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Opening This Week: October 19, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: Jennifer Connelly in “Reservation Road,” Focus Features, 2007]

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

“30 Days of Night”

Steven Niles’ popular graphic novel gets the big-screen treatment in this horror film about a collection of vampires who descend upon the tiny Alaskan town of Barrow in midwinter, just as the sun is about to set for 30 days. Josh Hartnett and Melissa George lead the town’s citizens in a fight to survive. Director David Slade follows up “Hard Candy” with a horror film that’s thankfully not another “Saw” rip-off or horror remake.

Opens wide (official site).

“The Comebacks”

They might as well have just called this “Sports Movie.” Comedian David Koechner gets a long overdue lead turn as the losing coach of a failed football team who vows to turn his ragtag crew of misfit players into a collection of winners. Tom Brady (of “The Hot Chick”, not the New England Patriots) helms this film that attempts the completely unnecessary feat of spoofing “Radio.”

Opens wide (official site).

“Gone Baby Gone”

In a crowded and busy fall season, with offerings from acclaimed and Oscar-winning directors like Redford and Coppola and Burton, we’re still a little astonished that our most anticipated film of the fall is by an…Affleck? It’s no “Jersey Girl,” but we’re willing to bite, especially since we love it when actors go Spielberg. Ben directs brother Casey in this crime drama about a pair of detectives who attempt to track down a missing four-year-old girl in one of Boston’s toughest neighborhoods. Parallels to “Mystic River” (both films are based on novels by Dennis Lehane) and the addition of Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris certainly can’t hurt Mr. Sydney Bristow’s directorial debut.

Opens wide (official site).

“Meeting Resistance”

Molly Bingham and Steve Connors’ debut documentary charts the resistance movement of the “Insurgency” against the American-led occupation within the Adamiyah neighborhood of Baghdad.

Opens in New York and Washington D.C. (official site).

“Out of the Blue”

This New Zealand drama from director Robert Sarkies (of 1999’s “Scarfies”) reimagines the 1990 Aaramoana Massacre, in which small-town resident David Gray (portrayed by Matthew Sunderland), an unemployed gun collector, snapped and went on a rampage in which 14 people were shot dead, including Gray himself. The film premiered at last year’s Toronto Film Festival.

Opens in limited release (official site).


“Tsotsi” director Gavin Hood directs this politicalish thriller that’s got Oscar written all over it…if it were any good, that is. The rumored real-life romance between stars Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal seems set to overshadow the film, which has a topical political backdrop (the torture and imprisonment of an Egyptian-born suspected terrorist) and fine supporting cast (Meryl Streep, Alan Arkin and Peter Saarsgard), but which was also met with an icy reception at Toronto last month.

Opens wide (official site).

“Reservation Road”

“Hotel Rwanda” director Terry George helms this suburban drama about a man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls apart after witnessing his son’s death at the hand’s of a hit-and-run driver (Mark Ruffalo). Jennifer Connelly supports.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Things We Lost in a Fire”

A recent widow (Oscar-winner and “Catwoman” Halle Berry) invites her husband’s troubled best friend (Oscar-winner and future Che Guevara Benicio Del Toro) to live with her and her two children. As he gradually turns his life around, he helps the family cope and confront their loss. “After the Wedding” director Susanne Bier makes her English language debut with this one.

Opens wide (official site).

“Wristcutters: A Love Story”

Goran Dukic helms this indie comedy set in a strange afterlife waystation reserved for people who’ve committed suicide. Patrick Fugit stars as a heartbroken recently deceased young man who goes on a road trip to find his ex-girlfriend (Leslie Bibb). Any film that has Will Arnett starring as the Messiah has us stoked. The film premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Opens in limited release (official site).

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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.

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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…

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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.

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