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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.

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“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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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.