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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.
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It’s Here! Watch the Official ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ Trailer

“There is a 97.6 percent chance of failure,” one of the characters says in the new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, referring to their scheme to steal the plans for the Death Star. I’m not sure the percentage is that high for the movie itself, but it’s got to be up there. There’s a lot of risk for Rogue One, or at least as much risk as there can be for a Star Wars movie. It’s got to prove that there is life for the franchise beyond the main “saga” films. And it’s got to prove that a prequel can work in Star Wars (previously, it hasn’t always worked out for this property). Even in a galaxy far, far away, those are some awfully big questions.

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Stan’s VHS Collection
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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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Sony
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‘Central Intelligence’ Review: A Perfect Buddy Pair in an Imperfect Buddy Comedy

Like so many nightmare scenarios in modern life, Central Intelligence begins with a Facebook friend request. In high school, Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) was voted Most Likely to Succeed. He did not; the day before his 20-year reunion, he’s a low-level accountant. Too embarrassed and frustrated by the way his life has turned out (despite his relatively happy marriage to his high-school girlfriend Maggie, played by Danielle Nicolet), he’s decided to skip the reunion. That’s when the friend request arrives, from someone named Bob Stone. Calvin doesn’t know any Bob Stones, but he reluctantly accepts the friend request anyway. It turns out Bob Stone is actually Robert Weirdicht (say it out loud), who was involved in a horrific bullying incident back in high school.

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Category: Movie News
O.J. Simpson
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‘O.J.: Made in America’ Is Essential Viewing

I’m a freshman in high school. After months of legal proceedings, the jury finally reaches a verdict in the O.J. Simpson case. For the only time in my four years of secondary education, everything stops. Several classes worth of kids pile into the only room on the hall with a cable television. The room is packed. Kids are literally sitting on each other's laps because there’s nowhere else for them to go. It gets quiet.

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Finding Dory
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‘Finding Dory’ Review: Pixar’s Fishy Franchise Just Keeps Swimming

Like every other Pixar release, Finding Dory opens with a short film. This one is called “Piper”; it’s about a little bird learning to hunt for food among the scary ocean waves. It’s a terrific showcase for Pixar’s latest advancements in computer animation, which in recent years has taken on the qualities of great nature photography. The sunlight sparkles against the water, which ripples and flows with uncanny accuracy, and when the little bird kicks a pile of sand in a crab’s face you can practically count the individual grains.

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Money Monster
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‘Money Monster’ Review: Greed Is Good. This Movie Is Bad.

When it opens on Friday, Money Monster will be the most preposterous film currently in theaters. No easy feat at a time when multiplexes also feature a superhero saga about a genius in a suit of flying armor fighting a man who spent 75 years frozen in an iceberg and an adaptation of a cartoon about a boy who can talk to bears and snakes.

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Disney Unveils New Details About the Upcoming Star Wars Experience

The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60 was a big show. Idina Menzel sang “Let It Go.” Elton John sang a hit or two from The Lion King in the shadow of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. But for a particular kind of movie fan, the highlight of the night was an appearance by Harrison Ford (who, mercifully, did not sing) introducing what he called “The Star Wars Experience.” Those are the massive Star Wars worlds coming soon to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and the show featured some of the first looks at concept art and animation from the upcoming attractions.

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Lucasfilm
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‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Review: The Saga Continues…

The original Star Wars was driven by nostalgia for pulp magazines, Saturday-morning serials, and a simpler era with clear-cut heroes and villains. The new Star Wars is driven by nostalgia for the original Star Wars, and a simpler era when that title evoked words like “adventure” and “excitement,” and not words like “the taxation of trade routes,” and “Jar Jar Binks.” The characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens are all searching for something of great importance to the galaxy far, far away. I won’t reveal what this MacGuffin is, but I will tell you what it represents: that old Star Wars magic. Can director J.J. Abrams and the rest of the saga’s new creators find it?

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Disney Bans Smoking in Youth-Rated Movies

If you’re a fan of Disney baddies like cigar-smoking Bill Sykes from Oliver & Company (and really, who isn’t a fan of Bill Sykes from Oliver & Company?), this news is relevant to your tobacco-stained interests: The Walt Disney Company has banned all depictions of smoking from all of its films from all of its child-oriented labels (including Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm) rated G through PG-13. Via a press release:

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