DID YOU READ

7 Board Game Movies Hollywood Will Probably Inflict on Us

Trouble board game

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By Mike Schuster

It’s been nearly 30 (30!) years since the holiday release of the madcap whodunit Clue, and despite those middling beginnings, the state of “board game movies” has been on a steady, triple-decade decline. With only a handful of entries — ranging from the underperforming Michael Bay-wannabe Battleship to the bona fide fantasy bomb Dungeons & Dragons — films based on board games are an even riskier bet than films based on video games.

Nevertheless, Deadline recently reported that Gail Katz (the producer behind The Perfect Storm and Air Force One) has acquired the rights to the best-selling tabletop title, The Settlers of Catan. A far cry from the action-packed popcorn flicks that Katz has been attached to, Catan lets players experience the white-knuckled thrill ride that is tile placement and sheep auctions. Although it remains to be seen if Catan: The Movie will upend its woefully subpar genre, Hollywood is still an industry of familiarity and will roll the dice on a number of films inspired by other popular tabletop games. Here’s what studios are (probably) bringing board-to-screen:

1. Operation

Mike Schuster

Mike Schuster

Denzel Washington is Frederick Helton, Chief Surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and a man who’s seen it all…or so he thought. When a boozy drifter stumbles into his emergency care, Helton discovers a medley of anatomical grotesqueries and soon realizes the knee bone isn’t always connected the shin bone. It’s Human Centipede meets that Denzel movie where he’s an ex-special forces agent who saves a little girl or something. Man on Fire? Sure, that’ll do.


2. King of Tokyo

Mike Schuster

Mike Schuster

After establishing himself as the ruler of the Japanese metropolis, Godzilla invokes the wrathful jealousy of his leviathan compatriots. King Kong, Mothra, Cthulhu, Killer Mantis, and a rogue’s gallery of baddies battle for territorial supremacy in a film BoardGameGeek.com is already calling, “Fun at first, but tiresome after a while.”


3. Trivial Pursuit

Mike Schuster

Mike Schuster

What do the capital of Peru, the pancreas, and the all-time scoring leader in a single basketball game have in common? They’re all clues leading to the rescue of Kirk Gilbert’s family. But can a man who only graduated technical college grasp the intellectual minutia it takes to get a piece of the pie?


4. Life

Mike Schuster

Mike Schuster

From the director of Little Miss Sunshine and penned by Diablo Cody, this hypercolor tale of wit and whimsy follows the Niffenegger family as they venture cross-country after daughter Twee wins the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. But they’ll have to endure hamfisted catchphrases and four separate karaoke showdowns before the prize can be claimed. Jon Heder cameos as himself.


5. Trouble

Mike Schuster

Mike Schuster

The simple folk of the rural enclave Gluten, Iowa suddenly find themselves confined inside an unbreakable, clear plastic dome that encapsulates the entire town. But on the outside, one scientist (Tom Hardy) believes a hard tap at the top could topple the duplex-sized die and create a means of escape.


6. Guess Who?

Mike Schuster

Mike Schuster

Detective Huck Gunderson is on the tail of a serial killer nobody can seem to identify. “Handlebar mustache” says one witness, “gaudy earrings” says another. As 24 different suspects are whittled down to one, Huck realizes he may have been too hasty in his perp dismissals as well as what he thinks constitutes “curly hair.”


7. Sorry!

Mike Schuster

Mike Schuster

A tale as old as time, suburban housewife Rosemary Dambrosio gives birth to a demon hellspawn thanks to her husband’s blood oath with Satan (Willem Dafoe). However, it’s not until the 17th trimester that Rosemary discovers the goblin she’s carrying isn’t her husband’s and has to decide whether a single-word apology can smooth things over.

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar

via GIPHY

IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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