DID YOU READ

Rise of the Jason Bateman Comedy Brand

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Very few child actors manage the pitfalls of the film industry as well as Jason Bateman. Unlike, say, Jodie Foster, who has had career ups and downs, Jason Bateman never really left the pop-cultural event horizon at all, tirelessly working his way through television, to small supporting roles in interesting films – like Juno – and wonderful failures – like “The Sweetest Thing.” From each role, it seems, he took something away, learned his craft, gave generous performances, developing, along the way, a dry comedic sensibility all his own. This, for lack of a better term, is the Jason Bateman comedic brand.

Bateman’s rise to the top of the comedic box office began, strangely enough, on the dourest of television dramas. He cut his chops on “Little House on the Prairie,” starring as an orphan adopted into the rather severe Ingalls family. From his years in entertainment, he has developed a powerful work ethic, drawing upon his established comedy brand, expanding into digital content creation in his co-venture with Will Arnett. DumbDumb, a comedy marketing venture started by the “Arrested Development” alums in 2010, already has had Obit Gum as a sponsor. “We’re the CEOs of DumbDumb, but that’s a hilarious moniker to give us,” Arnett told Papermag. “We’re actually co-chief executive dummies. That’s our official title.”

Perhaps it is the longevity of his career in the entertainment business — 30 years — but Bateman rarely seems to make mistakes or at least the magnitude of mistakes that have sidelined generations of child stars. He seems to have gotten all the partying out of his system. Bateman, further, is a good businessman, a virtue not many creatives, especially comedy minded creative, can claim. He told Howard Stern that he got some back-end from “Juno,” which would make him quite wealthy as well as smart for taking that risky role. “My goal is to get another 30 years out of this business,” Bateman told Men’s Health magazine in 2009. “So I need to figure out the fuel to do that. And so far, I think its respect and quality and company, not celebrity or box office or stardom. It’s not a sprinter’s approach. It’s more like a long-distance thing. You can stick around a lot longer if you kind of slow-play it.” Be grown up and the box office will follow.

Jason Bateman will be the first, however, to cop to some of his wonderful failures, like the horrendously unnecessary “Teen Wolf Too.” At the end of January, Bateman, on the Howard Stern Show, called the werewolf sequel, justly, “a shitty movie.” As usually happens, the subject of the Stern show turned towards the guest’s sowing of wild oats years. Bateman was unusually candid about his life before marriage and kids. “Because I worked so much as a little kid I made a concerted effort to play as hard as I was working and try to catch up.” He continued, “the reason it became a problem is because I wanted to start doing things that were more adult, which means you’ve got get up a little bit early in the morning. So I had to dial it down.” And dial it down he did.

That characteristic dry style evolved, over time, achieving its apex in “Arrested Development,” soon to come back to the small screen in season four. And he killed it in “Horrible Bosses,” where he had a memorable supporting role. That brings us up to date with Identity Thief. Identity Thief, poised finish in one of the top sports for the third week in a row, is proof positive that Bateman is now a box office comedy royal, capable of carrying a comedy all on his own. The Jason Bateman comedy brand – for lack of a better term – took 30 years to build. I look forward to 30 more, and you should too.

What’s your favorite Jason Bateman role? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Spirit's Up

You Missed It, But Don’t Panic

Watch the 2017 Spirit Awards Right Now on the IFC App.

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The 2017 Independent Spirit Awards are over! Done! See you next year!
Moonlight won every award for which it was nominated, The Witch got some well-deserved rookie love, Nick Kroll & John Mulaney were perfect hosts, and Fred Armisen apparently died.

If you missed any of it, don’t freak. It’s 2017, which is the future. The magical immediacy of media technology will save you.

Watch the entire awards show, start to finish, on the IFC app or right here. RIGHT NOW. FOR FREE. Or, you know, whenever, because that’s the whole point.

If you’re still on the fence, don’t get comfortable. Here’s a sampler platter that’ll give you the flavor of everything that went down today. Fair warning: It’s real good.

Nick Kroll and John Mulaney

Perfect hosts. Perfect. Their opening routine was deadly funny, wicked smart, and invoked both David Lynch and Werner Herzog. A huge step up from the Academy Awards’ usual fart jokes, figuratively speaking.

