DID YOU READ

“The Avengers” trailer: from Bruce Banner to the Skrulls, here are five questions it leaves us asking

“The Avengers” trailer: from Bruce Banner to the Skrulls, here are five questions it leaves us asking (photo)

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Just in time for New York Comic Con, the first trailer for “The Avengers” has finally arrived online, offering audiences their first look at Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and the rest of Marvel’s cinematic superheroes sharing the same screen.

And while the new trailer gave us lots of explosions, some snappy dialogue, and a good look at the film’s villain, Loki, there were a number of lingering questions it didn’t answer. Back in August, I suggested 10 questions that we’d like to see answered in “The Avengers.” With that in mind, here are five things we’re still wondering after watching “The Avengers” trailer.


101111_avengers1.jpgWherefore art thou, Skrulls?

Rumors about the shape-shifting alien Skrulls appearing in “The Avengers” have been circulating for more than a year now, and they gained considerable support when those leaked photos of Captain America and Thor fighting actors in motion-capture suits appeared online. While the new trailer does show soldiers and police firing into the air at an unknown threat, there’s no sign of aliens (other than Thor and Loki, that is) anywhere to be found in the new footage. In fact, the scenes of urban carnage that had many people thinking the Skrulls would lay siege to New York City appear to have been caused by Loki — or maybe that’s what the trickster god and the studio wants us to think.


101111_avengers3.jpgWho’s leading who?

One of the most entertaining parts of the new trailer is a brief scene featuring Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) trying to insult Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). His attempt at shaming the man in the Iron Man armor falls short (fyi: never get into a battle of wits with Tony Stark), leaving us asking the same questions about who’s the real captain of the Avengers team. Will Captain America follow suit with his comics counterpart and lead the team, or will Iron Man’s box-office pull mean that Tony Stark will be the one to assemble the Avengers?


101111_avengers4.jpgIs Bruce Banner in control?

We get a few glimpses of Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner in the new trailer, including an early shot of him trying to get a grip on his rage, and a later scene in which Tony Stark makes fun of his tendency to Hulk-out when the mood’s right (also not the greatest idea). We also get an ever-so-brief look at the green goliath himself, though the context of his roaring appearance isn’t explained. So, given Tony’s playful attitude toward Bruce, does the doctor have his inner demon under control? If so, that’s a pretty powerful weapon to have on the side of The Avengers.


101111_avengers5.jpgWhy does everyone hate Cap?

The antagonistic relationship between Captain America and Iron Man was a given, but the trailer also reveals a bit of brawling between Cap and Thor, too. So what did the star-spangled Avenger do to get on everyone’s bad side this time? Comic books are famous for having superheroes, meet, brawl, and then realize that they’re on the same side, so will “The Avengers” follow suit?


101111_avengers.jpgWill Clint Barton get snubbed?

Of all the characters to appear in the trailer, expert marksman Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), received the least amount of screen time. Given how much we saw of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), should Hawkeye fans be worried about their favorite archer getting short-shrifted in the film? Hawkeye was a late addition to the “Thor” movie, and only appeared in a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo, but many attributed that to the timing of Renner joining the Marvel movie-verse family. While the sight of Hawkeye snapping his bow into place and pulling a few nifty moves in a street battle should have his fans cheering, I can’t help wondering if the time we see him in the trailer is in proportion to his role in the film. Here’s hoping that’s not the case, as Marvel’s world could use as much of the Avengers’ archer as possible.

What questions do you still have about “The Avengers” after seeing the trailer? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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