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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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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
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Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
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Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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