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17 Things You Might Not Know About Friday

Encouraged by his Boyz n the Hood director John Singleton, rapper/actor Ice Cube decided to try to write a screenplay. His first attempt, with help from DJ Pooh, was Friday, the 1995 film that introduced the world to the comedic talents of Chris Tucker and Bernie Mac. The movie—about a day in the South Central life of Craig and Smokey, two stoners struggling to come up with $200 to pay a drug dealer—is celebrating a 20th anniversary on April 26.

1. THE MOVIE WAS SHOT IN 20 DAYS.

With a $3.5 million budget, Friday was shot on 126th Street between Normandie and Halldale Avenues in Los Angeles. It was the street where director F. Gary Gray grew up. His childhood home is in the background when Deebo punches Red (DJ Pooh) for asking for his bike back.

2. THE DIRECTOR EQUATES IT TO LEAVE IT TO BEAVER.

When asked why he thinks Friday continues to resonate with audiences today, Gray told HollywoodChicago.com that "I think it’s because no matter where you’re from, you can identify with those characters. Everyone can identify with the bully, the neighborhood beauty that you had a crush on, and the troublemaking friend. It’s the same as Leave it to Beaver, if you look at what is familiar."

3. GRAY DIRECTED THE TLC MUSIC VIDEO "WATERFALLS."

Gray started his professional career directing music videos, including TLC's “Waterfalls,” which won Best Video of the Year at the 1995 VMAs. He was also behind the camera for the award-winning videos for Coolio’s “Fantastic Voyage” and Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day,” which led to the motion picture collaboration with the rapper. After Friday made over six times its budget back at the box office, Gray directed the movies Set It Off, The Negotiator, A Man Apart, The Italian Job, Be Cool, and Law Abiding Citizen. He also directed Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson” video.

4. GRAY MAKES A CAMEO IN THE MOVIE.

He plays the man mopping the store floor.

5. IT WAS MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN’S FIRST MOVIE ROLE.

Before he made his big screen debut playing craps with Smokey in the scene in which Deebo knocks Red out, Duncan appeared in commercials and worked security for Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, and Notorious B.I.G.

6. DEEBO WAS BASED ON A CRIP.

Wrestler-turned-actor Tommy “Tiny” Lister Jr. had Crips head Eugene “Big U” Henley in mind when he portrayed the bike-stealing bully. After serving 13 years in jail, Henley is now a music event promoter and CEO of a youth-empowering community group.

7. CHRIS ROCK AND TOMMY DAVIDSON WERE CONSIDERED FOR SMOKEY.

But Gray fought for the far less known Chris Tucker, who impressed the director with his ability to improvise.

8. CREW MEMBERS HAD TO LEAVE THE SET BECAUSE TUCKER WAS MAKING THEM LAUGH TOO MUCH.

Because their laughter ruined takes, camera operators and other personnel were forced to take a break or avoid watching somehow.

9. NO, CHRIS TUCKER WASN’T HIGH DURING SHOOTING.

"You can't make a movie high," Tucker told The AV Club. "Naw, I didn't stay in character, but it was a good movie to do. We had a lot of fun." In 2012, he told The Guardian that fans still regularly offer him pot. "They want to say they smoked with Smokey," Tucker laughs. "I'm so glad I don't smoke—I'd be high all the time."

10. YES, "BYE FELICIA" IS FROM THIS MOVIE.

Initially spoken to the needy Felicia by an annoyed Craig, “Bye Felicia” is currently the best way to end a conversation with someone who is bothering you. Regina King, the actress who played Ice Cube’s sister Dana, didn’t realize the phrase came from the 20-year-old movie until last fall.

11. "FELICIA" IS MOSTLY FINE WITH HER CHARACTER'S CONTINUED POPULARITY.

Angela Means Kaaya, obviously surprised by the popularity of "Bye Felicia," received a residual check for $1.17 in 2013. In 2014, she told Ebony, "The last thing, I think, me and Cube both thought was that this was going to be a part of America’s pop culture 20 years later. I’m cool with the ‘Bye Felicia’ thing, but I tell my son, ‘Don’t put it on my tombstone.’”

12. FELICIA'S SON IS A SUCCESSFUL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYER.

Kaaya's son, Brad, was the University of Miami Hurricanes’ starting quarterback last season. He won the ACC Rookie of the Year award for his efforts.

