Matt Singer

The kids ain't all right at South By Southwest 2012

Article: The kids ain't all right at South By Southwest 2012

The 2012 SXSW Film Festival opened with the world premiere of THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, a film that outwardly appears like a new spin on the classic teenage slasher movie but is ultimately about — and I supposed this is a little bit of a SPOILER, if a film’s themes can be spoiled — movies and their audiences: why they’re made, why they’re watched, and the lengths filmmakers go to please their viewers, even if their viewers are bloodthirsty bastards. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS’ central metaphor, brilliantly developed by director/co-writer Drew Goddard and producer/co-writer Joss Whedon over the course of a film that is funny, scary, and very smart, is specifically about horror movies. But it applies equally well to films of all genres, and particularly to the sort of stuff that premieres at film festivals, where directors often spend years of their lives and every dollar they have for the opportunity to present their vision of the world to an audience.

Film intelligence: SModified distribution

Article: Film intelligence: SModified distribution

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: SXSW hands out some awards, Kevin Smith tries releasing other filmmakers’ movies via SModified distribution, and David Cronenberg tries TV.

FYIVOD for the week of March 15th: Claustrophobia edition

Article: FYIVOD for the week of March 15th: Claustrophobia edition

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, we’re looking at claustrophobic horror movies. Don’t go in there! And definitely don’t close that door! And whatever you do, don’t turn on that light!!

THIS WEEK’S THEME: Claustrophobic Horror

Film intelligence: Go South by Southwest, young man

Article: Film intelligence: Go South by Southwest, young man

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: SXSW kicks off, a BULLY finds love in Canada, and the Olsens find a new calling.

FYIVOD for the week of March 8th

Article: FYIVOD for the week of March 8th

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, we’re looking at high school ensembles, movies that have brought us fast times in the lives of American teens who left us dazed and confused.

THIS WEEK’S THEME: High School Ensembles

Why do we love high school movies? Maybe because high school is something everyone can relate to: we’ve all been there and we’ve all survived it — just barely. And why do we particularly love high school movies that feature large ensembles of characters? Maybe because we recognize that while everyone’s high school experience sucked, no one’s sucked in quite the same way. High school ensembles enable filmmakers to capture the diversity of teenage life in all its splendor and awkwardness. Here are five of the best. But as you gorge yourself on all these great movies, just remember to take a break once in a while. Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

The Review Revue: TIM AND ERIC'S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE

Article: The Review Revue: TIM AND ERIC'S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE

In “The Review Revue,” we turn dozens of movie reviews from all over the Internet into one handy blog post. It’s like super-concentrated orange juice for film criticism (with less pulp and Vitamin D). This week: we pay the price for TIM AND ERIC’S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE.

Film intelligence: Second-rate ratings

Article: Film intelligence: Second-rate ratings

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, Harvey Weinstein and the MPAA try to BULLY each other, we cap off our Oscar hangover and THE GODFATHER returns to theaters.

FYIVOD for the week of March 2nd

Article: FYIVOD for the week of March 2nd

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, we’re looking at Anthology films with classics from Woody Allen and Roger Corman…plus, a visit from Jim Jarmusch.

The Review Revue: WANDERLUST

Article: The Review Revue: WANDERLUST

In “The Review Revue,” we turn dozens of movie reviews from all over the Internet into one handy blog post. It’s like super-concentrated orange juice for film criticism (with less pulp and Vitamin D). This week: we ramble through the critical reaction to WANDERLUST.

5 films that prove the Spirit Awards are better than the Oscars

Article: 5 films that prove the Spirit Awards are better than the Oscars

The old adage is just as true of awards shows as it is of movies: bigger does not mean better. The Oscars might get all the press, they might have all the prestige, but that doesn’t mean they’re superior to all other movie awards. Case in point: this year, the Spirit Awards, the Oscars’ indie alternative, the Elizabeth to the Academy’s Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, honored all sorts of outstanding movies that barely even garnered a mention on the big show. Does that mean those films were inferior? Nope; it means the Oscars were. Here are five films that prove the Spirits Awards’ are better than the Oscars.

Film Intelligence: Pick on someone your own size

Article: Film Intelligence: Pick on someone your own size

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, we’ve got Oscar snubs, Oscar branding and some Johnny Depp/Edgar Wright gossip.

