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Russell Crowe as Superman’s father in “Man of Steel” behind-the-scenes photos hit the web

Russell Crowe as Superman’s father in “Man of Steel” behind-the-scenes photos hit the web (photo)

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We’ve long known that Russell Crowe would be taking on the role of Superman‘s father in “Man of Steel,” but it’s been up in the air how close his portrayal would hew to that of Marlon Brando, who played Jor-El in the original 1978 “Superman.” Fortunately, we can finally quit speculating as photos of Crowe on set have leaked to the internet.

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The Daily Mail snagged the photos, and couldn’t even get through their headline without making fun of Russell Crowe for being “paunchy” and sniping at him for his failure to quit smoking. For our money though, we kind of dig a respectably heavy Jor-El – no one’s dad should have six-pack abs, even Superman. We can even indulge the conceit that Krypton’s red sun might negate the dangers of smoking.

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If you aren’t a catty British tabloid, you’re probably more interested in what Crowe’s costume looks like, so let’s discuss that, shall we? Like Brando’s Jor-El, the outfit has the giant S-logo on the front, but that’s where the similarities end. Unlike Brando’s fab all white, turtleneck, sensible polyester-blend ensemble, Crowe’s costume looks decidedly more militaristic, with a heavily-detailed mantle and shoulder pads. The outfit also features a reddish cape and underneath the robe, the same dimpled blue material seen in the Superman costume worn by star Henry Cavill.

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Crowe joins Cavill, Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Superman’s Earth parents, Ma and Pa Kent. “Man of Steel,” directed by Zack Snyder (“300” and “Suckerpunch“), will hit theaters on June 14, 2013.

What do you think of Russell Crowe’s Jor-El costume? Do you dig it, or like the Daily Mail, would you prefer a slimmer, more svelte Papa Superman? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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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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Nick Kroll and John Mulaney To Host Spirit Awards

The Spirit Awards Air February 25 LIVE on IFC.

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The 2017 Spirit Awards have finally found their frontmen: Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. And it’s no wonder. Just marvel in their splendid chemistry back when they appeared on Comedy Bang! Bang!:

The pair are prolific within the performing arts community: television (Kroll in The League and The Kroll Show, Mulaney as a writer of IFC’s own Documentary Now!), theater (including Broadway’s current Oh Hello Show), and stand-up comedy. In fact, it’s entirely possible that emceeing an awards show is one of the few remaining line items on their professional bucket lists.

It’s important to caveat this announcement, however. Unlike the bigger and more ubiquitously known awards shows, the Spirit Awards are not, well…boring. (We’re talking to you, Oscar.)

They’re funny. They’re honest. They have quality to match the red-carpet fanfare. And that’s alarmingly special. Last year’s show included some legitimately historic moments, like when transgender actress Mya Taylor won best supporting female, or Kate McKinnon’s hilarious and timely parody of Carol. See more highlights here to get the flavor of the Spirit Awards and read all about Film Independent to dig deeper.

The 2017 Spirit Awards air live February 25 at 5P ET exclusively on IFC.

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