“Grabbers” – First impressions from the Sundance sci-fi hit


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By Jordan Hoffman

There are two things that always bring a smile to my eyes: murderous space aliens and drunken Irishmen. “Grabbers,” a delightful little romp playing at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is surely the first movie ever to have both.

A streak of light shoots through the night sky which spells mysterious doom for a witnessing fishing boat. The next day, slashed whales appear on the beach of Erin Island, a tiny rock off the coast of Ireland. As it happens, it’s the same day the police chief takes a vacation, so filling his shoes is a straitlaced woman named Garda (Officer) Nolan. All she really needs to do is keep an eye on things til the boss is back, something the town’s well-meaning but frequently drunk second cop, O’Shea, probably couldn’t handle on his own.

Elsewhere on the beach are what looks like giant pearls, but anyone who’s ever seen a creature feature knows they are eggs. Soon, little slippery slugs with sharp teeth begin popping up, followed by bigger tentacled cuttlefish monsters until, finally, we meet a big-ass beast with a taste for blood.

But there’s a twist and its one that pushes “Grabbers” into the category of a true original. The only one who survives an initial encounter with one of these creatures is the local drunk Paddy. Turns out that the one thing that these aliens can’t abide is blood with a high alcohol content. Oh, the irony! Of all the places to plop down to from space and they had to pick Ireland!

With a big storm brewing and the town needing to bunker for the night, there’s only one way to survive: drink. For the love of all that’s green, drink.

There’s a lot to love in “Grabbers.” As is usually the case with stories set in Ireland, there are a host of wonderful side characters, as well as great moments of swearing and arguing. Unfortunately it takes a little while for Grabbers to get into a groove, but once it does there’s no turning back. There are some missed opportunities in the film (I thought for sure once the jukebox accidentally came on and Garda Nolan had a nail gun we were ready for a full on Sam Raimi experience) but the action, while good, never achieves the level of mind-blowing.

The love story feels a wee bit forced, but you’ll still be cheering when our drunken male lead and stuck-up female lead learn to accept/shirk a little responsibility and meet in the middle. You’ll also leave the theater wishing you could head to the nearest Irish pub to sing “Whiskey In A Jar” and take a long sip on a pint of Guinness.

Will you be checking out “Grabbers”? Let us know in the comments below.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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