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Of Soldiers, Playmates and Poets

Of Soldiers, Playmates and Poets (photo)

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This week sees, for once, nothing imported from Russia and nothing opening in 3D. Hmmm…signs and portents.

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“Brothers at War”
While his very premise negates a documentarian’s objectivity, filmmaker Jake Rademacher brings an intimacy and affection to his feature debut, a handheld portrait of his two brothers serving in Iraq. Shot first-hand while embedded with his brothers’ units in the field, Rademacher seeks to better understand their actions and motivations as they patrol along the Syrian border. Putting the larger political issues aside, the film focuses on the men and women who fight, the families back home who wait, and the unique bond that ties and holds them all together.
Opens in limited release.

“The Cake Eaters”
After cutting her directorial teeth with a segment in 2001 sci-fi anthology “On the Edge,” Mary Stuart Masterson undergoes yet another career reinvention as the helmer of this rural ensemble drama of regret and reconciliation. Having fled to the big city to pursue a music career, Guy (Jayce Bartok, who also wrote the script) returns to his tiny home town having learned that he missed his mother’s funeral. His arrival uncorks the pent-up frustrations of the brother and father that he left behind. Kristen Stewart, who broke big recently as the heroine of Stephenie Meyer’s looky-no-touchy teen romance “Twilight,” shows a different side here in the role of Georgia, a terminally ill teen aggressively pursuing Guy’s brother Beagle (Aaron Stanford) with the hopes to experience the fruits of love while she can. Bruce Dern, Elizabeth Ashley and Melissa Leo co-star.
Opens in New York.

“Carmen & Geoffrey”
Both a portrait of a pair of artists and one of a couple who’ve been married for 53 years, this documentary from filmmakers Linda Atkinson and Nick Doob traces the relationship between legendary dancer Carmen De Lavallade and famed choreographer, actor and director Geoffrey Holder, both major figures in the world of modern dance.
Opens in New York.

“The Edge of Love”
Cillian Murphy, Sienna Miller and Keira Knightley stars in this period piece that made British gossip rags go weak at the knees, a potentially salacious dramatization of poet Dylan Thomas’ well-documented, passionate love triangle, though its premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival last June revealed it to be more plush portrait than titillation. From director “Love is the Devil” director John Maybury, this snapshot of WWII London life sees Matthew Rhys starring as the celebrated Welsh bard Thomas embroiled in a tangled emotional three-way between free-spirited wife Caitlin MacNamara (Miller) and childhood sweetheart Vera Philips (Knightley).
Opens in L.A.; opens in New York on March 20th.

“The Last House on the Left”
With so many casualties of the infamous banned lists of the ’70s and ’80s now revealed to be positively tame by today’s standards, Wes Craven’s mother of all video nasties remains one of the elite few that can still accurately be described as difficult viewing. Craven serves as an executive producer to oversee this present day re-imagining of his 1972 directorial debut starring Sara Paxton as the abducted and brutalized Mari, whose attackers unwittingly seek refuge at the vacation home of her parents (Tony Goldwyn and Monica Potter), who plot to exact the ultimate revenge.
Opens wide.

“Miss March”
Two of the Whitest Kids U’Know, Zach Cregger and Trevor Moore, make their leap to the big screen as the writers, directors and stars of this sardonic road trip sex comedy. After what was supposed to be an unforgettable prom night leaves him in a four-year coma, Eugene (Cregger) awakens to find his high school sweetheart splashed across the pages of Playboy and at the urging of his best pal Tucker (Moore), embarks on an anarchic cross-country jaunt to Hef’s mansion in order to win her back.
Opens wide.


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.