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The 10 Most Badass Actor/Director Teams In Movies

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A truly great movie requires a connection between the actors and the man behind the camera. And when you make a powerful connection, you don’t want to let it go. Join us as we spotlight 10 actor/director duos who have worked together on numerous occasions and indisputably bring out the best in each other.

10. Kurt Russell and John Carpenter

From sci-fi (Escape from New York) to horror (The Thing) to high-flying kung-fu fantasy (Big Trouble in Little China), Carpenter and Russell bring a sense of fun to any genre. Perhaps it’s time that they reunite once again for a third Snake Plissken outing. If Mad Max can come back, so can Snake.


9. Toshiro Mifune and Akira Kurosawa

The most influential director in Japan’s movie industry had an incredible partner in Toshiro Mifune, a leading man who brought incredible passion to each role. Kurosawa was notoriously meticulous and controlling behind the camera, and Mifune counterbalanced that with his own energy. Together, the duo created masterpieces like Rashomon and Seven Samurai.


8. Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi

The scrappy early films of Sam Raimi were greatly aided by the presence of Bruce Campbell, a weirdly charming actor who brought good looks and ironic distance to the role of Ash in the Evil Dead trilogy. The pair have worked together on numerous occasions, and rumor has it that they’re set to pair again for the much-rumored Evil Dead TV series.


7. Penelope Cruz and Pedro Almodovar

Spanish director Pedro Almodovar is famous for his ability to write strong female characters for the screen, and he found an incredible muse in Penelope Cruz. The pair have collaborated in a quartet of films, which brought the best out of Cruz as an actress and allowed her to stretch her dramatic wings beyond “very pretty lady.”


6. Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron

It’s no stretch to say that Cameron is responsible for some of Arnie’s best films. Terminator, T2, True Lies…we only wish this duo would work together more often.


5. John Wayne and John Ford

The greatest director of Westerns the silver screen has ever seen and the actor who epitomized American masculinity for over half a century – is it any surprise that they left an indelible mark on cinematic history? John Ford directed John Wayne in many of his most famous movies, from 1938’s Stagecoach to Donovan’s Reef. Their best film is probably 1956’s The Searchers.


4. Chow Yun-fat and John Woo

Chinese director John Woo single-handedly re-invented action cinema in the 1990s, but he had a lot of help from stoic actor Chow Yun-fat. The duo first teamed in 1986’s A Better Tomorrow, which was a commercial and critical success, and further refined the formula in that film’s sequel and with 1989’s undisputed classic The Killer. Woo’s balletic cinematography coupled with Chow’s incredible presence resulted in some truly incredible films.


3. Johnny Depp and Tim Burton

There is literally no pairing in modern film that’s tighter than Burton and Depp. Since the duo first worked together in Edward Scissorhands, Depp’s lent his quirky leading man abilities to seven other films, from Ed Wood to Dark Shadows. That’s a pretty serious run of flicks, and even though their pairing has produced decidedly mixed results of late, it’s still a partnership to be reckoned with.


2. Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese

Who knew when Leo was a ’90s teen hearthrob that he would turn into one of his generation’s most acclaimed actors? Leo’s transformation from puppy dog-eyed love interest into seasoned actor is due in no small part to his ongoing working relationship with Martin Scorsese, a pairing that has given us everything from Gangs of New York to their most recent success, The Wolf of Wall Street.

Click here to see all showings of The Departed on IFC.


1. Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese

As prolific as Scorsese and DiCaprio have been in recent years, they still have yet to top one of the most heralded cinematic partnerships in history. Starting all the way back in 1973 with Mean Streets, Scorsese and De Niro’s partnership has extended through almost five decades. Scorsese brings out the best in almost all his actors, but when he works with De Niro, fireworks are guaranteed. The duo are said to be working on a new film, titled The Irishman.

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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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