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Opening This Week: August 17th, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: Nicole Kidman in “The Invasion,” Warner Bros. Pictures, 2007]

A round-up of the best (or worst) $10 you’ll spend this week.

“Death at a Funeral”

While his “The Stepford Wives” remake was a pretty terrible film, we always knew that director Frank Oz could do better. His new film is a (thankfully) low-budget comedy about two brothers attempting to stop a blackmailer from exposing their recently deceased father’s secret as their family grieves. The casting of Alan Tudyk and Peter Dinklage alone in supporting roles is enough for us.

Opens in limited release (official site).


“Living in Oblivion” director Tom DiCillo returns with his first film in six years, an offbeat drama about a homeless youth (Michael Pitt), a pop music siren (Alison Lohman) and a member of the paparazzi (Steve Buscemi) who become entangled in each other’s lives. Elvis Costello cameos as himself — yes! The film premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Love for Sale”

Karim Ainouz directs this Brazilian film about a young woman who decides to raffle off her own body in order to earn a living. The film picked up the Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actress prizes at the 2006 Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Manda Bala”

Newcomer Jason Kohn directs this doc examining corruption and class warfare in Brazil as told through the eyes of a wealthy businessman, a plastic surgeon who assists kidnapping victims and a politician who owns a frog farm. The film premiered earlier this year to much acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival.

Opens in limited release (official site).


Yes, we love the subtly awkward poster, the hilarious uncut trailer, the brilliant casting of Jonah Hill and Michael Cera as two socially inept friends, and… well, what isn’t there to love? The brilliant minds behind this summer’s “Knocked Up” bring this Seth Rogen-penned script to the screen in a tale of two friends who try to score alcohol for one last party before they graduate from high school. What can we say, we’re suckers for some McLovin’.

Opens wide (official site).

“The 11th Hour”

Leonardo DiCaprio gets all vice presidential on us with this environmental documentary taking a look at the state of the global environment while providing visionary and practical solutions for restoring our nature’s ecosystems.

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

“The Invasion”

German filmmaker Oliver Hirschbiegel (of 2005’s “The Downfall”) originally received credit for this science fiction update of the classic “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” story in which a psychiatrist (Nicole Kidman) unearths the origins of an alien epidemic and learns that her son may be the only way to stop it. Talk is that studio heads were dissatisfied with Hirschbiegel’s cut of the film and enlisted the help of Wachowski brothers disciple James McTeigue (of “V for Vendetta”) to oversee a rehaul. This is the fourth adaptation of the classic “Body Snatchers” magazine serial, and while we love the thought of Nicole Kidman fighting off brain-sucking aliens, we still prefer the 1956 Cold War original.

Opens wide (official site).

“The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters”

Don’t mind us if we get a little nostalgic over director Seth Gordon’s documentary about two diehard video game fans who compete to break the world record on the classic arcade game Donkey Kong. The film made quite the impression at Slamdance earlier this year, and New Line has attached Gordon to direct a feature film version of his own doc. Now that’s a pretty good start.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Last Legion”

Director Doug Lefler helms this swords-and-sandals epic about a soldier who escapes the crumbling Roman Empire as barbarians descend upon his land, and who must embark on a dangerous adventure in order to save his emperor. Colin Firth, Ben Kingsley and Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai provide supporting roles.

Opens wide (official site).


Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at


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…