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DID YOU READ

Opening This Week: November 22nd, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: Lauren Ambrose in “Starting Out in the Evening,” Roadside Attractions, 2007]

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

“August Rush”

Freddie Highmore plays an orphaned musical prodigy stranded in the middle of New York who, with the help of a mysterious stranger (Robin Williams), attempts to find the parents from whom he was separated at birth (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Keri Russell). While “August Rush”‘s bohemia-heavy vision of the city may remind us of a sappier version of “Rent,” we’re hard-pressed to hate on director Kirsten (daughter of Jim) Sheridan’s musical fantasy — it does seem like a prettied-up response to her father’s own heartfelt New York ode “In America.” Plus, kudos to Keri Russell for capping off a great 2007 after “Waitress” and a short run on “Scrubs.”

Opens wide (official site).

“Enchanted”

For those who still haven’t seen the 2005 indie drama “Junebug,” welcome to the film that’s going to make Amy Adams a star. Adams plays a peasant girl who falls in love with a prince in a Disney-esque animated world, and is banished to real-life New York City by the evil queen (Susan Sarandon). It’s about time Disney poked a little bit of fun at its animated history, but we’re just excited to see our favorite Winston-Salem resident get the exposure she deserves. Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey co-stars as a divorce lawyer who falls in love with Adams after she lands in the live action world.

Opens wide (official site).

“Everything’s Cool: A Toxic Comedy About Global Warming”

“Blue Vinyl” directors Daniel B. Gold and Judith Helfand re-team for a documentary about a group of activists who try to raise awareness for global warming. The film premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

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

“Hitman”

This latest actioner is based on the PlayStation 2 video game series of the same name, which tells you all you need to know (i.e., this will suck). Reports of director Xavier Gens getting fired from the production have been widespread ever since filming was completed, and while Timothy Olyphant may be a fine actor, why couldn’t they get an actual bald guy to play Agent 47? What is Vin Diesel even up to these days? And how did Jason Statham turn down this role?

Opens wide (official site).

“I’m Not There”

Todd Haynes’ highly anticipated Bob Dylan biopic finally hits theaters, and we expect it to enthrall as much as frustrated viewers. Haynes strays from the familiar biopic by following six distinct characters, each depicting different stages of Dylan’s life and embodying a different aspect of his life story and music. Big names like Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger and Cate Blanchett play the different Dylans. The film won the Special Jury Prize at this year’s Venice Film Festival.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Midnight Eagle”

“Fly, Daddy, Fly” director Izuru Narushima helms this adventure film about a former war photographer who witnesses the crash of a U.S. bomber nicknamed “Midnight Eagle” and becomes involved in an international hunt for its secret payload, a nuclear warhead that threatens to wipe out Japan’s entire population.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Nina’s Heavenly Delights”

Pratibha Parmar’s U.K. comedy film explores national, racial and sexual identities through the character of Nina Shah, a young Indo-Scottish woman who returns to her deceased father’s restaurant and falls in love with its new owner, Lisa. The film premiered earlier this year at the Bite the Mango Festival.

Opens in Los Angeles (official site).

“Starting Out in the Evening”

Andrew Wagner’s drama finds an ambitious grad student (Lauren Ambrose) who convinces a writer (Frank Langella) that her thesis can resurrect his flagging literary career. The film premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

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

“Stephen King’s The Mist”

Suddenly Stephen King adaptations are in vogue again, and Frank Darabont (of “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile”) re-teams with the prolific horror writer for a story about how everyman David Drayton (Tom Jane) is caught up in a freak storm that unleashes bloodthirsty monsters on his small town. Scaaaaaryy…we guess.

Opens wide (official site).

“This Christmas”

Writer-director Preston A. Whitmore II follows up the awful, awful “Crossover” with this well-cast drama about a family’s first Christmas holiday get-together in four years. Whitmore enlists ace actors Regina King, Delroy Lindo, Columbus Short and Idris Elba (what hasn’t he been in this year?) for this holiday ensemble drama. Eat that, Tyler Perry.

Opens wide (official site).

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Uncle-Buck

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.

via GIPHY

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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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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