Andy Samberg’s Surprise Cameo

We’ll never think of Eddie Vedder the same way again.

Best Supporting Female: Molly Shannon

Superstar! It’s been too easy to think of Molly exclusively in the context of her beloved characters, but her nuanced performance in Other People changes all of that. And man can she work a crowd.

Best Feature: Moonlight

This. Movie. We called it first, Oscar!

See the full list of winners here and enjoy the entire 2017 Spirit Awards now or anytime on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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Forget Oscar

Find Your Spirit Animal

The Spirit Awards are LIVE this Saturday at 2p PT/5p ET.

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In just a few precious days, the greatest, most epic, most star-studded awards ceremony of the year comes to IFC.

And please, we’re definitely not talking about the Oscars. We’re talking about the Spirit Awards. Hosted by iconic comedy duo Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, it’s a relatively under-the-radar awards show with serious cred. And if the past is any indicator, we’re in for a wild night.

If you feel like doing your homework, you can find a full list of nominees and performance excerpts here. It reads like a who’s who of everyone that matters – those larger-than-life personalities with status that borders on mythological. Our celebrity spirit animals, if you will.

This isn’t hyperbole. Literally everyone who takes the stage at the awards show is spirit animal material. Let’s see if we can help you find yours…

Do you

Live in someone else’s shadow despite shining like the sun? Do you inexplicably vandalize your pretty-boy good looks with a sloppy-joe man bun and a repellent pubic-hair beard? Do you think sounding stoned and sounding thoughtful are kinda the same thing?

Congratulations, your spirit animal is Casey Affleck.

He’s the self-canonized patron saint of anyone who’s got the goods but doesn’t give a damn.

Do you

Have mid-length hair and exude a certain feminine masculinity that is universally appealing? Are you drawn to situations that promise little to nothing in the way of grooming or hygiene as a transparently self-conscious attempt to conceal your radiant inner glow? Does that fail miserably?

Way to go, your spirit animal is Viggo Mortensen.

He’s the yoga teacher of actors, in that what should make him super nasty only increases his curb appeal.

Do you

Get zero recognition for work that everyone knows is unrivaled? Do you inspire greatness in others yet get shortchanged when it comes to your own acclaim? Are you a goddam B-52 bomber in an industry of biplanes?

Bingo, your spirit animal is Annette Bening.

What does it take for this artist to win an Oscar? Honestly now, if her performance in 20th Century Women doesn’t earn her every award on the planet, consider it proof that the Universe truly is a cold dark void absent of reason or compassion.

Do you

Walk into a room full of strangers and walk out with a room full of friends? Have you been hiding under the radar just waiting for the right moment to leap out into the spotlight and stay there FOREVER? Do you possess the almost messianic ability to elevate Shia LaBeouf’s on-screen charisma?

You guessed it (or not), your spirit animal is 100% Sasha Lane.

If you haven’t seen American Honey, then you haven’t heard of her. She came out of the blue with a performance both subtle and powerful, and now she’s going to be in all the movies from this moment on. Or she should be, at any rate.

Don’t see your spirit animal there? Worry not. There are many more nominees to choose from, and you can see them all (yes, including Shia LaBeouf) during the Independent Spirit Awards, this Saturday at 2pm PT/5pm ET only on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia Keeps Road Rage In Park

Get a lesson in parking etiquette on a new Portlandia.

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It’s the most American form of cause and effect: Park like a monster, receive a passive-aggressive note.

car notes note

This unofficial rule of the road is critical to keeping the great big wheel of car-related Karma in balance. And naturally, Portlandia’s Kath and Dave have elevated it to an awkward, awkward art form in Car Notes, the Portlandia web series presented by Subaru.

If you’ve somehow missed the memo about Car Notes until now, you can catch up on every installment online, on the IFC app, and on demand. You can even have a little taste right here:

If your interest is piqued – great news for you! A special Car Notes sketch makes an appearance in the latest episode of Portlandia, and you can catch up on it now right here.

Watch all-new Portlandia Thursdays at 10P on IFC.

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