DID YOU READ

11 Roles We Wish Michael Keaton Had Played

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Whatever your opinion of newly minted Best Picture winner Birdman is, there’s one undeniably great outcome — Michael Keaton is back. The film’s success has vaulted Keaton back to the A-list where he belongs. But what if he had never gone away?

In 1992, Batman Returns was released in theaters, and Michael Keaton was at the top of his game. Not wanting to repeat himself in another Batman movie, especially after Tim Burton walked away, Keaton took a step back in his career. More content to fly-fish than attend Hollywood premieres, he became picky with his projects.

But what if he hadn’t? What if, instead of this self-imposed exile, Mr. Keaton had stayed in the public eye? What if, instead, he pushed his agent to look for parts outside the box, and stumbled on a script by a young screenwriter named Quentin Tarantino. This is a hypothetical look at a career Michael Keaton could have had.

11. Reservoir Dogs, Mr. Blonde

Initially nervous about having to cut off a bloody victim’s ear to the tune of “Stuck in the Middle With You,” Keaton decides to trust neophyte filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. We all know how well he wore a black and white suit in Beetlejuice, but losing the stripes and turning up the psycho would help Keaton turn this little film into a sensation at Sundance.


10. Groundhog Day, Phil Connors

His career white hot, Keaton accepts the offer to star in this Harold Ramis classic. Keaton actually turned this part down originally, so it isn’t too much of a stretch to picture him trying to endlessly woo Andie McDowell while trapped in a purgatory called Punxsutawney. Thankfully, making this movie would spare us the underwhelming Multiplicity that Keaton made with Ramis and McDowell a few years later.


9. Get Shorty, Chili Palmer

Frustrated he had to turn down Pulp Fiction due to scheduling conflicts (Tarantino originally wanted Michael Madsen for Vic Vega so in our alternate universe he would’ve asked Keaton), MK jumps at the chance to star as a slick gangster who has a way with words. In reality, Keaton was actually offered this part too, but along with many Hollywood heavyweights, turned it down. Now, he helps turn it into one of the biggest hits of 1995.


8. Kingpin, Roy Munson 

Another project he had the chance to star in, Keaton walked away after a rewrite focused more on jokes than character. But now, having done some more intense, character driven work, Keaton would be ready to lighten up. He would accept the Farrelly Brothers’ offer, and help turn Kingpin into the highest grossing film of their career. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see Keaton and Bill Murray share the screen.


7. The Game, Nicolas Van Orton

The scion of a wealthy family trying to deal with the death of his parents from the confines of his gothic mansion? This movie is basically a look at what might’ve happened to Keaton’s Bruce Wayne if he never became Batman. Keaton would accept for a chance to work with filmmaker David Fincher, and since Keaton’s real name is Michael Douglas, they wouldn’t have even had to change the credits.


6. American Beauty, Lester Burnham

With that hit under his belt, Keaton would be at the top of Alan Ball’s list while setting up this project. The original Mr. Mom could have pulled together all that dark humor, intense emotion, and ennui into an electrifying performance. He goes on to win his first Oscar 16 years before Birdman was even a whisper in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s head.


5. Bubba Ho-Tep, Elvis Presley

Having taken a couple of years off from sheer exhaustion, Keaton would return in this camp classic. Keaton astounds as a washed up Elvis fighting monsters alongside an elderly, black JFK. No need to reign it in here, he runs wild with the material, creating a cult classic that is even more beloved than it is now.

4. Bad Santa, Willie

Enjoying more edgy work, Keaton next stars as an alcoholic mall Santa who curses out kids and hits on younger women. While a bit too extreme for mainstream audiences, it would quickly become another cult hit in his long career.


3. Lost, Jack Shepard

Another project Keaton actually turned down, he now accepts the offer on one condition: He would have to be killed off at the end of the pilot. The show would struggle to regain its audience’s trust after such a colossal twist, and be canceled after one season. But the experience would whet Keaton’s appetite for more work in television.


2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Willie Wonka

Just imagine it: No Michael Jackson inflected pancake makeup. In his triumphant reunion with Tim Burton, Keaton would be hailed for honoring the anarchist spirit of Gene Wilder’s performance, while still offering something completely new.


1. The Dark Knight, The Joker

While we all love Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight, in our alternate history Michael Keaton absolutely owns the part of the Crown Prince of Crime. Critics and fans alike would delight in seeing him go full Beetlejuice as he tries to kill The Caped Crusader. High camp meets gravitas. Who wouldn’t want to see him be Nicholson to Bale’s Batman?

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.