DID YOU READ

The discerning film nerd’s guide to Friday at Comic-Con

The discerning film nerd’s guide to Friday at Comic-Con (photo)

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It feels like it was just yesterday I was pouring over this year’s Thursday schedule at San Diego Comic-Con to put together The Discerning Film Nerd’s Guide to the best programming.

Wait, that wasn’t yesterday, that was like three hours ago. Boy, time sure doesn’t fly when you’re missing out on Comic-Con.

Anyway, Comic-Con’s Friday schedule is now up as well and once again I’ve poured over it to bring you the most intriguing looking panels. Remember that I don’t include anything from Hall H, which is a whole other beast, although I were ever going to wait in line for three hours in the hot San Diego sun behind a dude in a Chewbacca mask who smells like feet, Friday would be the day I did it. First glimpses of the “Spider-Man” reboot, Soderbergh’s “Haywire,” and Nicolas Cage and Neveldine/Taylor’s “Ghost Rider?” I’m ready to startin hitchhiking as soon as I finish this post.

11:00-12:00 Page One
CC2K11 Description: The opening page of a comic sets up everything that comes after it, for good or ill. Carla Speed McNeil (“Finder”), Jen Van Meter (“Hopeless Savages”), Greg Rucka (“Stumptown”), and moderator Douglas Wolk discuss great first pages of comics and the way they can instantly pull their audience in and establish the tone and themes of a story. Room 32AB

Matt’s Notes: No movie connection here, but what a brilliant and unusual idea for a panel, examining sort of the comic book equivalent of our 50 Greatest Opening Titles list. The lineup features a very strong group of writers and artists and a very smart moderator (Wolk’s “Reading Comics” is one of the best books you’ll find on the subject).

12:45-1:45 Legendary Pictures: Preproduction Preview
CC2K11 Description: Legendary Pictures holds its first-ever Comic-Con panel and shares an early look at some of the movies on the company’s upcoming film slate. Fans will be able to access Legendary’s plans, garner sneak peeks at their movies in preproduction, and hear from filmmakers and cast members from the upcoming “Pacific Rim,” “Seventh Son,” “Paradise Lost,” and “Mass Effect.” Panel participants include Jeff Bridges, Bradley Cooper, Guillermo del Toro, Ben Barnes, Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Alicia Vikander, Alex Proyas, Sergei Bodrov, Travis Beacham, Mark Protosevich, and Casey Hudson. Room 6BCF

Matt’s Notes: I have no idea why this panel, with that impressive roster of celebrity guests, is in Room 6BCF and not Hall H, but take advantage of it (get there early, though; there’s sure to be a line). We already told you about the “Mass Effect” announcement but I’m most interested in “Pacific Rim,” Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming monster movie starring Hunnam and Elba, which promises kaiju battles on an epic scale. Also it’s not too early to start talking about Elba’s character name in that movie: Stacker Pentecost. Stacker. Pentecost. Awesome.

3:30-4:15 The Military in Film
CC2K11 Description: The Armed Forces of the United States have been featured in film and television over the last century. How does the real military support the entertainment industry? U.S. Army Lt. Colonel John Clearwater (“Avengers,” “Hawaii Five-O”), U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Colonel Jason Johnston (“Battle: Los Angeles,” “Avatar”), U.S. Navy Lt. Michael Smith (“Battleship,” “NCIS”), U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel Francisco “Paco” Hamm (“Transformers,” “Iron Man 2”), and U.S. Coast Guard Commander Sean Carroll (“The Adjustment Bureau,” “Deadliest Catch”) offer an in-depth discussion and Q&A session. Moderated by U.S. Air Force veteran Jon Huertas, actor on ABC’s “Castle” and HBO’s “Generation Kill” and chairman for SAG Armed Forces Task Force. Marriott Hall 2, Marriott Marquis & Marina

Matt’s Notes: Another appealingly unusual panel. The U.S. military has a very strong presence in San Diego which suggests the turnout and the audience questions will be good and interesting.

6:45-7:45 RiffTrax Live
CC2K11 Description: Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett (RiffTrax.com, “Mystery Science Theater 3000”) return to Comic-Con to perform another live, hilarious riff to a classic short! Join the riffers for fun, laughs, and the latest news about their upcoming “Jack the Giant Killer” live show, a one-night event playing in select movie theaters nationwide in August. RiffTrax.com is the site where “MST3K”-style humor meets mainstream movies, TV shows, and vintage shorts. At RiffTrax they don’t make movies, they make them funny! Room 6DE

Matt’s Notes: Though own I plenty of both their releases, I’ve still never seen Rifftrax or Cinematic Titanic (the two offshoots of the old “Mystery Science Theater”) live. If you’re at Comic-Con you get a chance to see one of their shows (albeit a short one) for free. I wouldn’t hitchhike across the country for this one like I would “Ghost Rider 2,” but if I was in town I wouldn’t miss it.

7:45-8:45 Klingon Lifestyles Presentation
CC2K11 Description: When a diplomatic mission to Bajor goes awry, the crew of the IKV Stranglehold find themselves going through the looking glass to a world that is different from what they know. All life forms and alien cultures are welcome to the latest episode in the ongoing adventures of life aboard the Klingon vessel Stranglehold. Room 6A

Matt’s Notes: We went to this one year to shoot a little of it for a TV special we were making about Comic-Con and it did not disappoint. The Klingons put on a whole “lifestyle” presentation including, as I recall, a dramatic production of a Klingon play. The whole thing was mesmerizingly weird; it was so inside baseball that even when they weren’t speaking Klingon, it was like listening to people talk in another language. And then after the panel’s over, you can mingle with the Klingons and take pictures with them and have them insult you for being a puny, stupid, smelly human, which is hilarious.

9:00-10:00 Worst Cartoons Ever
CC2K11 Description: Jerry Beck (Cartoon Brew) once again compiles a new selection of the most terribly written, ugliest drawn, and unintentionally funniest animated films ever made. Cartoons include Mighty Mr. Titan (a physical fitness superhero) and Super President (a one-man weapon of mass destruction)! Room 6BCF

Matt’s Notes: They had me at physical fitness superhero.

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar

via GIPHY

IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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