What to watch this week on IFC: January 28 – February 3


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Baby it’s cold outside. Luckily all the good stuff (television, beer, cheese doodles, heat) is happening inside. Here’s what to watch this week on IFC:


If you liked “Mama” the supernatural thriller that stars Jessica Chastain, be sure to check out Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” when it airs today at 3:30 p.m. ET. The film is set in 1944 Spain, and tells the tale of when a lonely girl (Ivana Baquero) encounters a faun in an ancient maze and must complete three dangerous tasks to achieve immortality. It’s “Alice in Wonderland” as only Del Toro could tell it.


Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” is finally available on DVD and Blu-Ray. Celebrate the film’s release by staging a double feature with “Edward Scissorhands,” which we are showing at 8/7c. The film stars Johnny Depp as the unfinished creation of a slightly mad scientist (Vincent Price) who joins a suburban family after the Avon lady finds him.


Want to know the best way to learn to love hump day? Spend Wednesday night watching our Friday the 13th double feature. At 8/7c we’re showing “Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives” where masked-killer Jason is brought back by a lightning bolt at the lake, much to the chagrin of teenager Tommy (Thom Mathews). Stay tuned for terror when we have “Friday the 13th Part VII — The New Blood” at 10/9c.


Did you love Daniel Day Lewis in “Lincoln” and Leonardo DiCaprio in “Django Unchained”? Catch them together in “Gangs of New York” at 8/7c. Martin Scorsese’s epic tells a tale straight from the mean streets of New York City, this time set in the even meaner streets of Civil War-era Manhattan. In the midst of award season antics, it’s always fun to remember that “Gangs of New York” was nominated for ten Academy Awards and was the winner of none.


Skip out on Happy Hour early to make it home in time to watch “Batman” at 7:15 p.m. ET. The film stars Michael Keaton as the man behind the mask as the Caped Crusader tries to save both dismal Gotham City and gorgeous Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) from the freaky Joker (Jack Nicholson). Then stay tuned for a new episode of Fred Armisen’s and Carrie Brownstein’s sketch comedy show “Portlandia” at 10/9c.


Batman fever continues with a Saturday night double feature of “Batman Returns” and “Batman Forever,” starting at 8/7c. In “Batman Returns” Keaton continues his reign as the Dark Knight, while Val Kilmer takes over the cape at 10:45/9:45c.


Catch up on the third season of Portlandia with a marathon a.k.a. a great excuse to stay in bed all day and watch TV. Step into the wonderfully weird world of Portlandia with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein starting at 12/11c.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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Byrning Down the House

Everything You Need to Know About the Film That Inspired “Final Transmission”

Documentary Now! pays tribute to "Stop Making Sense" this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Cinecom/courtesy Everett Collection

This week Documentary Now! is with the band. For everyone who’s ever wanted to be a roadie without leaving the couch, “Final Transmission” pulls back the curtain on experimental rock group Test Pattern’s final concert. Before you tune in Wednesday at 10P on IFC, plug your amp into this guide for Stop Making Sense, the acclaimed 1984 Talking Heads concert documentary.

Put on Your Dancing Shoes

Hailed as one of the best concert films ever created, director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) captured the energy and eccentricities of a band known for pushing the limits of music and performance.

Make an Entrance

Lead singer David Byrne treats the concert like a story: He enters an empty stage with a boom box and sings the first song on the setlist solo, then welcomes the other members of the group to the stage one song at a time.

Steal the Spotlight

David Byrne Dancing
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Always a physical performer, Byrne infuses the stage and the film with contagious joy — jogging in place, dancing with lamps, and generally carrying the show’s high energy on his shoulders.

Suit Yourself

Byrne makes a splash in his “big suit,” a boxy business suit that grows with each song until he looks like a boy who raided his father’s closet. Don’t overthink it; on the DVD, the singer explains, “Music is very physical, and often the body understands it before the head.”

View from the Front Row

Stop Making Sense Band On Stage
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Demme (who also helmed 1987’s Swimming to Cambodia, the inspiration for this season’s Documentary Now! episode “Parker Gail’s Location is Everything”) films the show by putting viewers in the audience’s shoes. The camera rarely shows the crowd and never cuts to interviews or talking heads — except the ones onstage.

Let’s Get Digital

Tina Weymouth Keyboard
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Stop Making Sense isn’t just a good time — it’s also the first rock movie to be recorded entirely using digital audio techniques. The sound holds up more than 30 years later.

Out of Pocket

Talk about investing in your art: Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz told Rolling Stone that the members of the band “basically put [their] life savings” into the movie, and they didn’t regret it.

Catch Documentary Now!’s tribute to Stop Making Sense when “Final Transmission” premieres Wednesday, October 12 at 10P on IFC.

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