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If you see only one picture today, let it be this one of Tom Cruise in “All You Need Is Kill”

Tom Cruise in All You Need Is Kill

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There’s nothing like ending your week on a bang. And today that high point is our first look at Tom Cruise in the alien attack flick “All You Need Is Kill,” which is scheduled for a March 14, 2014 release date.

In the film, Cruise plays Bill Cage, who must relive the same brutal battle against an unrelenting alien race. So basically, kind of like “Groundhog Day” meets “Starship Troopers.” And if this photo is any indication, it may be the best movie ever made. Certainly the most fiery.

Tom Cruise in All You Need Is Kill

Are you marking your calendars for “All You Need Is Kill”? Let us know in the comments below.

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

“Jack Reacher” trailer debuts an intimidating Tom Cruise

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If there’s one thing you should learn from the “Jack Reacher” trailer, it’s that Tom Cruise is not playing a hero.

Fans of Lee Child’s “One Shot” will recognize that there have been some changes made to the character of Jack Reacher. Still, Cruise manages to pull off the larger-than-life character with his usual action hero glamor that makes this a project we’re dying to see.

Part “Bourne” and part “James Bond,” “Jack Reacher” looks like it strikes the right balance between action and suspense while also playing with the audience’s perception of the truth. Also, we should note that Werner Herzog plays the villain in this flick, which is downright awesome.

Child recently spoke with Playboy (via /Film) about the decision to have the hulking Jack Reacher from the books be played by Cruise.

“When you transfer a book to the screen, something’s going to give. It seems to me there are three essential things about Reacher. First, he’s smart. Second, he’s still and quiet yet menacing. Third, he’s huge,” Child said. “It was always likely we were going to lose one of those characteristics. The question was which. For a long time we were fixated on his physique. We had to have a big guy. But we got nowhere. There were no actors big enough who could do even one of the other things. Then it came as an epiphany. Give up the physique and concentrate on Reacher’s smartness and quietness.”

“Jack Reacher” hits theaters December 21.

What did you think of this trailer for “Jack Reacher”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

10 great comic moments from Tony Scott films

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The loss of Tony Scott shocked the entire entertainment industry, as he was one of the most renowned action directors of all time, with “Top Gun,” “Spy Game,” “ Man on Fire,” “Enemy of the State” and “The Taking of Pelham 123” under his belt. What’s less emphasized is that he could also make his films all the more entertaining by capturing the comedy element as well – albeit in an aggressive, adrenaline-charged manner most of the time. While most retrospectives will show you his action achievements, here’s a quick rundown of ten great comic moments from the films of the late, great Tony Scott.


Tom Cruise: Cockiest of the Cocky

In Scott’s seminal high-octane jet-fighter flick “Top Gun,” Tom Cruise played Maverick, the hotshot pilot who could pull off what nobody else could, and in the process, that smugly entertaining “goddammit, I don’t want to like you, you cocky son of a bitch, but I do,” persona of his made him a star. Here’s Maverick showing up his teacher and eventual lover, Kelly McGillis, by bragging about his flying skills.


Top Bird

Did that impossible stunt that Mav was bragging about in the previous clip actually happen? Why, yes, Tony Scott gave us a bunch of awesome aerial intensity in order to build to a Polaroid and a middle finger. That’s great bird service.


When Eddie Murphy was Eddie Murphy…

Young folks today might not quite understand why so many Eddie Murphy movies today are viewed with some level of wistful disappointment. Those of us in the know remember when Murphy was a whirlwind of frenetic, energetic comedy, and it’s on great display in Scott’s “Beverly Hills Cop II.” Watch here as he power-bluffs some criminals into confusion and mistrust.


…He could still step back and let Gilbert Gottfried have a scene

Murphy’s Axel Foley was a pre-eminent con artist, constantly tricking people and getting mixed up in shenanigans as a result. So here he is playing the straight man to Gilbert Gottfried’s ridiculous loud-mouthed office schlub.


The bleakest of action-comedies

When you went to see “Beverly Hills Cop II,” you knew you were getting something that was predominantly a comedy, as that was Murphy’s stock in trade. However, in 1991, you weren’t sure what you were going to get with Scott’s “The Last Boy Scout.” Bruce Willis cut his teeth being a comic goofball on “Moonlighting,” but he’d skyrocketed to fame as the down-on-his-luck John McClane in “Die Hard,” so he was the action movie superstar. Damon Wayans had just hit it big with “In Living Color,” and he was straight-up comedy. No one quite expected something as dark and foul-mouthed as this film about a miserable alcoholic detective named Joe Hallenbeck and a coked up washout quarterback named Jimmy Dix trying to avenge Stripper Halle Berry’s death. And yet, it was one of the funniest films Tony Scott ever made.


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