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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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.