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DID YOU READ

Everyone’s At It

Everyone’s At It (photo)

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Fiction be damned this week as the documentary makes an impressively strong showing amongst the new releases. For those who simply must make believe, there are vampire slayers, guys and girls in love, guys and guys in love, and a guy pretending to be a guy who loves other guys.

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“Blood: The Last Vampire”
Since beginning its (after)life back in 2000 as an animated feature, the teen-oriented “Blood” saga has spawned a comic book sequel, three novels, a video game and a 50-episode anime TV series. Now “Crouching Tiger” producer William Kong delivers an English language live-action version with a script from “Fearless” scribe Chris Chow and “Kiss of the Dragon” helmer Chris Nahon in the big chair. South Korean actress Gianna Jun stars as Saya, a 400-year-old half-human who, on order from a secret organization known as The Council, hunts and slays the undead minions of a demon named Onigen in post-WWII Japan.
Opens in limited release.

“Brüno”
Cinema’s premier shock artist Sacha Baron Cohen returns to unleash another of his provocative alter egos on an (allegedly) unsuspecting populace. As flaming fashionista Brüno, the host of the Austrian fashion TV show “Funkyzeit,” Cohen inflicts his singular brand of assault and battery on a variety of unsuspecting celebrities and members of the public in ways that will divide audiences like a laser. Between this and “Borat,” we should be able to finally calculate the median amount of money your film needs to make before people decide their character has been defamed and file suit.
Opens wide.

“Facing Ali”
Muhammad Ali was undoubtedly one of the greatest and most storied fighters in the history of professional boxing. Here, director Pete McCormack takes the unusual step of exploring what it was like to stand in the opposite corner, collecting testimony from a multitude of opponents who found themselves on the receiving end of the flamboyant showman’s punches and, in some cases, his politics. Speaking extensively with ten of Ali’s most famous rivals including Joe Frazier, George Foreman and Sir Henry Cooper, McCormack explores the pain and the paydays of some of the defining bouts of their respective careers.
Opens in Los Angeles.

“Humpday”
Now that the Apatow stable has turned bromance into box office gold, it was only a matter of time before someone took the concept to its logical conclusion. Writer/director Lynn Shelton, who likely has a post-mumblecore breakout hit on her hands, wrings out the wince-inducing gags and gets to the core of male friendship with this comic sexual satire. Mark Duplass co-stars as Ben, an easygoing husband and would-be father who feels the pangs of bachelorhood after his free-spirited buddy Andrew (Joshua Leonard) drops in unannounced and the two dare each other to enter a local pornography festival together. Only the simple matter of filming themselves in the act stands between them and total artistic triumph.
Opens in New York and Seattle.

“I Love You, Beth Cooper”
Given that the luster of seeing Hayden Panettiere in a cheerleader outfit has worn off the once mighty “Heroes,” do we really need a movie built on that same idea? Chris Columbus thinks so as he helms Larry Doyle’s screen adaptation of his own novel into this innocuous teen comedy. Once more cast as the high school hottie, Panettiere stars as the titular object of affection for nerdy valedictorian Denis (Paul Rust), who embarks on a wild night of romantic self-discovery after professing his love for Cooper during his graduation speech.
Opens wide.

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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.