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A good editor can be a bad sign.

A good editor can be a bad sign. (photo)

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This Friday sees the release of the by most counts wretched rebooted “The Wolfman,” whose long and troubled production is no secret. The man who walked the movie through its final cut? Walter Murch, a golden god among editors for his pioneering work with sound design on “THX 1138,” “American Graffiti,” sound and editing on “Apocalypse Now,” and so on.

Yet Murch — who I presume commands a high fee for his participation on projects that, unlike “Tetro” and “Youth Without Youth,” are pretty useless — has some other notable flops he’s worked on: 1994’s Julia Roberts fiasco “I Love Trouble,” 1995’s “First Knight.”

Generally speaking, the presence of a legendary editor on an unlikely project spells trouble, a mess that called for the finest hands possible to attempt salvage it. Take Anne V. Coates, whose place in film history would be assured just for “Lawrence of Arabia”‘s match cut. (For good measure, her other credits include “The Elephant Man” and “Out Of Sight.”) Her latest film? “Extraordinary Measures,” the forgettable Brendan Fraser-Harrison Ford movie that’s already come and gone.

02112010_gadget.jpgMore examples: once, Dede Allen edited “The Hustler,” “Bonnie and Clyde,” “Serpico,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Slap Shot” and (just for good measure) “The Breakfast Club.” In the past decade, she’s been lured out of inactivity just a few times: for “John Q,” the failed Robin Williams sci-fi drama “The Final Cut” and a Julia Roberts movie so bad (“Fireflies in the Garden”) it never even saw domestic release.

Or Jerry Greenberg, Murch’s colleague on “Apocalypse Now,” the guy behind “The French Connection”‘s legendary car chase and a De Palma veteran (“Scarface,” “The Untouchables,” “Body Double”) whose credits over the last decade include “Inspector Gadget,” “Bringing Down The House,” and “Get Carter” with Sylvester Stallone.

Once you become awesome enough, it seems, you no longer edit good movies. You’ll be paid well to try to salvage the unsalvagable in post. And that’s the only good thing about terrible yet unamusing movies: they give editing legends the paychecks they deserve. And warn you to stay far, far away.

[Photos: “Apocalypse Now,” Paramount, 1979; “Inspector Gadget,” Disney, 1999]


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.