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“Kingdom of Heaven” is a place where nothing ever happens.

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050205_orlandoRidley Scott‘s Kingdom of Heaven comes out this Friday, and we’re already getting that slightly twitchy feeling we get when we’ve read too much coverage of any particular film. Particularly when that coverage makes it clear that, in the minds of some, this is an Important but Accessible movie, a movie that, despite its non-award season timing, might still be considered for an Oscar®, might even be the movie, nay, film that kicks off this year’s endless round of Oscar® buzz. In the Christian Science Monitor, there’s a piece on how "Kingdom" presents a more positive representation of Muslims than has been the case in films lately, though it’s implied that this is carried through to the equivalent of the typical Hollywood portrayal of Native American, in which whole herds of dusky-skinned people are reduced to stiff, sad-eyed, constantly noble and impossibly self-sacrifice prone stereotypes, a minor step up from the savage, violent stereotypes that came first.

Reuters has a hilariously unenthusiatic good review of the film by way of the Hollywood Reporter – the writer does detail how perfectly cast and produced "Kingdom" is, how it will probably do very well, box office-wise. Anthony Lane in the The New Yorker rather unsurprisingly does not like the film, and spends some time belittling Orlando Bloom‘s performance before moving on to "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy":

There will be two completely separate and, I might add, mutually
hostile audiences for the resulting film. One will be composed of "Hitchhiker" fans, millions strong, who will interpret every minute
discrepancy between what they are watching onscreen and what they once
read on the page as a heresy punishable by law or, where possible,
stoning. These people are lunatics, and I am one of them.

Yay! The Boston Globe devotes an entire article to Mr. Bloom and his path to leading man-dom, including how he first caught Ridley Scott’s eye with a small role in "Black Hawk Down" (we don’t remember, but suspect that he died fairly quickly), and how he’ll finally be putting the froofy period costumes away with Cameron Crowe’s "Elizabethtown", which is due out in October. And the Guardian has words straight from Scott himself – they’ve got an excerpt from the upcoming film tie-in book in which he talks about what he wanted from the film.

+ Finally, a film sheds Muslim stereotypes (CS Monitor)

+ Kingdom of Heaven

+ Personal Battles (New Yorker)
+ For ‘Kingdom,’ he’s asked to carry not just a sword but the entire film (Boston Globe)
+ When worlds collide (Guardian)

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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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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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

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