Opening This Week: February 26th, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “Into Great Silence,” Zeitgeist Films, 2007]

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

“Black Snake Moan”

If you thought director Craig Brewer’s “Hustle and Flow” had an over-the-top premise, just be prepared for his latest Southern drama about a God-fearing former blues musician (Samuel L. Jackson) who attempts to “cure” a sexually abused woman turned nympho (Christina Ricci) of her sinful ways. “Snakes on a Plane” (a ranting and raving Samuel L.) meets “The Exorcist” (less puking, more humping) with a bit of “Monster’s Ball” thrown in? We shall see.

Opens wide (official site).

“Full of It”

“Comedian” director Christian Charles follows up his acclaimed Jerry Seinfeld documentary with a (sigh…) teen comedy about a young kid who starts telling lies to the popular clique at his new school, only to find out that new problems arise when his lies start becoming truths. The film has a host of TV veterans, including “Punk’d”‘s Ryan Pinkston as the lead teen and supporting roles being filled in by former “Daily Show” host Craig Kilborn and a wildly inappropriate Teri Polo. Kids who listen to Panic! At the Disco must be stoked.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Into Great Silence”

German director Philip Gröning puts Mel Gibson to shame with this meditative take on spirituality more hardcore than anything in “The Passion of the Christ.” Gröning spent six months (after waiting sixteen years for approval) in the confines of the Grande Chartreuse, a Christian monastery in which monks quietly fulfill their daily prayers, tasks, rituals, and rare outdoor excursions. No voiceovers, no score, and, at almost three hours, no mercy for those with short attention spans.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Two Weeks”

Writer and director Steven Stockman casts Ben Chaplin, Thomas Cavanagh, Julianne Nicholson and Glenn Howerton as siblings who gather at their dying mother’s house for one quick, last goodbye but wind up trapped together for two weeks. Somewhere in this comedy is a tad bit of melodrama, we’d expect, but with Sally Field playing the mother of the family, this film could be promising.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Wild Hogs”

“Van Wilder” director Walt Becker’s middle-aged road comedy about a group of four friends who start a biker gang doesn’t seem to be generating any positive buzz — in fact, The New York Times recently labeled the film as potentially the worst movie of the year. We recommend checking out the much funnier (and, dare we even say, more pleasing to the eye) 2000 Clint Eastwood film “Space Cowboys,” or, hell, even that episode of “The Simpsons” when Homer gets the motorcycle. It’s shorter and features a lot less Tim Allen.

Opens wide (official site).

“Wild Tigers I Have Known”

The debut feature film from indie boy wonder Cam Archer is, underneath that festivalesque ambiguous title, a coming-of-age story dealing with sexual confusion and gender bending. The film premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, where critics generally hailed it as an artful and sensitive portrayal of teenage queer identity.

Opens in limited release (official site).


We’re glad that David Fincher is returning to the crime thriller genre after the overrated claustrophobic mess that was “Panic Room” (we still find “Se7en” to be the second-best serial killer film after “The Silence of the Lambs”), and his film on the Zodiac Killer of the 1970s might provide a refreshing take on an oft-imitated story (three films in the past four years!). Oh, and we still can’t get over the ridiculous hairstyles on Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo. Priceless.

Opens wide (official site).


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…


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. 


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 ’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?”


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).



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.


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


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

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.


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.


Forget Public Wifi

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



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.


Self Defense

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


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