DID YOU READ

Animated.

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Victor Quartermaine (voiced by Ralph Fiennes)First: our reviews of "Roll Bounce" (Roller. Disco. ‘nuf said.) and "Daltry Calhoun" (to be avoided) are here.

In appropriate pairing, Stephen Dalton in the London Times writes about how audiences seem to be turning back to traditional cell and other low-tech animation just as Laura M. Holson in the New York Times reports on the recent closing of Disney revered traditional animation department. Dalton:

William Higham, who runs the forecasting agency Next Big Thing, relates this new lo-fi mood to the popularity of neo-traditional designers such as Kath Kidson and the resurgence in painting over conceptual Brit Art.

We are now, Higham argues, in a "post-bling" culture that prizes homespun honesty over airbrushed perfection. "If you eat too much comfort food, there comes a time when you want something healthy," says Higham. "We are in the middle of an emotional, moral and cultural detox."

Carola Long at the London Times paid a visit to the set of "The Corpse Bride" ("stop-motion has a visceral quality that you just don’t get with CGI"), while at the same paper Dominic Wells looks at another big stop-motion feature: "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit," talking to producer Dave Sproxton, who mentions that despite Aardman Studios’ fondness for stop-motion, most of their advertising work and their next feature, "Flushed Away," will be CGI. Robin McKie at the Observer profiles director Nick Park:

Park claims to have created a new film genre, ‘vegetarian Hammer Horror’, though most critics say it is more like an Ealing comedy made in Plasticene. Certainly, his work is quintessentially English, gentle and cosy, never brash or garish. Not surprisingly, the gulf between the world of Preston’s Prince of Putty and the financial expectations of Jeffrey Katzenberg, head of DreamWorks Animation – which is bankrolling "The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" – has created tensions. (Park refuses to say how much DreamWorks invested but dismisses media estimates of £30 million as far too low.)

Stuart Jeffries at the Guardian interviews Park, focuses on the pluses and minuses of getting those Hollywood dollars.

+ Summer’s End: "Roll Bounce" and "Daltry Calhoun" (IFC News)
+ You spent how much on CGI?! (London Times)
+ Disney Moves Away From Hand-Drawn Animation (NY Times)
+ A weird wedding invitation (London Times)
+ Feats of clay (London Times)
+ A dog’s life (Observer)
+ Lock up your vegetables! (Guardian)

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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