DID YOU READ

Five reasons guys should check out “The Hunger Games”

121611_hungergames

Posted by on

While Suzanne Collins’ three-book series The Hunger Games has often been billed as the next Twilight thanks to its popularity in the young-adult crowd, anyone who’s read the post-apocalyptic trilogy knows that such comparisons couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, the section where you’ll find the two series in a book store is just about the only thing The Hunger Games and Twilight have in common.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the government forces children from each of 12 “districts” to kill each other in a competition for valuable resources, The Hunger Games relegates romance to a supporting role in the narrative while focusing on brutal, life-or-death survival in a world manufactured to ensure competitors meet the bloodiest ends possible.

With “The Hunger Games” movie arriving in theaters this week, it seemed like a good time to tackle some of the misconceptions about the series head-on, and offer some (occasionally tongue-in-cheek) reasons why the premiere of Collins’ trilogy on the big screen should be a red-letter day for guys who love gritty action movies and wild sci-fi adventures, too.


Take one part “Battle Royale,” add a pinch of “The Running Man,” shake violently

One of the strongest cases to be made for The Hunger Games crossing the divide between gender stereotypes is that the story feels like something inspired by that period during the late ’70s and ’80s that gave us films like “Escape From New York” and “The Road Warrior.” The world of The Hunger Games is a bleak version of our own, set at a time after war and other calamities send us scrambling back to the dark ages. Sure, one or two districts live in a utopian, jet-car paradise, but the rest of the world huddles in the dark and dies starving. What’s more, The Hunger Games takes that dystopian ’80s vibe and injects it with some of the slick action and edginess that’s common in some of the last few decades’ most memorable future-gone-bad tales (a la Battle Royale and Children of Men). Basically, it’s the best of both worlds — but they’re not the sort of worlds you’d like to visit for too long.


Insert quarter to continue killing each other…

Gamers should feel right at home when it comes to the pacing of The Hunger Games and the way in which the win-or-die competitions are presented in the series. Without giving too much of the story away, competitors in The Hunger Games are forced to not only kill each other, but also to survive the traps within each game environment. Like the levels of a video game, the setting of each competition is a carefully manufactured stage, filled with different types of environmental obstacles.

On top of that, the children from each district typically specialize in one type of skill or another, adding another layer of complexity to the competition. (Can the kids who grew up in the lumber district beat the kids from the mining district?) Much like the classes of characters you create in a good role-playing game, each competitor in The Hunger Games needs to make the best use of his or her skill set to survive.


She gives love a bad name (and that’s a good thing)

Unlike many of the books classified as young-adult fare, The Hunger Games features a protagonist who couldn’t care less about catching a boy’s attention or falling in love. More of a Mad Max character than a Bella Swan or Sookie Stackhouse, Katniss Everdeen is a female lead who can “man up” with the best action heroes when necessary, and knows better than to get lost in someone’s eyes when there’s a job to be done. Basically, Katniss is the teenage-girl version of hard-luck “Die Hard” hero John McClane.


Mutant dogs, acid clouds, and evil monkeys, oh my!

Remember those environmental “traps” I mentioned? Well, along with natural dangers like quicksand or rockslides, the children competing in the games also have to contend with an array of unnatural threats that seem to come from the depths of pulp sci-fi and horror tales. Imagine a 12-year-old girl being chased by a pack of mutated dogs with razor-sharp teeth and you’ll start to get the picture here (and it’s not a pretty picture). As if a bunch of kids killing each other in a crazy, televised contest wasn’t enough, The Hunger Games pushes things to the next level, and will provide a pleasant surprise to sci-fi or fantasy fans expecting a typical young-adult adventure.


You saw Jennifer Lawrence at last year’s Oscars, right?

Whether it’s men or women that get you hot and bothered, there’s no denying the beauty of “The Hunger Games” actress Jennifer Lawrence. While this last point only applies to the upcoming big-screen adaptation of The Hunger Games, it’s an important point to make. Simply put, Lawrence has achieved the sort of visual appeal that transcends gender preference and puts her in the realm of universal hotness. Seriously, folks, just look at her. And she’s a pretty great actress, too — which is nice.


Did I make a good case for “The Hunger Games”? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Watch More
JaniceAndJeffrey_102_MPX-1920×1080

Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

Posted by on

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.

JaniceAndJeffrey_106_MPX-1920x1080

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.

Watch More
IFC-Die-Hard-Dads

Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

Posted by on
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.

Watch More
IFC-revenge-of-the-nerds-group

Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

Posted by on
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.

geowash_flat

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.

Watch More
Powered by ZergNet