DID YOU READ

“Starbuck” director Ken Scott talks “The Delivery Man,” working with Vince Vaughn and reinventing his film for an American audience

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Few directors get to helm the English-language remake of their own movie — and French Canadian director Ken Scott might be one of the first to do so with a comedy. (Unless you count Michael Haneke’s “Funny Games” as a comedy — and that’s something you might want to talk about with your therapist). But Ken Scott, who is turning his just-released French-language “Starbuck” (starring Patrick Huard) into an English-language version called “The Delivery Man” (starring Vince Vaughn), is determined that neither film will get lost in translation.

“What I promised myself and what I expressed to everyone working on the movie is that it won’t be a simple copy of the original,” Scott told IFC. “I also didn’t want to try to be different for the sake of being different.”

In the original film (which is also getting French and Indian remakes), David Wozniack has been an incredibly frequent donor at his local sperm bank, so much so that over time, he’s fathered some 533 children, a fact which he discovers when a large segment of them (142 or so) band together because they want to meet him. (If the premise seems unbelievable, consider that similar cases have already happened and been documented in real life — check out the documentary “Donor Unknown.” As David starts to question whether he wants to know his progeny, he begins to dip into their lives, anonymously, as a guardian angel of sorts — taking on to a hospital when she overdoses, covering for another at work, cheering on another at his work, visiting a disabled youth who has been institutionalized — and learns what fatherhood really is.

The actor who plays the disabled child, Sébastien René is the only actor to graduate from the original to the English-language remake, Scott said, and it’s at the behest of producer Steven Spielberg. “Steven thought he was so great, so it’s great to have him back,” Scott said. “He’s the only actor in both movies.”

But he’s not the only one returning from the production itself. Scott kept the heads of each department, but he instructed them not to just repeat what they had done before. “When you make a movie that’s not a remake, you go through the whole process of getting there, and you’ve got to do that in the remake as well,” he explained, “so the remake feels genuine in every single way. It might feel like putting on a wet bathing suit at first, strange at the beginning, but you got to get in there and tell the story.”

Changing the setting from Quebec to New York, Scott made use of “everything New York can offer” for the remake. He placed David Wozniack and his family in Greenpoint, “because a large Polish community lives there, and it was natural to set the movie in Brooklyn.” He changed the names of some of the characters to Americanize them (Valérie to Emma, who will be played by Cobie Smulders), switched some activities in the same vein (a soccer star becomes a basketball star), and then slapped a new name on the new film. (Starbuck was a reference to a Canadian stud bull — not the coffee). “We also have Starbucks in Canada,” Scott laughed. “So it wasn’t really about that, but we just didn’t want people to be confused.”

Before he started shooting, Scott was able to test the original on the festival circuit “to see how it plays in front of an American audience,” he said. “And they totally got what the story was all about, because it’s a comedy with a big heart.” So even if Vaughn, Smulders, and co-star Chris Pratt Americanize “Starbuck,” Scott said, “The Delivery Man,” out October 4, “will keep the values of the original.” Plus, he added, “Vince has all the qualities that Patrick brought to this character. He’s a great actor, he’s quick to react, and he’s somebody people love.”

“Starbuck” expands to more theaters this weekend.

Will you be seeing “Starbuck” this weekend? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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