DID YOU READ

Our ten favorite movies that go Bang! Bang! (with video)

Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix

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Every day this week, IFC will be airing movies that go “bang” in celebration of our upcoming series, “Comedy Bang! Bang!”(premiering June 8).

But those films (“Conan the Barbarian,” “U-571,” etc.) are hardly the only “bangiest” movies. Below, lock and load with these ten more films guaranteed to satisfy the cravings of even the most discriminating action junkie. And don’t forget to tune into IFC each night this week at 8/7c for Movies that go Bang! Bang!


“Hard Boiled” (1992) – hospital shootout

John Woo’s final Hong Kong action film before heading to the States to call the shots on such American shoot-’em-ups as “Hard Target,” “Broken Arrow” and “Face/Off” features Woo’s muse, Chow Yun-Fat, as Inspector ‘Tequila’ Yuen, and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai (not quite yet Wong Kar-wai’s muse) as undercover cop Tony, taking on Johnny Wong (Anthony Wong), the leader of a Triad crime syndicate. Their mission leads to several confrontations in which countless bullets fly as only they can in a John Woo movie, finally climaxing in an astonishingly choreographed gun battle at a hospital, where the two heroes must rescue innocent civilians and newborn babies from dozens of mob hitmen skulking about the maternity ward. Sure, “A Better Tomorrow” and “The Killer” might be “better” films, but this particular sequence – a glorious ballet of carefully constructed and executed mayhem – might be Woo’s all-time stand-alone masterpiece.


“Heat” (1995) – bank robbery

Michael Mann’s obsessive-compulsive attention to accuracy in even the smallest details is on full display in the bank robbery (and its bloody aftermath) scene in the writer-director’s epic crime drama, “Heat.” Robert De Niro’s team of thieves takes on what seems to be most of the Los Angeles Police Department in this sequence, which many consider to be one of the all-time best action scenes in American cinema. The robbers lay down heavy machine gun fire as the cops shoot back in short, controlled bursts in an attempt to keep any and all collateral damage to a bare minimum; Mann went to great lengths to portray a shootout on the streets of L.A. as realistically as possible with a keen eye toward character and procedure. The meticulous (and loud!) sound design is rather astonishing, too – play this scene on your surround sound set-up and your neighbors will think someone declared World War III.


“The Killer” (1989) – church shootout

What’s a John Woo movie without lots of gunfire. . . and white doves flapping around all symbolic-like? Many souls are released unto the afterlife in the amazing church shootout in “The Killer,” Woo’s bloody and majestic fable about an assassin who has a crisis of conscience. Chow Yun-Fat is Ah Jong, a hitman who accidentally damages the eyes of a singer (Sally Yeh) during a shoot-’em-up; he later finds out that she’ll go blind unless she has surgery, which prompts him to do One Last Hit in order to pay for the expensive operation. Woo designed “The Killer,” with its story of the strong bond between two seemingly opposite people lost in a violent world, as an ode to the work of Jean-Pierre Melville and Martin Scorsese; the film itself went on to influence the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez with its likable (and very human) antagonist and over-the-top yet artfully executed violence. If you can only see one John Woo movie before you die (and what a drag if that’s the case for whatever reason), it’s a toss-up between this one and “Hard Boiled.”


“Léon: The Professional” (1994) – SWAT scene

Oh, stupid SWAT team leader. Yes, Mathilda (Natalie Portman) and Leon (Jean Reno) have arranged for a secret knock that identifies one to the other. But, being the skilled “cleaners” that they are, they’ve also arranged for another secret knock, one that translates roughly into “Remember that possible scenario involving a bunch of cops right outside the door in SWAT gear? Well, that possible scenario is nigh, dude.” Mathilda gives Leon enough of a warning to allow him to get the upper hand (at least for a little while) on some of NYPD’s finest, which leads to an intense apartment shootout that’s going to have the landlord frantically dialing his insurance company (that is, if the phone lines are even still intact). The most exciting action sequence in Luc Besson’s now-classic thriller is also one of of the most heartbreaking as Leon and Mathilda are forced to accept what was probably inevitable about their relationship, both “Professional” and personal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evWQ2MsDTS4


“The Matrix” (1999) – lobby shootout

One of the most crowd-pleasing moments in the Wachowskis’ game-changing sci-fi film is also one of the most oddly mean-spirited and downright amoral; after all, these are just poor security cops trying to do their damn jobs, not legitimate enemies who are in cahoots with the Agents who have kidnapped Morpheus. The fact that the (more or less) innocent people being shot full of holes are just physical projections of imprisoned pod-slaves all connected to a virtual reality consciousness at least takes some of the edge off as Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) wreck the kind of slo-mo action mayhem that was cool back in 1999, cutting (shooting) a bullet-ridden path through the lobby as they execute their daring rescue mission. Alas, the Wachowskis forgot that the Mentor should probably die in the first chapter (haven’t they seen “Star Wars?”), an oversight that unfortunately reduces Morpheus to little more than just a hapless passenger nervously reacting to Jada Pinkett Smith’s daring pilot skills by the third movie.

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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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