DID YOU READ

Top Five Time Travel Movies, from Arnold to Willis

terminator-attack

Posted by on

Looper, which opened at an over $20 million box office take on its opening weekend, is already being hailed as one of the great time travel movies of all time. Time – pun intended – will tell.

What about time travel? The time travel film genre is quite broad, often involving travel to the past and sometimes, especially in action films, involving jumping forward into the future. In both instances, films under the influence of time travel almost always exhibit over-the-top art direction buttressed with convoluted storylines involving conundrums of the time-space continuum. Time travel films are a wonderful excuse to be bombastic and smart to the point of confusing at the same time. Here is my short list for fantastic time travel films:


1. The Terminator

Talk about convoluted storylines! The Terminator involves both the past and the future — futuristic technology, to be exact, leaping backwards in time. James Cameron defined the bombastic and smart combination in this time travel film, heavy on action, but with a script interesting enough to attract people who are into well-written movies. And Arnold – pre- (and, evidently, post) 60 Minutes revelations – embodied every bit the unfeeling cyborg assassin. The original film launched three sequels, a brief television series and the career of James Cameron. The film also significantly raised the expectations forever afterwards for big box office action films.


2. Army of Darkness

Army of Darkness, one of the greatest of cult films, is the final installment of the ingenious Evil Dead trilogy. Written and directed by the great Sam Raimi, Army of Darkness works primarily because of the complicated story, equally, at times, funny and suspenseful, as well as the innovative art direction. The film travels backwards – to 1300 AD – but it is an unrecognizable, thoroughly dark magical Raimi-ish look into the past. The story, quite innovative for its time, is at the forefront of this unforgettable film.


3. 12 Monkeys

Terry Gilliam, like Sam Raimi, can do no wrong. The most important element of a time travel movie is the story and, after that, the direction. In both of these, Terry Gilliam excels.  Acting, in many ways, is secondary to the special effects in this genre. How the director conveys the time shift (the art direction) – as well the story are what make a great time travel film. In this film, however, the performances of Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis as they dance around the question of possible madness, is as important an ingredient to the success of this film as the special effects and the story. The great special effects, in this case, are lagniappe.


4. Donnie Darko

This DVD cult hit may just be the strangest movie ever made. Donnie Darko makes Army of Darkness look like a traditional Hollywood film. And yet … it is impossible to look away. To call Donnie Darko just a time travel movie is like calling The Terminator just a romance. But time travel is certainly the central theme running throughout the whole film holding it together. It is a time travel film that doesn’t really involve time travel. Netflix it if you haven’t already.


5. Groundhog Day

Is there any time travel movie that is only just a time travel movie? It seems to me that the time travel genre is the ground-of-being for other, more established genres – action, romance, suspense, comedy and/or thriller. And Groundhog Day, heavy on the romance and comedy angles, is, hands down my favorite time travel movie. Groundhog Day contains Bill Murray – and isn’t that really enough reason to love it? – trying to solve one of the oddest time continuum problems of them all. How does one move forward when one cannot? Murray, literally, keeps repeating February the second. Murray, metaphorically in this film, is timeless.


Honorable Mention: Time After Time

This 1979 film is a must-see of fans of the time travel genre. The special effects, by today’s Looper standards, are here thin. But the story is razor sharp. This film involves a jump into the future – Jack the Ripper’s jump into the future, to be precise, after stealing HG Wells’ Time Machine. The suspenseful film involves a century-long chase between HG Wells and Jack-the-Ripper (played, with icy precision, by A Clockwork Orange’s Malcolm McDowell) over a beautiful young woman. More Honorable Mentions: The Time Machine (1960), Back to the Future and Planet of the Apes.


What is your favorite time travel movie? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Watch More
JaniceAndJeffrey_102_MPX-1920×1080

Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

Posted by on

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.

JaniceAndJeffrey_106_MPX-1920x1080

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.

Watch More
IFC-Die-Hard-Dads

Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

Posted by on
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.

Watch More
IFC-revenge-of-the-nerds-group

Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

Posted by on
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.

geowash_flat

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.

Watch More
Powered by ZergNet