DID YOU READ

The top ten bar fights in movies (with video)

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Sometimes a situation can’t be handled by anything other than what a young man named Alex once described as a “bit of the old ultra-violence.” Grab a bottle and break it over the head of our list of great cinematic bar brawls.


“Mean Streets” (1973)

This early mini-classic from a young New Yorker by the name of Martin Scorsese (way, way pre-“Hugo”) features what might be the best bar fight of all time. “Mean Streets” is about small-time hoods, not trained assassins or martial arts experts, so there’s a raw, ragged clumsiness to their pool hall fight, as especially showcased in the extended (and rather amazing) steadicam shot that runs the perimeter of the entire room; these guys don’t know “how” to fight, but they’re fighting nonetheless. Robert De Niro has a terrific bit where he uses a pool cue as a club and takes on his attackers with a few swift kicks (that don’t really hit home, but it’s the thought that counts); the fight also ends as abruptly as it begins after the cops show up, with everyone calling a truce and having a drink — and then it almost starts back up again.


“Desperado” (1995)

Robert Rodriguez’s rowdy sequel/remake to his stunning DIY debut, El Mariachi features the super-suave Antonio Banderas as, well, El Mariachi, a rogue musician with a guitar case full of guns hellbent on revenge against the bandito who shot his hand and killed his girl. Rodriguez’s knack for energetic choreography and bait-and-switch editing is on full display here as Banderas makes short work of a tavern full of scumbags, including Cheech Marin, who would go on to become, like Banderas, a Rodriguez Regular (or is that “Regulator?”). We especially like the bit where the guy spins like a top due to the momentum of all the bullets hitting him in his pivot points — and, really, was there a cooler actor in 1995 than Antonio Banderas?


“Road House” (1989)

“Be nice…until it’s time… to not be nice.” “Road House” is the greatest movie ever made, so of course it’s going to feature not one but multiple awesome bar fights. Patrick Swayze rules as James Dalton, a professional “cooler” who’s also got a philosophy degree from NYU to fall back on if the whole bouncer thing doesn’t work out; for now, he’s off to tame the Double Deuce, a hellhole dive in a small Southern town ruled with an iron fist by the corrupt businessman (or something), Brad Wesley (Ben Gazzara, oozing smarmy evil). Sam Elliott plays the Obi-Wan to Swayze’s Luke Skywalker, who’s called in as reinforcement when the Deuce ends up being too big and bad a gig for just one man. “Pain don’t hurt” is another bit of Dalton wisdom; “This movie’s awesome” is one of ours.


“From Dusk Till Dawn” (1996)

More Robert Rodriguez, though Antonio Banderas sat this one out and George Clooney took center stage (and kicked ass) in his first major feature film role. The entire second act of this action-horror hybrid is one long extended bar fight featuring all sorts of bloody vampire mayhem, though one of our favorite moments is a brawl that almost breaks out. Sex Machine (Tom Savini) shows off some fancy mini-lasso work as he snags a dude’s drink, a trick which the thirsty fella doesn’t exactly appreciate; his unsheathed switchblade is countered with Sex Machine’s fully erect (and, we’re assuming, fully loaded) crotch-pistol, which convinces the would-be assailant to let one of the most celebrated special effects makeup artists in the industry just have his damn beer. Rodriguez completists will recognize this “codpiece gun” as a leftover prop from “Desperado.”


“The Boondock Saints” (1999)

The Brothers MacManus (Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery) answer to a higher power in this cult vigilante thriller, and there’s definitely a higher power at work in the bar fight; how else can you explain a guy being able to finish his insult to a giant Russian mobster (named Boris, notch) even though he gets punched in the face about halfway through telling him that his “pinko commie mother sucks so much dick, her face looks like an egg” (really, ADR department, what’s up with that)? We guess it’s only appropriate that the event in which the Brothers take the leap into becoming two-fisted (or, in this case, two-wine-bottled) ass-kickers for the Lord would have some supernatural elements to it; this free-for-all of Fightin’ Irish versus Russkie thugs also features an old coot behind the bar shadowboxing with enthusiasm as mayhem explodes all over the joint. Red devils, go home!

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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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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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