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DID YOU READ

Opening This Week: February 16th, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “Avenue Montaigne,” ThinkFilm, 2007]

A round-up of the best (or worst) $10 you’ll spend this week.

“Antibodies”

German director Christian Alvart follows up his 1999 film “Curiosity & the Cat” with this suspense thriller about a small-town detective whose interrogation of a serial killer threatens the core of his beliefs.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Avenue Montaigne”

France’s entry in the Best Foreign Film category at this year’s Oscars reminds us a bit of 2001’s “Amelie,” as Cecile de France stars as a young waitress from the countryside who changes the lives of the art-centered customers of the cafe. “Avenue Montaigne” is the latest from “Jet Lag” director and writer Danièle Thompson.

Opens in New York and Los Angeles (official site).

“Bamako”

African filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako paints a picture of political and personal strife in contemporary Africa in this drama about a couple’s disintegrating break-up set against the backdrop of public proceedings against international financial institutions blamed for the country’s woes. Danny Glover, who executive produced the picture, also has a cameo.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Breach”

“Shattered Glass” director Billy Ray presents another film based on a true story about a young man faced with a questionable morality. This thriller follows a young up-and-coming FBI agent who’s asked to spy on his superior, who is believed to be a double agent working against the interests of the nation. Ryan Phillippe and Chris Cooper play the rookie and double agents, respectively.

Opens wide (official site).

“Bridge to Terabithia”

Hungarian filmmaker Gabor Csupo transforms this popular children’s story about two fifth graders who encounter a magical kingdom hidden deep in a forest into a feature film (his first) after spending over a dozen years producing and developing the popular “Rugrats” series. Indie fave Zooey Deschanel and cult icon Robert Patrick support.

Opens wide (official site).

“Days of Glory (Indigènes)”

This World War II film details the story of a group of North African soldiers enlisted to fight for the French as a part of an “indigenous” unit. Director Rachid Bouchareb is said to employ every World War II film cliché in the book for this film, but critics state that the film’s modest budget and culturally diverse ensemble cast allow the filmmaker to explore racial conflicts in a war-time setting.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Ghost Rider”

It seems as though every superhero in the Marvel Comics catalog is getting his own movie; the latest is for the marginally popular Ghost Rider, a former motorcycle stunt rider who moonlights as an evil bounty hunter at night after making a deal with the devil, Mephisto. The film has a familiar superhero director in “Daredevil”‘s Mark Steven Johnson and action star in Nicolas Cage (“National Treasure,” “The Rock”), but still seems a bit ho-hum to us. We’re just a bit disheartened the producers didn’t go for the original Ghost Rider.

Opens wide (official site).

“Music and Lyrics”

Hugh Grant. Drew Barrymore. Valentine’s Day. We think it’s safe to say that there are no surprises in this one.

Opens wide (official site).

“Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls”

In a span of a few short years, February became the month of Tyler Perry, an unknown African American playwright who struck gold when his first film, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” produced on a budget of $5.5 million, grossed over ten times that amount. Together, Perry’s first feature and his second, 2006’s “Madea’s Family Reunion,” have grossed over $100 million, so it’s no surprise Lionsgate greenlit his latest, a romantic comedy with Gabrielle Union and “The Wire”‘s Idris Elba. It’s unclear yet whether Perry’s latest film will uphold his winning streak at the box office (“Daddy’s Little Girls” is the first Perry film without his popular Madea character), so we’ll just have to wait and see come Monday.

Opens wide (official site).

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

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

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.