Matt Singer

Film intelligence: Leaves of gold and a Lucas retirement

Article: Film intelligence: Leaves of gold and a Lucas retirement

Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]). This week: the French love Haneke, the Americans love Tatum, and George Lucas doesn’t love own his company.

Legal Download: Political satire on demand

Article: Legal Download: Political satire on demand

The world of film is changing. For one thing, there’s not much actual film anymore. The future is digital; more and more, it’s streaming on our computers, too. Every week in Legal Download, we survey the landscape of online movies to bring you a snapshot of what’s available. This week, elect to explore the political satires available on demand.

THIS WEEK’S THEME: Political Satire

Do you, Legal Download reader, solemnly swear that you will faithfully execute my recommendations and will, to the best of your ability, watch these blistering satires of our government and its elections, legally and without consideration of possible pirated copies, so help you God? Good, then let’s get to the movies.

Film intelligence: Surprises and disappointments at Cannes

Article: Film intelligence: Surprises and disappointments at Cannes

Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]). This week: movies are loved, movies are delayed, and people watching movies get smacked in the face.

Legal download: Revenge movies on demand

Article: Legal download: Revenge movies on demand

The world of film is changing. For one thing, there’s not much actual film anymore. The future is digital; more and more, it’s streaming on our computers, too. Every week in Legal Download, we survey the landscape of online movies to bring you a snapshot of what’s available. This week, we have a very particular set of skills: we know what revenge movies are available on demand.

Film intelligence: Cannes do

Article: Film intelligence: Cannes do

Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]). This week: the south of France, a bus in the Bronx, and heavy competition for Jobs.

Legal download: The art world on demand

Article: Legal download: The art world on demand

The world of film is changing. For one thing, there’s not much actual film anymore. The future is digital; more and more, it’s streaming on our computers, too. Every week in Legal Download, we survey the landscape of online movies to bring you a snapshot of what’s available. This week, we paint a picture of VOD movies about the art world.

THIS WEEK’S THEME: Movies About Art

Film intelligence: The end is nigh

Article: Film intelligence: The end is nigh

Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]). This week: the world ends, the road to Cannes begins, and the Avengers get slapped with a hulking clean-up bill.

Legal download: Mental hospitals on demand

Article: Legal download: Mental hospitals on demand

The world of film is changing. For one thing, there’s not much actual film anymore. The future is digital; more and more, it’s streaming on our computers, too. Every week in Legal Download, we survey the landscape of online movies to bring you a snapshot of what’s available. This week we get nuts with movies set in mental hospitals.

THIS WEEK’S THEME: Mental Hospitals

For most of us, mental hospitals, psychiatric wards, and insane asylums, are places we only know from movies. Lucky us. If real mental hospitals are anything like the ones in movie then a) our health care system is in worse trouble than I already thought and b) they’re places not just for the insane, they’re places that make you insane. You may go in accidentally, or for a job, or undercover, but those kinds of plans always end up backfiring on the characters who hatch them. On a side note, there’s a lot of memorable movies set in mental hospitals you won’t find in this week’s Legal Download — classic potboilers like Sam Fuller’s SHOCK CORRIDOR, empathetic John Hughesian teen dramedies like IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY and more — simply because they’re not yet available on VOD or streaming. Don’t worry, though; there’s enough memorable ones here to keep you from going psycho.

Film intelligence: Living in stereo

Article: Film intelligence: Living in stereo

Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]). This week: fires, CATCHING FIRE, and sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.

Legal download: True crime on demand

Article: Legal download: True crime on demand

The world of film is changing. For one thing, there’s not much actual film anymore. The future is digital; more and more, it’s streaming on our computers, too. Every week in Legal Download, we survey the landscape of online movies to bring you a snapshot of what’s available. This week we make a case for movies about real-life criminals.

THIS WEEK’S THEME: True Crime

Film intelligence: We've been framed

Article: Film intelligence: We've been framed

Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]). This week: folks have some lovely bones to pick with Peter Jackson’s new filmmaking format, Martin Scorsese still loves his new filmmaking format and — hang on a sec, I have a call coming in.

Legal Download: Spooky apartments on demand

Article: Legal Download: Spooky apartments on demand

The world of film is changing. For one thing, there’s not much actual film anymore. The future is digital; more and more, it’s streaming on our computers, too. Every week in Watch This Now, we survey the landscape online movies to bring you a snapshot of what’s available. This week, we lose control of our minds and our rent, as we watch some horror movies set in terrifying apartment buildings.

THIS WEEK’S THEME: Spooky Apartments

What kind of a lock do you have on your door? A chain? Make sure it’s on. A deadbolt? You’re gonna want to double-check that it’s flipped. Because this week we’re listing movies about people trapped in some very imposing apartment buildings. In some cases, intruders force them inside. In others, their own damaged minds refuse to let them out. But whatever the reason, they’re stuck, and that’s when things go from bad (as in I’m paying $2300 a month for a basement studio) to worse (as in a bunch of infected zombies are trying to eat my brain). You are about to regret not buying that high alert alarm system when you had the chance.

Find your festival fave: five specific recommendations from the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival

Article: Find your festival fave: five specific recommendations from the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca is a terrific film festival, but it can also be a daunting one. With so many movies to choose from, it’s often tough to decide what to watch. Should you check out the big flick with the actors you recognize from television? Or should you take a chance on the smaller film from an emerging talent? To help separate the wheat from the chaff, we’ve compiled the following list of five recommended titles, and to help give you a sense of whether that wheat will be to your liking, we’ve paired each with a similar, older title. If you like that one, you’ll probably dig this one. And if not, well there are plenty more at Tribeca where that came from.

