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DID YOU READ

Opening This Week: August 31st, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: Melissa McCarthy and Ryan Reynolds in “The Nines,” Newmarket Films, 2007]

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

“Balls of Fury”

Director Ben Garant of “Reno 911!” fame directs this underdog sports comedy about a former champion ping-pong player (Dan Fogler) who’s recruited by the FBI to infiltrate (“Enter the Dragon”-style) an underground tournament in order to take down the crime boss who runs the event (Christopher Walken).

Opens wide (official site).

“Death Sentence”

Kevin Bacon dons his best Bronson impression in this new thriller from “Saw” creator James Wan about a regular man who sets out on a mission to kill each thug involved in the brutal beating of his son.

Opens wide (official site).

“Exiled”

Legendary Hong Kong action director Johnny To returns with another Triad-centric tale about hit men who are sent to Macau to take out a renegade compatriot trying to turn over a new leaf with his wife and newborn baby.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Freshman Orientation”

A typical Midwestern 18-year-old college freshman eager to delve into the college party life pretends to be gay in order to be with the girl of his dreams in this Ryan Shiraki-directed comedy. We’re just glad the film’s distributor didn’t stick with the original title, “Home of Phobia,” or else it would’ve required a “National Lampoon’s” sponsorship.

Opens in Los Angeles (official site).

“Halloween”

It’s likely this much ballyhooed remake of the classic John Carpenter slasher flick won’t top the original, but at least this “reimagination” is helmed by horror master Rob Zombie. The “House of 1000 Corpses” director ditches his scattershot visual style for a more classic understanding of Michael Meyers’ (Tyler Mane of “X-Men” fame) psychosis.

Opens wide (official site).

“Ladron Que Roba A Ladron”

Two former thieves reunite to rob a TV infomercial guru/former thief who made millions exploiting poor Latino immigrants, enlisting the help of day laborers to pull off the heist in this Joe Menendez-directed thriller.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Monastery: Mr. Vig & the Nun”

This documentary directed by Pernille Rose Grǿnkjær chronicles the blossoming relationship between an 82-year-old bachelor who has never known love and a young Russian nun who becomes a part of his life. This Danish film won the Joris Ivens Award at the 2006 Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Self-Medicated”

Monty Lapica wrote, directed, produced and starred in this autobiographical tale of a troubled young man who is kidnapped by a private company and forced to participate in an unorthodox psychiatric program funded by his drug-addicted mother. The film has been traveling the festival circuit for the past two years and won over 40 international film awards.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Nines”

John August’s first foray into direction sounds a bit like “Inland Empire” meets “Adaptation,” a metaphysical take on the creative process in which a troubled actor, a television show runner, and an acclaimed video game designer find their lives intertwining in mysterious and unsettling ways. Ryan Reynolds, Hope Davis and Melissa McCarthy each play three different roles in this film that must be making Charlie Kaufman smile.

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

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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 IFC.com

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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.

Uncle-Buck

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…