The Matrix Revolutions Hugo Weaving

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5 Movies From The Wachowskis That Are Too Rotten to Miss

Catch The Matrix Revolutions tonight at 8P during IFC's Rotten Fridays.

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The Wachowskis hold a unique place in Hollywood history thanks to The Matrix. Unfortunately, the rest of their filmography is another matter. While The Matrix is an undisputed classic (and their crime thriller Bound is highly underrated), they’ve never again approached such heights of storytelling. Instead, the rest of their filmography is a mishmash of overly ambitious failures and style before substance. Still, we can’t deny that even their failures have some downright entertaining moments. As IFC and Rotten Tomatoes team up to celebrate movies that are “too rotten to miss,” we thought we’d look back at five Wachowski movies that are eminently watchable in their lousiness.

5. Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas Tom Hanks
Warner Bros. Pictures

Cloud Atlas is probably the Wachowskis’ most ambitious movie to date, and also one of their best. Unfortunately, being one of their best doesn’t mean it’s very good. Based on the acclaimed novel by British author David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas tells the story of various characters’ interweaving roles in a narrative that spans the past, the present and the future. If that sounds vague and confusing, it’s because it is. While the book was a huge success based on digging deep into these characters’ realities, the movie takes a more superficial and often obvious approach. What’s left is a head scratcher full of Tom Hanks playing dress up. As with much of the Wachowksis’ work, there are a lot of interesting ideas buried in this movie, but they tend to collapse under the weight of all the gimmicks and miscues the filmmakers can’t seem to avoid.


4. Speed Racer

Speed Racer
Warner Bros. Pictures

The creators of The Matrix take on a beloved cult cartoon? What could go wrong? Well, judging by the $19 million this $120 million fiasco earned in its opening weekend, a lot. Less a movie than an assault on the senses, Speed Racer was supposed to be the Wachowskis’ comeback after their Matrix saga came off the rails. Things likes performance, character and plot are beside the point here. This is all about explosive CGI. Colors whizzing by. Streaks of light having sex with a rainbow on acid. It’s an overwhelming experience, but not necessarily a bad one. You feel swept away to a magical world of Day-Glo racecar drivers fighting for their shot. And then it keeps going. And going. And going. That wonder turns into a headache. That awe into an urge to vomit. It never lets up, or bothers to craft a story and characters interesting enough to make you want to keep the puke down long enough to see how it ends. The Wachowskis seem to have made exactly the movie they were going for here, but their instincts betray them yet again, leaving us with a sugar high hangover.


3. The Matrix Reloaded

Matrix Rave
Warner Bros. Pictures

Fans showed up in droves for The Matrix Reloaded, ready to pop the red pill and see where it took them. Unfortunately, the answer was no place they wanted to go. Instead, the rabbit hole led to a convoluted sequel that dropped the clear storyline of the first film for a impenetrable mess of self-indulgent world building and empty motivations. A diehard fan under extreme interrogation couldn’t coherently describe what this movie was about. There’s some albino twins and a guy who’s also a key? In the end, this was science fiction navel gazing at its worst. The Wachowskis got lost in the world they created, and forgot to ground the film in story, character and sanity. Plus, that rave scene is pretty ridiculous.


2. The Matrix Revolutions

Matrix Revolutions
Warner Bros. Pictures

When the first Matrix film was released in 1999, it was sold with the tagline “What is the Matrix?” By the time the head scratching sequels came and went, no one seemed to know or care anymore. If we’re being honest, do any of us even remember this movie? We went into Reloaded with sky-high expectation and were met with a thundering middle finger. This movie was a denouement of apathy, a $150 million shrug of the shoulders. When filmmakers feel the need to create complex mythology to explain a recast part, you know you’re probably in a bit of trouble. By the time the trilogy limps actors to the finish line, with the wizened Oracle basically admitting she has no idea what just happened, the audience found themselves repeating Keanu Reeves’ iconic catchphrase, “Whoa.” (Or more likely, “Whaaa??”) It’s the rotten nadir of the Matrix franchise, complete with some choice dazed Keanu-isms and endless scenes of characters spouting wisdom that seems to be gleaned from a Magic Eightball.


1. Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending
Warner Bros. Pictures

At a certain point, you can’t blame the Wachowskis alone for their incomprehensibly bad movies. You have to start questioning the men in suits who hand them hundreds of millions of dollars to make them. Whoever read the dense story of a mysterious queen of bees rescued by a buff dog/elf with hover rollerblades, and thought, now this one is going to be a hit, needs to rethink their line of work. This movie is so bad, it’s virtually become shorthand for movies that suck. There are too many issues to mention. Channing Tatum plays a half albino with dog DNA and a leather fetish, and looks ashamed the whole time. Eddie Redmayne puts on an overacting clinic that very nearly cost him his Oscar. Somehow, nearly every scene in this movie introduces a new plot that goes nowhere. It’s as if the Wachowskis threw everything AND the kitchen sink into their script, and then made the kitchen sink a part dog bounty hunter with floating space shoes! This is the type of movie that doesn’t just end careers, it ends studios. It’s also gradually picking up a cult following as a seriously “WTF” movie that is too rotten to miss.

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Very NSFW

The Brockmire Premiere Is All Truth

Watch The First Episode of Brockmire Right Now for Free

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At long last, the Brockmire pre-premiere has arrived. Which means you can watch it right now—on IFC.com, at Funny Or Die, on IFC’s Apple TV and mobile apps, on Youtube, on Facebook, on the AMC apps, and right here. So grab some headphones and get watching.

No seriously, get headphones.

Because whether he’s giving a play-by-play or ruminating on the world around him, Jim Brockmire calls it like he sees it. And how he sees it is very NSFW. His take on life is actually quite refreshing, even to the point of being profoundly sage. For proof just look at these pearls of unconventional wisdom from the premiere…

Brockmire On The Internet

“If I need porn I just buy a nudie mag, like my father and his father before him.”

Brockmire On Sex-Ed

“Kids, a strap-on is a belt with d— on it that mommies use to f— daddies.”
Brockmire-Strap-On

Brockmire On The Perfect High

“Somewhere between 10 cups of coffee and very low-grade cocaine.”
Brockmire-Perfect-High

Brockmire On The Tardiness of Spring

“Old man winter’s reaching his hand inside your coat to give that thing one more squeeze.”

Brockmire On Keeping Perspective

“I thought I hit rock bottom in a handicap restroom in Bangkok where a Thai lady-boy snorted crank off my johnson while a sunburnt German watched us on the toilet”
Brockmire-grain-salt

Brockmire On Humanity

“If you want to look directly into the gaping maw of oblivion, don’t look up to the heavens. Just look in the mirror.”
Jules-never-seen

See these nuggets and more in the first episode of Brockmire, and see the whole season beginning April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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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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