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Our favorite movie posters of 2011

Our favorite movie posters of 2011 (photo)

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Tis the season to be judgmental. With December inching closer and closer to January, my inbox and Twitter feed keep filling up with all kinds of movie-ranking lists. Last night someone sent me this one from Cinema Enthusiast, The Top 20 Film Posters of 2011.

It’s a strong list, with a lot of really good picks: I’d never seen the poster for Magnet’s “Black Death” before, but man that is an awesome image. And their pick for the #1 Poster of 2011, “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” is certainly a very memorable one-sheet. But, to my surprise, none of my own personal favorite movie posters of 2011 made the cut. You know what that means: counter-list time!

Here, now, in ascending order, are my five favorite posters of 2011, most of which can be found and examined in much larger detail at IMPAwards.com. I’m sure you have your own favorites too; you have all the space you want to tell me about them below. First, though, it’s my turn. Starting with…

5. “Conan the Barbarian”
Directed by Marcus Nispel
Poster Designed by Ignition Print

Normally I would be opposed to the heresy of a Schwarzenegger-less Arnold Schwarzenegger remake on moral grounds. But by Crom this poster alone made me curious about the 2011 reboot of “Conan the Barbarian,” essentially by suggesting with one striking image that the movie had less to do with The Governator flicks than the original Robert E. Howard novels and their iconic Frank Frazetta covers. Whether that wound up being true of the finished film or not is up for debate. What isn’t up for debate is that this is one badass poster.

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4. “Undocumented”
Directed by Chris Peckover
Poster Designed by Laz Marquez

Back in the good old days, Uncle Sam wanted YOU! for the U.S. Army, and you meant pretty much anybody. Today, the U.S. isn’t always such a warm and inclusive place, which is what the horror film “Undocumented” is all about. A documentary crew records the journey of some illegal Mexican immigrants across the border into the United States. They’re stopped and kidnapped by a bunch of ultra-conservative militia men and from there things go, let’s say, south of the border. Sadly, this very clever poster by Laz Marquez feels like it represents a lot more than just one horror film.

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3. “Midnight in Paris”
Directed by Woody Allen
Poster Designed by Cardinal Communications USA

Technically, this poster, which puts Owen Wilson into Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting “The Starry Night,” isn’t particularly representative of the movie it’s advertising. Owen Wilson’s character meets famous authors not painters, and he’s time travelling in Paris, not Saint-Rémy. But while it fudges some of the details, this poster gets the big picture exactly right. Woody Allen’s latest is a romantic jaunt through the charms and perils of nostalgia, a mood that is captured perfectly by this inventive collage.

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2. “Silver Bullets”
Directed by Joe Swanberg
Poster Designed by Yann Legendre

What’s great about this poster is it essentially acts as its own plot synopsis: women and werewolves, got it. Admittedly, Joe Swanberg’s “Silver Bullets” is a bit more complicated than that — it’s actually about a couple, the female half of which has just been cast as the lead in a film about werewolves — but you look at this gorgeously minimalistic black-on-white image and you feel like you understand everything about the film in a single instant.

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1. “The Ides of March”
Directed by George Clooney
Poster Designed by Ignition Print

We live in a time of many, many badly Photoshopped movie posters; here is one that shows how Photoshop can be used as a tool of communication. It’s an image that tells an entire story; the way Ryan Gosling and George Clooney’s faces are seamlessly melded together suggests the close, complicated relationship between the two men; the fact that it’s Clooney’s face on the magazine and Gosling’s face behind it suggests he’s the secret power behind the public facade. Even the tagline is ingenious; it’s hiding in plain sight as the copy on the cover of Time (“Is This Man Our Next President?”). Clearly a huge amount of thought went into this poster. It’s got my vote as the best of 2011.

ides-poster-medium-120092011.jpg


Read more IFC lists:

The dozen funniest death scenes in otherwise serious movies (with video)
The 15 best movie interrogation scenes of all time (with video)
The 12 most evil movie laughs of all time (with video)
The top 10 badass line deliveries by movie ladies


What’s your favorite poster of 2011? Tell us in the comments below or write to us 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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