DID YOU READ

E3 2012: Jason Mewes and Blake Freeman discuss their video game flick, “noobz”

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LOS ANGELES, California — There was a lot of nervous energy before the big E3 premiere of “noobz.” The love letter to video games was originally planned as a movie that would be sent directly to DVD, but after doing well at Cannes it ended up being picked up for a theatrical release. Writer/director/star Blake Freeman was both excited about getting to show his passion project in front of the audience it was made for, as well as nervous that it would be poorly received.

“If the movie’s bad and the sound guy sucked or somebody else didn’t do their job or a producer missed something or an actor was terrible that we hired, they don’t go, ‘That person killed the film,’ they say, ‘Blake Freeman, you made a bad film,'” he said with a laugh. “There’s nobody else to like point the finger to, so it’s a little nerve-wracking.”

Jason Mewes, on the other hand, was all cool. Wearing a shirt that said “Spoilers!” and his character’s “Gears of War” hat from the movie, the movie’s star was clearly hyped for the project. He’s been through the ringer, regularly appearing in Kevin Smith movies as Jay from the Jay and Silent Bob duo, as well as reprising the character in several other films. While he may be playing Andy in “noobz,” it’s clear that his character is of the same ilk as Jay.

“Him being this character, an extension of himself, is much better than me trying to make him be somebody else,” Freeman explained. “And the cool thing was we were trying to get rid of that whole stipulation that nerds play video games because it’s not one billion nerds. I’m sorry to all the nerd nation, but you’re not that strong. Everybody loves games.”

E3 was the perfect venue for Freeman and Mewes to premiere their passion project. “noobz” follows a gaming clan of “three luckless, aging gamers and an asthmatic adolescent” who “frag up” and road trip to Los Angeles in order to enter a “Gears of War” championship.

In addition to the two stars we talked to, “noobz” also enlisted the help of fan-favorites Zelda Williams (daughter of Robin Williams, named after “The Legend of Zelda”), Carly Craig (the girl who sneezed and pooped at the same time in “Hall Pass”) and Adam Sessler (a former “X-Play” host on G4). They were all in attendance Wednesday night, and it was clear everyone was excited to be there.

“The great thing is everybody on the film make some sort of [allowances] to make the film,” Freeman said. “Everybody wanted to make this movie because it was about gaming. They read the script and they loved it. And the great thing is that everybody really is themselves, so we had a script, we stay on script, and then everybody would just get off script.”

The key was to have a cast full of “authentic video game players and the people that are fun,” which Freeman managed to assemble. From there, it was just a matter of having the movie be a “realistic look at real gamers as people in the competitive gaming world,” which had never really been done before. Though “noobz” is a comedy, it was also Freeman’s attempt to honestly portray the gaming community.

Mewes has shown his nerd cred in everything from “Clerks” to “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” but it’s interesting that he’s never done a movie about video games until now. He explained that that’s because there really haven’t been many out there.

“A lot of people aren’t making them. To me, there’s not many out there. What I really like about the script and the movie itself is I do love the whole element of how people all the time all over the world or U.S. talk to each other every night and are like, ‘Hey bro, sign on, we’re going to play the Red Dragons tonight,’ and you don’t know who you’re playing. It could be a 12-year-old girl, boy, or a 50-year-old man,” he said.

He added that he feels this movie appeals to all audiences, not just people who are fans of gaming. And that’s because there are now a lot of people who enjoy gaming, as things like the Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Kinect make it accessible to all ages.

“There’s comedy, entertainment, fun, gaming –I mean, I think right now everybody wants, with all the crappy shit that goes on, people like to zone out and play video games, and you got that in the movie,” Mewes said of “noobz.” “People want to know love and there’s a guy/girl relationship love story, and there’s funny funny funny in it, so you’ve got all the three good things that give you an erection or get you moist.”

With that being said, Freeman was very clear to say that he wanted this movie to start to chance the perception of video games in the public eye. We aren’t all Mountain Dew-swilling, Cheetos-chomping fat kids who are coated in acne and live in our parents’ basement. Video games have over one billion fans, and this movie is meant to defend them.

“We’re all our own athletes and heroes in our own right, in our living room, and some of us are excellent at what they do and should be recognized for it. That’s not wasting time playing, that’s actually getting better at something that you want to do,” Freeman said. “Some dudes want to do it for baseball and other people want to do it for video games. They should not be beat down or looked down upon it because of that, because they’re sitting stationary. Who knows, they may get up on an exercise bike. Fuck ’em! Baseball people are fat!”

“noobz” is due in theaters in the US in limited release in September.

Do you wish that there were more video game comedies made? Are you looking forward to “noobz”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and 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.