DID YOU READ

Ten moments in “The Avengers” trailer that are worth a closer look

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You have to hand it to the Marvel Studios team. They managed to pack a lot into the new, two-minute trailer for “The Avengers.”

From superhero-on-superhero brawls to impressive shots of Iron Man, Thor, and the rest of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes flying through the sky as they attempt to save the world from Loki and his still-unidentified minions, there’s a lot to absorb in this preview of what’s sure to be one of the year’s biggest releases.

Nevertheless, we’ve managed to come up with the ten key scenes you should be focusing on when you give the trailer another look, as they have a lot to say about what we can expect when “The Avengers” hits theaters May 4.


The First Avenger

When S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) tells Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) that “It’s time” around the 0:19 mark in the trailer, you’ll notice a familiar character standing just behind him. That’s Captain America himself, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). Since this scene appears to occur before the team is assembled, it makes sense to assume that Cap really will be “The First Avenger,” and the films will break from their source material by having him be the first member of the superhero team. (In the comics world, the initial roster of The Avengers consisted of Iron Man, Ant-Man, Wasp, Thor, and Hulk.)


Iron Man’s Open House

In the comics world, Stark Tower has been a regular (though occasionally destroyed and rebuilt) element of the Manhattan skyline, but this is our first look at the tower in the Marvel movie-verse. Around the 0:48 mark, we see that Iron Man has clearly made a home for himself in the tower, but what remains to be seen is if the Avengers will also make it one of their bases of operation. According to comics history, The Avengers occupied one of the lesser towers in the Stark Tower Complex, so it will be interesting to see whether this will be true in the movies, too.


Maria Hill, I Presume?

One of the high-profile castings that hasn’t received much attention in the “Avengers” trailers so far is the portrayal of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill by actress Cobie Smulders. In the comics world, Hill is a major player in the S.H.I.E.L.D. hierarchy, and even served as Nick Fury’s replacement for a while. There have been lots of rumors surrounding the character’s movie-verse counterpart, and we get our first good look at Smulders in character right around the 1:04 mark.


Three-Way Brawl

No secrets or rumors to ponder here — this moment is important just because it lets us know that there will indeed be some superhero-vs-superhero action in the film. Between the shot of Iron Man kicking Thor and the one of Thor bringing the hammer down on Captain America, there’s a good chance the brawls between the good guys will be just as (if not more) exciting than their fights with the bad guys.


A Cosmic Cube Sighting?

This could be a little too far of a leap, but we couldn’t help noticing the blue hue of the crystal in Loki’s staff around the 1:21 mark. Thanks to the post-credit scene in “Thor,” we know the trickster god has his eye on the mysterious power source last seen in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” and we know that it exudes a blue field of energy when in use — so it doesn’t seem implausible that Loki has managed to capture some element of that power in the cane we see in the trailer. What do you think? Are we off-base?

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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.