DID YOU READ

Hero, heroine.

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"You sound like a very scary guy."
At the London Times, Kevin Maher has an entertaining piece inspired by the aging 4s (those would be "Live Free or Die Hard," "Indiana Jones 4" and "Rambo 4") on the various tricks make-up artists, stunt coordinators and trainers use when dealing with creakier leading men:

If your movie revolves entirely around the unblemished perfection of your central macho middle-aged actor there is, of course, the miracle of “digital enhancement” – removing wrinkles digitally in a postproduction suite. “I know plenty of actors who’ve had this done, and plenty of editing suites that are doing it. It’s quite common now to simply lose the wrinkles in postproduction, especially on tight close-ups. A lot of actors now will be digitally enhanced.”

While we’ll have to wait until June 27th to see how audiences favor these, er, matured franchises and film heroes, Scott Bowles at USA Today notes that in comic book adaptations, success seems guaranteed no matter what your reviews, as long as you have a male lead. He cites "Catwoman" and "Elektra," as well as a phrase we’ve never come across before:

The question of women’s roles in superhero stories — dubbed the "women in refrigerators" debate after a Green Lantern issue in which the superhero’s girlfriend was found dismembered in an icebox — began on comic pages and websites but has spilled onto the big screen.

At the Film Experience Blog, Nathaniel R. leads off an Action Heroine Blog-a-Thon that offers a nice counterpoint to the above discussion, or, actually, 47 counterpoints. And over at the Sydney Morning Herald, Andrew Taylor turns to gender in another genre, the biopic, suggesting that not only do we seems to prefer biopics of women to be about "misery, hardship and tragedy," but that

Oscar, its French equivalent, Cesar, and their award statuette cousins love misery. They also appreciate an actor who endures a little of that hardship herself. [Angela] Bassett pumped iron for two hours a day to replicate Tina Turner’s muscular physique for What’s Love Got To Do With It? Similarly, [Nicole] Kidman reportedly walked into a river over and over again for her suicide scene in The Hours.

We’re not sure we agree with all of his points — biopic misery has been pretty equal opportunity lately.

+ Diet hard! Ageing action heroes turn back the clock (London Times)
+ Male heroes draw comic fans (USA Today)
+ Action Heroine HQ (Film Experience Blog)
+ Hollywood’s female formula (Sydney Morning Herald)

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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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