DID YOU READ

“The Avengers” cast offers insights into their superhero characters

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A new “The Avengers” trailer headed to the web today and an awesome new poster premiered yesterday, so it should come as no surprise that we’re sort of in the middle of “Avengers” mayhem right now. The flick won’t hit theaters until May 4, but that doesn’t mean that we’ll stop analyzing every word the cast says about the project in anticipation of its release.

Fortunately, Entertainment Weekly just offered us a lot of words. The magazine posted some snippets of their interviews with six of the movie’s main stars talking about their characters in “The Avengers.” No big surprises here, but plenty worth talking about.

Robert Downey Jr. discussed how he is trying to find balance between the Tony Stark that we all met and loved in the “Iron Man” movies and the one who is part of a team in “The Avengers.” He expressed his excitement that the project ended up coming together.

“‘Avengers’ has always been this kind of hovering [thing]. Is it really possible? I just think that it was an incredibly ambitious notion, and looking back at Marvel and their fledgling years, they always had a vision of this… although not entirely accurately,” he said with a laugh. “In one teaser I say, ‘I’m putting a team together,’ and in the other one I’m like, ‘What do you mean I can’t join the team?’ But aside from that, it kind of really tracks through.”

Mark Ruffalo then went on to tease the role Bruce Banner plays in the movie considering we haven’t seen him back since “The Incredible Hulk” days. “[Banner] starts like he’s sober in a weird way. He’s started a whole new life when we find him, and it’s cool,” Ruffalo said. That doesn’t last for long though.

“The rage is something that is like going on a binger — you wake up after a blackout and you did all this fucked up shit,” Ruffalo said. “Oh God, what did I do? And so we were talking about it like that, actually.”

Banner isn’t the only character to be shellshocked by his new surroundings. Captain America, who will be the central character in “The Avengers,” wakes up in the present after last being alive in World War II and doesn’t make the transition too well at first.

“Who does he have in the world? Nobody,” Chris Evans said. “Rogers is kind of defined by is his morals and values. In the ’40s there was much more of value on those things. Things are a little more impersonal these days. It just lends itself to his sense of isolation.”

Thor seems to have taken the adjustment in stride, though.

“There’s a maturity to the character because of the journey he went on, certainly. He was a petulant sort of kid at the beginning of ‘Thor,’ and by the end of it hopefully you walk away thinking that he is matured and there was a grounded quality to him that wasn’t there before,” Chris Hemsworth said. “He’s not quite the odd one out as much as he was in ‘Thor.’ These guys … one of them wears an iron suit, one of them turns into a big, green monster. They all have these crazy personalities, and alter egos. They’re misfits, and that’s how they fit, in a funny way.”

But what about the two non-superhero Avengers? Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson both opened up about how their human characters are set apart from the rest of the bunch.

“I’m on such the periphery,” Renner said. “By nature of being a sniper on top of a building, the behavior of a sniper is a loner. He gets a call and comes and does his thing.”

“The Widow has no time for romance. She’s a lover of all things. She has a love/hate relationship with I think everyone she meets in some way,” Johansson said. “Part of what makes her sexy is she takes no prisoners. You wouldn’t grab her for a big old bear hug.”

Are you excited for “The Avengers”? Tell us in the comments section 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.