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DID YOU READ

“Transformers: The Ride” is opening in Universal Hollywood – here’s our review

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There might not be a “Transformers” movie engaging you in theaters this summer, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to watch Optimus Prime fend off Megatron and the rest of the Decepticons in a new adventure. Universal Hollywood is opening the doors for “Transformers: The Ride” on May 25, and I got a chance to check out the attraction over the weekend.

The 3D HD ride is similar in style to “The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man” in Universal Orlando, but ramped up a notch so it’s as involved as “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” is. Your objective is to protect the AllSpark from Megatron, and you team up with a new Autobot named Evac to do so. Evac is a clever addition to the “Transformers” line-up because he is also conveniently your escape vehicle (read: he’s the car you travel in through the ride).

A scene from Transformers: The Ride

Along the way you meet up with Bumblebee, Optimus Prime and various other Autobots, all the while evading Megatron, Devastator and Starscream. You’re hurled through a city while trying to get the AllSpark to safety, and Universal’s robot arm technology and 3D effects do a great job of making you feel like you’re right in on the action. Even though this isn’t a roller coaster, don’t think it’s a ride just for kids. It definitely whips you around a bit, so victims of motion sickness be warned.

While the story isn’t technically “Transformers” canon, it’s definitely in keeping with Michael Bay‘s movies. The Autobots and Decepticons transform between their forms as smoothly as they do in his films, though that’s likely because Bay served as “Transformers: The Ride’s” creative consultant. The attraction touts original, photo-realistic 3D-HD media, a new elaborate flight simulation system and special effects crafted by Industrial Light & Magic.

A scene from Transformers: The Ride

The wait time was about 130 minutes when I checked out the attraction close to close on Sunday evening, so I can only imagine how insane the line will be once the ride actually opens its doors. But it’s worth the wait, especially if you’re a fan of the “Transformers” series. It really does feel like you’re right there in the middle of one of the movies. Who knows, maybe Bay will skip doing 3D for “Transformers 4” and just have it roll out on a 4D action ride. We would be totally okay with that.

There’s also an array of merchandise to check out after your ride is complete. I was a fan of the “Robots in disguise” mustache shirt and Optimus Prime helmet, but you can find an array of magnets, shirts and toys to appease any “Transformers” fan.

A scene from Transformers: The Ride

When I walked up to go on the ride, there was an opportunity to snap photos with Bumblebee taking place. Both he and Optimus Prime are scheduled to pop up next to the ride throughout the day to pose with fans, though unfortunately they didn’t seem quite ready to transform in front of us. Maybe Bumblebee was just feeling shy or something.

“Transformers: The Ride” opened in Singapore late last year. This attraction seems to be pretty much the same as the one at that Universal, though the queue might be a little bit different. If you’re a “Transformers” fan and find yourself around either Universal Studios theme park, I’d definitely suggest going to check out the ride.

Are you going to go check out “Transformers: The Ride” when it opens in May? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.