending, where it basically becomes Home Alone in a Home Depot (they should have called the movie Home Depot Alone, that was a missed opportunity) was tremendous.

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Marvel
Marvel
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Every Shot of Black Panther in ‘Civil War’ Was CG

Here’s another mind-boggling tidbit from the fascinating Captain America: Civil War Blu-ray commentary. Every shot of Black Panther in Civil War is CGI. Not just the obvious ones, like where Panther’s chasing the Winter Soldier on foot or he’s in a hand-to-claw fight with Captain America. Every. Single. Shot.

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Category: East Texas News
Sully
Warner Bros.
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‘Sully’ Review: Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks’ Take on American Heroism

Even by the standards of a biopic about an incredibly famous man at the center of an incredibly famous real-life event there isn’t a ton of suspense in Sully. Everyone who was alive and conscious on January 15, 2009 remembers what happened that day, when Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River after the plane was struck by birds during takeoff.(I certainly do; I’d just arrived at my condo for the Sundance Film Festival and watched the rescue efforts unfold on live television.)

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Spectre Goldmember
New Line/Sony
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About That Time James Bond Recycled a Plot Twist From Austin Powers

Austin Powers in Goldmember is not a very good movie. Most of the jokes, when there are jokes at all, are callbacks to the previous two Austin Powers. Whole scenes consist entirely of co-writer/star Mike Myers riffing, usually with himself, about random subjects like moles or poop. The plot barely exists; its time-travel component makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Goldmember is the cinematic equivalent of a cubic zirconia. It bears all the superficial features of a movie. But something, something crucial yet invisible, is missing. There’s basically no reason to watch it — except one, and that’s the movie’s big plot twist which, 13 years later, became the big plot twist in Spectre.

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Rings
Paramount
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‘Rings’ Trailer: An Analog Horror Classic Gets a Digital Upgrade

It’s been over a decade since the last film in The Ring saga, 2005’s poorly received The Ring Two. The franchise, about a deadly VHS tape with strange, surreal contents and the long-haired ghost tied to it, has been dormant ever since, but you know how it is; these types of hauntings (particularly ones that have been quite lucrative for a film studio in the past) never stay dead for long. The Ring makes a serious comeback this fall. The main ghost from the series co-stars in a crossover horror film with the ghost from The Grudge called Sadako vs. Kayako, which plays at the Toronto Film Festival next month. And the American Ring franchise is back up and running too with Rings from director F. Javier Gutierrez (Before the Fall).

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Category: Uncategorized
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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Black Manta
DC Comics
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Report: ‘Aquaman’ Will Feature Black Manta as Villain

The DC Extended Universe has some slam dunks (Justice League!) and some real risks. I would put Aquaman in the latter category. Previously best known as the guy on Super Friends who talks to fish, and so goofy a hero he was the butt of an extended joke about dumb Hollywood movies on Entourage, the King of the Seven Seas will headline his own movie in 2018 after he gets a proper introduction in next year’s Justice League. (Showing up on Wonder Woman’s computer screen in Batman v Superman doesn’t count.)

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Category: East Texas News
Suicide Squad
Warner Bros.
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‘Suicide Squad’ Review: The DC Movie Universe’s Darkest Night

If you liked the scene in Batman v Superman where Bruce Wayne watched YouTube videos about the future members of the Justice League, you'll love Suicide Squad. Instead of just one scene of plot-stopping fan service, Suicide Squad delivers an entire first act of soul-deadening exposition. The movie spends nearly 30 story-free minutes with a Machiavellian bureaucrat while she sits in a restaurant discussing a top secret personnel file. Here is Deadshot, the world’s greatest assassin; this is Harley Quinn, the Joker’s psychotic girlfriend. Oh, and have you heard about Captain Boomerang? And on and on and on.

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‘Bad Santa 2’
Broad Green Pictures
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Billy Bob Thornton Is Back in First ‘Bad Santa 2’ Images

I lied my way into a Bad Santa screening, which feels very appropriate given its amoral hero. I was still in grad school at the time, but I was already writing film reviews online, which should have precluded me from attending any sort of test screening of the kind I saw a guy recruiting audience members for outside a Manhattan movie theater in 2003. The recruiter handing out invitations looked me up and down and asked “What do you do for a living?”

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Garry Marshall
Warner Bros.
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Garry Marshall, Prolific TV and Filmmaker, Dies at 81

The entertainment world lost a giant yesterday, when Garry Marshall, creator of some of the most popular television shows in the medium’s history and a director of some of the most beloved movies of the last 30 years, died after what The New York Times called “a series of strokes.” He was 81 years old.

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Category: East Texas News
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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