DID YOU READ

Why Patrick Dempsey should play Dr. Strange

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How – and there is no other way to describe it — strange is it that there hasn’t yet been a Dr. Strange movie?

Any given summer needs, quite frankly, a live action “Master of the Mystic Arts” tentpole. It would be not unlike a Harry Potter movie (and we know how successful that franchise has been), but for a more mature audience. Originally, the artwork within the panels of the mystical realms was so trippy in the 60’s that it became a hit with the stoner crowd. The artful use of CGI could buttress an already compelling narrative. The story of “Stephen Strange” is not unlike that of Iron Man’s Tony Stark — a wealthy, attractive, and flawed man – but with great potential. With regards to flaws: Tony Stark had the bottle; Stephen Strange was an egoist.

As the original story co-created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in Strange Tales # 110 in July 1963, a handsome New York surgeon, selfish beyond all measure, evolves into a protector of mankind. Strange began as a privileged youth, saving the life of his sister as a child. This pivotal life experience propelled him onto a path of healing, eventually leading him to graduation – in record time — from medical school and becoming a gifted neurosurgeon after a prestigious residency program. His sister, Donna, in the meantime, dies at the age of 19 in a drowning accident in which Strange was present. The failure to save her throws Stephen Strange into a cold and callous nihilism.

The pendulum swings; the crystal ball becomes cloudy. The gifted, arrogant surgeon now suffers a tragic car accident. In the accident, Strange loses the precision in his hands that required performing neurosurgery. This moment, of course, lights a fire under Strange’s ass and draws him out of his narrow self-absorption. And so Strange journeys, travelling the world in search of some kind of a cure. Strange finds his way to mystical Tibet, where he hears tales of “The Ancient One,” a mysterious person who can do unnatural things. On a blindingly snowy night, Strange, at the end of his resources, finds the fortress of the Ancient One. In the process of trying to get his hands healed he learns the art of sorcery. He abandons the quest to return to his previous life as a surgeon, seeing, ultimately, that serving as a force for good against the overwhelming force of dark magic in the cosmos is a more important end goal.

How awesome is that? In this journey, of course, there are mystical battles against the evil Baron Mordo, a resentful apprentice sorcerer who is the heir of The Ancient One. And demons – lots and lots of undying demons! There is also the beautiful Madeleine Revell, a United Nations translator whom Strange leaves behind due to his egotistical behavior. And, of course, there is the mysterious Ancient One.

Patrick Dempsey – aka, Grey’s Anatomy’s “Dr. McDreamy,” the neurosurgeon – has lobbied hard to play Dr. Strange. Dempsey told the LA Times’ Hero Blog, “I’ve been lobbying for that … There’s a whole bunch of people [among the ‘Grey’s’ crew] who are into comics and Marvel, too, on the set and they’re like, ‘Doctor Strange, that’s the one you should do.’ It would be fantastic.” Although he is more interested in Strange as a premium cable show, Marvel Studios has already confirmed that writers Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, who came aboard the still-in-limbo project in 2010, have already completed the script.

Dempsey has convincingly played a neurosurgeon and he has convincingly played a reformed egotist (for further reference, see: “Loverboy”). He has the look, the experience with early success, the fan base and a convincing knowledge of the character. Patrick Dempsey can fill the large boots of the “Sorcerer Supreme.” Make this movie happen now and let this man helm it.

Would you want to see a “Doctor Strange” movie starring Patrick Dempsey? Tell us in the comments 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.
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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.
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Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
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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.
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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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