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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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.