DID YOU READ

“Ender’s Game” movie synopsis revealed

032112_endersgame

Posted by on

It’s been a while since we heard anything about “Ender’s Game.” The adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s beloved novel is due in theaters on November 1, 2013, and we haven’t seen any sign of a poster, teaser or trailer since filming started on the flick. At least now we have an idea of how this film will tell Card’s story, though. A full synopsis for the movie has hit the web, and it sounds like “Ender’s Game” will stick pretty close to the novel that it’s based on.

“In the near future, a hostile alien race (called the Formics) have attacked Earth,” the synopsis reads. “If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander, Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) and the International Military are training only the best young children to find the future Mazer. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy, but strategically brilliant boy is pulled out of his school to join the elite.”

It continues, “Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult war games, distinguishing himself and winning respect amongst his peers. Ender is soon ordained by Graff as the military’s next great hope, resulting in his promotion to Command School. Once there, he’s trained by Mazer Rackham, himself, to lead his fellow soldiers into an epic battle that will determine the future of Earth and save the human race.”

Along with Butterfield, Kingsley and Ford, “Ender’s Game” also stars Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis and Abigail Breslin. The film was written and directed by Gavin Hood, the man behind the 2009 superhero flick “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

Are you looking forward to “Ender’s Game”? When do you think we’ll get our first trailer? 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.

Posted by on
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

maryhartman

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

ikea heights

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

fresno

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

soap

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

cooks2

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

darkplace

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

attitudes

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

peaks

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

invitation

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

stomach

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)

joey

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

acorn

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

pointplace

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

spoils

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.

spoilsdying


15. All My Children Finale, SNL

allmychildren

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.

Alia Shawkat

Funke Town

Alia Shawkat’s 5 Funniest Roles

Catch Alia Shawkat on an all-new Portlandia tonight at 10P on IFC.

Posted by on

Rarely do we see a comedic talent so fully realized at such a young age, but Arrested Development fans witnessed it firsthand in the acting chops of Alia Shawkat. (She was also the very first person cast in the series.) Alia landed many roles since and with them solidified her status as a fantastic comedy actor.

Before you catch Alia as one of Carrie’s new kids on tonight’s brand new Portlandia, check out her five funniest roles to date. (Click here to find IFC on your TV in your area.)

1. Maeby Fünke, Arrested Development

She may have gotten her start with a small role in David O. Russell’s Three Kings, but the world got to know Alia Shawkat from her breakthrough role as Maeby Fünke, arguably the sanest and most self-aware member of the dysfunctional Bluth clan. Quick with a ruse and a quip, Maeby had her family figured out practically from birth — even if the makeout sessions with her step-cousin gave her pause.


2. Adele, Broad City

Perfectly cast as Ilana Glazer’s doppelganger (co-star Abbi Jacobson even mistook Glazer for Shawkat when they first met in improv class), Alia plays the sexually charged counterpart to Ilana’s free-wheelin’ libido. Their whirlwind hookup hits a rough patch, however, when they don’t share the same enthusiasm for making out with oneself, and their differing stance on marijuana is the final nail.


3. Frances Cleveland, Drunk History

Mixing middle school social studies with a detox center, Derek Waters’ Comedy Central series retells historical events through the glazed eyes and slurred speech of drunk comedians. In the episode focusing on First Ladies, Shawkat plays Grover Cleveland’s wife Frances Folsom who championed a feminist movement in the late-1800s and used her public profile to promote jobs for women.


4. Bree, Cedar Rapids

The 2011 comedy Cedar Rapids starring Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, and Anne Heche features Shawkat as a sex worker who frequents business conventions for hot-to-trot johns. The role stands in stark contrast to the mostly wholesome yet acerbic Maeby and might be jarring for those who only know her from Arrested Development. But after her first sarcastic comment, the similarities become pretty evident.


5. Herself, Getting Doug With High

Unlike her character in Broad City, Alia enjoys partaking in the occasional toke in real life and did so alongside comedian Doug Benson and actor Aubrey Plaza for Benson’s online weed series, Getting Doug With High. Watching the trio hang out, chat, and joke around, viewers got a true sense of Shawkat’s affable and funny self that she brings to the table for each role.

Watch Alia as one of Carrie’s new kids in a clip from this week’s Portlandia.

Room Brie Larson

Good Spirits

Spirit Awards Nominees Spotlight and Brie Larson Score Oscar Noms

Catch the 2016 Spirit Awards Saturday, Feb. 27th live on IFC starting at 5P ET/2P PT.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: George Kraychyk/©A24/courtesy Everett Collection

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its draft picks for the 2016 Oscars season and armchair critics seemed to have their predictions confirmed. Anti-bear propaganda film The Revenant led the pack with 12 nominations, followed by the 120-minute reminder to test your emissions, Mad Max: Fury Road, with 10 nods.

Eight films are nominated for Best Picture including the aforementioned Revenant and Max, as well as Spirit Award nominee Spotlight, the gripping ripped-from-the-headlines film about the Boston Globe’s investigation of the Catholic Church. Also up for movie of the year is Room, starring Brie Larson as a young mother who, along with her 5-year-old son, experiences the outside world after years of being held captive in a small room. (The role has already nabbed her a Golden Globe and a Spirit Award nomination.)

Here is the list of nominees in the major categories for next month’s Academy Awards. And stay tuned for more updates about the 2016 Spirit Awards, airing live Feb. 27th starting at 5P ET/2P PT on IFC.

Best Picture
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
Room
Spotlight
The Martian
The Revenant

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Directing
Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant
Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Best Film Editing
The Big Short, Hank Corwin
Mad Max: Fury Road, Margaret Sixel
The Revenant, Stephen Mirrione
Spotlight, Tom McArdle
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey

Best Foreign Language Film
Colombia, Embrace of the Serpent
France, Mustang
Hungary, Son of Saul
Jordan, Theeb
Denmark, A War

Best Original Score
Thomas Newman, Bridge of Spies
Carter Burwell, Carol
Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight
Jóhann Jóhannsson, Sicario
John Williams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Big Short, Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Brooklyn, Nick Hornby
Carol, Phyllis Nagy
The Martian, Drew Goddard
Room, Emma Donoghue

Best Original Screenplay
Bridge of Spies, Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
Ex Machina, Alex Garland
Inside Out, Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; Original story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
Spotlight, Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
Straight Outta Compton, Screenplay by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff

Powered by ZergNet