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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.
Pitch Perfect 3
Universal
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Get Ready Pitches, Here Comes the ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ Poster

Pitch Perfect has become of the unlikeliest (and therefore more welcome) Hollywood franchises in recent years. The series combines the college hijinks of something like Animal House with the competition of an underdog sports movie like The Bad News Bears, and throws in just a dash of Christopher Guest comedy. The first movie was a particular delight, and while the second film didn’t quite recapture the magic, I’m hoping the third film, Pitch Perfect 3, will wrap up the series with style.

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Report: Ron Howard the Frontrunner to Finish ‘Han Solo’

We’re still reeling from the news that Phil Lord and Chris Miller have walked off (or been fired from) the Han Solo spinoff Star Wars anthology film, but this movie has a release date in less than a year, and it is coming to theaters, with Lord/Miller or not. Although the news that the directing duo was not finishing Han Solo was announced today, the search for a replacement was already underway. Deadline says that Lucasfilm’s top pick at the moment is Ron Howard, the Oscar-winning filmmaker of movies like Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, and The Da Vinci Code:

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20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
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‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Trailer: The End Is Nigh for Marvel’s Mutants

I’m an old enough nerd to remember when the first X-Men movie came out in theaters. At that time, comic books were not the number one driver of all things in popular culture. Bryan Singer’s X-Men certainly featured all the comic’s beloved heroes and villains, but there did seem like there was a concerted effort to tamp down some of their comic-book-ness. Everyone dressed in black. There was no spandex. The story was grounded in weighty real-world themes like prejudice and vengeance. It was the X-Men you knew, but watered down just a bit. It was a rum and coke, not a shot of gin. X-Men: Apocalypse, in comparison, looks like a bottle of Beefeater.

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Disney movies smoking
Walt Disney Pictures
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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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Netflix Wet Hot American Summer Photos
Netflix
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New Netflix Instant Releases: July 2015

July is almost upon us and it’s going to be a good month for Netflix users, as the streaming service is adding a whole slew of new movies and TV shows, including a bunch of exclusives. Cult comedy fans are eagerly awaiting the debut of the return of Wet Hot American Summer as a new series featuring the original cast, and standup fans will get a brand-new special from Rush Hour star Chris Tucker. Plus, there’s a whole slew of recent hits from television and cinemas (The Guest!). Read on for your guide to the new Netflix Instant releases arriving in July.

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‘Jurassic World’ Review: The Park Is Open and Full of Dumb People

When all you care about is money, bad things happen. That’s the message of Jurassic World, where greedy theme-park executives hoping to spike attendance engineer the “Indominus Rex,” a genetically-modified dinosaur that immediately turns on its creators and runs amok. Designed as a cautionary tale about the dangers of building a meaner, badder monster purely for the sake of profits, Jurassic World works equally well as a cautionary tale about doing the same thing in movies. All of the rationalizations provided by Jurassic World’s employees — “Consumers want them bigger, louder, more teeth.” “Somebody’s gotta make sure this company has a future!” — could have been taken directly out of the mouths of the studio executives who approved this gene splice of a reboot and a sequel. Their creation — the Indominus or the movie, there’s basically no difference — is as advertised; huge, mean, and visually striking. But this experiment is not without consequences.

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Disney
Disney
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‘Bridge of Spies’ Trailer: Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg’s Cold War Thriller Looks Mighty Cool

When Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg last made a war film, they produced Saving Private Ryan, which was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, and features what’s widely considered one of the greatest battle scenes ever captured on film. They’ve worked together since, including on Catch Me If You Can, one of the best movies of either man’s career, but Bridge of Spies might be considered a kind of spiritual sequel to Ryan. That was Hanks and Spielberg’s World War II picture. This is their Cold War one.

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
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Clint Eastwood to Direct Movie About Heroic Pilot Chelsey ‘Sully’ Sullenberger

On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 was struck by a flock of geese during takeoff from LaGuardia Airport. The plane’s captain, Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger, successfully brought the plane down in the Hudson River, where all 155 passengers and crew members were evacuated and survived. It was an incredible story, one that played out in real time on the news; I vividly remember being at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and watching the whole rescue play out on television.

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Warner Bros.
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‘San Andreas’ Review: Seek Cover From This Dumb Disaster Movie

The classics of this genre featured danger and destruction on a scale a guy could wrap his head around; a hijacked airplane, a skyscraper on fire, a capsized ocean liner filling with water. But when you live by spectacle, you die by it too. And so the disasters got bigger and bigger, one movie trying to top the next, until it became an arms race of planetary devastation. One movie blows up the White House, the next one washes it away in a tidal wave. Where do you go from there? An exploding tidal wave? At this point, if your disaster movie isn’t eradicating a large portion of the globe, don’t even waste your time.

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