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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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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.