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Comic-Con: “Iron Man 2” and Other Funny Business

Comic-Con: “Iron Man 2” and Other Funny Business (photo)

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Usually, it’s the crowds at Comic-Con who are calling “bullshit” during the panels, but it was Robert Downey Jr. who pulled the BS card on Jon Favreau when the director introduced footage for “Iron Man 2” and presented what looked like a cheesy commercial for a used car lot blowout with glimpses of the new film. “What was that unadulterated garbage I just saw?” Downey complained as he walked onto the stage to huge cheers. “You showed me better stuff in the editing room.” Though Favreau protested that “Iron Man 2” only wrapped a week prior and nudged Downey into leading the 6,000-plus crowd into singing “Happy Birthday” for his eight-year-old son, he did ultimately relent and show a solid five minutes worth’ of footage that began with Tony Stark chomping on a donut while sitting inside the hole of the famed Randy’s Donuts sign in Los Angeles and ended with an all-too-brief glimpse of Don Cheadle firing on all cylinders as the metal-clad War Machine.

As the clip started, it appeared that Stark was more disheveled than where we last left him, with a five ‘o clock shadow to accompany his goatee. After some coffee talk with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), we learn that Tony’s been having problems with the government, primarily with Sen. Stern (Garry Shandling), who’s holding investigations with the intention of getting Stark’s Iron Man suit in the hands of the Uncle Sam, to which Stark replies, “I’ve successfully privatized world peace.” After Shandling’s senator dropped a bleeped out F-bomb in Stark’s direction, the clip continued to show his other primary nemesis, the Russian Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) as he pounds out his own metal suit, complete with electrified whips wrapped around his arms that he begins to throw around with abandon on a race track. We were also introduced to brief shots of Scarlett Johansson grappling with unidentified men and Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer, a lollipop-sucking arms dealer who at the end of the clip hovers over an iron suit and strikes a deal with Col. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle, taking over the role from Terrence Howard) for a full arsenal of firearms, with the last shot of the footage showing War Machine letting loose his guns in full glory.

07262009_IronMan2-2.jpg“That trailer blew my mind, actually,” a sheepish Rockwell said, reflecting the mood of the audience after the lights went up and the applause finally started to die down. The fact that Rourke couldn’t attend thanks to scheduling conflicts didn’t stop him from being the star of the panel, with Downey kicking off the praise for his co-star by saying, “I thought I was eccentric. He’s something else.” But after everyone concurred on how much they liked working with Rourke, Favreau further burnished the legend of “The Wrestler” star by telling an anecdote about Rourke traveling to Russia as soon as he learned he had the part and informed him that part of his background was serving prison time there. “The next thing I heard, he was in a Russian prison,” Favreau said. “I had to learn by TMZ — and not for a crime or anything. He chose to go there. And apparently the first American film they got in Russia as a result of Perestroika was ‘9 1/2 Weeks,’ so he’s a sex god in Russia…” Without missing a beat, Downey cut to the chase with “And where do you want to go if you’re a sex god in Russia besides the prison?”

Sex was also, not unexpectedly, on the mind of Kevin Smith, who had the unenviable task of following up the “Iron Man 2” fervor, as one fan of his made sure to bring up during a Q&A that, like his many “Evening With Kevin Smith” appearances, felt more like a conversation amongst friends. Even Smith couldn’t get away from the “Twilight: New Moon” bug, reinterpreting all the footage he saw on YouTube from the Con in his own unique way (which made him “feel the whole room get moist”) and lamenting that since he only had a brief window of time away from shooting his latest film, the Bruce Willis-Tracy Morgan buddy cop comedy “A Couple of Dicks” in New York, he couldn’t get his daughter any “Twilight” swag. In response, a fan named Mike came through with a bag with the “New Moon” poster image that his wife made for her friends, which led to Mike getting to sit onstage with Smith as Smith conducted the rest of the panel and even paused to give Mike a backrub.

Yet Smith also took time to share a few tidbits about the future of his own career and his associates. His longtime producer Scott Mosier is apparently writing a script for an action movie that’s like ‘”The Bourne Identity,’ but better,” while dealing with a potential title change on Smith’s “A Couple of Dicks,” since, as Smith explained, the big three networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) wouldn’t run an ad with that title until after 9 p.m., leading Smith to complain that “[Janet Jackson’s] boob still haunts me.” He also ticked off the status of his horror film “Red State” (“still looking for financing”), the superhero comedy “Ranger Danger and the Danger Rangers” (the script’s half-finished) and his hockey spoof “Hit Somebody,” based on a Warren Zevon song co-written by Mitch Albom, that looks like it’ll be his next project — he wrote the film’s ending on his iPhone during his plane flight to San Diego. Smith also mentioned that he’s turning his unmade “Green Hornet” script into the basis for a series of comic books published by Dynamite, and admitted that after the middling release of “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” he fell into a deep depression that’s fueled a new love of weed (which has given him a whole new appreciation of his earlier films that he made under no such influence, saying “All those years of making stoner comedies, I wasn’t [a stoner]. Now, I don’t make them and I am!”).

07262009_extract_001.jpgThe aftereffects of drugs also got the biggest laughs at the “Extract” panel, where both the trailer to the Mike Judge comedy that ends with Jason Bateman exhaling a giant cloud of smoke and a clip of Ben Affleck accidentally giving a horse tranquilizer to Bateman definitely earned the audience’s approval. Although Judge explained, “I’m really bad at pitching movies, as you might’ve noticed,” he acquitted himself admirably as the audience asked him questions about his worst job (he named three: “Jack in the Box, chainlink fences and alphabetizing orders”), how he got “Idiocracy” made (he owed Fox a script and “out of all the ideas I had, that’s the one they said was commercial”) and if he would he ever consider playing a Bond villain (“Yes, definitely.”). He also recounted a story about how he named one of his most famous creations after a football player at a rival high school whose last name was Beavis and how, ten years ago, his sister sent him a newspaper clipping about Beavis petitioning to change his surname.

Judge was accompanied by Bateman and co-star Mila Kunis, but not Kristen Wiig, who’s currently shooting Greg Mottola’s comedy “Paul” with Bateman, yet couldn’t join him on the flight to Comic-Con because of work obligations. When Kunis complained that she’s starred in three movies with Wiig without actually ever being in the same scene as her, Bateman relayed Wiig’s comment about Kunis after showing her some promotional “Extract” photos, “She’s so goddamn pretty…I’ll never be in a scene with her.” Bateman went on to propose that Judge form a repertory company like Christopher Guest to make comedies every 18 months and, when asked about his own worst job, deadpanned, “Everybody knows how to access IMDb — just throw a dart.” (“Arrested Development” fans should also take heart that Bateman confirmed that a movie version could be as “early as six months away to as late as 18 months,” but not dead by any means).

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…