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DID YOU READ

It’s Ebert vs. Knowles in the battle of “Kick-Ass.”

It’s Ebert vs. Knowles in the battle of “Kick-Ass.” (photo)

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Somewhere in between Roger Ebert’s pan of “Kick-Ass” and arch-geek-number-one Harry Knowles’ rebuttal lies something like the truth.

For Ebert, the big concern isn’t the possible sexualization of a little girl (which is a baseless argument; the movie doesn’t go there at all, and to his credit he doesn’t worry about it) so much as the very real possibility that six-year-olds taken by their lazy parents to this insanely violent movie will attempt to imitate it with deadly consequences. Knowles’ response has something to do with how comic books train the youth of today to think independently and that the kids are desensitized by video games and are foul-mouthed, so nothing will surprise them.

Let’s talk about those video games for a second. Towards the end of the film [mild SPOILER], Hit-Girl advances upon a collection of bad guys and prepares to let the fire power fly. The movie then briefly becomes a first-person shooter a la “Doom” (the only feature aside from “House of the Dead” to try to translate that video game aesthetic to the screen so far), thereby implicitly acknowledging the multiple lines of things-that-are-inappropriate-for-but-wildly-popular-with-kids being crossed.

04152010_kickass.jpgIt’s part of the movie’s agenda of baiting every form of media that can show kids inappropriate things (YouTube comes up a lot). Everything reprehensible done by a child or teenager (Online porn! Back-alley sex! Bad language!) is tied to something most children already have ready access to. “Kick-Ass” lights the bomb and tries to simultaneously defuse it by reminding us that it’s just showing us kids doing things they can access already.

This isn’t the most responsible tack to take. If you’re inclined to already worry about the coarsening of American youth, “Kick-Ass” isn’t going to help at all. There’s sympathy to be had for both sides here — yes, this would’ve been culturally unacceptable 20 years ago (except as some kind of cultishly circulated underground VHS spectacular) and yes, worrying about the effect a movie has on children is old hat when the internet makes any depravity instantly accessible in ten seconds or your money back.

Sympathy for the angel or devil? Both — just because a movie aligns itself with things that are even worse and uncensorable doesn’t let it off the hook, but it’s impossible to imagine “Kick-Ass” warping more adolescent minds than, you know, underage viewings of “Fight Club.”

[Photos: “Kick-Ass,” Lions Gate Films, 2010]

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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.

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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