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That good old-fashioned filmgoing experience.

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Compared to "Alexander," it's really not so bad after all.We’re running a bit of a fever (Dengue? Avian flu? Munchhausen’s?) so apologies if this is a little woozy.

Looking back on the year that was, MTV‘s Karl Heitmueller sums up an oft-heard explanation for this year’s box office slump: theater-going sucks. Or at least, it does when held up against the average American’s apparently increasingly cushy home-entertainment system and increasing intolerance for other average Americans. Heitmueller bewails theatrical commercials, substandard cineplex technology, and other people, particularly young’uns.

Sorry, proud parents, but if your child is of pre-school age, he or she has no place being in a movie theater. Not even for "Chicken Little." Wait for the video. Small children simply do not possess the patience or attention span to sit quietly through a movie, nor do they enjoy the social consciousness needed to keep their traps shut so as not to bother anyone else.

So the 3-year-old running back and forth in front of us during the three-hour-long "[King] Kong" inevitably got bored and started crying, at which point his mother, rather than taking him outside, attempted to muffle his cries by stuffing his face into her armpit (!). She was asked to leave. (Yes, by us.)

The armpit method of parenting has rather fallen out of favor since its 70s heyday. Over at the New York Times, Charles McGrath presents himself as Heitmueller’s worst nightmare with a piece all in favor of talking during a film.

In my experience, Times Square theaters in the late 1970’s and early 80’s were the great arenas for talking back to the screen. I still have a vivid recollection of "The Hand" – a completely forgettable Michael Caine horror flick from back then, about an artist whose severed hand goes on to commit mayhem – simply because of some audience dialogue. "That’s his smitty!" one guy shouted as the hand crept along by itself. "No," another guy pointed out. "It’s his ex-smitty."

We’re probably in the minority here, but we’re totally on McGrath’s side, certainly for fluffier fare, but for most other films as well. Watching something on DVD (or, for that matter, a deathly serious press screening (yeah, yeah, that is a river we’re crying for you)) is a completely different and generally less enjoyable experience…we couldn’t imagine watching "King Kong" without a theater overflowing with raucousness and popcorn, and we have fond memories of everyone in the Alice Tully Hall flinching in unison at a particular scene in "Caché." There’s something to be said for the concentrated DVD-watching experience, but really, it doesn’t feel quite genuine to us unless the floor’s gooey with spilled soda and someone’s kicking the back of our seat.

At best vaguely related: in an attempt to plumb the eternal cultural mysteries of the red states, Gil Brady at the LA Times hauls off to Wyoming to find out about the cowboy filmgoing experience by asking everyone wearing ranchwear whether or not they plan to see the "so-called gay cowboy movie" that is "Brokeback Mountain."

+ Rewind: Look Back (At 2005) In Anger (MTV)
+ Something to Say About the Movie? By All Means, Speak Up (NY Times)
+ How’s it playing Wyoming? (LA Times)

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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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