This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.


Warning: we may be losing the best actors of our generation.

Warning: we may be losing the best actors of our generation. (photo)

Posted by on

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is at Sundance — partly to talk up the premiere of “Hesher,” but also — and he seems more pumped about — pushing his nebulously-defined production company, a multi-media film/interactive/music/god-knows-what that will have a presentation in Sundance’s newly-minted New Frontiers division.

Now, more power to him, but this certainly isn’t where I thought his career would be five years ago. That’s when he gave two superlative knockout performances back-to-back — in “Mysterious Skin” and “Brick” — before getting bogged down in a bunch of movies that unexpectedly went south: “Havoc” (directed by Barbara Kopple, written by “Traffic”‘s Stephen Gaghan, but somehow most notable for Anne Hathaway’s topless bits), the stillborn, DTV Elmore Leonard adaptation “Killshot,” “Miracle at St. Anna,” etc. All were promising projects that unexpectedly caved. He had a hit with “(500) Days Of Summer” and a paycheck with “G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra”; he’s got a part in “Inception” coming up. It’s not like he’s stopped working out of discouragement.

But when he starts turning into a whirlwind of enthusiasm over something that isn’t acting, you have to wonder how long his interest for his first career will last. He wouldn’t be the first actor of his generation to admit they’re not that interested. Ryan Gosling has a movie at Sundance too (“Blue Valentine”), but he’s made it clear acting is no longer his primary interest; that would be his band Dead Man’s Bones. “I made a couple movies because I had to, but this is all we do,” he said.

01222010_generalhospital.jpgHis contemporary Michael Pitt has slowed down as well, preferring to focus on his band Pagoda. And who knows how long James Franco will put up with the lack of appropriate comic parts for him? That’s something his upcoming role in, say, “Eat, Pray, Love” is unlikely to solve, and he’s way into his painting and performance art (not to mention his SXSW-premiering documentary about “Saturday Night Live”), making it easier for him to just drop out.

All these guys are roughly the same age (birth years ranging from 1978-81), talented and struggling to find parts that are interesting and challenging enough to hold their full attention. They’re way too young to pull the whole Brando “acting just isn’t enough of a challenge anymore.” So they’re all channeling at least some of their energies elsewhere, and who can blame them? I just worry they’ll all turn into Owen Wilson and take the first CGI-talking-animal paycheck they can so they can get back to what they really care about if the interesting parts continue to be sparse.

[Photos: “Hesher,” Handsomecharlie Films et al., 2010; “General Hospital,” ABC, 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.