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Tony Scott: Our five favorite movies

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The passing of director Tony Scott is a tragic one, and also marks one of the first deaths of a major Hollywood blockbuster filmmaker. Scott had been producing quality entertainment for years, with films like “Top Gun” putting his name on the map and later projects like “Enemy of the State” solidifying his place there.

Scott isn’t only known for his directing work, as he’s also one of the main producers behind TV shows like “Numb3rs,” “The Pillars of the Earth” and “The Good Wife,” as well as documentaries like “Gettysburg” and “Life in a Day” and films like “The Grey, “Cyrus” and “The A-Team.” As our list of celebrity responses to Scott’s suicide has shown, Scott influenced, supported and launched the careers of many current Hollywood talents, and his impact will certainly be felt for years to come.

But for now it’s time to reflect on the legacy Scott made for himself and honor the work he created. It’s hard to say what his best movies are, but it’s easy to pick out our favorites. Keep reading to see our five favorite Tony Scott movies.

“Top Gun”
The second movie of Scott’s career is also undeniably his biggest. “Top Gun” introduced us to Tom Cruise and, though it wasn’t loved by critics at the time, later went on to be one of the films of the 1980s. It proved that Scott was a director who could meld action with comedy and romance easily, and put one of the world’s biggest movie stars on the map. Plus, we will never get sick of watching it.

“True Romance”
But it’s his Quentin Tarantino-scripted movie “True Romance” that we really adore him for. “True Romance” is sort of the odd man out of Scott’s filmography, but the 1993 crime thriller showcases what Scott and Tarantino are both best at. Tarantino was hot off the success of 1992’s “Reservoir Dogs,” and “True Romance” proved that he wasn’t a one-trick auteur. Scott similarly got to have fun with the project, bringing together a fantastic cast including Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Samuel L. Jackson and a very young, very hilarious Brad Pitt.

“Crimson Tide”
Scott’s first film collaboration with Denzel Washington might not have launched the actor’s career, but it certainly greatly influenced it. Washington had just come off a successful three years that included “Malcolm X,” “The Pelican Brief” and “Philadelphia,” and then Scott swept him up and turned him into a bonafide movie star. The duo went on to make five movies together, but “Crimson Tide” stands up as one of our favorites.

“Deja Vu”
“Deja Vu” might not be the best movie of Scott’s career, but it arguably is his most interesting. As Scott’s professional relationship with Washington became stronger, the two experimented more and more with their projects. “Deja Vu” was one of the most experimental, and followed Washington as an FBI agent who travels back in time to save a woman from being murdered. The time travel element isn’t anything new, but the way it was presented certainly was, showing that Scott wasn’t afraid to take risks the older he got.

“Unstoppable”
Scott’s most recent movie also ended up being one of the highest grossing and most critically beloved of his career. While some of Scott’s best films didn’t get the critical love they deserved (look at “Top Gun” and “Deja Vu” for prime examples), at least “Unstoppable” manages to stand as a great final work. The director again teamed up with Washington and also brought in up-and-coming action star Chris Pine. Like “Deja Vu,” “Unstoppable” took a major risk by having the entire movie set on a runaway train, with Pine and Washington trying to stop it from crashing. It makes us sad to think of what interesting projects he could have made next, and now never can. Hopefully the film he just completed, “Out of the Furnace,” will do his legacy justice.

Which of Scott’s films were your favorite? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

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Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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