DID YOU READ

Adapt This: “Hotwire” by Steve Pugh and Warren Ellis

hotwire

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With Hollywood turning more of its attention to the world of graphic novels for inspiration, I’ll cast the spotlight on a cool comic book each week that has the potential to pack a theater or keep you glued to your television screens. At the end of some “Adapt This” columns, you’ll also find thoughts from various comic creators and other industry experts about the books they’d like to see make the jump from page to screen.


This Week’s Book: Hotwire by Steve Pugh, based on a story by Warren Ellis (Radical Publishing)

The Premise: London is overrun with “blue lights” (a.k.a. ghosts), but that isn’t the problem. The problem is that the normally docile spirits have suddenly turned violent, and committed a series of grisly hauntings. Enter the Metro Police Station’s resident Detective Exorcist, Alice Hotwire, a young, bratty agent who’s too smart for her own good. As Alice investigates the blue lights’ sudden shift in mood, what she discovers will challenge her own beliefs and put her at odds with the city and its police force.

The Pitch: A pretty girl with a razor-sharp wit who can kick all kinds of butt, a bunch of angry ghosts, and an arsenal of fancy weapons, vehicles, and other sci-fi technology. What’s not to like about the big-screen potential of this story?

Like “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” mixed with a healthy dose of “Blade Runner,” this story is a nice blend of cyberpunk and gritty investigative elements flavored with enough science-fiction and fantasy to keep things interesting and fresh. Steve Pugh and the story’s original creator, Warren Ellis, have created a rich character in Alice Hotwire that’s more than just the standard hacker archetype, all snark and style. Much like Lisbeth Salander in the Dragon Tattoo novels, Alice has very real flaws and vulnerabilities that make her moments of confident, ass-kicking action that much more memorable.

With the first, four-issue volume of Hotwire, titled “Requiem For The Dead,” there’s also a nicely encapsulated story arc that serves well as an introduction and general narrative for a feature-length film. Despite running through four issues, it’s easy to see “Requiem for the Dead” formatted as a three-act story with a growing sense of spectacle that pays off with an exciting, effects-heavy, action-packed finale.

Given the right combination of director and a creative team capable of bringing the visual elements of the story to life, it’s easy to see Hotwire manifest as a summer blockbuster-type production. Its futuristic London setting, the technology used the characters, and the costumes for Alice and supporting cast of police, victims, and ghosts all beg for a bit of slick, computer-generated shine and cyber-fueled style.

Casting Suggestions: Australian actress Emily Browning seems like a good fit for the role of Alice Hotwire, as she has a nice blend of sex appeal and action savvy — both of which are on display in “Sucker Punch.” If the studio opts to skew a little older for the role, Michelle Trachtenberg (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) is more than capable when it comes to dishing out Alice’s snark and holier-than-thou attitude, and the action elements of the role might be a good change of pace for the talented actress. It’s worth noting, though, that British actress Natalie Dormer (“The Tudors”) looks the most like Alice of all the actresses mentioned here and has more than enough talent to make the role her own.


Would “Hotwire” make a good movie? 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.