DID YOU READ

Legendary Pictures to talk “Mass Effect” movie at Comic-Con

Legendary Pictures to talk “Mass Effect” movie at Comic-Con  (photo)

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There’s been some talk about the death of Comic-Con as an epicenter of the buzz economy. Major studios aren’t spending the money and logistical capital to get directors, casts and that all-important shwag to San Diego this year. And, if you’re a lifelong comics fan like me and my colleague Matt Singer, then there’s some ambivalence at seeing the retreat of Hollywood powers-that-be who came to Comic-Con International to mine geek enthusiasm for their marketing efforts. On one hand, studios and stars showing up to court fanboys smells like nerd victory. But, when the flip side is a movie that underperforms or gets everything wrong about, say, Judge Dredd, all that wooing leaves a fanboy feeling cheap and used.

Nevertheless, if you want to capture the hearts of a hardcore nerd fanbase, Comic-Con’s still the beating heart of disproportionately passionate pop culture enthusiasm. If you want to shore up the force of will that says a movie based on Comic Book/Anime/Video Game X needs to exist, the Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center is where you go. Legendary Pictures finds itself in a unique position for this year’s Con. The production house has worked hand-in-hand with Warner Bros to make dozens of hit movies but it’s the first time that they’ll be presenting a slate of their own.

A panel on Friday July 22 will feature “Mass Effect” amongst the films that Legendary’s revealing to Comic-Con attendees. Legendary optioned “Mass Effect” last year but it’s been very quiet as to what exactly’s been going on with the process. To shed some light, Casey Hudson from dev studio BioWare will be on hand to talk about the deal, along with screenwriter Mark Protosevich, fresh off the success of Marvel’s “Thor.” It’ll be interesting to see just how much of the game trilogy’s sprawling story–where player-created hero Commander Shepard’s mission to stop a marauding machine race called the Reapers–will be kept for the film adaptation.

This isn’t Legendary’s first foray into game-related properties, as they also acquired the film rights to global phenomenon “World of Warcraft” and Epic Games’ hit “Gears of War” franchise over the last few years. (Of course, neither film’s shot so much as a reel of film yet. Ahem…) So a “Mass Effect” movie could still be a long ways off, but there’s some cold hard facts that will come with it. Foremost amongst them is the reality that the Commander Shepard in the film will inevitably be male. If fans are lucky, then maybe MaleShep and FemShep voice actors Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale will get cameos. It may be true that everyone loves Hale as the female version of Shepard in the games. However, it’s also true that putting men in charge of saving the universe is how Hollywood’s power studios roll. But, if we have to have a dude hero in charge of the Normandy, I, for one, wouldn’t mind Michael Fassbender as Shepard. He’s got enough menace, charm and gravitas to make audiences believe he’s a Paragon and/or a Renegade.

As the company’s website manifesto says, the films they have in development share a “targeted focus on the powerful fandom demographic.” They’ve got an all-new “Godzilla” in the works, as well as “Gravel,” a film based off comics writer Warren Ellis’ bad-ass combat magician and Guillermo Del Toro’s sci-fi thriller “Pacific Rim.” A giant space epic like “Mass Effect” certainly falls in line with the company ethos but it’s also the kind of thing that seems unfilmable. The joy of the “Mass Effect” games comes from not just action, but the consequences of those actions. That dynamic’s going to be tricky to capture in a cineplex.

Do you have high hopes for a “Mass Effect” movie? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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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.