Top 10 festival films you need to see ASAP

Article: Top 10 festival films you need to see ASAP

Memorial Day is less than a month away and summer movie season is just around the corner. But if super-heroes ain’t your cup of cinematic tea, don’t fret: there are some excellent independent films coming out in the weeks and months ahead, and no one wears tights in any of them. In honor of the Tribeca Film Festival, which is rolling through New York City this week, here’s a list of some of 2012 festival favorites — from Tribeca, Sundance, South by Southwest, New Directors / New Films, and Cannes — hitting art house screens in the near future. With movies like these to keep you busy, it’ll be Labor Day (and Oscar Season) before you know it.

Film intelligence: Deer-ly not-so-beloved

Article: Film intelligence: Deer-ly not-so-beloved

Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]). This week: Tribeca starts, Cannes prepares to close, and a filmmaker goes “D’oh!” over a deer.

Legal download: Con men on demand

Article: Legal download: Con men on demand

The world of film is changing. For one thing, there’s not much actual film anymore. The future is digital; more and more, it’s streaming on our computers, too. Every week in Legal Download, we survey the landscape online movies to bring you a snapshot of what’s available. This week, we make our mark on the world of con man movies.

THIS WEEK’S THEME: Con Men On Film


I have a proposition for you. See, this guy gave me this watch. He owed me some money, long story, I don’t really want to get into it, but he gave me this watch. It’s a Rolex; look, you can see the logo right there. I’m in a rush, and I need some cash, so I tell you what. Just like he gave it to me, I will give it to you. The watch is worth at least $5,000, but because you seem like such a nice guy, I’ll give it to you for $500. No? Not interested? You think this is a scam and also a fairly silly way to introduce a column on con man movies that are currently available to rent, stream, or purchase online? Well, fine then. You’re no fun.

Film intelligence: UNCHAINED and (allegedly) anti-semitic

Article: Film intelligence: UNCHAINED and (allegedly) anti-semitic

Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]). This week: Mel Gibson and Joe Eszterhas get uncensored, Gary Ross gets untethered, and Django gets UNCHAINED.

Legal Download: Dance on demand

Article: Legal Download: Dance on demand

The world of film is changing. For one thing, there’s not much actual film anymore. The future is digital; more and more, it’s streaming on our computers, too. Every week in Legal Download, we survey the landscape online movies to bring you a snapshot of what’s available. This week, the column reaches a turning point (though not THE TURNING POINT, since it’s not for rent or sale online) as we watch dance on film.


Film is a perfect compliment to dance because, like film, dance is a medium of pure visual expression. No words needed, no descriptions or dialogue spoken, just movement, gestures, and emotions. Whether it’s ballet or modern or — God help us — breakdancing, dance is a language as universal and as timeless as film. And now, in the immortal words of Gene Kelly, gotta dance, gotta dance, gotta dance (gotta dance).

Film intelligence: Under a long shadow

Article: Film intelligence: Under a long shadow

Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]). This week: BULLY shoves its way back into the conversation, Steve Jobs gets cast, and Arnold Schwarzenegger discovers another long lost brother.

Legal Download: The end of the world on demand

Article: Legal Download: The end of the world on demand

The world of film is changing. For one thing, there’s not much actual film anymore. The future is digital; more and more, it’s streaming on our computers, too. Every week in Watch This Now, we survey the landscape of online movies to bring you a snapshot of what’s available. This week, the end is nigh — whatever nigh means — as we watch some end-of-the-world movies.

The world is coming to an end. Not in a vague, one-of-the-days sort of way; this is definitive and precise and all too soon. What do you do? The possibility of the end of the world looms over many science-fiction films; the aftermath of the end of the world is the focus of even more. But a smaller and more thoughtful subset approach the apocalypse from this unusual angle. The only race against time in movies like these has nothing to do with blowing up asteroids or defusing a doomsday bomb; it’s just that all too familiar urge to do all the things you’ve ever wanted to do before it’s all over. So what would you do if the end was coming? Personally, I’d make some reservations at Per Se before they all get snatched up.

Film intelligence: Gluttons for punishment

Article: Film intelligence: Gluttons for punishment

Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]). This week: THE HUNGER GAMES devours the competition, Charlie Kaufman continues being Charlie Kaufman, and we enter a glass case of emotion over the announcement of a big sequel.

Watch This Now: Vampires on demand

Article: Watch This Now: Vampires on demand

The world of film is changing. For one thing, there’s not much actual film anymore. The future is digital; more and more, it’s streaming on our computers, too. Every week in FYIVOD, we survey the landscape online movies to bring you a snapshot of what’s available. This week, the stakes get a whole lot higher as we take in some vampire movies.

All right, here’s what you need. A cross. Some holy water. A couple of pieces of silver couldn’t hurt, although it might not help in all cases. Ooh, and a good supply of lumber, and if you can get it pre-sharpened, all the better. You can’t be too careful preparing for this week’s FYIVOD because it’s all about the dark world of vampire movies. From some of the earliest days of the silent era to the latest VOD premieres, vampires have fascinated audiences and filmmakers alike. There are literally dozens of movies about vampires and their bloodsucking buddies, but here are five options you can watch online right now that go straight for the jugular.

Film intelligence: Appetite for destruction

Article: Film intelligence: Appetite for destruction

Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]). This week: THE HUNGER GAMES opens, the truth closes in on a playwright, and someone tries to kickstart a campaign to buy Kickstarter.

FYIVOD for the week of March 22nd: Psychedelia

Article: FYIVOD for the week of March 22nd: Psychedelia

The world of film is changing. For one thing, there’s not much actual film anymore. The future is digital; more and more, it’s streaming on our computers, too. Every week in FYIVOD, we survey the landscape online movies to bring you a snapshot of what’s available. This week, get ready for some crazy flashbacks as we explore the world of psychedelic movies.

THIS WEEK’S THEME: Psychedelia