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IFC.com’s 2012 Fall Movie Preview Guide

IFC Fall Movie Preview Guide

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We’ve finally exited the bombastic season of summer blockbusters, but by no means is Hollywood through with us. September through December is when studios release some of their most original and interesting films, often with an eye towards Oscar gold. Given that dozens of films are on the release calendar during this period, we’ve put together a handy guide showcasing some of the best and brightest of the fall fare. So with that in mind, take a gander at our substantive Fall Movie Preview Guide.

Select a monthSept | Oct | Nov | Dec

9/7 – “BRANDED” (Roadside Attractions – Jamie Bradshaw and Aleksandr Dulerayn – Sci-Fi)

A scene from BrandedWhat use does anyone have for subtlety when Max Von Sydow is out there forcing us to eat hamburgers, buy smartphones and have sex in cars? A variation on John Carpenter’s “They Live” with something resembling a “Matrix”-sized budget, “Branded” stars Ed Stoppard as just another working stiff in a sprawling (and vaguely green-tinted, as these things usually go) metropolis who suddenly starts seeing the world as a series of Xbox 360 cutscenes gone stark raving mad, a glimpse behind the curtain of the Big Brother corporation that’s controlling our instincts, desires and even personalities via some sort of implant. Consumerist satire is nothing new to science fiction (did we mention “They Live”?), but “Branded” at least has what looks like a unique gonzo visual style courtesy of the writing and directing team of Jamie Bradshaw and Aleksandr Dulerayn. Jeffrey Tambor and Leelee Sobieski are also in this, which just makes it all the weirder.


9/7 – “THE INBETWEENERS MOVIE” (Wrekin Hill Entertainment – Ben Palmer – Comedy)

A scene from The Inbetweeners MovieSuburban teenagers Will (Simon Bird), Jay (James Buckley), Neil (Blake Harrison) and Simon (Joe Thomas) pack up their adolescent angst and raging libidos and trade the rainy doldrums of England for the sunny climes of Malia, embarking on a much-needed vacation that doesn’t quite end up being what they expected. Seedy hotels, public humiliations, run-ins with drug dealers and more than a few sexual misadventures are the name of the game in this feature film adapted from the popular British television series (which this film brings to a definitive end), an inspired-looking bit of cinematic mayhem that could very well dethrone “Project X” as 2012’s number-one party movie that parents hope their kids will never see. What better way to take the edge off of going back to school than by spending some time on a Greek island with a quartet whose coming-of-age always takes the most extreme route possible?


9/7 – “THE WORDS” (CBS Films – Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal – Drama)

A scene from The WordsWant to plunge yourself into the deepest existential crisis you could ever imagine? Commit plagiarism! “The Words” follows an aspiring writer (Bradley Cooper) who finally achieves the success he’s been craving when he publishes the next great American novel – an epic romantic tome that he didn’t write himself. The consequences are dire when the truth comes a’callin’, made all the more ominous by being embodied by a strange old man on a park bench (Jeremy Irons) whose cryptic storytelling reveals the reality behind the fiction … and vice-versa. After “Limitless” and now this, Bradley Cooper can play a grinning doofus whose new ultra-life comes with a very high price in his sleep, though the film itself seems a bit confused when the sudden appearance of the song “Demons” by Imagine Dragons over the last part of the trailer makes it seem like an MTV movie that should be starring Zac Efron and Miley Cyrus. Still, “The Words” earned some good buzz from Sundance earlier this year, and it’s not like anyone should turn down the chance to see a supporting cast that includes Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Dennis Quaid and J.K. Simmons, who plays a businessman who has to tell his perpetually broke, pushing-40 artiste son that maybe writing should just be a “hobby.”


9/14 – “THE MASTER” (The Weinstein Company – Paul Thomas Anderson – Drama)

Philip Seymour Hoffman in The MasterPaul Thomas Anderson’s first film in five years (following 2007’s excellent “There Will Be Blood”) comes with a bit of pre-packaged controversy as his post-war fable about a wandering soul (Joaquin Phoenix) who’s “saved” by a spiritual guru (Philip Seymour Hoffman) bears more than a passing resemblance to the life story of L. Ron Hubbard and the rise of Scientology. Indeed, Anderson has tried to cut off any potential (and probably inevitable) grumblings at the pass by already showing the film to what could be either his greatest ally or worst enemy in this endeavor: his “Magnolia” pal and number-one Scientology celebrity champion, Tom Cruise. Cruise reportedly has “some problems” with the film but certainly doesn’t seem to be all up in arms about it; hopefully, we’ll be able to judge “The Master” on its own terms and not as the “propaganda film” some might claim it to be. The fact that Anderson has never made a bad movie certainly sets the bar pretty high; personally, we have a feeling this one might even end up being his all-time best.


