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Tom-tom club.

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060205_tomcruiseAs a wiser woman than ourselves once said, "Oh what a world, what a world." Defamer, having managed a temporary leap into divine schadenfreude greatness with its Tom Cruise coverage, inspires New York Times’ Hollywood beat reporter Sharon Waxman to write a piece saying, essentially, "um…what’s up with Cruise, guys?" The business angle — is new Paramount chair Brad Grey really going to go ahead with the incredibly expensive "Mission: Impossible III" when it’s entirely possible the movie’s star is very publicly losing it?

Or is he? Oh, he is. Richard Corliss in Time magazine tries out various readings of Cruise’s Oprah antics, from "he’s trying to appeal to younger people by acting like a hormone-crazed 14-year-old" to the "no matter how he behaves people around him (including his publicist, who’s also his sister) continue to affirm him" to our favorite:

Or maybe he’s experimenting with a new form of postmodernist performance art, or put-on, to get back in the spotlight. "People haven’t been talking about Tom Cruise like they have in the past couple of weeks," says veteran publicist Liz Rosenberg. "I mean, [his public affection for Holmes] is a little freaky to watch, but that’s what enthralls people about it."

Corliss also points out that it’s been a long 22 years since Cruise first underwear-danced his way into fame in "Risky Business," which means that he’s been a star longer than Humphrey Bogart. So we suppose he’s due for some looniness.

Not about Cruise, but published with ideal timing, is Sean Macaulay’s piece in the London Times on the famous eccentrics of the directorial world. He picks Doug Liman and David O. Russell as worthy successors for Alfred Hitchcock (who apparently obsessively cleaned every toilet he used, telling people "No one will know I was ever there.") and Ed Wood (where to begin?). Liman (whose oddities have already been detailed in part in the LA Times) just gets better and better:

On "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" Liman filmed scenes four or five times until he decided what he wanted. He even demanded more emotion from Pitt until it was pointed out to him that he was filming the back of Pitt’s head. But he is not all work. Liman had the crew stay late while on location near Prague to light up a forest so he could play paintball.

+ How Personal Is Too Personal for a Star Like Tom Cruise? (NY Times)
+ Is Tom Crazy in Love? (Time)
+ Recipes for fruitcake (Times)

An update: Someone has mentioned to us that they couldn’t tell from this post what we really thought about the new, frothy-at-the-mouth Cruise. To which we reply: we do not think. We can only gaze, enraptured.

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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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