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.


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.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.