DID YOU READ

15 Explosive Facts About Shoot ‘Em Up

SHOOT ‘EM UP, Clive Owen, 2007. ©New Line Cinema/courtesy Everett Collection

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Wham! Bam! Thank you ma’am! Here are 15 facts about the 2007 action genre homage Shoot ‘Em Up.

1. IT’S INFLUENCED BY SOME WIDE-RANGING CLASSICS.

Writer/director Michael Davis imagined Shoot ‘Em Up as an homage to Sergio Leone’s Man With No Name trilogy and John Woo’s influential Hong Kong action movie Hard Boiled.


2. DAVIS USED HIS OWN DRAWINGS TO GET THE MOVIE MADE.

As a pitch for studios to make the movie, Davis cut together a 15-minute animatic reel of his own hand-drawn sketches to portray the type of action he wanted to put onscreen.


3. DAVIS KEPT TWO SPECIFIC RULES IN MIND WHILE WRITING HIS SCRIPT.

There could be no explosions and all of the action had to be gun-centric.


4. CLIVE OWEN HAD A HAND IN WRITING THE SCRIPT.

Owen wrote the scene where he teaches the baby the parts of his gun.


5. THE ROCK MUSIC SOUNDTRACK WASN’T ADDED UNTIL MUCH LATER.

Davis was originally puzzled about what music to use for the movie—until the studio heads, impressed by an early cut of the movie, expanded the budget so he could afford the rights to songs from bands like Nirvana, Motörhead, AC/DC, and Mötley Crüe.


6. PAUL GIAMATTI WAS CAST AS THE VILLIAN BECAUSE HE’S USUALLY SO NICE.

Davis wanted an unorthodox villain, so he cast Giamatti against-type. Davis particularly enjoyed Giamatti’s lovable loser character with a hot temper from 2004’s Sideways.


7. GIAMATTI CAN THANK HIS CHARACTER FOR A REAL-LIFE FASHION EMERGENCY.

The actor was forced to wear his character’s intentionally bad comb over and scraggly goatee to the 2005 Academy Awards—during which Sideways won the Best Adapted Screenplay award—because Shoot ‘Em Up was shooting at the same time.


8. ITALIAN ACTRESS MONICA BELLUCCI’S MULTI-LINGUAL TALENTS PROVED USEFUL.

She dubbed her own voice for the movie’s Italian and French versions.

9. THE TWINS WHO PLAYED THE BABY WERE CAST BEFORE THEY WERE BORN.

The production got approval to cast Sidney and Lucas Mende-Gibson as Baby Oliver while their mother was 8½ months pregnant.


10. THE MENDE-GIBSONS WEREN’T THE ONLY BABIES USED.

Five fake babies were used for stunt sequences—two animatronic babies that moved their arms and legs and three artificial dolls whose faces were made more lifelike with CGI in post-production.


11. CIRQUE DU SOLEIL HELPED CLIVE OWEN WITH HIS STUNTS.

The Canada-based circus provided Owen with a special harness to make it more comfortable to shoot the green screen skydiving scenes, which involved the actor being strapped in for 4 days straight at up to 9 hours at a time.


12. THE MOVIE HAS A LOT OF FIREPOWER.

The characters wield over 200 different firearms during the 86-minute film.


13. AND A TON OF FAKE BLOOD.

Roughly $70,000 was budgeted for the squibs, the fake-blood-filled practical effect used to make it look like someone has been shot, alone.


14. THE END CREDIT SEQUENCE WAS INTENTIONALLY A BOND MOVIE KNOCKOFF.

It was a nod to the 007 movies’ elaborately stylized opening sequences.


15. A KEY STUNT GOT THE MYTHBUSTERS TREATMENT.

Unfortunately, the Mythbusters found that you could not, in fact, spin a merry-go-round by firing bullets at it like Clive Owen’s character does in the movie.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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