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Opening This Week: September 21, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: Emile Hirsch in “Into The Wild,” Paramount Vantage, 2007]

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

“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”

This coming Oscar season is looking to be a good one for co-stars Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck, though director Andrew Dominik (“Chopper”) may have had a hard time getting this rather arty Western to the big screens. Pitt recently won the Best Actor award at Venice, while Affleck also plays the leading role in brother Ben’s heavily buzzed-about directorial debut, while Dominik…well, we’re not quite sure this is still his movie after reports that director Ridley Scott stepping in to fiddle with it. And maybe it’s just us, but do all Westerns nowadays need homoerotic undertones? Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Beauty Remains”

“Shadow Magic” director Ann Hu returns for her sophomore effort, this Qingdao-set post-WWII drama about two sisters whose lives become complicated by their late father’s business interests and the shared love of an ex-boxer.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Good Luck Chuck”

You know it’s bad when a film looks like Adam Sandler passed on it — where’s Rob Schneider when you need him? “Comedian” Dane Cook stars as a man who must break the curse that has made him wildly popular with single women (bed Dane and you find your true love!) in order to be with the women of his (and our) dreams. This film presents itself like a Maxim magazine on screen: Jessica Alba panty shots and lots of dude humor. We think it’s safe to say that Dan Fogler is going to be the best part of this one.

Opens wide (official site).

“Into the Wild”

Over a decade after his death, debate still rages on over the lasting legacy of 24-year-old Christopher McCandless, a college graduate turned drifter after becoming sick of his middle class life. McCandless journeyed to Arizona, California, South Dakota and to his final resting place in the Alaskan wilderness. Early buzz so far consists of praise for both director Sean Penn and actor Emile Hirsch, who churns out a career-making performance as the increasingly distant McCandless. Penn assembles an ace supporting cast including Vince Vaughn, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Catherine Keener and Hal Holbrook. The Academy is gonna eat this one up.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Jane Austen Book Club”

Robin Swicord, known mostly for writing female-friendly films like “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “Practical Magic,” directs her first feature film, an adaptation of the popular Karen Jay Fowler book about a group of six women who begin a book club to discuss the works of Jane Austen, only to realize that their lives mirror Austen’s protagonists. Honestly, we’d rather just get our Austen fix from “Clueless.”

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Last Winter”

Horror director Larry Fessenden, last seen with 2001’s “Wendigo,” directs this thriller about an oil company team of researchers who slowly go mad after one member is found dead. Ron Perlman, James Le Gros and “Friday Night Lights”‘s Connie Britton and Zach Gilford star.

Opens in New York (official site).

“The Man of My Life”

French director Zabou Breitman’s gay-themed drama finds a husband and wife divided by the husband’s new friendship with his gay neighbor. The film premiered at last year’s Toronto Film Festival.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Randy and the Mob”

Oscar-winner Ray McKinnon directs this Southern-set comedy about a good ol’ boy (McKinnon) who gets into trouble with some mobsters and then must seek assistant from his estranged, identical twin gay brother (also McKinnon). “The Shield”‘s Walter Goggins and Lisa Blount co-star.

Opens in Atlanta (official site.

“Resident Evil: Extinction”

Australian director Russell Mulcahy, last seen with 2003’s “Swimming Upstream,” returns from television director obscurity to helm the third (and hopefully final) film based on the popular video game franchise. Milla Jovovich returns as Alice in a film that, we’re pretty sure, no longer at all resembles the video games it was based on. Is, er, Nemesis in this one? We might just skip the movie altogether and play Resident Evil 4 for the weekend.

Opens wide (official site).

“Sydney White”

“Sleepover” director Joe Nussbaum helms this modern retelling of Snow White set against the college greek system. Amanda Bynes stars as Sydney White, who, with the aid of her seven dorks (get it?? subtle!) must do battle against the wicked…head sorority girl in order to become the most popular chick on campus for some reason. Expect “Sydney White” to be available on DVD by the time you finish reading this sentence.

Opens wide (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.