DID YOU READ

The 10 toughest women movie characters

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We’re just a few months into 2012, but it’s already shaping up to be the return of female protagonists handing out swift justice to the forces of evil. In January we saw Kate Beckinsale kicks some serious ass as “Underworld: Awakening” opened to wide release and Michael Fassbender, secure in his manliness, admitted that fighting MMA brawler Gina Carino in “Haywire” was a freeing experience. Over the coming months we eagerly anticipate seeing leading ladies such as Noomi Rapace in “Prometheus,” Scarlett Johansson in “The Avengers” and “Anne Hathaway in “The Dark Knight Rises” prove that estrogen can be just as dangerous as testosterone. Tough women, it would appear, are the new black. And who among us doesn’t love a sexy bad-ass woman on screen? Here, without further ado, are my ten toughest women film characters.


10. Trinity, “The Matrix”

Carrie-Ann Moss’ Trinity can only be properly construed under the category of icy hot. Decisive, brilliant and kick ass, Trinity was hacker chic before the hacker chic of Lisabeth Salander. As with most of the female characters on this list, Trinity is well-versed in the martial arts, technology and, of course, the care and maintenance of firearms. You know: the important things in Life. Further, Moss’ ‘Trinity dominated nearly every scene she was in in during that first Matrix film, one of the all time favorites of all men. And no wonder.


9. Yu Shu Lien and Jen, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”

Again, the martial arts figure strongly on this list. The martial arts equalizes the body mass differences between most men and women. But in the epic five minute fight scene outside of a school courtyard in Crouching Tiger, we see a stunning array of weapons, including: broadswords, an iron pipe, a spear, hook swords and, of course, the Green Sword of Destiny (wouldn’t you like to have one of those bad boys?) These two ferocious fighters (played by Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang) forever silenced the critics as to whether or not women can play tough on screen in the same way that Tina Fey’s 30 Rock answered Chris Hitchens’s ridiculous assertion –for all time – whether or not women indeed are funny. Hello?


8. O-Ren Ishii, “Kill Bill”

The so-called “Queen of Tokyo’s Underworld,” Lucy Liu’s O-Ren Ishii stands out among the other also badass members of the Deadly Vipers Assassination Squad mainly because of the delicate beauty with which she slices and dices her victims. O-Ren Ishii creates such beautiful Death. And — at least visually from the perspective of a removed viewer — dying, as Ishii does, bloody and in the snow, is as spectacular a way to go as any other. Very, very Zen. Which leads us to …


7. The Bride, “Kill Bill”

Uma Thurman’s Bride suddenly wakes up in a hospital after a coma. The Bride has lost her baby and she has been abused by an incredibly disgusting hospital staff worker and his Vaseline. That, and that questionable yellow track suit gives her as good a reason to be pissed at the world as anything else. What ensues thereafter in Kill Bill is roughly one hundred minutes of wildly inventive methods of spectacularly brutal murder and exquisite bloodletting (88 yakuza members and Lucy Liu’s scalp). What makes the Bride one of the toughest women in all of film is not just because of her ability to mete out fantastic violence, but also the unbelievable amount of punishment she is able to take and keep moving, gradually, towards the object of her revenge, this mysterious “Bill.”


6. Princess Leia, “Return of the Jedi”

In a space bikini, the leader of the rebel alliance strangling the perverse Jabba the Hut with the chains of her own captivity is how we best like to remember the woman of all of our crushes. An early adopter, Princess of Leia of Alderaan was down with the rebellion, outlasting the mechanical tortures of Darth Vader within the fetid bowels of the Death Star, even before Luke and Han were on board with saving the galaxy. Princess Leia so clearly rocks.

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar

via GIPHY

IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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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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