Alien Resurrection

Fourth Time's the Charm

10 Fourquels That Were Surprisingly Fantastic

Catch Alien: Resurrection this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox/Everett Collection

As the saying in Hollywood goes, three films doth a trilogy make…but it takes four to make a franchise. Before you catch Alien Resurrection this month on IFC, check out some of the best “four-quels” that proved some of your favorite big screen blockbusters still had gas in the tank.

1. Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max
Warner Bros

For a while, we feared poor Max had gotten buried under Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitism and Tina Turner’s hair. Then along comes George Miller’s audaciously reimagined hotrod Hell that managed to take home six Oscars and make us all want to forego makeup and smear oil on our foreheads like Charlize Theron’s badass character Furiosa.


2. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Mission Impossible
Paramount Pictures

Say what you will about Tom Cruise — he knows how to keep a franchise going. Part of what has kept the M:I engine running is Cruise’s knack for working with interesting filmmakers. After handpicking auteurs for the initial three M:I movies (De Palma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams), he pairs up with animation director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) and ends up with a fourth installment that for once wasn’t on cruise control.


3. Fast & Furious

Fast and Furious
Universal Pictures

Leaving the skid marks of Tokyo Drift behind, Fast & Furious is at once a return to form and a reunion. Fan favorites Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster are all back for more heists, car chases and drag races. The film was a hit, though we’re kind of surprised this one wasn’t titled 4 Fast 4 Furious.


4. Live Free or Die Hard

Live Free or Die Hard
Twentieth Century Fox

Action pics can benefit from an older leading man who hasn’t lost his rugged charm. Consider Sean Connery, Harrison Ford and, of course, Bruce Willis. As his on-screen alter ego John McClane so aptly puts it here, “Chicks dig scars.” True to that statement, this formulaic fourquel shows its age without shame. None needed — John McClane is ageless. (Catch Die Hard and Die Hard 2 this month on during IFC.)


5. Saw IV

Saw
Twisted Pictures

No horror franchise delivers on its promise as consistently as Saw. That explains why it has out-grossed the Halloween, Friday the 13th and Nightmare movies despite fewer entries. This installment is the origin story of Hollywood’s most sadistic moralizer, and it proved to be a huge box office hit.


6. Bride of Chucky

Bride of Chucky
Universal Pictures

Past a certain age, we’re all creeped out by dolls. But after three fright flicks focused on our fears, the fourth installment in the Child’s Play series injected welcome humor, courtesy of a baby-voiced Jennifer Tilly in the title role. Did Tilly (Bound, Bullets over Broadway) give the performance of her lifetime here? Weirder things have happened. Like killer dolls.


7. Alien: Resurrection

Alien
Twentieth Century Fox/Everett Collection

How do you bring Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) back from the dead? Clone her, of course. How do you justify Winona Ryder’s wooden acting? Make her a “synthetic.” Herein lies the genius of Joss Whedon, who wrote the screenplay. After this came the Alien Vs. Predator movies and the less said about those the better.


8. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

The Voyage Home
Paramount Pictures/Everett Collection

Not all Star Trek movies are strictly for Trekkies. This fun, ’80s-tastic outing also works for the Green Party with its Save the Whales subplot. Ironically, while the ecological message argues on behalf of animals facing extinction, most of the whales on-screen are played by life-sized robots and motorized mini-mammals. But the punk with the jukebox who annoys Kirk and Spock? He’s totally real.


9. Rocky IV

Rocky

Arguably as iconic as the original Rocky, this Cold War classic pits American guts against Russian genetics in the boxing ring. 40-plus years later, we might still be routing for Sylvester Stallone’s Italian Stallion but we’re also secretly conceding that the scientific training favored by Dolph Lundgren’s Drago is the wiser strategy.


10. Sudden Impact

Sudden Impact
Warner Bros

This Dirty Harry movie — featuring a vigilante rape survivor — is the first time Inspector Callahan spit out the iconic line “Go ahead, make my day” and the last time we saw Sondra Locke, Clint Eastwood’s onetime real life love interest, in a Clint Eastwood movie. For those two things alone, it deserves its place in the canon of fantastic fourquels.

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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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Nick Kroll and John Mulaney To Host Spirit Awards

The Spirit Awards Air February 25 LIVE on IFC.

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The 2017 Spirit Awards have finally found their frontmen: Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. And it’s no wonder. Just marvel in their splendid chemistry back when they appeared on Comedy Bang! Bang!:

The pair are prolific within the performing arts community: television (Kroll in The League and The Kroll Show, Mulaney as a writer of IFC’s own Documentary Now!), theater (including Broadway’s current Oh Hello Show), and stand-up comedy. In fact, it’s entirely possible that emceeing an awards show is one of the few remaining line items on their professional bucket lists.

It’s important to caveat this announcement, however. Unlike the bigger and more ubiquitously known awards shows, the Spirit Awards are not, well…boring. (We’re talking to you, Oscar.)

They’re funny. They’re honest. They have quality to match the red-carpet fanfare. And that’s alarmingly special. Last year’s show included some legitimately historic moments, like when transgender actress Mya Taylor won best supporting female, or Kate McKinnon’s hilarious and timely parody of Carol. See more highlights here to get the flavor of the Spirit Awards and read all about Film Independent to dig deeper.

The 2017 Spirit Awards air live February 25 at 5P ET exclusively on IFC.

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