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DID YOU READ

Is Colin Farrell Sexy?

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By Andrea Meyer

IFC News

The release of Robert Towne’s Depression-era romance “Ask the Dust” offers the occasion to ponder some burning questions: Namely — what’s the deal with Colin Farrell? Does the generically cute actor with a scoundrel’s smirk and ripped bod have what it takes to be a sex symbol? Can he act his way out of a pair of boxer shorts? And, more importantly, is the guy even sexy?

In the less-than-titillating “Ask the Dust,” the Irish bad boy plays Arturo Bandini, a broke LA-based writer bent on writing the Great American Novel and seducing a California blonde to wear on his arm. Instead he falls in love with Camilla, a sassy Mexican waitress played by Salma Hayek. Rather than wooing, though, he taunts and tortures her in a series of cringe-inducing scenes. (He doesn’t however go so far as to pull her pigtails.) Hayek oozes sensuality — she can’t help herself — but the chemistry meant to sizzle between the antagonistic pair never materializes onscreen. They engage in verbal warfare and skinny-dip in the moonlight, but the attraction supposedly reaching boiling point beneath their surface awkwardness remains cold. When they eventually take their clothes off, it’s a snooze. Watching Hayek wait tables in her huaraches is sexier.

Maybe the casting is off in this film. Maybe it’s not Colin’s fault that the love story falls flat. An online poll, after all, found the notorious ladies man to be the “sexiest and most dateable celebrity bad boy.” I don’t know exactly what that means, but certainly it’s a sign that some people find him attractive. And even though most of his fan sites are defunct, prestigious directors keep hiring him to play roles of greater and greater significance. So he’s got to have something going for him, right?

Colin Farrell first came to international attention playing a Texan soldier in Joel Schumacher’s “Tigerland” in 2000, a role that launched him into the Hollywood stratosphere, where he took parts in a wide range of films before landing the lead in 2002 in Schumacher’s “Phone Booth.” His name indelibly engraved on the A-list, Colin played Alexander the Great in Oliver Stone’s “Alexander,” a mystifying casting choice that stunned detractors who later blamed poor Colin when the film tanked; and Captain John Smith in Terrence Mallick’s 2005 “The New World,” a historical figure he embodied with greater success — he got to play impassioned and dewy while stalking the 15-year-old Pocahontas in the woods.

While “Miami Vice” sounds promising, so far the consistently miscast star’s most compelling role is one that many people missed, in a low-budget, Irish ensemble drama called “Intermission,” in which he plays an Irish punk with cocky charm and a vicious streak. In a word, he plays a nastier version of himself and he does so to truly powerful and scary effect. The performance benefits from tapping into those qualities that land him most often on Page 6, his reputation as a potty-mouthed rogue and lothario, a 29-year-old Don Juan who married a woman whose nickname — Millie — he tattooed on his hand, had a kid with a model ex-girlfriend, and is rumored to have dated “Alexander” co-star Angelina Jolie and Mouseketeer-turned-pop star Britney Spears, among others. And then of course there’s Playboy‘s Miss January 2002, Nicole Narain, which brings us to the little matter of a sex tape.

While his drinking, swearing and charmingly unchecked propensity to say whatever crosses his mind make Colin more entertaining than most celebrities, he’s also a famous guy whose genitals (or “bits,” as he puts it) get more press attention than most. In the indie film “A Home at the End of the World,” based on the novel by “The Hours” writer Michael Cunningham, Colin was bizarrely cast as a sort of asexual cherub with a bland personality, blank facial expression and incomprehensible sexual sway over everyone who crosses his path. The story goes that a full-frontal shot of our boy was cut from the film’s theatrical version because, as was reportedly reported in The Sun, Colin was “too well hung.” Audiences in test screenings apparently became overly-excited, women gasping while the men-folk squirmed uncomfortably.

That his “bits” are something to squirm about has been officially confirmed with the wide Internet dissemination of a notorious 14-minute home porn tape, in which we see Colin being his randy self. He strokes his most buzzed-about body part and grins up at Narain from between her legs to snarl, “I could do this for breakfast, lunch and dinner.” The tape, much greater entertainment than “Ask the Dust,” was for sale for $14.95 on a web site called dirtycolin.com until his lawyers got the site shut down (a legal battle which the ex-lovebirds are still hotly fighting). Fans on such sites as Defamer and Bastardly have suggested that maybe Colin shouldn’t have been so hasty. This scandal could be just the publicity needed to boost “Ask the Dust” (which opened to crap reviews on March 10) and other upcoming projects at the box office. And truth be told, it might be his most winning performance ever.

With all the evidence in place, the question remains: Is Colin Sexy? One 30-something New Yorker said, “He’s just a guy with a cute face and a bad boy reputation. I guess I got over my bad boy phase.” A 20-year-old California girl said even though she likes Colin’s accent, she’s “not a huge fan. I kinda think he’s dirty.” When asked about Colin’s dubious sexiness, my sister — the woman responsible for emailing me an abridged version of Colin’s dirtiest 14 minutes on record — said simply, “The mystery is gone.”

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

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IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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