13. THE SOUNDTRACK WAS #1 ON THE BILLBOARD CHART.

It featured the Dr. Dre single “Keep Their Heads Ringin',” which was certified gold. The soundtrack was kicked out of the top spot after two weeks by Hootie and the Blowfish’s Cracked Rear View. Ice Cube was pleasantly surprised to discover that Rick James’ “Mary Jane” had never been used in a movie before. “You usually don’t get the Isley Brothers and a fresh Dr. Dre song," Cube told BuzzFeed. "It was a really special labor of love.”

14. DOUGHBOY AND CRAIG JONES SHARE THE SAME WARDROBE.

In what has been acknowledged as a purposeful nod to his Darrin “Doughboy” Baker character in Boyz n the Hood, Ice Cube rolls out of bed in the first scene of Friday in a black shirt, shorts, high white socks, and footwear—an outfit that is very similar to what Doughboy was wearing in the last scene of Boyz n the Hood.

15. ICE CUBE STILL LAUGHS AT THE MOVIE.

Cube's 21 Jump Street co-stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum caught the rapper-actor cracking up watching Friday on a plane. He claimed he was only watching it to think of ideas for a potential fourth installment of the series, but admitted to Vulture that "the sh*t was making me laugh. It was funny."

16. CHRIS TUCKER DECLINED TO APPEAR IN THE SEQUELS.

When asked about his reluctance to return to Friday's two follow-up films, Tucker told The New York Times: “People are loving it, and why mess with it when people love it? Let that just live on.”

17. TUCKER IS WRITTEN INTO THE NEW FRIDAY FILM.

After Mike Epps filled the Chris Tucker-sized hole as Ray Ray in Next Friday and Friday After Next, Ice Cube said he wrote Tucker and Smokey into his script for Last Friday. Unfortunately, it’s stuck in “development hell.”

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Pop Culture
The Strange Hidden Link Between Silent Hill and Kindergarten Cop
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

by Ryan Lambie

At first glance, Kindergarten Cop and Silent Hill don't seem to have much in common—aside from both being products of the 1990s. At the beginning of the decade came Kindergarten Cop, the hit comedy directed by Ivan Reitman and starring larger-than-life action star Arnold Schwarzenegger. At the decade’s end came Silent Hill, Konami’s best-selling survival horror game that sent shivers down PlayStation owners’ spines.

As pop culture artifacts go, they’re as different as oil and water. Yet eagle-eyed players may have noticed a strange hidden link between the video game and the goofy family comedy.

In Silent Hill, you control Harry Mason, a father hunting for his daughter Cheryl in the eerily deserted town of the title. Needless to say, the things Mason uncovers are strange and very, very gruesome. Early on in the game, Harry stumbles on a school—Midwich Elementary School, to be precise—which might spark a hint of déjà vu as soon as you approach its stone steps. The building’s double doors and distinctive archway appear to have been taken directly from Kindergarten Cop’s Astoria Elementary School.

Could it be a coincidence?

Well, further clues can be found as you venture inside. As well as encountering creepy gray children and other horrors, you’ll notice that its walls are decorated with numerous posters. Some of those posters—including a particularly distinctive one with a dog on it—also decorated the halls of the school in Kindergarten Cop.

Do a bit more hunting, and you’ll eventually find a medicine cabinet clearly modeled on one glimpsed in the movie. Most creepily of all, you’ll even encounter a yellow school bus that looks remarkably similar to the one in the film (though this one has clearly seen better days).

Silent Hill's references to the movie are subtle—certainly subtle enough for them to pass the majority of players by—but far too numerous to be a coincidence. When word of the link between game and film began to emerge in 2012, some even joked that Konami’s Silent Hill was a sequel to Kindergarten Cop. So what’s really going on?

When Silent Hill was in early development back in 1996, director Keiichiro Toyama set out to make a game that was infused with influences from some of his favorite American films and TV shows. “What I am a fan of is occult stuff and UFO stories and so on; that and I had watched a lot of David Lynch films," he told Polygon in 2013. "So it was really a matter of me taking what was on my shelves and taking the more horror-oriented aspects of what I found.”

A scene from 'Silent Hill'
Divine Tokyoska, Flickr

In an interview with IGN much further back, in 2001, a member of Silent Hill’s staff also stated, “We draw our influences from all over—fiction, movies, manga, new and old.”

