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The week’s critic wrangle: Grimm brothers, gay brothers.

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Matt Damon and Heath Ledger+ "The Brothers Grimm": "I’m the only earthling besides Lem Dobbs‘s mother who still likes ‘Kafka,’ and for me Terry Gilliam‘s new windup toy ‘The Brothers Grimm’ is a daffy, genre-hash gambol, descendant of the Hammer Film school (if those B sides had ever been made with money and talent)," trumpets Michael Atkinson, who’s also the only one in our regular batch of critics who cares for the film at all. Not that anyone hates it, per se…in fact, most try very hard to be charitable about director Gilliam’s first theatrical effort in seven years to actually make it, completed, to theaters. Roger Ebert finds it "a work of limitless invention, but it is invention without pattern, chasing itself around the screen without finding a plot." He’s not the only one to find it exhausting: Matt Zoller Seitz says the same, and Stephanie Zacharek refers to the film as "a workout," and sees it as something that got away from the director and ended up with "too much noise and commotion for Gilliam’s subtler ideas to really resonate." Manohla Dargis finds it’s both too much Gilliam and not enough, with all of his excesses drowning out what should be ideal subject matter: "there is absolutely nothing – not dread, not desire, not mystery – under the little red hood." And we’ll give the last word to Seitz:

As in Scorsese’s remake of "Cape Fear," one can’t shake the suspicion that Gilliam is not just teasing [Ehren] Kruger‘s script to uncover organic connections to his previous work, but superimposing pet obsessions and motifs in order to make "Grimm" feel more like an auteur’s statement and less like what it is, a work-for-hire job.

[Our own review is here.]

Nicholas Cazalé and Stéphane Rideau (?)+ "Three Dancing Slaves": Oh, for the days when arthouse films were often just a socially acceptable way to ogle quivering exposed flesh. According to most, Gaël Morel‘s latest, which looks into the lives of three young, hot French brothers living bleak, poverty-stricken lives and taking off their clothes a lot, is a throwback to that era, and never quite reaches beyond that. Dennis Lim finds it harmless and a little silly, a "lulling, banal, and rather pleasant film cultivates a mood of zone-out voyeurism." This week’s indieWIRE/Reverse Shot three are of several minds: Michael Koresky finds the film clumsy ("’Three Dancing Slaves’ might as well have words like "tormented masculinity" emblazoned in fiery font across the screen throughout its duration.) but nevertheless powerful, while Jeff Reichert thinks it’s clumsy and frustrating, and Nick Pinkerton agrees more with Lim. And Armond White, never content to agree with anyone, thinks the film’s peachy-keen ("the sexiest mainstream gay movie ever"), referencing many of the same influences and images that Koresky does in his review, but in a more favorable light.

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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.


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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