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Cavemen, Mobsters and Nazi Zombies

Cavemen, Mobsters and Nazi Zombies  (photo)

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This week in theaters sees more history coming to life while the oceans around us die. Woody Allen fans can start counting backwards from 364 again, while Sandra Bullock makes Ryan Reynolds suffer, which, after “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” has got to be a cause worth supporting.

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Thanks to the mainstream explosion of snarky adult-oriented animation, grown-ups no longer need to dream up creative excuses to spend all day in front of cartoons, which is nice. This latest dose of claymation cleverness comes courtesy of Israeli director Tatia Rosenthal, working from “Jellyfish” writer/director Etgar Keret’s book of short stories. Anthony LaPaglia voices Jim, a single dad in urban Australia who, along with his family and neighbors, embarks on a series of surreal adventures after his son Dave (Samuel Johnson) blows the titular sum on a book promising to bestow upon him the answer to all of life’s mysteries.
Opens in limited release.

“Daytime Drinking”
While the premise of twentysomethings throwing themselves in front of life’s sucker punches as an excuse to get royally trashed is a subgenre in its own right in the West, first-time filmmaker Noh Young-Seok anchors his parable around the cultural consumption of the native beverage soju, a move that marks it as unmistakably Korean. After a night of commiserate drinking over a break-up leaves him marooned in a neighboring province, the bleary-eyed Hyuk-Jin is subjected to a string of darkly comic episodes with the overly helpful townsfolk that undermine his efforts to leave town. In Korean with subtitles.
Opens in Los Angeles.

“Dead Snow”
Good horror is hard. Good comedy is even harder. That said, zombies are dead funny (get it?) and Nazis are super scary, so having married the two in deliciously tongue-in-cheek fashion, Norwegian co-writer/director Tommy Wirkola seems onto something. Marooning a group of oh-so killable young hedonists in a cabin in the woods, complete with a grizzly local legend about hidden treasure and missing soldiers, Wirkola wastes no time unleashing the gags and the gore so that the great debate as to whether this is better or worse than “Shock Waves” and “They Saved Hitler’s Brain” can eagerly begin.
Opens in limited release.

“The End of The Line”
It’s surprising this documrntary wasn’t released last week to coincide with World Ocean Day on June 8th — filmmaker Rupert Murray’s sophomore feature, based on the book by Charles Clover, serves to add one more number to the veritable roulette wheel of ways we’re likely to kill our planet. With everything from the increasingly powerful lobby of the fishing industry, corporate self-interest and the ill-informed shopper in the supermarket targeted for blame, Murray paints a chilling picture of an ecosystem in crisis that, at current levels of commercial pillage, will cease to exist inside of 50 years.
Opens in New York and Los Angeles.

“Irene In Time”
It’s a testament to the potent nature of authenticity as a creative drug that filmmaker Henry Jaglom prefers to draw and cast from his own life despite having directed actors the likes of Orson Welles and Dennis Hopper. Having undergone a muse transition in recent years from serial collaborator Victoria Foyt to protégé actress Tanna Frederick, Jaglom follows up the Frederick-starring satire “Hollywood Dreams” with an emotional family drama built on the old adage that the first man to win and break a girl’s heart is her father.
Opens in limited release.

Having finally managed to achieve a level of commercial clout to marry with its longstanding artistic sensibility, Latin American cinema is as prominent as its ever been, but still lopsided on the world stage towards the big three countries of Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Here flying the flag for his oft-overlooked home nation is Peruvian director Ricardo de Montreuil with his sophomore feature, an introspective drama set against the backdrop of an arduous journey to a paradise beach. The film stars Jason Day as Santiago, a troubled youth who, in the wake of his father’s suicide, finds himself drawn to his stepsister Ximena (Elsa Pataky), much to the chagrin of her husband Iñigo (Enrique Murciano). In Spanish with subtitles.
Opens in Los Angeles.


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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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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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.