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Three “Avengers” questions answered by “Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant”

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Last month, Marvel revealed plans to release a pair of short films aimed at tying up some of the loose plot threads left dangling by “Thor,” the “Iron Man” films, and the rest of the Marvel movie-verse in the lead-up to “The Avengers.”

The first of these short films, “Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant,” is included as a bonus feature on the “Thor” Blu-Ray. However, since the Blu-Ray has arrived a little early in some countries, “The Consultant” has already found its way online.

Not only does the four-minute short bridge the gap between “Iron Man 2” and “The Incredible Hulk,” it also answers three big questions that fans have been buzzing about as we get closer to “The Avengers.” You can watch the video below for yourself, but you’ll want to pay extra-close attention to make sure these three elements come through loud and clear:

Q: What happened to Emil “The Abomination” Blonsky after “The Incredible Hulk”?

A: According to “The Consultant,” Blonsky (played by Tim Roth in the 2008 film) is “in custody in General Ross’ sector.” In the aftermath of Blonsky’s rampage, the government pinned the blame on Bruce Banner and the military secretly took “war hero” Blonsky into custody. “They want him exonerated, released , and then added to the [Avengers] roster,” explains S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) in the short.

Q: Why did Tony Stark approach Gen. Ross in the post-credits scene from “The Incredible Hulk” instead of Nick Fury?

A: As we learn in “The Consultant,” Agent Coulson managed to avoid a direct order to add Blonsky to the Avengers roster by sending Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to make the request of Gen. Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt). Knowing that Stark and Ross would definitely not play nice together, this ensured that negotiations for Blonsky’s involvement would fall apart, removing the need to add him to the team.

Q: What is Tony Stark’s status with The Avengers Initiative?

A: In “Iron Man 2,” we learned that Tony Stark wasn’t being brought on as a member of Nick Fury’s “Avengers Initiative,” but would instead serve as a “consultant” for the team. Given what we see in “The Consultant” of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents’ attitude toward Stark and the scene involving Stark and Ross, we’re starting to get a much clearer picture of Iron Man will fit in the upcoming “Avengers” team-up movie. While that doesn’t mean he won’t be a full-time Avenger by the end of the film, it seems somewhat certain atthis point that he won’t begin the film as an Avenger — which could mean Captain America will indeed be the group’s leader when the team makes its big-screen debut.

What did you think of “The Consultant” short film from Marvel? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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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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