DID YOU READ

Is it Really “Part 2” Of “The Hangover?”

Is it Really “Part 2” Of “The Hangover?” (photo)

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There are few bolder moves in filmmaking than sticking a “Part 2” at the end of the title of a sequel, because “Part 2” says that a sequel isn’t a sequel at all. Instead, the filmmaker claims the second film is actually a piece of a larger story that’s been planned from the beginning. Since this is, in most cases, utter nonsense, it takes a certain amount of hubris to try it. Do we really believe that Sylvester Stallone knew from the very beginning that he was going to spin off John Rambo into “Rambo: First Blood Part II?” No; in fact, we can be fairly certain he didn’t, since in the original ending of “First Blood” Rambo kills himself. They changed the ending, the movie was a hit, and so we got “Part II,” with a nearly unrecognizable version of character from the first “First Blood,” no longer combat shocked and now packed with rippling muscles he acquired from years of anabolic steroid use hard living on a chain gang.

Occasionally the “Part 2” tag works, mostly in cases where the director makes a movie that builds upon the world and narrative of the first film. “The Godfather Part II” — which, according to its director is the first “Part II” title in history — continues the saga of the Corleone family in two different time periods, both before and after the events of the first film. And “Back to the Future Part II,” which I’ve written about before on IFC.com, pulls off a similar game of temporal hopscotch, filling out the complex chronology of Marty and Doc rather than simply rehashing it. When it does rehash the previous film, it does so in a brilliantly self-referential play on the repetitive nature of most sequels. These are great movies, but they’re still both cases of “Part 2″s earned rather than planned.

I found myself thinking about “Part 2” sequels today while I watched the new trailer for “The Hangover Part II.” Take a look:

Most of the creative team’s back for “The Hangover Part II” including director (now also co-writer) Todd Phillips and stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zack Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, and Ken Jeong. But the trailer makes it look less like a continuation than a rehash. The location is different but the characters, narrative gimmick, and Ed Helms facial disfiguration gags are all the same. That could still make an interesting sequel if the finished film plays up the nightmarish, almost “Twilight Zone”-esque quality of these men’s lives. Will it acknowledge the fact that they seem almost karmically doomed to repeat the same awful misadventures over and over again? I kind of hope so.

On the other hand, when you have Helms say in the trailer “I can’t believe this is happening again!” you’re basically negating the “Part 2” title there. Curiously, in early interviews about the film, Galifianakis suggested the sequel would be much closer to a true expansion of the original, rather than a repetition. “The problem with ‘Hangover 2’ is that we have to up what we did which is very difficult,” he told Latino Review. “So we get, I think, kind of kidnapped. It has nothing to do with the bachelor party. We’re definitely not doing that again.”

Maybe the boys do get kidnapped. Maybe “Hangover Part II” won’t feel like the same movie again. Maybe when it comes out we won’t make jokes about what “Hangover Part III” will look like (“This time Bradley Cooper’s newborn baby is missing! And Ed Helms gets a tongue ring…in Antarctica!”). Convincing me that “The Hangover Part II” is a worthwhile sequel will be easy if it’s funny. Convincing me that it’s second part of enormous tapestry of half-remembered shenanigans and Mike Tyson jokes will be much more difficult.

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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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