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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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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