DID YOU READ

Five movies guaranteed to freak out anyone with a fear of heights

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Acrophobics beware! Stay far, far away from Brad Bird‘s “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” especially the scene where Tom Cruise dangles precariously off the top of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. The Burj is over 2700 feet and 160 stories high, and Cruise actually hung from its windowed exterior.

In the ultra-large IMAX format, it really feels like you’re up on the edge of that building with Cruise. It’s a thrilling sensation for your average moviegoer, and a sickening one for anyone afraid of heights. Which got us thinking: what are the other worst movies for acrophobics?

Here’s the five we picked, complete with stomach-churning video of their ickiest moments. There are plenty of other choices, of course; you can leave yours in the comments below. But remember: whatever you do, don’t look down.


“Mission: Impossible II” (2000)
Directed by John Woo

“Ghost Protocol” isn’t Cruise’s first ride on the crazy heights rodeo. He famously kicked off the first “Mission: Impossible” sequel with an equally vertiginous sequence atop Utah’s Dead Horse Point. Why is anyone surprised when this man has a mild freakout on a talk show couch? I’m pretty sure this sequence, performed with cables and stunt doubles but no safety net, conclusively proves he’s insane. The shot where he willingly takes his left hand off the ledge and leans back over the yawning expanse makes me legitimately nauseous.


“Man on Wire” (2008)
Directed by James Marsh

“Death is very close,” says Philippe Petit as he describes the sensation of peering over the edge of the World Trade Center on August 7, 1974. Yeah, no shit man! You walked on a high wire between the tallest buildings in the world! It is very hard to watch this footage — even if you’re not afraid of heights — without your palms starting to sweat.


“Cliffhanger” (1993)

Directed by Renny Harlin

The breathtaking cinematography high atop the Rocky Mountains is bad enough. But then you add in a terrifying scenario for anyone afraid of heights — a climber’s gear breaks in the middle of precarious crossing between two peaks — and you’ve got some serious nightmare fuel. The rest of “Cliffhanger” is fairly silly; it involves suitcases of stolen cash and John Lithgow with an outrageously haughty British accent. But this opening scene cuts to the bone. Stallone screams “You’re not gonna die!” and then drops this poor woman anyway. Absolutely heartbreaking.


“Eraser” (1996)
Directed by Chuck Russell

Just remember, guys: if you ever find yourself in a plane with the engine on fire and the door open, just hold on reeeeeeally tight. Grunting seems to help as well. Oh, and if you drop a parachute out of an airplane, you can totally catch up to it if you just aim your body carefully.


“Saboteur” (1942)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

This one doesn’t just make you afraid of heights, it also makes you afraid of shoddy textiles. Hitchcock wraps up “Saboteur”‘s movie-long chase at the Statue of Liberty, where the hero (Robert Cummings) chases a Nazi saboteur (Norman Lloyd) out onto the Statue’s torch. The saboteur slips and the hero catches him by his jacket sleeve. But then the sleeve slowly starts to rip at the seam. And rip a little more. And then…well, you know.


What movie scenes make you afraid of heights? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and 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.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

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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