DID YOU READ

The 12 best movie footwear, from “Back to the Future” to “Spinal Tap”

The 12 best movie footwear, from “Back to the Future” to “Spinal Tap” (photo)

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Marty McFly’s shoes from “Back to the Future Part II” actually exist! Well, sort of, anyway. Regardless of the circumstances or limitations, the release of the light-up (if not self-tying) Nike Mags (which can be yours for around $5,000), means THE FUTURE IS NOW, so let’s go back to the past and take a look at some of the best movie footwear from yesteryears.

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vandamme.jpg1. “Knock Off” (the knock-off shoes)

One of Jean Claude Van Damme’s most underrated films, “Knock Off” features director Tsui Hark’s trademark hyperactive and wildly imaginative camera work. We’re especially fond of the picture-on-picture that comes up (for no particular reason) when Van Damme reaches into a box and pulls out a watch, but our favorite random flourish has to be when we enter a shoe from the point of view of Van Damme’s foot as he prepares to participate in a street race where he has to drag Rob Schneider in a cart behind him as the little man whips his butt with a belt (don’t ask). Too bad these shoes are, indeed, knock-offs — later, Hark swoops us into the heel of the shoe, where we see the materials shred and tear, leaving Van Damme to finish the race more or less sans footwear. A great movie with a great closing credits song by Sparks.


getsmart.jpg2. “Get Smart” (shoe phone)

Maxwell Smart, aka Agent 86, had plenty of sweet spy gadgets on the “Get Smart” television show of the ’60s, and many of these wonderful toys made it into the not-bad 2008 film adaptation starring Steve Carell. Even though it’s been rendered pretty much obsolete by things like, you know, cell phones, the shoe phone still proves to be a rather handy device for the bumbling secret agent. If nothing else, it makes for a swell visual gag — the sight of Carell looking ridiculously proud and suave as he displays a shoe phone as if it’s the most elegant of wristwatches or something is actually quite amusing. Anyway, if you can get a direct line to Anne Hathaway with one of those things, we want one.


wizardofoz.jpg3. “The Wizard of Oz” (ruby slippers)

The ruby slippers worn by Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” are now among the most treasured and valuable of film memorabilia. Why? Hey, who wouldn’t want to own a pair of shoes that can whoosh you off to Kansas with but a few clicks of the heels? They can also give wicked witches one heck of a shock when they try to take them off the feet of their squashed sister. The ruby slippers represent everything the film industry was embracing at the end of the ’30s when “The Wizard of Oz” debuted in theaters: glitter, glamour, color and magic. It’s too bad Dorothy couldn’t take these back to the farm with her.


boogienights.jpg4. “Boogie Nights” (Rollergirl’s roller skates)

Correct us if we’re wrong, but we don’t think there’s one scene in Paul Thomas Anderson’s bittersweet valentine to the world of adult entertainment where Rollergirl (Heather Graham) isn’t wearing her rollerskates. She’s even wearing them when she skips out on her high school exam in the film’s first act, officially dropping out of school to embrace life as a full-time porn actress. Rollergirl’s footwear of choice also comes in handy as a weapon when she uses her skates to smash in the face of some frat boy douchebag who dares “disrespect” her and her surrogate father, Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds). The wheels bring the pleasure… and the pain!


diehard.jpg5. “Die Hard” (the terrorist with feet smaller than John McClane’s sister’s)

“After you get where you’re going, you take off your shoes and your socks then you walk around on the rug barefoot and make fists with your toes.” Maybe if John McClane hadn’t taken this advice, he wouldn’t have spent most of “Die Hard” without footwear. It’s not like he didn’t try to snag a pair of shoes at some point along the way — unfortunately, the first terrorist he killed had feet that were “smaller than his sister’s.” Ah, well — if McClane had worn shoes, he wouldn’t have gotten shards of glass stuck in his feet, which means we wouldn’t have had the scene where he pulls out the shards whilst tearfully talking about his wife, which is still some of the best acting Bruce Willis has ever done. Anyway, for all the snarky self-conscious wretchedness of “Die Hard 2,” we’re surprised McClane never exclaimed, “Hey, at least I’m not barefoot this time!” Yeah, yeah.


spinaltap.jpg6. “This is Spinal Tap” (St. Hubbins)

Marty DiBergi: David St. Hubbins… I must admit I’ve never heard anybody with that name.
David St. Hubbins: It’s an unusual name. Well, he was an unusual saint, he’s not a very well-known saint…
Marty DiBergi: Oh, there actually is, uh… there was a “Saint Hubbins?”
David St. Hubbins: That’s right, yes.
Marty DiBergi: What was he the saint of?
David St. Hubbins: He was the Patron Saint of Quality Footwear.

Hey, someone’s got to be the saint of such a thing, right?


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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

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It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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