DID YOU READ

Spike Lee’s “Oldboy” gets distributor, releases official synopsis

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Spike Lee’s new take on “Oldboy” is officially getting a release. Today it was announced that FilmDistrict has picked up the project, though an official release date has not been announced yet.

That means that we’re also treated to the first official synopsis from the flick. Fans of the original movie will notice that there are some pretty big changes between the two projects. Here’s the synopsis in its entirety:

OLDBOY follows the story of an advertising executive (Josh Brolin) who is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement without any indication of his captor’s motive. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his bizarre and torturous punishment only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment. His quest for revenge leads him into an ill-fated relationship with a young social worker (Elizabeth Olsen) and ultimately to an illusive man (Sharlto Copley) who allegedly holds the key to his salvation.

The biggest changes are the fact that Brolin’s character has been held for 20 years instead of 15, and that Olsen’s Marie is now a social worker instead of a chef. We’re still puzzling out what that all means about American versus Japanese culture.

“Oldboy” has an impressive cast lined up, and we can’t wait for it to begin filming. Josh Brolin plays the lead character Joe, while Olsen plays his ally and potential love interest Marie. Samuel L. Jackson recently joined for a “small but key” role as the head of the motel where Joe is held hostage who is later tortured by Brolin’s character. Copley has been cast as the man who held Joe captive and serves as the main villain in the flick, and Nate Parker was recently added as a doctor who works with Olsen’s character.

Are you looking forward to “Oldboy”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

Nate Parker in talks to reteam with Spike Lee for “Oldboy”

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Nate Parker and Spike Lee seem to have had a good working relationship on “Red Hook Summer,” because the actor is currently in talks to reteam with Lee for a role in “Oldboy.”

According to Variety, Parker would play a doctor who works with Elizabeth Olsen’s character. It doesn’t sound like a huge role, but at least Parker’s got a spot in what’s sure to be a high-profile movie whenever it’s released.

“Oldboy” already has an impressive roster of stars. Josh Brolin plays the lead character Joe, while Olsen plays his ally and potential love interest Marie. Samuel L. Jackson recently joined for a “small but key” role as the head of the motel where Joe is held hostage who is later tortured by Brolin’s character. Shartlo Copley has been cast as the man who held Joe captive and serves as the main villain in the flick.

Parker has had a series of breakout roles this year, and a role in “Oldboy” would push him into the mainstream. In addition to “Red Hook Summer,” Parker starred in George Lucas’ “Red Tails” and opposite Richard Gere in “Arbitrage.”

Directed by Lee and written and co-produced by Mark Protosevich, “Oldboy” tells the story of a man imprisoned for 15 years for no reason who mysteriously is released and then proceeds to track down and seek revenge on the man who held him captive. Expect plenty of violence to occur along the way.

Do you think Parker is a good fit for “Oldboy”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Jurassic Park

Know Your Dinos

Take the Ultimate Jurassic Park Fan Quiz

Catch the Jurassic Park movies throughout the month of January on IFC.

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Photo Credit: ©Universal/courtesy Everett Collection

Beginning as a novel by Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park has grown into one of the biggest franchises in movie history. But how well do you know the original dino-tastic trilogy? Before you catch the Jurassic Park movies this month on IFC, take the quiz below to prove your dinosaur knowledge is worthy of Dr. Alan Grant.

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