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Opening This Week

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05122008_princecaspian.jpgBy Neil Pedley

After last week’s ridiculously crowded release schedule, this week’s is somewhat more manageable.

“The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”
Fans salivating at the prospect of some post-Middle Earth fantasy creature smackdown were left disappointed last time around as, for all its promise, initial “Narnia” installment “The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe” possessed about as much bite as a hibernating tortoise. Looking to fill the hole left by a certain boy wizard in the summer release schedule, the second adventure into Narnia sees the four Pevensie siblings summoned back to the fantastical world to find that 1300 years have passed and their former kingdom lies in ruins. Joining forces with heir to the throne Prince Caspian (Ben Bames), the children lead a renegade army into battle against the tyrannical King Miraz, seeking to restore Narnia and bring about peace once more.
Opens wide.

“My Father, My Lord”
The winner of the Best Narrative Feature award at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival is an Israeli drama from first time director David Volach set in an Orthodox community where a rabbi struggles with his relationship with his doting son. In Hebrew with subtitles.
Opens in New York.

“Quantum Hoops”
Caltech students are famous for many things, but athleticism isn’t one of them — the university basketball team hasn’t won a game in 21 years. Rick Greenwald’s debut documentary, narrated by David Duchovny, follows the Beavers at the end of their 2006 season as they try to break their 240 game losing streak.
Opens in New York.

A staple on the European festival circuit since its debut two years ago, this playfully melancholic drama about friendship and ambition was Norway’s bid for the 2006 best foreign language film Oscar. Written over the course of five years by Joachim Trier and Eskil Vogt, “Reprise” tells of two idealistic young writers whose friendship is threatened when one’s manuscript is published and the other is not. “Reprise” has won critical praise for Trier’s audacious blend of a highly kinetic directing style with a classic French New Wave sensibility, but it wasn’t until uber-producer and tastemaker Scott Rudin stepped in that the film found a U.S. distributor in Miramax. In Norwegian with subtitles.
Opens in limited release.

“Sangre de Mi Sangre”
The debut feature from writer/director Christopher Zalla netted a Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, where it was known as “Padre Nuestro.” With a new title (which translates in English to “Blood of My Blood”), this drama follows Mexican immigrant Pedro as he travels to New York City in search of his successful (and estranged) father. Along the way, he meets Juan, a charismatic young con man who steals Pedro’s identity and abandons him in the city. The two race to find Pedro’s father first, one in search of his love, the other in pursuit of his money. In Spanish with subtitles.
Opens in limited release.

Germany’s Christian Petzold, who has been compared to Claude Chabrol, directed this disquieting thriller about a woman who flees an abusive husband for a new job in Hanover, only to become involved in a cutthroat corporate scheme that offers its own dangers. This film, which won over critics at its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival last year, is the first of Petzold’s to get a U.S. release. In German with subtitles.
Opens in New York.

[Photo: “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” Walt Disney Studios, 2008]


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.


Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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GIFs via Giphy

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:


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.


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!


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.


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.



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.