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DID YOU READ

Opening This Week: August 3rd, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: Anne Hathaway in “Becoming Jane,” Miramax Films, 2007]

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

“Becoming Jane”

Anne Hathaway gets all period piece on us and tries out her best British accent in this biographical tale of a pre-fame Jane Austen’s romance with a young Irishman, played by the ubiquitous James McAvoy (seriously, what hasn’t he been in recently?). “Kinky Boots” director Julian Jarrold helms the film; fellow Brits Julie Walters and Maggie Smith step in for supporting roles.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Bourne Ultimatum”

Three films in, our favorite amnesiac spy finally discovers the origins of his identity (and then some!) in the third (and final?) installment of the Jason Bourne trilogy. While “Ultimatum” is the final Bourne novel written by the late Robert Ludlum, a fourth and fifth entry were written by Eric Van Lustbader, continuing the Bourne storyline. We’ll see if “Ultimatum” remains Jason Bourne’s last film or whether he’s due for a return. “Supremacy”‘s Paul Greengrass is back to direct.

Opens wide (official site).

“Bratz”

After recently watching the trailer for this new teen film based on… dolls, we can only presume one thing: “Mean Girls” did it better. Much, much better. While we may not be in this film’s key demographic, we don’t think we can forgive the director (frequent Disney Channeler Sean McNamara) for including the word “Brattitude.”

Opens wide (official site).

“Cash”

Indian director Anubhav Sinha directs this Bollywood thriller about an ace con artist who hires a set of top notch robbers to steal some priceless diamonds in South Africa.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“El Cantante”

J.Lo hubby Marc Anthony portrays the enigmatic performer Hector Lavoe, the man who’s credited with introducing salsa music to the U.S. in the 1970s, in this biopic told mostly from the perspective of his wife Puchi (played by Lopez). Early reviews claim that the film suffers from music biopic clichés and poor directional decisions, but, seriously, what did everyone expect?

Opens wide (official site).

“Hot Rod”

Internet sensation and SNLer Andy Samberg stars as a self-proclaimed stuntman who plans to jump 50 school buses on a moped in order to win over his emotionally distant stepfather. While we have nothing against Samberg (we adored “Lazy Sunday”), “Hot Rod” does look like one of the weaker comedies of the summer. But, hey, we’re always ready to watch menacing character actor Ian McShane play for yuks.

Opens wide (official site).

“If I Didn’t Care”

Benjamin and Orson Cummings’ Hitchcockian thriller is set in the resort community of the Hamptons as a trophy husband’s attempts to produce an heir lead to infidelity, murder and tragic consequences. The film channels the noir style of the ’40s and ’50s and stars Bill Sage and Roy Scheider.

Opens in New York (official site).

“The Ten”

A morally flawed narrator oversees ten stories based on the Ten Commandments in this comedy from former “The State” member David Wain. Critics may complain that the film’s uneven narrative structure hurts the overall feel of the film, but that’s not going to stop diehard “The State” fans from seeing this. Plus, Winona Ryder has sex with a ventriloquist’s dummy. Who doesn’t want to see that?

Opens in New York and Los Angeles (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.