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Five hilarious anachronisms in “Colombiana”

Five hilarious anachronisms in “Colombiana”  (photo)

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Look, I realize that we call movies like “Colombiana” “big, dumb action films” for a reason: they’re supposed to be kind of stupid. We don’t expect great intellectual insight from a director named Olivier Megaton.

What we do expect is a base level of competence when it comes to logic and continuity, and that base level is just not met in “Colombiana.” Over and over and over again, this film proves itself to be maybe the most anachronistic movie in a decade. It’s so anachronistic, it’s positively anachrotastic. Here’s just five examples I caught; I’m sure there are more. I’ll be getting into a few plot specifics here, so there are some minor SPOILERS ahead.

1. Mini SD cards didn’t exist in 1992.

According to an onscreen title card, “Colombiana” begins in “Colombia – 1992,” where Zoe Saldana’s character, Cataleya, is a Colombian schoolgirl whose parents do wetwork for a drug cartel. Some sort of deal with the parents’ boss goes bad, and the cartel comes gunning for the family. Just before his death, Cataleya’s father gives her a mini SD card full of incriminating information and instructions to deliver it to the US embassy if anything should happen to him. But SD cards, especially little itty bitty ones like the kind Cataleya’s father gives her, didn’t hit the market for another eight years.

The gaffe gets even worse when Cataleya arrives at the embassy and hands over the SD card to one of the US agents, who inserts it into an early-90s IBM PC complete with 5 1/2 inch floppy drive and monochromatic screen. Of course, it reads the SD card no problem. At least he doesn’t stick it into a Zack Morris cell phone and then upload its contents to his Facebook page.

2. Neither did “Xena: Warrior Princess.”

While fleeing to America, Cataleya passes the time by reading “Xena: Warrior Princess” comic books. When she arrives in Chicago, she tells her uncle that she’d always wanted to be like Xena when she grew up. But her parents’ murders have made her rethink her longterm career goals: now assassin for hire seems more her speed. Her uncle’s understandably alarmed by his adorable niece’s bloodlust, but he should be at least a little curious who exactly this Xena lady she keeps talking about is, since Lucy Lawless and her television show (not to mention any spinoff comic books) didn’t premiere until 1995. If little Cataleya really loves Xena, she also really loves her undiagnosed psychic abilities, which could also explain our #3 anachronism…

3. Parkour was apparently invented by an extremely coordinated Colombian child.

True, some early forms of this extreme sport existed decades ago. But parkour didn’t really start kicking (and running and jumping and then rolling and running some more) until the late ’90s, when French gymnast and martial artist David Belle and a few of his cohorts popularized it through a series of documentaries and feature films. Regardless, that doesn’t seem to stop Cataleya — who’s maybe 10 years old at the time, mind you — from going into a full-on parkour chase scene through a Colombian favela to escape her parents’ killers. To top it off, all the dudes chasing her appear to know parkour too! We’ve already established that she’s a psychic, but where’d they learn this stuff? Isn’t it obvious? They’re time travelling drug lords.

4. President Obama? Not the President when the movie takes place.

After Cataleya lands in America, the film jumps ahead fifteen years. Which, if my math is correct, dates the rest of the movie to the year 2007. Which, if my memory is correct, is at least a year before Barack Obama was elected President of the United States. Why, then, does the evil CIA Agent working with the Colombian cartel have Obama’s official presidential portrait on his wall? Here I think we’re looking at a situation involving time travelling, and also some kind of Super PAC.

5. Michael Vartan’s iPhone is from the future.

True, the first iPhone was released by Apple in mid-2007 — but not the model Vartan’s sporting in the film, which looks to me like a second generation iPhone 3G. Let’s just be thankful he didn’t start free running after Cataleya when she gets pissed at him for taking a picture of her with it.

Did you spot any other “Colombiana” anachronisms? Tell us about them in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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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….

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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.

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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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