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Schwarzen-Watch: All Arnold Projects on Hold

Schwarzen-Watch: All Arnold Projects on Hold (photo)

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IFC.com’s film writer, Matt Singer, is the biggest Arnold Schwarzenegger fan on the planet. He blogs any time any news about Schwarzenegger’s return to acting, no matter how flimsy or improbable, hits the Internet.

It’s been a busy week here at Schwarzen-Watch. But I have a feeling this could be this column’s last installment for a while. Because, like the T-800 in that convenience store, Schwarzenegger’s put his hand up, and now he’s called a halt to all of his projects.

With the continuing scandal around his love child with his family’s longtime housekeeper, it’s become a less-than-ideal time to relaunch a movie career. That means no “Cry Macho,” no “Terminator 5,” and definitely no “The Governator” for the foreseeable future. Here’s his representation’s official statement, from Entertainment Weekly:

“At the request of Arnold Schwarzenegger, we asked Creative Artists Agency to inform all his motion picture projects currently underway or being negotiated to stop planning until further notice… Governor Schwarzenegger is focusing on personal matters and is not willing to commit to any production schedules or timelines. This includes ‘Cry Macho,’ ‘The Terminator’ franchise and other projects under consideration. We will resume discussions when Governor Schwarzenegger decides.”

To me, this is just further validation of all my theories about his career. I’ve always argued in the face of skeptics that Schwarzenegger is a personal filmmaker. His movie look like violent killfests — any they are! — but they’re also violent killfests with a deep emotional connection to the guy who was making them. If, as some argue, Schwarzenegger can’t act and he’s always playing himself, then basically every single movie he’s made has revealed another facet of his personality. And I think he was going to start doing that all over again with his new projects. But now the parallels between his real life and his cinematic life which were previously buried too deep for most people to notice are front and center for all to see.

Consider “Cry Macho,” which was going to be about a man who becomes a surrogate father to a kid he’s been hired to kidnap. “The Governator” would have turned Schwarzenegger, playing a cartoon version of himself, into a literal superhero-by-night, a veritable rebuke of the aging process that the actor was repeatedly exploring in his last batch of movies before he went to Hollywood. And of course every “Terminator” movie represents something to Schwarzenegger: the first, his power; the second, his growing sense of familial responsibility; his third, his fear of failure, and the chance that he might screw something up and basically ruin his entire world (foreshadowing!).

This won’t be the end of Schwarzenegger; if Mel Gibson can get a second (and a third, and a fourth) chance, so can Arnold. Just don’t hold your breath for his next movie (or children’s cartoon show… yeah, maybe that was just a bad idea in the first place). When he finally returns, will he stick with such nakedly personal projects? Or will his violent killfests finally become the mindless exercises they’ve always been taken for? Regardless, when it happens, I’ll be around.

Wait, I mean back! I’ll be back. Duh.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

E.coli-class-

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

ecoli-computer

IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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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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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:

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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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