DID YOU READ

The 20 best job-quitting scenes of all time (with video)

011212_jobquitting

Posted by on

Quitting one’s job can make for some great drama (and comedy) in the movies. Here are some of the best moments of deciding to embrace a life of unemployment — or rather, in most cases, a life of freedom from The Man.


1. “Fight Club” (1999)

This is, for many, the best scene in David Fincher’s ode to masculinity in a hopelessly emasculated society, as the Narrator (Edward Norton) goes to physical extremes — on himself — in blackmailing his boss (Zach Grenier). “Fight Club” is usually at its best whenever Brad Pitt’s id-driven Tyler Durden is around, but Norton really shines in this tour-de-force moment of self-mutilation — it’s both funny and scary watching him punch himself in the face and crash through glass as the boss is too awestruck to realize just how screwed he is now. Jack’s Smirking Revenge, indeed.


2. “American Beauty” (1999)

When Kevin Spacey takes on that smarmy, self-righteous tone he’s so good at, there’s no actor more intimidating — or scathingly funny. Spacey’s Lester Burnham is a put-upon suburban father and husband who suddenly has an epiphany of almost supernatural proportions that leads to a series of radical life changes, one of which is quitting his job at an advertising agency in the most satisfying way possible. Thank goodness we have the movies to fuel our fantasies of telling off our bosses so we don’t go around pulling this kind of crap ourselves.


3. “Reality Bites” (1994)

John Mahoney makes for one of the worst movie bosses of all time as the host of an intolerably cheesy talk show, with Winona Ryder playing his emotionally abused assistant. When it comes time for Winona to instigate her own firing, director Ben Stiller can’t help but go a little too far with the wacky shenanigans (this is the guy behind the sketch comedy show, “The Ben Stiller Show,” after all) as Mahoney makes a fool (or, rather, a prick) of himself on television thanks to some tampered-with notecards (that cutaway shot to the aghast audience is especially wretched), but how can you not help but cheer when Winona Ryder gets her revenge against a big jerk? Hopelessly dated now, “Reality Bites” now serves as a historical piece documenting the trials and tribulations of employment-phobic Generation X.


4. “The Apartment” (1960)

“You dig?” Fred MacMurray dares condescend to Jack Lemmon in Billy Wilder’s mischievous comedy. Lemmon plays an executive who tries to rise in the ranks of his company (all the way up to the 27th Floor, in fact) by letting the higher-ups use his apartment for trysts; things get complicated when he embarks on a romance of his own and starts to realize that the whole arrangement is rather, well, gross. If you want to be cynical about it, Lemmon’s C.C. Baxter could be seen as a younger version of Shelly ‘The Machine’ Levene, the washed-up salesman he played 32 years later in “Glengarry Glen Ross,” though we’d like to think Baxter went on to a lucrative career and never needed to rob his own office.


5. “Breaking Away” (1979)

Watch as a young Rorschach from “Watchman” literally punches the clock! People seem to have forgotten that Jackie Earle Haley was quite the renowned child actor, stealing bases (and scenes) as Kelly Leak in “The Bad News Bears” and coming of age as Moocher in “Breaking Away.” Mooch needs a job, but he doesn’t need a job where the boss calls him “Shorty” — quitting within 30 seconds of your first day has to be some sort of record, and Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid (looking considerably older than his co-stars) and Daniel Stern heartily approve.

Continue to next page >>
Jackie That 70s Show

Jackie Oh!

15 That ’70s Show Quotes to Help You Unleash Your Inner Jackie

Catch That '70s Show Mondays and Tuesdays from 6-10P on IFC.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Carsey-Werner Company

When life gets you down, just ask yourself: what would Jackie do? (But don’t ask her, because she doesn’t care about your stupid problems.) Before you catch That ’70s Show on IFC, take a look at some quotes that will help you be the best Jackie you can be.


15. She knows her strengths.

Carsey-Werner Productions


14. She doesn’t let a little thing like emotions get in the way.

Carsey-Werner Productions


13. She’s her own best friend.

Jackie 3


12. She has big plans for her future.

Carsey-Werner Productions


11. She keeps her ego in check.

Carsey-Werner Productions


10. She can really put things in perspective.

Carsey-Werner Productions


9. She’s a lover…

Jackie 7


8. But she knows not to just throw her love around.

Carsey-Werner Productions


7. She’s proud of her accomplishments.

Jackie 9


6. She knows her place in the world.

Carsey-Werner Productions


5. She asks herself the hard questions.

Carsey-Werner Productions


4. She takes care of herself.

Carsey-Werner Productions


3. She’s deep.

Carsey-Werner Productions


2. She’s a problem solver.

Carsey-Werner Productions


1. And she’s always modest.

Carsey-Werner Productions

10 graphic novels and comics that should be movies

011112_comics

Posted by on

The following are Ron’s picks for comics that should get the cinematic treatment. For our weekly column on other books we think should be adapted, the aptly titled “Adapt This,” click here.