9/14 – “RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION” (Sony Pictures – Paul W.S. Anderson – Action/Horror/Sci-Fi)

Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil: RetributionMilla Jovovich is back doing what she does best in the fifth (!) installment of the action horror series that no one really likes but apparently can’t help but watch. It looks like business as usual (and once again in 3D, as with the 2010’s “Afterlife”) as Alice (Jovovich) grabs her double guns and teams up with a resistance movement that’s determined to take down the ever-corrupt, ever-untouchable Umbrella Corporation, the uber-conglormerate responsible for turning most of the world’s population into ravenous zombies and other mutant monsters. “Retribution” makes for something of a reunion as several series alums are making appearances (whether they died in previous installments or not), including Michelle Rodriguez (absent since the 2002 original), Sienna Guillory (as fan favorite Jill Valentine), Oded Fehr and Shawn Roberts (as supervillain Albert Wesker). What, no Mike Epps? What kind of show is Paul W.S. Anderson running here? Anyway, “Retribution” reportedly marks the “beginning of the end” for a franchise that somehow keeps getting resurrected almost in spite of itself.


9/21 – “DREDD 3D” (Lionsgate – Pete Travis – Action/Sci-Fi)

Karl Urban in Dredd 3D“I AM DA LAW!” Sylvester Stallone made a go at Judge Dredd, the judge, jury and executioner of the popular British comic book series “2000 AD,” back in 1995 with a failed film adaptation that didn’t stand a chance against opening opposite “Apollo 18” (or opening opposite anything, really). The character’s definitely got a cult following, so it was only a matter of time before someone gave him an upgrade and a hearty R rating for some rather extreme “RoboCop”-level violence. Karl Urban, who can play anything from a Middle-earth warrior in “The Lord of the Rings” to a scowling Russian assassin in “The Bourne Supremacy” to, well, Bones in “Star Trek,” plays Dredd this time around, a mighty and at times merciless enforcer of justice in the irradiated future world of Mega City One, a sparawling metropolis overwrought with crime and corruption. The film screened earlier this summer at the San Diego Comic-Con, where it received some praise for not pulling any punches in bringing to life a city where bullets fly like there’s no tomorrow.


9/21 – “END OF WATCH” (Open Road – David Ayer – Drama/Mystery)

A scene from End of Watch“So why do they call you Big Evil?” “’cause my evil’s big.” Writer-director David Ayer once again hits the mean streets of Los Angeles with this crime drama in which two LAPD officers (Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña) make what seems like the bust of their careers when they confiscate a bunch of money and guns during a routine traffic stop. Unfortunately, this act of protecting and serving makes them the targets of a powerful drug cartel that likes to do things like shoot up homes with machine guns in the middle of the night – for starters. Ayer, who wrote “Training Day,” “S.W.A.T.” and “Dark Blue” and wrote/directed “Harsh Times,” is obviously right at home with this kind of gritty cop tale, and with “End of Watch” he goes for a “found footage” kind of look to up the sense of realism and intensity. If only we didn’t have such a hard time accepting Gyllenhaal as a grown-up – we still only see the kid from “Donnie Darko” every time we look at him.


9/21 – “HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET” (Rogue – Mark Tonderai – Horror/Thriller)

Jennifer Lawrence in House at the End of the StreetIt was probably only a matter of time before someone put Jennifer Lawrence, the rising star of “Winter’s Bone” and “The Hunger Games,” in a white tank top and made her stake her claim as a modern-day Scream Queen. Lawrence plays Elissa, a teenager who moves with her newly divorced mother (Elisabeth Shue) to an upscale (and almost surely isolated) country community, where she becomes involved with the cute guy next door (Max Thieriot) who harbors a deadly secret involving murder and mayhem. Lawrence’s perfectly art-directed grimy, sweaty cleavage should sell some tickets, though whether she’s a true movie star outside the realm of Panem remains to be seen; meanwhile, we’re having trouble with the fact that the hottie from “Adventures in Babysitting” is now old enough to have a teenager of her own. The film’s already been nominated for Best Sound Editing by the Directors Guild of Canada, so we know all those creaking floors, high-pitched wails and various bumps in the night will at least sound good.