FYIVOD for the week of February 24th

Article: FYIVOD for the week of February 24th

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’S THEME: Mumblecore

The Review Revue: BULLHEAD

Article: The Review Revue: BULLHEAD

In “The Review Review,” we turn dozens of movie reviews from all over the Internet into one handy blog post. It’s like super-concentrated orange juice for film criticism (with less pulp and Vitamin D). This week: we find out whether critics had a cow over BULLHEAD.

At the Oscars, it's hip to be square

Article: At the Oscars, it's hip to be square

The Los Angeles Times just posted a massive investigation into the demographics of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the 5,765 largely anonymous voters who every year decide who will receive the highly coveted and ultra-influential Oscars. Their findings, which will come as a shock to no one who has watched the Oscars at any point in the last 25 years, revealed a membership that is very old and very uncool. 94% of Academy voters are white; 77% are male. 54% are over the age of 60; just 2% are under the age of 40.

Top 10 semi-nude film scenes

Article: Top 10 semi-nude film scenes

Nudity is great (okay, it’s totally awesome), but sometimes the old adage is true: you really can get too much of a good thing. Oftentimes a film scene is enhanced by suggesting rather than showing, hinting rather than hammering. These ten notable sequences cut back on the graphic imagery for different reasons — to play a particularly lewd joke, to suggest the frustration of the characters, or to sneak around a pesky MPAA rating — but they all have one thing in common. They prove that sometimes less really is more.

Film intelligence: Pardon the interruption

Article: Film intelligence: Pardon the interruption

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]).

The Review Revue: THE VOW

Article: The Review Revue: THE VOW

In “The Review Revue,” we turn dozens of movie reviews from all over the Internet into one handy blog post. It’s like super-concentrated orange juice for film criticism (with less pulp and Vitamin D). This week: we pledge to gauge the critical reaction to THE VOW.

Is it time to stop dumping on "Dumpuary?"

Article: Is it time to stop dumping on "Dumpuary?"

We all know now’s not the best time of year to go to the movies. Over at Grantland.com, Robert Mays dubs the months of January and February “Dumpuary,” a fitting name for a season that has become known as Hollywood’s dumping ground for its most hopeless projects. In his piece, Mays spends an entire Dumpuary weekend at the biggest multiplex in Los Angeles, watching every single movie at the theater in an apparent attempt to kill himself. Somehow he survived, even through a bowel-clenchingly terrifying double feature of Katherine Heigl and talking chipmunks. To borrow the title of a particularly unpromising Dumpuary release (the words Dumpuary and release just go together so well, don’t they?), it’s enough to make a man go out on a ledge.

Film intelligence: Dirty Harry cleans up our economic mess

Article: Film intelligence: Dirty Harry cleans up our economic mess

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]).

The Review Revue: CHRONICLE

Article: The Review Revue: CHRONICLE

In “The Review Revue,” we turn dozens of movie reviews from all over the Internet into one handy blog post. It’s like super-concentrated orange juice for film criticism (with less pulp and Vitamin D). This week: we chronicle the reaction to CHRONICLE.

In praise of "watchability" and the movies we watch again and again

Article: In praise of "watchability" and the movies we watch again and again

A few years ago, a beer company started a campaign advertising the “drinkability” of its product. At first it struck me as silly — and surprising that a competitor didn’t respond that theirs was the more “potent potable” — but then I began to understand. Technically all beers are drinkable. They were simply suggesting theirs went down smoother and easier than the rest. We might apply similar criteria to movies. Technically all movies are watchable (assuming they’re in focus). But those that are more easily and more frequently watched, that go down smooth and easy, have what we could call “watchability.”

Film intelligence: Distributors keep on Sundancing

Article: Film intelligence: Distributors keep on Sundancing

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]).

The Review Revue: THE GREY

Article: The Review Revue: THE GREY

In “The Review Revue,” we turn dozens of movie reviews from all over the Internet into one handy blog post. It’s like super-concentrated orange juice for film criticism (with less pulp and Vitamin D). This week: we get the black and white truth on THE GREY.

A (fairly) complete Sundance 2012 acquisitions list

Article: A (fairly) complete Sundance 2012 acquisitions list

In our last distribution round-up, we compared the acquisition market at Sundance ’12 to a domino rally. Now, on the last day of the festival, it looks like that scene in every apocalypse movie where a terrified mob raids a grocery store, with people in a desperate scramble to get whatever they can before the shop closes forever. In three days, at least eleven distribution deals closed, with several more reportedly almost finalized.