DID YOU READ

Top 10 bullet scenes in movies

Keanu Reeves in The Matrix

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With this week’s premiere of IFC’s crime-ridden, ultra-violent two-night event “Bullet in the Face” (kicking off Thursday 10/9c), let’s lock, load and take aim at some of the most memorable bullet scenes in cinema.


“The Matrix” (1999) – “Bullet time”

One simply cannot even fathom doing a bullet-themed feature without including the film that introduced the term “bullet-time” into the pop culture consciousness. While some of the visual effects in the Wachowskis’ game-changing science-fiction thriller may now look a little dated (hey, it’s been over 13 years, after all), the maestro flourish featuring Neo (Keanu Reeves) dodging the tiny particles being fired at him by the Agents (mostly by really, really leaning back) remains an exhilarating sight. What a great hero moment – and a great bullet moment, at that.


“Superman Returns” (2006) – “Bullet vs. Superman’s Eye”

And who do you think wins? Special effects technology has leaped tall buildings in a single bound since the time of the 1978 “Superman,” which means that by 2006 director Bryan Singer could really get big (or, in this case, small) in showing off the many powers of the Man of Steel. We love this scene mostly because this idiot truly seems to think that a silly machine gun is going to stop the guy in the red cape whom everyone knows can’t be hurt by bullets, even when there’s a lot of them all at once. That single bullet being crushed by coming into contact with one of Superman’s baby blues is one of the film’s most audience-pleasing moments.


“Fight Club” (1999) – “Exorcising Tyler Durden”

Sure, the Narrator’s (Edward Norton) last resort in ridding himself of his id-driven terrorist alter-ego (Brad Pitt) might not make much sense (we guess a bullet in the cheek is a quick cure for psychosis?), but it sure is viscerally satisfying … especially when Tyler himself gets one more quip in (“What’s that smell?”) before hitting the floor and floating back into the subconsious. One has to wonder if screenwriter Jim Uhls didn’t quite know how to wrap up the central conflict in “Fight Club” after considerably changing the ending of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel already, but hey, there’s something about it that works just fine. Unfortunately we don’t have the clip itself, but why not go behind-the-scenes of the movie magic that brought this slo-mo ker-blam to life?


“Pulp Fiction” (1994) – “Marvin Should’ve Had an Opinion”

“Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face…” John Travolta’s blithe line reading of hapless hitman Vincent Vega’s reaction to his unfortunate “accident” in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” turns a shockingly violent set piece into one of the film’s funniest moments (Jules’ profane-ridden outrage at the sudden situation helps, too). We’ll never quite know how Vincent managed to squeeze on the trigger whilst insisting that his associate, Marvin, has to have an opinion on whether or not the fact that he and Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) survived a recent ambush was an “act of God” or not, but it’s probably most definitely not because driver Jules “hit a bump or something.” Anyway, time to get to Jimmy’s at Toluca Lake and call the Wolf to clean up the mess!


“Fargo” (1996) – “Ohhhhh geez…”

“I gave simple fu**ing instructions!” Oh, Carl, don’t you know this caper was doomed from the start when it couldn’t be agreed whether Shep said the meeting was 7:30 or 8:30? Things go from bad to almost supernaturally worse in “Fargo,” and Wade’s (Harve Presnell) alpha-male ego doesn’t help matters when he thinks he can strong-arm the men who kidnapped his daughter. “No Jean, no money!” gets Wade shot through his parka (we love that poof of cotton – oh, Coen Brothers!), though he manages to avenge himself somewhat by shooting Carl in the face (Steve Buscemi). “You should see the other guy,” Carl will later joke to his partner, Gaer Grimsrud (Peter Stormare), who will later top it all by showing you don’t need a gun when an axe and wood chipper will do just fine.

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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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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

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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