This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.


The “Avatar” backlash backlash.

The “Avatar” backlash backlash. (photo)

Posted by on

I’m getting sick and tired of hearing about how much “Avatar” is going to suck because the trailer is loud and has silly dragons and it looks like “Delgo” or something. It seems like whenever I talk to someone about whether or not they’re looking forward to the film, their response is “It looks stupid.”

You know what else looked stupid? “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” a movie about a woman trying to destroy a bunch of computers to short-circuit a future computer/human war, alongside the world’s most annoying kid, the charmless young Edward Furlong, teaching Arnold Schwarzenneger how to say “dude.” It’s all voice-overs about being a single mother.

Let’s be honest here: pretty much all of Cameron’s movies look/sound basically stupid if you only, you know, read about them, and not just in a “genre movies have different rules” way. Like, “The Abyss” is (SPOILER ALERT) about aliens who want to destroy us with a gigantic tidal wave. “True Lies” has a punchline where a nuclear bomb going off is supposed to be funny. “Titanic” has all those moronic Celtic pipes on the soundtrack.

Cameron’s obsessed with feminism and nuclear weapons without thinking too hard about either; I won’t be surprised at all if “Avatar” is a soggy allegory about why colonization and the war in Afghanistan is bad Cameron’s been worried about for the last 12 years. And that’s perfectly fine, because his script deficiencies have always been compensated for by godhead levels of organization in the action sequences, which are without exception perfectly organized, beautifully shot and ridiculously exciting.

12092009_avatar4.jpgAnd to the CGI haters: oh be quiet. “Avatar” probably won’t truly LOOK LIKE NOTHING YOU’VE EVER SEEN BEFORE, but I can almost certainly guarantee it’ll be plausible and enveloping: from “The Abyss” onwards, all the effects in Cameron’s movies have aged near-flawlessly. (And if you don’t think that’s a major achievement, go back and look at, say, “Jumanji.”) This is a guy who, for whatever reason, feels his narratives can’t be realized without creating entirely new technologies and systems. That’s his mental block and curse, but whatever it takes to bring action cinema’s greatest technician back is fine by me.

So keep that all in mind while you watch this admittedly spot-on burgeoning viral sensation, which cuts “Team America: World Police” to the “Avatar” trailer. It’s funny, but it kind of proves my point: Cameron’s skills with story may be pretty rudimentary, but his ridiculous technique and technical advances push way beyond the same old blow-shit-up-hero cycle nonsense.

[Photos: “Avatar,” 20th Century Fox, 2009]


Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

Posted by on


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.

Posted by on
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.

Posted by on
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.