DID YOU READ

Five Reasons We Need a Bane Movie Now

Tom Hardy as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises

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“The Dark Knight Rises,” now in seventh place on the all time box office charts with a global gross of over a billion dollars, would have not been as successful if not for the audacity of Batman’s antagonist. Already Bane is one of the great antiheroes in the history of film, hijacking social media conversations throughout the summer. Joel Schumacher almost singlehandedly ruined Bane with his campy, banal interpretation of the thoroughly intriguing DC supervillain. Chris Nolan’s Bane, however, the dark knight nemesis in this summer’s blockbuster, all but stole the movie away from Batman with his commitment to the cause of pure, unmitigated evil.

Bane is the ultimate anti-hero. The comparisons to Darth Vader are not wholly without merit — both wear respirators, both men are deliciously evil. And like Vader, Bane – and Bane-isms on social media – has taken on a life of his own. But there are so many questions about Bane left unanswered at the end of “The Dark Knight Rises.” We need to go back, “Memento”-style, to fully understand Bane, a villain that is quite frankly worth fully understanding. Here are five reasons why we need a Bane movie for some closure.


The Origin

What about Bane’s backstory? Bane was created in the early 90s, the son of a revolutionary who was sentenced to some Caribbean prison from birth as punishment for his father’s crimes against the dictatorship. Chris Nolan and David Goyer’s Bane, however, is slightly different than the comic book character.

Bane’s origin in the film, unfortunately, was left on the cutting room floor. Although Bane’s origin is alluded to by way of Talia al Ghul’s in Dark Knights Rises, a Bane movie would offer a more fully fleshed out portrait of this fascinating and mysterious monster. When Dark Knight Rises begins, Bane is already an established world-class mercenary inspiring fear and an intense loyalty among his men. How did he come to achieve so much respect from such battle-hardened men? That, future Untitled-Bane-Project director, would be a story worth telling.

Is Bane animated by political ideals? Clearly Bane played a part in some dodgy wars overseas. This was part of his seasoning; this was probably how he gained his army and his reputation. But in which theaters of war was Bane a player? And how did he distinguish himself? Philosophically, Bane appears – at face value at least — to share much in common with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Is this simply demagoguery on his part? Does Bane use Occupy vocabulary merely to manipulate the crowd? Or is Bane actually anti-capitalist; opposed to not just Bruce Wayne, but all that the billionaire represents as a man. And if Bane is indeed an enemy of democratic capitalism, how did he get to be so? Rotting in a Third World prison might, perhaps, have something to do with that. Backstory, please.


The League of Shadows

What is Bane’s stake in the League of Shadows? How did Bane actually acquire that fighting style? Of that fighting style, Tom Hardy told Empire magazine:

“It is brutal and military. It’s more military in many ways. MMA [Mixed Martial Arts] is very athletic. It’s an athlete’s sport. And you’ve got your Krav Maga and whatnot from Bourne, the Bourne world. Very tight movement, very contained but aimed to kill. To kill, do you know what I mean? And maim. Then you’ve got the Keysi lot that Batman does I suppose, which is a lot of elbow business. But Bane is brutal. It’s not about fighting. It’s about just carnage with Bane …Bane’s a superhero villain. So that’s what the violence is there to imply, and the style is heavy handed, heavy footed.”

He was also trained as an assassin. Bane told Batman that he was initiated into the League of Shadows. Bane, in his first confrontation with the Bat, hinted that his mission in Gotham was also partly fuelled by that their mutual association with that organization. It is a personal grudge. But Bane’s actual relationship with the League – and Ra’s al-Ghul – remains, even after the closing credits, murky.


Bane-isms

“Calm down, Doctor! Now’s not the time for fear. That comes later.” Bane, quite frankly, is one of the greatest motivational speakers since Tony Robbins, only more terrifying by a factor of ten. “You think darkness is your ally – but I was born in it!” His Baneisms, recited with much gusto, had me – and many of my friends – quoting him, admiringly, for days afterwards. I am not alone. Twitter, in the weeks following the film, was filled with Bane motivational quotes. If only for more crisply delivered one liners of pure evil, we need a Bane movie. Make this happen now.


Bane and Gotham

How did Bane, quite literally, conquer Gotham’s underworld? In “The Dark Knight Rises,” we are introduced to Bane by way of his use of orphans – shades of child soldiers? — in the sewers of Gotham. Bane’s use of children sets a cynical, almost Dickensian tone. But how did he build his small army? How did Bane get away with essentially stealing the city’s orphans from under the eye of the Gotham City Police Department for his own workforce? Did Bane have competition? Gotham – at least in the comics – has a very competitive and ruthless underworld. It is hard to imagine that Bane did not face some conflict. How did Bane become king of the sewers, lord of the night?


Talia and Bane

Finally: Bane and Talia. They have a strange, complex relationship. Even more interesting and layered than Bruce and Selina Kyle or Bruce and Talia are Bane and Talia. The loving and familiar manner in which Talia al-Ghul, for example, fixes Bane’s broken respirator at the end of the movie can only be properly construed as some kind of tenderness. Such tenderness, when exhibited by hyper-violent and thoroughly ruthless individuals motivated by revenge, vexes. What does love between evil people look like? It looks, dear reader, like a Bane movie.

Would you like to see a Bane movie? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

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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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