Speed 2 Cruise Control Sandra Bullock

Sandy Passage

5 Too Rotten to Miss Sandra Bullock Movies

Catch the "too rotten to miss movie" Speed 2: Cruise Control Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Sandra Bullock has won an Oscar, a Blockbuster Entertainment Award (yes, that used to be a thing) and a Kid’s Choice Award. You don’t just stumble into success like that. You work for it. And Sandra Bullock works. Sometimes you get gems like While You Were Sleeping or The Heat, and sometimes you get the clunkers on this list.

With IFC and Rotten Tomatoes celebrating the “too rotten to miss” movie Speed 2: Cruise Control this Friday at 8P, we thought we’d look back at five Sandra Bullock movies that she probably wishes could be expunged from her IMDB record.

5. All About Steve

Sandra Bullock is so inherently likeable, she can make you fall in love with almost any character she plays. Almost. Mary Horowitz, the crossword puzzle writer with a pet hamster as a best friend, would prove to be her Waterloo. Less a character than a collection of quirks right out of the hack screenwriter handbook, Mary stomps through her movie, alienating every character she comes in contact with like a “manic pixie dreamgirl” on meth act.

The flimsy plot centers around Mary becoming obsessed with an uninterested man (Bradley Cooper), basically browbeating him (and his early ’00s spiky ‘do) into falling in love with her. Bullock famously won a Golden Raspberry for Worst Actress in All About Steve and then an Oscar for The Blind Side the next day, which has to be some sort of record. Currently sitting at 7% on Rotten Tomatoes, All About Steve has become a favorite among fans of star-studded trainwrecks.


4. Premonition

A low rent knockoff of other low rent movies, the 2007 spookfest Premonition (8% on Rotten Tomatoes!) has the feeling of a project everyone made with a shrug. In fact, Bullock had already made a movie about a woman trapped in two different time periods — the Keanu Reeves weepfest The Lake House, making this project all the more bewildering.

Was she just desperate to work with Nip/Tuck eyebrow plucker Julian McMahon? Or make a movie that feels like a fake trailer from another, better movie? If only Sandy had a premonition before signing on to this stinker…


3. Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous

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Warner Bros.

The first Miss Congeniality was a pitch perfect vehicle for Sandra’s talents. Its fish-out-of-water story of a FBI agent who goes undercover on the beauty pageant circuit was a bit predictable, but the script’s humor and amiable cast helped make it a surprise hit.

The sagging sequel, which scored only 15% on Rotten Tomatoes, assumes we love the character of FBI Agent Gracie Hart (Bullock) so much, we want to follow her on all her wacky adventures. Ditching the beauty pageant world, Hart has a new job, new partner and a new set of problems. The comedy is much broader and campier, and the film has little reason to exist beyond giving William Shatner an easy paycheck. Still, The Shat is always worth a couple chuckles.


2. The Net

Irwin Winkler, the legendary producer of Rocky and Goodfellas, took a big swing approach to predicting the future in this 1995 thriller, trying to tackle how the newfangled Information Superhighway was changing society and potentially ruining our lives.

Unfortunately, Winkler and the screenwriters used the framework of a laughably predictable conspiracy thriller, joining fellow ’90s tech thrillers Disclosure and Hackers in a sub-genre that looks as dated today as “The Rachel” haircut. If you like your thrillers filled with Times New Roman font and action at the speed of a 28.8Kbps modem, this relic from the AOL chatroom era might be for you.


1. Speed 2: Cruise Control

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20th Century Fox/IFC Giphy

Removing the urgency of the iconic original, Speed 2: Cruise Control sets the action on a runaway cruise ship, ignoring the true horror of annoying tourists and backed up toilets for the smooth sailing terror of a boat going a little too fast.

Following the diminishing returns model of the Die Hard franchise, girl next door Annie (Bullock) was now delivering lines about how unlucky she was to find herself in the middle of yet another improbable terrorist attack. With Willem Dafoe hamming it up in the generic villain role, this is an example of bloated ’90s blockbuster-dom that is almost soothing in its rotten-ness.

Set sail with Speed 2: Cruise Control during IFC’s Rotten Fridays! 

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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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.