We are in the midst of a graphic novel renaissance. Anticipation for the upcoming Batman movie is at record high levels. The Walking Dead is a huge hit. Aya of Yop City, another favorite, is coming to the big screen in 2D soon. And so, connected to that, a question arises: What other popular graphic novels are particularly well-suited for the big screen. Here are 10 that this writer would, quite frankly, gladly by a ticket.


10. Starman

The character development of DC’s Jack Knight, aka Starman, spans the entire length of this graphic novel. One could even go so far as to posit that the narrative right down to the paneling (storyboarding) is the blueprint for a great superhero movie. But as superheroes go, Starman, like Batman, possesses no actual superpowers. Instead, Jack Knight uses his “Cosmic Rod” — a device invented by his father, the saintly scientist Ted Knight — to punish criminals menacing his home, Star City. Jack Knight, a fully-fleshed character if there ever was one, loves all things retro. He doesn’t wear a costume but is a legitimate tough guy that reluctantly inherits his family’s Starman mantle after his brother is assassinated by the murderous Mist family.


9. “Y: The Last Man”

A mysterious virus — or what appears to be a mysterious virus — wipes out all the men on the planet. Yorick Brown, an “escape artist,” and his pet Capuchin monkey, Ampersand are the only male survivors on a planet full of women. It sounds like male fantasy wish fulfillment but it isn’t. This Vertigo graphic novel takes Yorick on a quest across a world full of recently unattached women to find — get this — his true love, Beth, who may or may not be in Australia. This is a guy movie that a date wouldn’t mind (wink wink) either.

What complicates things are an Amazonian cult hell-bent on killing the last man on earth as well as the literally millions of women that would like to possess that last man (and, seriously, how awesome is that?). Ultimately –spoiler alert– it is Yorick’s handling of Ampersand’s feces that gives him resistance to the plague (blech). There has been online speculation that Zachary Levi would be an excellent Yorick. I will not poo-poo, no pun intended, on that speculation. A winner of three Eisner awards and written by Brian K. Vaughn I have only four things to say on this in closing: Make. This. Film. Now.


8. “The Zen of Steve Jobs”

Published in, of all places, Forbes, the Zen of Steve Jobs is one of the most brilliantly imaginative graphic novels in recent memory. It is also quite viral. Written by Caleb Melby, this graphic novel tells a fictional and very sweet story of Steve Jobs in his “Wilderness Years” — after he was aced out of the company, Apple, that he had founded. Steve at the time actually enlisted Zen priest Kobun Chino Otogawa to teach him about how Buddhism could enhance his famously acute design sense. The rest, of course, is history.

Although a heady topic, to be sure (at the intersection of Buddhism and design), it works — and is quite beautiful — as a graphic novel about a person who changed the world. After the best-selling Walter Issacson biography and the creepy action figure culturally we are still not quite over Steve Jobs. This, more than any Jobs biography, would make for a wonderful full length film.


7. “Maus”

Art Spiegelman’s “Maus” was a game changer for graphic novels. In depicting a subject as serious as the Holocaust, “Maus,” an anthropomorphic graphic novel depicting Jews as mice and Germans as cats, expanded the parameters of the subject matter of all graphic novels that came afterwards. There is Before Maus and now we live in After Maus — a space in which the graphic novel can now be properly construed as a legitimate art form.

It is astonishing that no one (Steven Spielberg? Francis Ford?) has turned this into a CGI film yet with Tom Hanks doing the voice. Fingers crossed.


6. “Swamp Thing”

It is about time to apply some bio-restorative formula to this wonderfully eerie story by Alan Moore about our favorite plant elemental and his nemesis, the relentless black magician Arcane. This story has it all: love, loss, an inquiry into the nature of power, dark magic and even a low level, unintrusive environmentalism.

The swamp thing is more than just a vegetable mass that thinks itself Alec Holland (although that’s partly true) — it, no pun intended, has legs. There have already been two movies and a TV show that have spun out of the successful DC comic. Imagine what a filmmaker like Tim Burton could do in reimagining the unforgiving Louisiana Bayou.

