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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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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.