DID YOU READ

15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Heat

HEAT

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Before diving into another viewing of Michael Mann’s 1995 heist movie, starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, arm yourself with these 15 fascinating tidbits about the film.

1. Heat was adapted from a 1989 TV movie.

Heat director Michael Mann developed the story as a potential TV show after the success he had in producing Miami Vice and Crime Story for television. While it was never picked up by a network as a series, NBC aired the made-for-TV movie L.A. Takedown in 1989. L.A. Takedown represents about 40 percent of Heat’s eventual storyline.


2. Heat’s story is based on the exploits of former Chicago police officer Chuck Adamson.

Mann and Adamson met while working the TV show Crime Story, which Adamson created and Mann executive produced. Adamson really did track down and ultimately kill a real life master criminal named Neil McCauley, though it wasn’t at LAX like in the film. McCauley was killed during an armored car hijacking outside an Illinois supermarket.


3. The L.A. Metro stop used in the opening appears in another of Mann’s films.

It’s the same station seen at the end of Mann’s 2004 film Collateral.


4. There are no CG effects used in the heist that opens the movie.

The production actually tipped over an armored car while shooting on location—it was top-heavy and weighted to make the stunt possible.


5. The graphics on the side of the tow truck in this scene have personal significance for Mann.

The side of the truck reads “RAJA,” which are the first initials of director Mann’s four daughters’ names. His daughter Ami served as the second unit director on Heat.


6. Robert De Niro and Al Pacino were the director’s first picks to star.

In fact, they were the only actors offered the leading roles.


7. Heat is the first movie to feature De Niro and Pacino onscreen together in the same scene.

While they both had roles The Godfather: Part II, they never appeared onscreen at the same time. Following Heat, De Niro and Pacino would go on to appear together in the 2008 film Righteous Kill. They are also scheduled to reunite in an upcoming Martin Scorsese film titled The Irishman (slated for a 2015 release).


8. De Niro and Pacino hardly appear onscreen together.

The two stars spend less than 10 minutes of the entire 170-minute film in one another’s presence.

9. Heat is Natalie Portman’s second feature film.

Her first is Leon: The Professional; in it, she plays a child assassin.


10. Jon Voight’s character Nate is based on ex-con and writer Eddie Bunker.

Mann made Bunker’s book, “No Beast So Fierce”, required reading for the actors in De Niro’s criminal crew. Bunker also served as a technical consultant on Heat.


11. Michael Mann did a lot of research for the film.

He spent 7 months on ride-alongs with the LAPD’s robbery and homicide department.


12. In preparation for the bank heist sequence, the film’s technical advisors had the actors case a real bank without anybody noticing.

Tom Sizemore (who plays Cheritto) actually began fake negotiations for a bank loan with a bank employee during the stunt.


13. Heat’s robbery scenes are thought to be so accurate that real thieves have copied its tactics.

In fact, the 1997 North Hollywood shootout was allegedly inspired by the heists in the film.


14. To prepare for the downtown shootout sequence, the actors went through three months of firearm.

An estimated 800-1,000 blank rounds were used per take while shooting the scene.


15. All the gun sound effects in the shootout sequence were taken from onset audio.

Mann originally planned to add gunshots to the audio in post-production. But when he tried to do so, he didn’t feel like it sounded real enough, so he kept the audio as is.

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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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