DID YOU READ

Boondocks, Babysitters and Broncos

Boondocks, Babysitters and Broncos (photo)

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A Halloween week surprisingly light on horror sees instead some romantic dust-ups, courtroom showdowns and an epic battle of egos waged across the vast cosmic expanse of time and space.

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“Aladin”
While much of Bollywood’s output has a touch of the fantastical, this contemporary adaptation of the classic fairytale cranks things up to a whole new level. The latest from Indian director Sujoy Ghosh, this romantic fable finds Ritesh Deshmukh as the eponymous hero, a ne’er-do-well bullied by local thugs whose life transforms when his childhood crush gives him a magic lamp containing a genie (Amitabh Bachchan). Eager to be released from his teapot-shaped prison for good, the fast-talking trickster pressures our befuddled hero to make wishes until things turn ugly when the lamp’s former occupant (Sanjay Dutt) shows up. In Hindi with subtitles.
Opens in limited release.

“Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day”
Despite running on a mere handful of screens for just a single week during its theatrical release a decade ago, former bartender-turned-writer/director Troy Duffy’s hard-boiled crime thriller about a pair of Boston brothers-turned-vigilantes has attained cult status, in spite of continued derision from many confused critics. While Willem Dafoe has bowed out, Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus are back as the McManus brothers, who come out of hiding in Ireland to return to their old stomping grounds when they discover they’ve been framed for the murder of a local priest.
Opens in limited release.

“The Fall”
Brotherly love is put to the test in this brooding psychological thriller, the feature debut from commercial director John Krueger. Scott Kinworthy co-stars as a hotshot D.A. on the fast track to the governor’s office until his black sheep younger brother Tony (Benjamin Ciaramello) is arrested for a murder of a priest (apparently in vogue this week). As he uncovers evidence that will clear Tony, but will certainly spell the end to his own career, Frank finds himself in an impossible position. Perhaps he should call the Boondock Saints.
Opens in Los Angeles.

“Gentlemen Broncos”
Along with his wife and writing partner Jerusha, Idaho native Jared Hess has evolved into a valiant champion of nerds and underachievers everywhere, and now proudly marches off into yet another dimension with this psychedelic tale of interplanetary ineptitude. Hess’ third directorial outing finds Benjamin (Michael Angarano), an aspiring fantasy writer picking up the shattered pieces of his dream from a sticky convention suite carpet after his favorite author and hero, Dr. Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine Clement), steals his manuscript and publishes it under his own name. Sam Rockwell co-stars as the title character in two versions of the plagiarized book in question.
Opens in limited release.

“The House of The Devil”
Besides moonlighting recently here at IFC.com with the vampire dating series “Dead & Lonely,” Ti West has been earning raves for this defiantly lo-fi throwback to ’80s horror flicks. Based on a series of “unexplained true events” (which, these days, sadly carries more threat than promise), West’s nod to Roman Polanski’s “Apartment” trilogy and films like “Burnt Offerings” sees a bright-eyed but cash-poor college girl (Jocelin Donahue) respond to an ad for a babysitter. She winds up experiencing all sorts of strange occurrences in the creepy Victorian house of an even creepier couple (Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov) on the eve of a lunar eclipse. Oh, and there’s no baby, either.
Opens in limited release.

“How to Seduce Difficult Women”
…Nah, too easy. Contrary to what the title might suggest, this is sadly not the Frank T.J. Mackey spinoff that fans of P.T. Anderson’s “Magnolia” have long been hoping for, although the general idea isn’t far off, if a touch more benign. The writing/directing debut for indie producer Richard Temtchine, this good-natured romantic dramedy finds the impossibly named Louis-Do de Lencquesaing in the role of Philippe, a cross-continental Casanova who takes ten crass American men under his wing to school them in the art of seduction, a course that will ultimately test his own game to its very limits.
Opens in New York.

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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…

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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.

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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-Craft

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?”

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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).

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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.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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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.

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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.

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Forget Public Wifi

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

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Inter-not

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.

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Self Defense

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

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