DID YOU READ

“American Reunion” teaser makes us feel nostalgic, incredibly old

“American Reunion” teaser makes us feel nostalgic, incredibly old (photo)

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“American Pie” came out the year after I graduated from high school, and it’s tale of awkward, horny virgins who have no idea how to relate to women was basically my life story on film, plus an awkward masturbatory pie incident something I could not relate to in any way whatsoever but still found very entertaining. Both sequels, “American Pie 2” and “American Wedding” were satisfying diversions, if not quite as earth-shatteringly honest and funny about 90s teen life as the original. Then came a decade of straight-to-video cash-in sequels with none of the original cast except Eugene Levy as Jim’s Dad, still hanging around teenagers for some reason even though Jim himself had split years earlier. And while some of those DTV titles aren’t horrible (some; notice I said some) they never even came close to approximating the pleasure of the true “American Pie”s because they only replicated the crazy sexual antics and not the special chemistry between the characters.

Which is why it’s kind of fun to see those characters back in “American Reunion,” written and directed by “Harold and Kumar” architects Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, which debuted a cute teaser trailer on the web this week. The premise is simple but brilliant: its the gang from East Great Falls High School’s ten year reunion. Thus there’s no need to bend over backwards trying to invent some clever way to bring together all two hundred and fifty-two characters (approximate) from “American Pie,” the reunion does all the work for you. And sure enough, basically everyone’s coming back, including actors like Tara Reid and Chris Klein who didn’t even show up for “American Wedding.” They’ve even found room for the charming minor characters like Chris Owen’s Chuck Sherman a.k.a. “The Sherminator,” a guy whose nerdiness and love of impersonating Arnold Schwarzenegger characters hit an uncomfortably close chord with me at age 18 is really silly and absurd and in no way relatable, but still amusing to watch.

Here is the teaser:

Obviously, we don’t see much (or any) actual footage from the movie, or even the entire cast. So I’m left with a lot of questions: where’s “Mad Men”‘s January Jones, who played Stifler’s unlikely love interest in “American Wedding?” Will any of Stiffler’s younger brothers, cousins, half-cousins, and gardeners who anchored all those DTV sequels show up? Has Nadia’s handle on the English language improved and will that make her less sexy as a result? Will John Cho — a.k.a. “MILF Guy #2” — still be obsessed with MILFs even though he’s now old enough to be a FILF himself? I guess we’ll have to wait and find out when the film opens on April 6 next year.

Do you want to see one more “American Pie?” Does the mere thought of one wrack you with crippling terror about your own mortality? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and 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.