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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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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