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Opening This Week: April 13th, 2007

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By Chris Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “Lonely Hearts,” Roadside Attractions, 2007]

“Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie for Theaters”

Drawing the ire of both longtime fanboys and the Boston Police Force, the Cartoon Network’s popular [adult swim] program lands its first ever feature film. Though the cult audience for the show remains as devoted as ever, devout fans and message board members throughout the Intarweb feel that this latest entry in the series just cries of “sell out.” Regardless, we still think this will be the best film ever to star a talking milkshake.

Opens wide (official site).


The latest teen thriller stages a modern retelling of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window,” substituting Jimmy Stewart and a broken leg with upcoming “Transformers” star Shia LaBeouf (la-boof!) and a government-sanctioned ankle bracelet. Early reviews of the film state that LaBeouf’s natural charm and the clever use of technology form an interesting statement about the voyeuristic use of modern technology, but we’re just hoping director D.J. Caruso can create an entertaining thriller after a series of subpar films (“Two for the Money” and “Taking Lives”).

Opens wide (official site).

“The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai”

Japanese director Mitsuru Meike carves political metaphor out of gratuitous sex scenes in the first “pink” (softcore) film to reach the US — about a call girl who accidentally gets struck by a bullet only to awaken with the ability to understand foreign languages and complex mathematical formulas and a container housing the finger of the American president. Odd indeed…

Opens in New York (official site).

“Hair High”

In an industry in which 2D animation is nearly unseen while talking animals ride surfboards or tap dance and learn “valuable lessons,” thank goodness there’s still room for Bill Plympton. Transferring his usual whacked-out weirdness and usual sense of humor from short form to feature, the legendary animator’s latest details what happens when a 1950s teenage couple is murdered on prom night only to return one year later for revenge.

Opens in Los Angeles (official site).

“Hearts of an Empire”

This debut feature from documentarian Jay Thompson follows the adventures of the “Fighting 501st,” a group of devoted Star Wars fanboys numbering in the thousands who willingly dress up as famous Star Wars characters despite public ridicule. While the “Fighting 501st” mostly remain loyal fans of the George Lucas series, the group also uses their popularity to sponsor charity events and raise international attention of the Star Wars universe.

Opens in Madison, Wisconsin (official site).

“Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis”

Beloved by John Waters, Andy Warhol and Stefan Brecht, Jack Smith was an otherwise little-known performance artist whose works predated many of his successors and frequently influenced Fellini, Godard and Jarmusch. In Mary Jordan’s mesmerizing documentary portrait of Smith, the artist’s works are shown through archival footage of his multi-hour one-man theatrical productions, highlighting the vast energy and creativity of this rarely-known master.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Lonely Hearts”

The past year’s neo-noirs haven’t kept our interest. After watching both “The Black Dahlia” and “Hollywoodland” squander their A-list cast on mediocre thrills, our hopes aren’t too high for this latest, which finds Jared Leto (fashionxcore!) and Salma Hayek playing 1940smurderous lovers who lure their victims through personal ads. Naturally, there are two homicide detectives (John Travolta and James Gandolfini) hot on their trail. Early reviews suggest that the often bounced-around film would be better suited to a straight-to-DVD release, which, you know, is never a good sign. Director Todd Robinson’s grandfather was one of the cops who investigated the original murders.

Opens in limited release (official site).


You know, Vikings get a bad rap in film (“The 13th Warrior,” anyone?), so we’re not surprised that this latest B-action/adventure flick portrays them as barbarians ripped like steroid-using pro wrestlers (or, er, Spartans?). This film stars “The Lord of the Rings”‘ Eomer and comes courtesy of the director of the remake of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” but shares its unfortunate title with a Nissan SUV.

Opens wide (official site).

“Perfect Stranger”

After reading the synopsis for this film, we think they should have renamed it “To Catch a Predator,” but too late now. If the thought of Halle Berry getting all steamy with Bruce Willis via the Internet turns you on, then this erotic thriller is for you — Berry plays an investigative reporter snooping out the secret dealings of Willis’ shady businessman. It’s hard to believe that this film comes courtesy of the director of “Glengarry Glen Ross,” but at least it’s not about this guy.
Opens wide (official site).

“Private Fears in Public Places”

The latest from influential French director Alain Resnais follows a group of six Parisians who attempt to find love within the city of romance.

Opens in New York (official site).


“The Fast and the Furious-er.” Or is it “The Fast-est and the Furious”? Eh, well, we’re pretty sure you get what we’re going for. Stunt coordinator Andy Cheng’s film aims for slick and fast pacing under a shoestring budget as four race car drivers speed off to Las Vegas in order to claim a million dollar prize. And for those of you who care, “Redline” features the personal exotic car collection of producer Daniel Sadek (minus the Ferrari crashed by star Eddie Griffin), so there’s a positive.

Opens wide (official site).

“Red Road”

A woman working as a CCTV operator encounters a man from her past she never wanted to see again. The winner of the BAFTA Scotland category, this film draws parallels from everything from Hitchcock to “Spider” and comes courtesy of short film director and Academy Award-winner Andrea Arnold.

Opens in New York and Los Angeles (official site).

“Slow Burn”

We still have no idea why this film from “The Art of War” screenwriter Wally Beach is getting a theatrical release, but bear with us as this nearly four-year-old flick (it was filmed in 2003) finally sees the light of day. Ray Liotta stars as district attorney Ford Cole (only in the movies…) who’s embroiled in a tense showdown between gangleader LL Cool J and the assistant DA Jolene Blalock as he eyes a shot at a mayoral candidacy.

Opens wide (official site).

“Year of the Dog”

We’ve loved Mike White since he wrote indie darling “Chuck & Buck,” so it’s no surprise that we’re excited for his directorial debut. Add in some Molly Shannon, John C. Reilley and a dead beagle named Pencil and you’ve got something to look forward to. Shannon stars as a secretary whose life changes unexpectedly after her dog dies. Expect some seriously depressing moments, but given it’s a romantic comedy, it’s all gonna be okay in the end…right?

Opens in limited release (official site).


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.