Five easy ways to turn January into a great month for movies

kill-list-01032012

Posted by on

January doesn’t have the best reputation among cinephiles, possibly because January is, hands down, 99 and 44/100% pure crap when it comes to movies. Studios are still focused on their award contenders from November and December, audiences are getting back to their lives after a long vacation, and most of the movies released between January 1 and 31 get dumped there for a reason; namely, they’re terrible. In January 1996, Hollywood released Pauly Shore’s “Bio-Dome,” the orangutan “comedy” “Dunston Checks In,” and the immortal “Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace” all on the same, terrible day. It was January 12th, if you’re curious. We should probably light a candle every year to remember all the movielovers who died that day of acute bad movie poisoning.

But just because Hollywood’s mostly turned their back on January doesn’t mean you have to as well. There are plenty of ways to turn January’s Cinema Dead Zone into a Videodrome of delights. Follow these five simple steps, and you’ll be a much happier moviegoer this month.

1. Don’t Assume That It’s Bad Just Because It Was Released in January.
Granted, in the majority of cases, that assumption would be correct. But almost every year good movies open in January. You just have to dig a little deeper to find them — they’re not so much diamonds in the rough as truffles buried in pig shit. In January 2011, we got critical favorites like “Nostalgia for the Light” and “Kaboom;” in January 2010, I fell in love with “Sweetgrass,” a tiny documentary about sheep herders that wound up on my top ten list that year. Other good-to-great January releases over the past twenty-five years: “4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days,” “Cloverfield,” “Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story,” “City of God,” “Half Baked,” “Fallen Angels,” “Zero Effect,” “Waiting For Guffman,” “Before Sunrise,” and “Broadway Danny Rose.” The odds are long, but not impossible. This year, you can try your luck with “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia,” “Miss Bala,” and “Haywire.”

2. Check out Video on Demand.
The multiplexes may be filled with platforming awards contenders and garbage from the studios’ discard piles this month, but you can find a ton of interesting new stuff right in your own home. Straight-to-video or VOD used to come with a stigma of cheapness and failure — movies premiered there only as a last resort. Not anymore; now filmmakers use VOD and digital downloads as a more cost effective way to reach a wide audience. In the waning days of 2011, that’s where “House of the Devil” director Ti West premiered his new film “The Innkeepers” and Edward Burns released his latest microindie, “Newlyweds,” which he shot for just $9,000. Tomorrow, one of the most acclaimed festival thrillers in recent years, “Kill List” from British director Ben Wheatley, bows on VOD. You want to talk about a joyful noise — that’s the sound I make when I get to watch “Kill List,” which I’ve been dying to see since last year’s South by Southwest, without having to put pants on. (Too much information? Sorry.)

3. Visit Your Local Repertory Theater.
Because January tends to be a slow month for new releases, repertory distributors often exploit the weakness in the market with some of the most interesting offerings of the year. In recent Januaries, you could have caught revival screenings of “Last Year at Marienbad,” “The Battle of Algiers,” “Le Cercle Rouge,” or a pair of forgotten documentaries by Martin Scorsese. This year, you can watch a Robert Bresson retrospective in New York City, a collection of “Super 80s” kids movies in Los Angeles, or a haunted house series in Boston. Ignore what your therapist tells you and do what I like to do at this time of year: live in the past.

4. Catch Up on Cinematic Blindspots Online.
If you’re not fortunate enough to live near a good revival house, there are plenty of classic films available right at your fingertips on Netflix Watch Instantly, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, and assorted other streaming services. Rainer Werner Fassbender’s sci-fi epic “World on a Wire” doesn’t hit Criterion Blu-ray until Februray, but you can already watch it on Hulu Plus. If you’re more of a Howard Hawks fan, Netflix has “Scarface,” “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” “Redline 7000,” and more. Internet streaming turns any month of the year into the Golden Age of Cinema.

5. Embrace the badness.
Every year there are at least a couple of terrible January releases so bad that they’re actually worth seeing as sociological experiments in the field of human endurance or just as an opportunity to get your buddies together — and by buddies, I mean like Jack Daniels and Johnny Walker kind of buddies — and enjoy the hell out of some schlock cinema. Pick a time when you’ll be the only ones in the theater — either really early or really late at night — and get good and rowdy on Mark Wahlberg strapping money to his chest. Remember: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Or at least make fun of them.

What January releases are you looking forward to? No, it’s not a trick question. Tell us in the comments below or write to us on Facebook and Twitter.

Powered by ZergNet