DID YOU READ

“Edison Force” and other bits.

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A pairing for the ages.
"Edison Force," Justin Timberlake‘s acting debut, comes out on DVD today, having bypassed theaters entirely. It’s an ignominious end for a title that, as Natalie Finn at E! Online reminds us, was the closing night film at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, and whose cast includes Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman and LL Cool J.

Then again, it’s generally considered to be a mightily mediocre stinker (if it had been truly awful, it would have probably made it into theaters after all, bad press being better than none). Amusingly, the trade critics called this one way out: reviewing it at TIFF, the Hollywood Reporter‘s Michael Rechtshaffen mused that

Coming after the screenings of so many high-profile, awards-season
contenders, it would seem like an odd choice, but given a cast that
includes Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, LL Cool J, Dylan McDermott, Cary
Elwes
and a nonsinging, nondancing Justin Timberlake in his feature
acting debut, it probably made perfect sense to the party planners.

For most everyone else, this Millennium Films
presentation’s domestic best bet likely will be as a DVD rental, though
those big names alone will ensure international interest.

And Scott Foundas at Variety wrote "Its high-profile (and inexplicable) slot as Toronto’s closing night gala notwithstanding, ‘Edison’ should be coming soon to a cable channel and a video store near you."

Elsewhere, John Hooper at the Guardian reports that an angry mob of Florentines stormed a train station in the city and sat on the rails in an attempt to block north-south rail traffic through Italy, all at the behest of…Franco Zeffirelli? The "Romeo and Juliet" director, an ardent supporter of Florence’s Fiorentina football club, was angered by the stiff penalty given to the club as a result of Italy’s recent football scandal.

Franco Zeffirelli, who received an honorary knighthood from the Queen two years ago, had earlier appealed to his fellow Fiorentina supporters to "cut [Italy] in half" as a protest against punishments meted out to their club by a tribunal set up to judge claims of match-fixing…

He hinted that, if the punishment of his side were not revoked, the Florentines might think of taking even more drastic steps. "Closing the museums for a while wouldn’t do any harm," he said.

The BBC has a list of 25 classics compiled by Andrew Collins of Radio Times as a "crash course" for aspiring film buffs. Collins takes an interestingly inclusive approach in his choices, including "Armageddon" on his list along with the most expected titles: "Snobbery does not belong to the film buff… To understand the 1980s/1990s blockbuster, you must accept producer Jerry Bruckheimer into your life. ‘Armageddon’ is the pinnacle of Bruckheimer excess."

And at the Hollywood Reporter, Gregg Goldstein claims that the casting for Ang Lee‘s next, "Lust, Caution," has been finalized, and that the leads will be, as rumored, Tony Leung and film newcomer Tang Wei, along with (as previously announced) Taiwanese pop star Wang Lee Hom.

Also, indieWIRE turned 10 — congrats!

+ Timberlake Film Fizzles (E! Online)
+ Edison (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Edison (Variety)
+ Football fans block railway line after Zeffirelli call to arms (Guardian)
+ Casablanca is buffs’ ‘must-see’ (BBC)
+ Ang Lee finds stars for World War II thriller (Hollywood Reporter)
+ First Person: indieWIRE @ 10, And Counting… (indieWIRE)

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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.