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Michael Bay teases a “redesigned” “Transformers 4″

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Three Michael Bay “Transformers” movies have come and gone, but don’t expect the upcoming “Transformers 4″ to be more of the same. Bay has revealed in a new interview that this new trilogy is going to start from scratch, confirming statements he’s said in the past.

“We’re going to start off smaller. There’s a brand new cast. To freshen the franchise we’ve redesigned everything from top to bottom. The history of the first three movies is still there, we start four years later and there’s a reason why we’re meeting a new cast,” Bay told Forbes.

Chief among that new cast is leading man Mark Wahlberg, who will be playing the movie’s main character. Bay and Wahlberg recently worked together on “Pain & Gain,” and Bay teased why they decided to join forces on what we’re guessing will be called “Trans4mers.”

“Mark is really excited about it and it’s a great redesign. I said that ‘3’ [which grossed $1.1 billion] was going to be my last one. Paramount was letting me do ‘Pain & Gain’ and the ‘Transformer’s ride was opening at Universal and it was bittersweet to think of passing it off. I wanted to set it up on a really sure footing and to bring someone else in on that, it would have been overwhelming,” he said. “We keep the Transformers the way they were, it’s just four years later. There’s a reason the Transformers are redesigned. We’re trying to broaden the franchise and give it more places to go.”

“Transformers 4″ is due out on June 27, 2014. In addition to Wahlberg, it stars Jack Raynor. The film will reportedly head to space.

What do you think of the direction Bay is taking “Transformers”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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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.

“Ninja Turtles” to start filming in April?

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There hasn’t been too much news on the “Ninja Turtles” front in a while now, but that seems like that could be because producer Michael Bay is gearing up to head into production. A new report claims that the movie could start filming in New York City as early as April.

Production Weekly posted the news to Twitter by tweeting, “Principle photography on TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, is scheduled to begin this April in New York.” Of course, the film is allegedly supposed to just be called “Ninja Turtles,” but that’s just splitting hairs.

Back in the fall, a leaked version of the “Ninja Turtles” script hit the web and earned Bay some backlash. He quickly stood up and defended the project, which is being directed by Jonathan Liebesman.

“To end this stupid merry go round and explain the math…Yes we signed on two years ago to Turtles, but with no deal in place. Deal completed towards end of last year. And yes, that’s how long deals sometimes take,” he said. “So no work was done on the script. Blame Paramount, not us for the first draft.”

Bay also defended the decision to change the name to “Ninja Turtles,” saying, ” “Paramount marketing changed the name. They made the title simple. The characters you all remember are exactly the same, and yes they still act like teenagers. Everything you remember, why you liked the characters, is in the movie. This script is being developed by two very smart writers, with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles. They care VERY MUCH about making this film for the fans. Everyone on this team cares about the fans. Just give them a chance. Jonathan the director, is a major fan of the whole franchise. HE’S NOT GOING TO LET YOU DOWN.”

The movie is slated to hit theaters on May 16, 2014, the same day as the new “Godzilla” project.

Are you intrigued by “Ninja Turtles”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Michael Bay’s “Pain & Gain” trailer unites Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson

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What defines a Michael Bay movie more than steroids, strippers and action? After spending the past five years working on the “Transformers” franchise, he’s returned to his “Bad Boys” roots and is examining the seedy underbelly of Miami in “Pain & Gain.”

Instead of telling the story of bad boys on the good side of the law, now he’s examining the tale of men working for the “American dream” by whatever means they can. In this case, it’s Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie as body builders who became criminals for the sake of some quick cash. Of course, things go terribly wrong, or this wouldn’t be a good — true — story.

And it is true. Miami New Times published a three-part feature in 1999 called “Pain & Gain” that tells the story of the real-life Miami Sun Gym gang and all their terrible misadventures that led two of them to get death sentences in Florida. Judging by this new trailer, the actual story of Daniel Lugo and the men he convinced to help him and the one in “Pain & Gain” are actually pretty similar.

It only helps that the film is led by Wahlberg, Johnson, Mackie and Ed Harris, and has supporting help from Rebel Wilson, Tony Shalhoub, Rob Corddry and Ken Jeong. With that cast, even Bay can’t go wrong — and we doubt he will go wrong in his element. Keep in mind that this film is what convinced Wahlberg to star in “Transformers 4″ — and convinced Bay that Wahlberg was his leading man — so that’s definitely a selling point.

“Pain & Gain” is due in theaters on April 26, 2013.

What do you think of the “Pain & Gain” trailer? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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