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“Elysium” still: Matt Damon’s got a big gun

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Matt Damon’s character really likes his big Chemrail gun in “Elysium.” We’ve seen the two of them together in just about every image that has come from the set of “District 9″ director Neill Blomkamp’s new movie, and that hasn’t changed in the latest official still.

You can see the full image below, but from the looks of things Damon’s character has a lot to be afraid of. We don’t know much about this upcoming film, but it looks like Damon will often be on the run with only his trusty weapon to help him. Beyond that, your guess is as good as ours as to what the plot of this movie is about. We guess we’ll just have to keep waiting for a trailer to get a better sense of what this film is.

“Elysium” stars Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley and Jodie Foster. It’s due in theaters on August 9, 2013. Here’s the official synopsis that was released back in June:

“In the year 2159 two classes of people exist: the very wealthy who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth,” the synopsis reads. “Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster), a hard line government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky Max (Matt Damon) is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.”

Are you looking forward to “Elysium”? 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.

Gus Van Sant’s “Promised Land” gets its first theatrical trailer

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It’s been less than a year since “Promised Land” was first announced, but already the first trailer for the Gus Van Sant movie has made its way online.

“Promised Land” has had a quick turnaround time so it could be a contender for the next Oscar season. The flick reunites Van Sant with his “Good Will Hunting” and “Gerry” star Matt Damon, who co-wrote the script with John Krasinski. The initial concept for the flick was created by Krasinski and “Away We Go’s” Dave Eggers, and “Promised Land” was originally supposed to be Damon’s directorial debut. Unfortunately his commitment to about a million and a half other projects kept him out of the director’s chair, but it’s clear that he was very dedicated to the film as a whole.

Every actor involved in this flick looks like they will be challenging him or herself in some way. This is a big step up for Krasinski, who has made a marked trend towards more heartwarming pictures with this year’s “Big Miracle.” But everyone from Damon and Frances McDormand to Hal Holbrook and Rosemarie DeWitt looks like they’ve put their all into this picture, which in many ways is a criticism on corporate America. We’ll have to wait to find out how everything plays out before we decide just how critical Damon, Krasinski and Van Sant have been on the corporations that try to rule our country.

Here’s the official synopsis of “Promised Land”:

Corporate salesman Steve Butler (Damon) arrives in a rural town with his sales partner, Sue Thomason (McDormand). With the town having been hit hard by the economic decline of recent years, the two outsiders see the local citizens as likely to accept their company’s offer, for drilling rights to their properties, as much-needed relief. What seems like an easy job for the duo becomes complicated by the objection of a respected schoolteacher (Holbrook) with support from a grassroots campaign led by another man (Krasinski) who counters Steve both personally and professionally.

“Promised Land” will come out in theaters in New York and LA starting December 28, and then will spread into a wider release in January.

What do you think of the first trailer for “Promised Land”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Five reasons to watch Terry Gilliam’s “Brothers Grimm” tonight

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Fairytales are having a moment. There’s “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “Mirror Mirror” making waves at the box office, and Grimm has a primetime spot on the small screen, but before any of them, there was “Brothers Grimm.” Directed by Monty Python’s own Terry Gilliam, the fantastical film document the even more fantastical adventures of Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm (Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, respectively). However, instead of mere chroniclers of stories, in Gilliam’s world, the Brothers Grimm are the most powerful and feared enemies of the armies of darkness. Or at least that’s what tell everyone, when in reality they are merely theatrical con men, who travel from town to town staging the very hauntings and possessions they then conveniently exorcise – for a very hefty fee. However when several young girls disappear from a small village the men are called into real action. And when it turns out that the kidnappings come courtesy of the Mirror Queen (Monica Bellucci), a witch who needs the girls’ blood to maintain her own beauty and immortality, well that’s a fairy tale come to life. “Brothers Grimm” airs tonight at 10:15 p.m. ET.

Need more reason to watch? Here you go:

1. Heath Ledger

Gone too soon, man. Gone too soon.

2. Terry Gilliam

The director cannot possibly make enough movies to sate our desire to watch his movies. Also, he was in Monty Python. What else do you need?

3. Matt Damon

Two words: 30 Rock.

4. Monica Bellucci

Have you seen her in “The Matrix Reloaded”? No? Fix that right now and you’ll know why you should watch absolutely anything she stars in:

5. Jonathan Pryce

A Gilliam regular he’s had roles in “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” and, of course, “Brazil”

Want the latest news from IFC? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @ifctv.

“Brothers Grimm” airs tonight at 10:15 PM ET; Sunday, Sept. 30 at 11:00 PM ET; and Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 10:30 PM ET.

What to watch on IFC tonight: Terry Gilliam’s “The Brothers Grimm”

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Terry Gilliam makes some crazy movies. From “Time Bandits” to “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” to “12 Monkeys” the former Monty Python star makes movies that create cinematic waves by pushing the envelope between high brow and lowbrow, reality and fantasy, fiction and fact, whimsy and whatever is the opposite of whimsy. His films are kooky confections with an acerbic undercoating that are endlessly entertaining and just plain fun to watch. Which is exactly why we love his movies so darn much.

One of his films that you may have missed is 2005’s “The Brothers Grimm,” which we are airing tonight at 8/7c. Now is your chance to rectify that mistake and see the movie. The fantasy revisits the famous Grimm fairytales chronicles the adventures of Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm played by noted handsome people Matt Damon and Heath Ledger. The brothers claim to be the most powerful and feared enemies of the armies of darkness, because that sounds so much better than con men. They spend their time traveling from town to town in French-occupied Germany in the late 18th century, staging hauntings, possessions and general supernatural nuisances in order to get paid to get rid of them. However, when several young girls disappear from a small French village the authorities task the Brothers Grimm with leading the investigation. The residents suspect dark forces …and it turns out they’re right. The kidnappings come courtesy of the Mirror Queen (Monica Bellucci), who needs blood to maintain her own beauty and immortality and the Grimm brothers are the only ones who can stop her. Gene Seymour of Newsday called the film “a great compound of rip-snorting Gothic fantasy and Python-esque dark comedy” and he was right. It’s a Gilliam film through and through, and for Gilliam junkies, it’s a must see.

Watch the trailer then be sure to tune in tonight at 8/7c:

Want the latest news from IFC? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @ifctv.

“The Brothers Grimm” airs tonight at 8 PM ET; Monday, Sep. 10 at 8 PM ET; Tuesday, Sep. 11 at 1:00 AM ET; Friday, Sep. 14 at 10:30 PM ET; and Wednesday, Sep. 19 at 10:15 PM ET

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