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DID YOU READ

Life as an “Interquel”

Life as an “Interquel” (photo)

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This week finds us lampooning the ’50s, waxing nostalgic about the ’80s and lamenting the fact that Vin Diesel ever made it out of the early ’00s. There are also high school kids trying to get off, Brian Cox trying to get out and the finest nomadic goat herder rom-com you’ll ever see.

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“Adventureland”
Having played no small part in shepherding in the current bromance boom, “Superbad” director Greg Mottola reverts back to the more traditional boy-meets-girl formula for this ’80s comedy based on his own experience working amidst the disheveled and dispirited at a Long Island theme park. Perennially awkward Jesse Eisenberg stars as James Brennan, who, having realized a tad too late that a degree in renaissance literature was not the fastest track to six figures, resigns himself to minimum wage eternity while making eyes at the cute and edgy Em (Kristen Stewart), unprepared for the skeletons her closet contains. Bill Hader, Kristin Wiig, Ryan Reynolds and Margarita Levieva co-star as a few of the uptights and cool kids that populate the park.
Opens wide.

“Alien Trespass”
The only possible explanation for the lack of spoofs of the golden age of sci-fi cinema circa the 1950s is that in many respects it’d be hard to distinguish them from the genuine article, but director R.W. Goodwin, an executive producer of “The X-Files,” anchors his attempt somewhere between “It Came From Outer Space” and “Mars Attacks.” “Alien Trespass” is presented as a recently unearthed genre classic in which a flying saucer slams into a Mojave mountain range, causing the lost extraterrestrials to assume control of the bodies of gawky scientist Ted (Eric McCormack) and other locals while repairs are carried out on their damaged ship.
Opens in limited release.

“Bart Got A Room”
The tale of an awkward Jewish teen desperate to lose his virginity will likely draw comparisons to “American Pie,” right down to his uncomfortably enthusiastic dad (played here by a Jewfro’d William H. Macy), but a PG-13 rating ensures that no kugels were harmed in the making of this family-friendly film. Opting for gags that are more about growing up than grossing out, first-time writer/director Brian Hecker is content for his coming-of-age comedy to be sweet where others might insist of saucy. Steven J. Kaplan stars as Danny Stein, an overachiever in every respect but his love life. In need of a date for prom, he turns to his eccentric parents (Macy and Cheryl Hines) and his best friend (“Arrested Development”‘s Alia Shawkat) to make sure he doesn’t go solo.
Opens in limited release.

“C Me Dance”
When a lot of people hear the term “evangelical horror,” they will immediately think of films like “Jesus Camp” (Google the term and in fact, that’s the first thing that comes up), but as oxymoronish as it sounds, it’s become a genuine subgenre, with last November’s “House” being a recent example. While “House” had an eerie locale and a veteran character actor (Michael Madsen) in its midst, faith-based writer/director Greg Robbins’ no-budget shocker has only a camera and some red contact lenses to work with. Robbins also stars as Vince, a “hard working, God loving man” whose daughter Sheri’s (Christina DeMarco) dreams of dancing are shattered by a devastating medical diagnosis. Prayer grants the distraught Sheri a miracle only for the Devil (Peter Kent) to try to intervene.
Opens in limited release.

“Enlighten Up”
Despite the fact that yoga’s essentially is a simple prescription of body posture and breathing exercises, it’s also a surprisingly divisive phenomenon. For every person who swears it’s the most liberating experience of his or her life, there’s another who dismisses it as a bunch of tree-hugging hippie crap. As one of the former determined to convert one of the latter, documentary filmmaker Kate Churchill observes and reports on the progress of her skeptical guinea pig Nick, who’s pledged himself to Kate’s extensive yoga immersion program that threatens to bend both his body and mind to its breaking point.
Opens in New York.

“The Escapist”
When it comes to prison, British cinema is generally only interested in what happens to get you in there and what happens after you get out, rarely bothering with the period in between. Similarly Brian Cox, a titan in the annals of great supporting players, takes surprisingly few lead roles, so when he does choose one you can be sure there’s something to it. Set amidst the customary horrors of prison, debuting co-writer/director Rupert Wyatt places his pathos in the hands of aging lifer Frank Perry (Brian Cox), who assembles a ragtag convict crew, each with a particular skill to lend, to assist in an audacious great escape upon learning his estranged daughter is ill. Damian Lewis, Joseph Fiennes and Seu Jorge are among his charges.
Opens in limited release.

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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.