9/21 – “TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE” (Warner Bros. – Robert Lorenz – Drama)

Clint Eastwood in Trouble with the CurveIt’s been a while since baseball was used as a metaphor for the various unpredictable victories and defeats of … well, life, so leave it to Clint Eastwood, Hollywood’s seemingly tireless MVP, to take us back out to the ball game. Eastwood plays Gus, a longtime talent scout who’s got one good trip left in him; his estranged daughter (Amy Adams) accompanies him on his last swing for the fences, during which he encounters a longtime rival (Justin Timberlake) who’s got eyes for his little girl. “Trouble With the Curve” marks Eastwood’s first acting gig since 2008’s “Gran Torino” and his first starring role in a movie he didn’t direct himself since 1993’s “In the Line of Fire”; calling the shots (and pitches) is Eastwood’s longtime pal and producer, Robert Lorenz, making his feature directorial debut. Expect this one to be a grizzled yet gentle fable that might do for fathers and daughters what “Field of Dreams” did for fathers and sons.


9/14 – “THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER” (Summit – Stephen Chbowsky – Drama)

Emma Watson and Ezra Miller in The Perks of Being a WallflowerStephen Chbosky directs his own adaptation of his own novel, a “period piece” of sorts (it takes place in the early ’90s, which, in many ways, might as well be 100 years ago) about a high school freshman (Logan Lerman) who’s taken under the wing of two seniors (Emma Watson and Ezra Miller) as he deals with first love, the suicide of his best friend and other seemingly insurmountable challenges of transitioning into adulthood. The exceptional book definitely has its fans, but the real draw here is seeing Emma Watson in her first major post-“Harry Potter” role; she’s apparently determined to still be seen as a student, unlike her colleague, Daniel Radcliffe, who jumped right into playing a widowed father in “The Woman in Black.” Early buzz says that Chbosky has been blessed by John Hughes, which is certainly a “Perk”; God knows we’re extremely overdue for a truly insightful, witty and unironic film about teenagers.


9/28 – “SOLOMON KANE” (Radius-TWC – Michael J. Bennett – Adventure/Fantasy)

A scene from Solomon Kane“I am not yet ready for hell!” An old-fashioned morality tale told as an epic fantastical action-adventure, “Solomon Kane” stars James Purefoy as a brutal mercenary of Queen Elizabeth I who changes his violent ways when he finds out that he’s headed straight for you-know-where. He successfully lives a life of peace until he’s called back into action after an evil sorcerer (Jason Flemyng) kidnaps a Puritan girl (Rachel Hurd-Wood) and has her family slaughtered in front of her. Time to set stuff on fire and turn dramatically to the camera to say “Follow me!” in the mostly grimly determined way possible! This one’s been held at U.S. customs for three years now, as other countries have been enjoying “Solomon Kane” since late 2009; the film now serves as a warm-up of sorts before director Michael J. Bennett unveils his big Hollywood debut, “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D,” a month later. “Solomon Kane” also marks one of the last films of the late, great Pete Postlethwaite, who, along with Max von Sydow, provides old-timer gravitas to all the sword-swinging chaos.


9/28 – “LOOPER” (TriStar Pictures – Rian Johnson – Action/Sci-Fi)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in LooperWe’ve been waiting almost 17 years for something to be referred to as “the next ’12 Monkeys,'” and it looks like we’re finally getting it in the form of Rian Johnson’s new sci-fi action film – which, appropriately enough, also features the doomed hero of “Monkeys,” Bruce Willis. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the writer-director’s unofficial muse (they previously rocked the house – or the high school, rather – with the noir mystery, “Brick”), plays the title role, a future-world assassin who incorporates time travel into his work; things go completely meta-bonkers when his latest target ends up being his older self (Willis), who manages to avoid being the victim of what would’ve been the most mind-bending case of murder-suicide in history. The trailer released a few months ago was amazing enough, but the extended look given at this summer’s San Diego Comic-Con promises a film that’s going to be as exciting and entertaining as it is thought-provoking and smarty-pants cool (just like “12 Monkeys” before it).

Continue to October >>

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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