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Opening This Week: September 7th, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “3:10 to Yuma,” Lionsgate, 2007]

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

“The Brothers Solomon”

Will Arnett of “Arrested Development” fame stars in his second Bob Odenkirk comedy after last year’s dismal “Let’s Go to Prison,” this time playing one of two socially inept home-schooled brothers who attempt to sire a child for their dying father. The film was written by former “SNL”-er and other Solomon sibling Will Forte.

Opens wide (official site).

“The Bubble”

Israel’s most promising young director, Eytan Fox, delivers another exposé on sexuality and the political climate, following a group of friends whose lives are affected by the gay romance of an Israeli and a Palestinian man. The film and its title both serve as a love letter to the city of Tel Aviv, where the film is set.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Fierce People”

Filmed over three and a half years ago, this Griffin Dunne comedy sounds a bit like “Mean Girls” meets “Running with Scissors” meets every other independent coming-of-age movie from the last five years. The teenage son (Anton Yelchin in his pre-“Huff” days) of an anthropologist moves with his drug-dependent mother (Diane Lane) to the estate of an aging billionaire (Donald Sutherland). Dunne’s comedy has been making the film festival circuit the past few years, having premiered at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival.

Opens in New York (official site).


Completely unrelated to the children’s novel by Gary Paulson we all grew up reading in elementary school, this horror film comes courtesy of newcomer Adam Green, whose attempts to restore the traditions of ye olde horror films of the ’70s will hopefully allow us to forget all of the “Saw”‘s and “Hostel”‘s of the world. Jason Voorhees himself, Kane Hodder, stars as an ax-wielding psychopath who preys on a group of tourists in the New Orleans swamps.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Hunting Party”

Richard Gere and Terrence Howard star in this new comedic thriller courtesy of “The Matador” director Richard Shepard, about a three-person news team who embark on an unauthorized mission to find the number one war criminal in Bosnia for an interview, but who instead find themselves in serious jeopardy when they are mistaken as a CIA hit squad. The film premiered earlier this month at the Venice Film Festival.

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

“I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With”

Yeah, so we totally love the title, the supporting cast, and pretty much anything Jeff Garlin is in. Garlin writes, directs and stars in this unconventional romantic comedy (is there any other kind?) about an overweight comedian who’s unable to hold on to a girlfriend, including his new chubby chasing female companion (Sarah Silverman). The film premiered at Tribeca last year.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“In the Shadow of the Moon”

This new documentary from filmmaker David Sington chronicles the events of the NASA Apollo missions as the surviving crew members recount their stories of moon landings. While astronaut Neil Armstrong declined an interview and remained as elusive as J.D. Salinger, the film features archival footage of space never before released.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Romance & Cigarettes”

John Turturro’s much storied directorial feature finally finds a release after a heated battle between the director and the distributor, Sony Pictures Entertainment. While Sony may have balked at the film’s peculiar use of popular music to tell the tale of a construction worker’s adulterous affair with a lingerie boutique owner, we can’t help but feel giddy at the prospect of hearing James Gandolfini and Susan Sarandon belt out “The Girl That I Marry” from “Annie Get Your Gun.”

Opens in New York (official site).

“Shoot ‘Em Up”

Before we settle in with all of the heavy-handed “serious” films of the fall season, we can’t help but get excited about “Monster Man” director Michael Davis’s latest action film, in which a British nanny with an extensive military background (Clive Owen, looking like the James Bond he almost was) helps a woman (Monica Bellucci) protect an infant from a ruthless hitman (Paul Giamatti). The film, unsurprisingly, received an overwhelmingly positive reception at this year’s Comic-Con.

Opens wide (official site).

“3:10 to Yuma”

“Walk the Line” director James Mangold remakes the classic Glenn Ford western in which a captured outlaw (a mean Russell Crowe in a return to form) attempts to psych out a small-time rancher (Christian Bale) before his transport to Yuma prison. Standard action flick or good ol’ cat-and-mouse thriller? We could care less, we’re just excited to finally see award season started with.

Opens wide (official site).

“The Unknown Soldier”

German director Michael Verhoeven’s documentary charts the history of the Wehrmacht Exhibition between 1999 and 2004, which challenged the preconceived notions that Nazi war crimes during World War II were committed by a minority of officers by showcasing photographs and footage of ordinary soldiers gleefully tormenting and executing civilians on the Eastern front.

Opens in New York (official site).



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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GIFs via Giphy

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.”


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. 


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.


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.