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Comedy Calendar: Your June Movie Options

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Welcome to “Comedy Calendar,” a regular column that tracks the month’s most intriguing film comedies that will be coming to a theater near you.

Summer movie season means big studio blockbusters, often featuring characters with capes or guns, but it’s also a time for starry comedies. June will see the arrival of much-hyped films from the likes of Melissa McCarthy and Vince Vaughn, but the art houses are making room for campy exports from Spain and a fanboy favorite’s adaptation of a Bard classic. There’s even something this month for the kids. Here’s a rundown of this month’s comedy options…

“The Internship” (June 7)

What It’s About: Two downsized fortysomething salesmen try to remake themselves by landing a high-profile internship at Google, where they have to compete with a younger generation that’s far more tech-savvy than they are.

Who’s In It: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Aasif Mandvi.

Why You Should Care: Before the “Hangover” movies and “Ted,” 2005’s “Wedding Crashers” was one of the highest-grossing R-rated comedies ever. Somewhat amazingly, they never made a sequel, so “The Internship” (which is PG-13) will serve as something of a de facto follow-up for Vaughn and Wilson. No wonder the film’s tagline says that the guys are “Crashing The System”: Fox is going to do everything in their power to help you associate this film with that massive hit.

“Much Ado About Nothing” (June 7)

What It’s About: A modern-day remake of William Shakespeare’s comedy about two longtime lovers, Beatrice and Benedick, dueling over the meaning and importance of love.

Who’s In It: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Reed Diamond, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Fran Kranz, Sean Maher, Jillian Morgese.

Why You Should Care: Shot in black-and-white and filmed in only 12 days, this “Much Ado” boasts serious cool cachet thanks to who wrote and directed it: Joss Whedon. Featuring several cast members who have been part of Whedon’s world — whether on “The Avengers” (Gregg), “Angel” (Acker) or “Firefly” (Fillion) — this adaptation has gotten strong reviews, suggesting that it’s far from a self-indulgent vanity project for the cult-icon-turned-blockbuster-filmmaker.

http://youtu.be/AAMsDP_DMHE

“Syrup” (June 7)

What It’s About: A young, go-getting advertising executive has to contend with professional dangers within his cutthroat industry, as well as an office romance with a fellow shark.

Who’s In It: Shiloh Fernandez, Amber Heard, Kellan Lutz, Brittany Snow.

Why You Should Care: “Syrup,” which is already available on iTunes, is based on Max Barry’s well-reviewed 1999 novel, a satire of the marketing world that’s especially timely in the age of “Mad Men.”

“This Is the End” (June 12)

What It’s About: A group of friends in Los Angeles go to a big bash at James Franco’s place. It would be an amazing night if not for the fact that the apocalypse starts raging outside.

Who’s In It: Just about every hip comic actor you can name, including Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Mindy Kaling, Michael Cera and Seth Rogen, who co-wrote and co-directed the film. Oh, and Franco’s also in it.

Why You Should Care: “This Is the End” sports a funny premise, and with its R rating, it looks to be the month’s most gleefully out-there film. And considering that cast, the movie feels like the “Avengers” of summer comedies.

“Monsters University” (June 21)

What It’s About: A prequel to “Monsters, Inc.,” “Monsters University” takes us back to when Mike and Sulley first met while in college.

Who’s In It: Reprising their roles are voice actors Billy Crystal, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi.

Why You Should Care: Pixar remains one of the more reliable Hollywood brands out there, although their recent films (“Cars 2” and “Brave”) have been among their weakest. Can “Monsters University” reverse that trend? The answer may depend on how much you love “Monsters, Inc.” — and how much you’ve been craving a movie that showed the characters in their younger years.

“The Heat” (June 28)

What It’s About: A by-the-book FBI agent and an out-of-control police detective must join forces to beat the bad guys and crack wise.

Who’s In It: Sandra Bullock as the FBI agent. Melissa McCarthy as the detective. Also, Tony Hale, Taran Killam, Kaitlin Olson and Marlon Wayans.

Why You Should Care: “The Heat” is the follow-up film from Paul Feig, the director of “Bridesmaids,” which helped launch McCarthy, who snagged an Oscar nomination in the process. She and Bullock are probably the most bankable female comic stars at the moment, and this “Lethal Weapon”-but-with-women movie has potential.

“I’m So Excited!” (June 28)

What It’s About: When a plane bound for Mexico starts to develop mechanical issues midair, the crew and passengers must band together to avert disaster.

Who’s In It: Javier Camara, Carlos Areces, Raul Arevalo and, in cameos, Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz. But the movie’s real star is its director, Pedro Almodóvar.

Why You Should Care: An Oscar-winner who in the last decade has become one of the industry’s most honored and recognizable international filmmakers, Almodóvar takes a break from kinky dramas (“Bad Education” and “The Skin I Live In”) and touching dramas (“All About My Mother” and “Talk to Her”) to return to his camp roots for what looks like a very silly, very fabulous romp.

You can follow Tim Grierson on Twitter.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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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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