Kickboxer

Leg Up

The 10 Most Amazing Movie Kicks

Catch Kickboxer this month during IFC's Movie Madness.

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Photo Credit: The Cannon Group

Rocky may have been an expert at amazing movie knockouts, but he ignores a whole half of the human limbs. Legs are longer, stronger, and, well ,there’s a reason people don’t talk about punching ass. In honor of Kickboxer airing as part of IFC’s Movie Madness, we’re counting down cinema’s most amazing kicks.

10. No Retreat, No Surrender

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You knew Jean-Claude Van Damme was going to appear on this list, and this film is where his career really, er, kicked off. Villainous henchman “Ivan Krushensky” didn’t just get an intimidating last name, he also inverted people’s faces wearing a suit sharper than a wedding tuxedo.


9. Police Story 3

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Police Story 3 is what happens you let Jackie Chan beat up every criminal in Hong Kong twice and then decide to make it more awesome the third time. Michelle Yeoh is what happens when a woman kicks just as much ass. Notice how she sportingly lets the bad guy get off a shot just so he doesn’t feel bad about what happens next, then decides that between kicking away the gun, kicking bad guys in the head, and obeying gravity, that gravity can wait.


8. Resident Evil

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Milla Jovovich takes on the undead in the Resident Evil movies, and the first rule of fighting zombies is not to fight without weapons. But the first rule of Resident Evil is Milla Jovovich kicks ass, even when that ass is a mutated guard dog. She looks like an ass-kicking M.C. Escher drawing as she stomps across the walls to deliver an even more impossible stomping. (Click here to see Resident Evil airings on IFC.)


7. Iron Monkey

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Donnie Yen doesn’t so much beat people up as speak in a language entirely of kicks, and it’s the language of a rich and ancient culture regaling us with epics and odes and poems of heartbreaking (and rib-breaking) beauty. And if kicking is a language, Iron Monkey is a dictionary, in which one of the most powerful expletives is this astonishing splits-to-single kick taking out three enemies before he even hits the ground.


6. Fist of Legend

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Fist of Legend accurately describes Jet Li. Most people remember his acting skills, as he made a superhuman effort to pretend to get beaten up by Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon 4, but this movie shows his real skills as he tells the Earth to just hold his hand for a second while he demolishes an idiot, then springs back ready to take on everyone else in the universe.


5. Road House

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You knew at least one of our honored kicks would have to be a nut-shot, and no nut-shot has ever been more deserved, more painful, or more beneficial for the future of the human race. Just look at how bad guy Jimmy jerks when Swayze slams his foot into the two little “Jimmies.” That’s not just pain. That’s the shock of an entire family line disappearing from the future.


4. Ong Bak

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Early man harnessed the power of fire for warmth. Tony Jaa uses it to deliver one of the most punishing kicks of all time.


3. Kickboxer

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In one of his most famous roles, “The Muscles From Brussels” kicks Tong Po into next week. Strike that — he kicks him into the next century.


2. Enter the Dragon

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Decades before 3D became the standard for every movie, Bruce Lee achieved it without special effects and using just his right foot back in Enter the Dragon. The viewer can feel this kick through the screen, through the third dimension, through their very soul. We’re rubbing our face just thinking about it.


1. Karate Kid

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The most infamously amazing kick in cinema history was delivered by a scrappy teenager with a bully problem. The Karate Kid‘s “Crane Kick” might look silly at first, but woe to the Cobra Kai member who ends up on the receiving end.

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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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