DID YOU READ

Five things we’d like to see in Marvel movies after “The Avengers”

A scene from Marvel's The Avengers

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Now that “The Avengers” is a bona fide hit for Marvel Studios, the next question naturally becomes, “What’s next?”

We already know that “Iron Man 3” will be the next installment of Marvel’s rapidly growing cinematic universe, but along with sequels for “Captain America” and “Thor,” there are a few more elements I’d like to see added to the Marvel movie canon.

In no particular order, here are the top five things I’d like to see in Marvel’s cinematic future:

1. A new Hulk solo movie

After two mediocre films featuring Marvel’s green goliath in the space of five years, no one expected that he’d be the character we’d want to see more of after “The Avengers” — but that’s the case. Whether the credit goes to “Avengers” co-writers Joss Whedon and Zak Penn or Mark Ruffalo’s take on Bruce Banner, the end result is that the latest version of Hulk is the best we’ve seen on the big screen so far. Not only did we get some character development from both Banner and his monstrous alter ego, but “The Avengers” managed to expertly blend brutal action and clever humor whenever the character smashed his way into a scene.

I have a feeling I’m not alone in wanting to see more of this particular take on Hulk, so here’s hoping we get it in the near future.

2. The original Avengers, assembled

I loved the modern-day spin on how the Avengers came together, but the absence of some of the team’s best-known members in the comics world — including some of the team’s founders — was felt acutely by fans of the team’s comic-book counterpart. Over the course of the next few films and into “The Avengers” sequel, I’d love to see some of the other major players in Avengers canon be introduced to the cinematic universe, like Hank “Ant-Man” Pym (who’s likely to be introduced in Edgar Wright’s upcoming “Ant-Man” movie), Janet “Wasp” Van Dyne, and even some of the later members, like Vision.

3. Welcome to Avengers Mansion

The notion of a mansion in Manhattan where all the Avengers hang out might be a little quaint in the modern era, but there’s something to be said for what we learn about the team’s members when they not only save the world together, but live together, too. One of the most interesting parts of growing up with Avengers comics was seeing how the team lived, loved, and fought like housemates are prone to do when they were living in the confines of Avengers Mansion, and there was nothing more humanizing than to see these superheroes eating breakfast together (or shawarma) or playing a board game in their down time.

While we don’t need to see the classic Avengers Mansion make the transition to the big screen, it would be nice to see some element that gives us that human, personal side of these larger-than-life heroes.

4. A team is only as strong as its enemies

Sure, we’ve seen two big Marvel villains make the jump from page to screen with Loki and Red Skull, but what about some of the other, more frequent foes the team has faced in the Avengers comics? First and foremost on the list would likely be Ultron, the killer android created by founding member (in the comics, at least) Hank Pym. Ultron’s introduction could easily be paired with the arrival of Hank Pym in the Marvel movie-verse, with the latter introduced in the upcoming “Ant-Man” movie — possibly while working on a secret invention that will end up becoming Ultron.

If Marvel wants to go for broke, bring in fan-favorite villains like the time-traveling Kang the Conqueror or my personal favorite, M.O.D.O.K. We’ve already seen Arnim Zola (played by Toby Jones) in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” so it shouldn’t be too difficult to bring that character into the fold, either. Of course, the post-credits scene hints at a villain from the cosmic side of the Marvel universe, but that doesn’t mean any of the aforementioned bad guys are entirely off the table. After all, anything is possible in comics… and comic book movies.

5. Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

We’re six movies into Marvel’s cinematic universe, and we still don’t know all that much about Nick Fury, the head honcho of S.H.I.E.L.D. Given the character’s rich history in Marvel’s comics, it would be nice to see some of that back story emerge in Marvel’s live-action world, too. Sure, the Sam Jackson version of Nick Fury is significantly different than the original, cigar-chomping version of the character, but that doesn’t mean there are any fewer stories to tell. If the studio mines some of the old, noir-style spy stories from the character’s past and gives us a look at Nick Fury’s early years with S.H.I.E.L.D., we’ll have yet another character to cheer for the next time the Avengers assemble on the big screen.

What would you like to see in the next round of Marvel movies? Chime in below or on Facebook or 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.