DID YOU READ

Trailering: “Passion Play”

Trailering: “Passion Play” (photo)

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Academy Award nominee Mickey Rourke, Academy Award winner Bill Murray, and multi Teen Choice Award winner Megan Fox star in “Passion Play,” opening Friday, May 6 in New York City. Supposedly, it is about a jazz musician (Rourke) on the run from the mob, who falls in love with a girl he meets working in a circus sideshow (Fox). I say supposedly because having watched the film’s trailer, I don’t see a lot of that stuff in there. Sure, the actors are present. But the details are vague. Take a look:

You know me, reader. I don’t wish ill on any film, but I have a soft spot in my heart for cinematic trainwrecks. And “Passion Play” has been on my bad movie radar since it premiered at last fall’s Toronto Film Festival and garnered some of the most brutal reviews in recent memory. Like, The Hollywood Reporter:

“If the degree of laughter at the wrong moments and the number of walkouts at the Toronto International Film Festival are any indication, the film will appeal only to the most fondly indulgent.”

Rope of Silicon:

“I have no idea why this film was ever made.”

Moviefone:

“It’s easy to wonder if [writer/director Mitch] Glazer should have waited a little bit more, and gotten other directorial work under his belt to be able to frame the fantasy as well as the reality – especially when he reveals his whimsy-laden, bittersweet ending. Though it should offer a rush for the audience, it elicits laughs instead.”

JoBlo.com:

“‘Passion Play’ is a BAD movie. Astoundingly bad. Unfathomably bad. As bad as any film Uwe Boll’s ever made, and then some.”

L.A. Weekly

“This is essentially The Mickey Rourke Story, done in the style of the direct to video trash he killed time with during his career’s downswing.”

And The Los Angeles Times:

“For the pre-show introductions on Friday night, Glazer was joined onstage by Fox, Rourke, Murray and Lynch. But in a sign of the film’s lackluster reception, for the Q&A after the movie only Glazer took to the stage. Lynch and Murray remained in their seats, while Rourke and Fox seemed to have already left. To top it off, there were almost no questions from the audience, leaving a helpless moderator to awkwardly kill time by asking Glazer mundane questions about the score. For most everyone in the room, it felt like it couldn’t be over soon enough.”

Apparently writer/director Mitch Glazer spent 20 years of his life struggling to bring this story to the screen, and that sort of commitment and personal investment in a film often separates the mediocre from the fascinatingly awful. No doubt those reviews turned off a lot of potential viewers. Not me. They’ve got me as excited about “Passion Play” as anything coming out this summer. Passionate, even.

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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.