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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.
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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Category: Lawton News Tags:
The Founder
The Weinstein Company
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‘The Founder’ Review: Bah Dah Bah Bah Bahhhh, I’m Not Lovin’ It

A meal at McDonald calls to mind words like “processed,” “synthetic,” “safe,” and “familiar.” The Founder, the story of the man that transformed McDonald’s from a regional burger chain into a fast-food juggernaut, is not a particularly compelling biopic, but it’s not a bad cinematic translation of what it feels like to eat at Mickey D’s. Every beat comes straight out of the great-but-complicated man movie biography playbook. Each element seems selected to fulfill the audience’s expectations for this kind of film. In one scene, the title character screams at a McDonald’s franchisee for deviating from the company’s strictly mandated burger toppings: two pickles, a sprinkle of onions, and a squirt of ketchup and mustard. This particular owner dared to break the rules and put lettuce on their burger. Lettuce! The Founder is a movie with no lettuce.

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Category: Lawton News
bestposters2016
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The Best Movie Posters of 2016

Our ongoing celebration of the best from the world of film in 2016 continues with our ranking of the finest movie posters of the year. In the gallery above you’ll see our picks for the 25 best. They range from massive hits to to tiny indie releases; we decided not to limit our list just to huge commercial successes. We don’t determine a movie’s quality by its box office totals. Why should we determine a poster’s quality that way?

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Category: Uncategorized
Warner Bros./Warner Bros./Paramount
Warner Bros./Warner Bros./Paramount
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The Best Movie Trailers of 2016

December is officially upon us, and so is year-end list-making season. We’re kicking things off by looking backwards and forwards: By ranking the finest teasers, trailers, and coming attractions of 2016. To qualify, only the trailer had to be released in this calendar year; you’ll see trailers below for movies that haven’t even been released yet and can’t be judged next to the films they represent. That’s as it should be; beyond their function as pieces of advertising, trailers should stand alone, as bite-sized entertainments and even, in a few rare occasions, as works of art. Here are the ten trailers of 2016 (plus a few honorable mentions) that came closest to that lofty ideal.

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Category: Uncategorized
‘Bad Santa 2’
Broad Green Pictures
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‘Bad Santa 2’ Review: Objectively a Worse Santa Than Before

The opening of Bad Santa 2 feels exactly right The first movie gave its degenerate, safe-cracking mall Santa a glimmer of a happy ending, an absurd outcome for a man who had screwed and robbed and drank and cursed his way across a large swath of the Phoenix metro area. 12 years later, Bad Santa 2 finds its antihero back at rock bottom; alone, drunk, and broke. In a despairing voiceover, Billy Bob Thornton croaks out a treatise on the absence of happy endings in life — or any endings at all. Life, his Willie Soke muses, just goes on and on, consistently sucking forever. Then he writes a suicide note on an old pizza box and sticks his head in an oven.

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Category: Lawton News Tags:
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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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: Lawton News Tags:
filmstruck
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FilmStruck, TCM and Criterion’s New Streaming Service, Is Live

After a couple of minor hiccups and delays, FilmStruck, the new streaming service from Turner Classic Movies and the Criterion Collection is live at FilmStruck.com. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial right now; after that it’ll cost you either $6.99 per month for the basic plan, $10.99 per month for the plan that includes Criterion Collection films, or $99 for a full year of both, which according to my incredible arithmetic skills, is about a $30 discount from the month-to-month pricing.

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Category: Lawton News
Columbia
Columbia
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‘Inferno’ Review: Tom Hanks Saves the World. Any Questions?

Inferno marks the third movie from director Ron Howard and star Tom Hanks based on the popular novels by Dan Brown about Harvard professor and symbologist Robert Langdon. They’re all vary degrees of bad — and Inferno is easily the worst of the bunch — but what’s particularly galling about this franchise are the years Howard and Hanks, two of our most dependable filmmakers, have wasted on it. Together they’ve made Splash and Apollo 13; separately their credits include Cinderella Man, The Paper, Saving Private Ryan, Captain Phillips and so many others. How many great movies could they have made, as a team or as individuals, if they hadn’t committed their talents to these cruddy thrillers?

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Category: Lawton News Tags: ,

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