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DID YOU READ

You’d Like to Move It, Move It?

You’d Like to Move It, Move It?  (photo)

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Sony’s entry into the motion-control sweepstakes-also known as Trying to Get Some of That Wii Money-finally hits stores today. I wrote about it a bit in my E3 wrap-up, where it faced off against Microsoft’s controller-free Kinect camera. Now that it’s out in the wild, here’s a few things you should consider if you want to pick it up.

It’s Not Just Another Version of the Wii
The Move setup uses a camera and a wand-shaped controller. Sony’s technology uses the Playstation Eye camera–along with a three-axis acceleromter–to track the glowing ball and map movement. The combo of visual and positional data makes the Move feel more precise as a result. For another thing, the Playstation’s beefier graphics hardware makes Move games look sharper than anything on the Wii.

Get ready for your close-up
Some of the Move games will use your image to interact with on-screen elements. The prime example of this is “Start the Party,” a collection of wacky mini-games. You and your real-life background appear on the screen, but instead of holding the Move controller, you’ll be holding hair clippers to shave heads, a paintbrush to draw with or a pin to pop balloons with. The augmented reality implementation is impressive and even a little trippy.

So far, the standouts are…
“echochrome ii”: Don’t worry about the numeral part of the title, because this game is no hacked-out sequel. echochrome ii veers pretty broadly from its predecessor in order to carve out a unique experience with Move. The core concept is the same: an architectural puzzle game that tasks players to steer a walking mannequin through spare, disconnected landscapes. But, instead of moving a virtual camera so that gaps and other hazards become obscured or no longer visible, you’re using the Move wand as a flashlight to cast shadows and create pathways for your avatar to walk through. The shadowplay

“Sports Champions”: Yes, a package of sports-themed gestural games is suspicisouly reminiscent of “Wii Sports.” But there’s a variety to the bundled activities-bocce ball, disc golf (played with a virtual Frisbee) and archery-that the Nintendo runaway hit doesn’t have. And the actual play experience feels weightier and more accurate than the sports games on Wii. You feel like you’re competing, not playing.

And avoid these clunkers…
“Kung-Fu Rider”
The goofy concept-playing as two characters racing and karate-chopping bad guys through city streets while sitting on a variety of wheeled items like vacuum cleaners or desk chairs-wins you over at first. But the game is too long by half and filled with repetitive sections.

“Racquet Sports”
This Ubisoft game is just too much of a mediocre thing. Tennis and ping pong are fine, but when you start getting into badminton, that just smacks of desperation. More problematic is the sameness of the playable characters and the odd disconnect between the gestural input and on-screen movement. Awkward and one-note don’t exactly scream cutting edge.

The best Move games aren’t here yet
As with any emerging technology, the game designers and creators working with Move are only just scratching the surface. Frankly, some of the games for the Move’s launch catalog are Wii titles that have been re-purposed-like Crave Entertainment’s “Brunswick Pro Bowling,” for example-with hefty graphical upgrades. There will likely be some truly inspired and trippy motion control games a year from now, and that alone presents the best reason for getting a Move.

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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.