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The 10 worst moms in movies

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You’ll probably be calling your mom to tell her that you love her on Mother’s Day. Maybe some of these movie moms wouldn’t have been so bad if their kids had told them that more often. Then again, it’s hard to imagine anyone — offspring or otherwise — expressing anything resembling affection to these matriarchal monsters. This year, show your love even more by thanking your mom that she’s not one of the unfortunate parents below.


10. Mrs. Wilson, “Natural Born Killers” (1994)

The mother of future notorious mass murderer Mallory Knox deserves points for trying to keep a cheery attitude even as her disgusting, belligerent husband Ed (Rodney Dangerfield) poisons the suburban Wilson household with his foul-mouthed rage and stain-covered wife-beaters. But she must ultimately be charged with extreme negligence for choosing to quietly suffer rather than interfere every time her husband sexually abuses their daughter. “You didn’t do nothin’,” Mallory says to her mother after her soon-to-be-husband and partner-in-crime Mickey Knox ties Mrs. Wilson to a bed and douses her with lighter fluid. Thusly, Mallory’s Mom goes up in flames for being an accomplice through inaction.


9. Other Mother, “Coraline” (2009)

True, Coraline’s “Other” parents are fun and cheerful and give their daughter a lot more freedom than her “real” folks, but they ultimately show their true colors (of which there are many, actually) when they reveal the price that must be paid for choosing to stay in this “Other” world: having buttons sewn onto your eyeballs, using a needle “that’s so sharp, you won’t feel a thing!” Young Coraline vehemently protests this radical re-design of her peepers, of course, which makes her “Other” parents — particularly her usually doting, sweet “Other Mother” — rather angry. Like, homicidally so. Like, maybe it’s time for our heroine to get back to reality, and pronto.


8. The Woman, “The Road” (2009)

There are many ways in which one can deal with the end of civilization as we know it. You can hold onto your humanity and practice compassion and kindness, like The Boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee). You can become fiercely protective yet uncompromising and suspicious, like The Man (Viggo Mortensen). Or you can just fall into selfish despair and completely abandon your family, like The Woman (Charlize Theron). The key is to not lose hope or the will to live when everything else is literally burning up around you, but this mother would seemingly rather leap into the chaos (and certain death) than stay and hold her ground with her husband and son. Thanks a lot, Mom — now Dad has to worry about finding food and a decent pair of shoes for the little twerp all by himself.


7. Esther Cobblepot, “Batman Returns” (1992)

Tucker and Esther Cobblepot were a wealthy and well-to-do Gotham City couple, peers of the billionaire surgeon and philathropist Thomas Wayne and his wife, Martha. Fate dealt them a Joker card, however, when the heir to their legacy turned out to be a freak mutant baby with an inhuman appetite for cats. Filled with despair and shame, they tossed young Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot into the sewer, where the unfortunate child ended up being raised by penguins and carnival freaks and later emerged as the Penguin, a deformed criminal mastermind with a plan to murder all of Gotham’s first-born sons. Oswald sums it up after visiting his parents’ graves: “I was their number-one son … but they treated me like number two.”


6. Momma Lift, “Throw Momma From the Train” (1987)

Momma Lift isn’t so bad … at least on paper. Sure, the character as written in Stu Silver’s screenplay, which borrows heavily from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train,” is belligerent, nagging and high-maintenance. But is she so horrible as to drive her put-upon son, Owen (Danny DeVito), to want to kill her? Nah. However, when you cast Anne Ramsay — the woman who played Mama Fratelli, the truly frightening and dangerous crime matriarch in “The Goonies” — in the role, well, then Momma Lift transcends the page and becomes a much more loathsome creature, the true stuff of Oedipal nightmares and murderous fantasies. Ramsay’s also in on the joke the whole time, which makes her performance — and character — even more brilliant and unforgettable. “Owennnnn!!”

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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