So while Kindergarten Cop is perhaps the most outlandish movie reference in Silent Hill, it’s by no means the only one. Cafe5to2, another prominent location in the game, is taken straight from Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers.

Elsewhere, you might spot a newspaper headline which references The Silence Of The Lambs (“Bill Skins Fifth”). Look carefully, and you'll also find nods to such films as The Shining, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho, and 12 Monkeys.

Similarly, the town’s streets are all named after respected sci-fi and horror novelists, with Robert Bloch, Dean Koontz, Ray Bradbury, and Richard Matheson among the most obvious. Oh, and Midwich, the name of the school? That’s taken from the classic 1957 novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham, twice adapted for the screen as The Village Of The Damned in 1960 and 1995.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in 'Kindergarten Cop'
Universal Pictures

The reference to Kindergarten Cop could, therefore, have been a sly joke on the part of Silent Hill’s creators—because what could be stranger than modeling something in a horror game on a family-friendly comedy? But there could be an even more innocent explanation: that Kindergarten Cop spends so long inside an ordinary American school simply gave Toyama and his team plenty of material to reference when building their game.

Whatever the reasons, the Kindergarten Cop reference ranks highly among the most strange and unexpected film connections in the history of the video game medium. Incidentally, the original movie's exteriors used a real school, John Jacob Astor Elementary in Astoria, Oregon. According to a 1991 article in People Magazine, the school's 400 fourth grade students were paid $35 per day to appear in Kindergarten Cop as extras.

It’s worth pointing out that the school is far less scary a place than the video game location it unwittingly inspired, and to the best of our knowledge, doesn't have an undercover cop named John Kimble serving as a teacher there, either.

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entertainment
The 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix Right Now
Disney/Marvel
Disney/Marvel

If you’re in the mood for some speculative fiction and your pile of Arthur C. Clarke books has been exhausted, you could do worse than to tune in to Netflix. The streaming service is constantly acquiring new films in the sci-fi and fantasy genres that should satisfy most fans of alternative futures. Here are five of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix right now.

1. CUBE (1997)

This low-budget independent film may have helped inspire the current "escape room" attraction fad. Six strangers wake up in a strange room that leads only to other rooms—all of them equipped with increasingly sadistic ways of murdering occupants.

2. METROPOLIS (1927)

Inspiring everything from Star Wars to Lady Gaga, Fritz Lang’s silent epic about a revolt among the oppressed people who help power an upper-class city remains just as visually impressive today as it did nearly 100 years ago.

3. TROLL HUNTER (2010)

A Norwegian fairy tale with bite, Troll Hunter follows college-aged filmmakers who convince a bear trapper to take them along on his exploits. But the trapper fails to disclose one crucial detail: He hunts towering, aggressive trolls.

4. NEXT (2007)

Nic Cage stars a a magician who can see a few minutes into the future. He's looking to profit with the skill: the FBI and others are looking to exploit it.

5. THE HOST (2006)

A slow-burn monster movie from South Korea, The Host has plenty of tense scenes coupled with a message about environmental action: The river-dwelling beast who stalks a waterfront town is the product of chemical dumping.  

6. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 2 (2017)

Marvel's tale of a misfit band of space jockeys was a surprise hit in 2014. The sequel offers more Groot, more Rocket Raccoon, and the addition of Kurt Russell as a human manifestation of an entire sentient planet.

7. STARDUST (2007)

Director Matthew Vaughn's adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novel features Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro as supporting players in the tale of a man (a pre-Daredevil Charlie Cox) in search of a fallen star to gift to his love.

8. KING KONG (2005)

Director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings) set his considerable sights on a remake of the 1933 classic, with the title gorilla pestered and exploited by opportunistic humans.

9. DONNIE DARKO (2001)

What will a teenage mope do when a giant rabbit tells him the world is about to end? The answer comes in this critical and cult hit, which drew attention for its moody cinematography and an arresting performance by a then-unknown Jake Gyllenhaal.  

10. ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY (2016)

Soon we'll have a movie for every single major or minor incident ever depicted in the Star Wars universe. For now, we'll have to settle for this one-off that explains how the Rebel Alliance got their hands on the plans for the Death Star.

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