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Tony Scott’s “Bounty hunting on acid”

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By Thom Bennett

IFC News

“This is based on a true story… sort of.”

Tony Scott’s much-maligned “Domino,” ostensibly based on the life and times of British prep-school girl-turned-model-turned-LA bounty hunter Domino Harvey (Keira Knightley), is a frenetic and sometimes visually overwhelming piece of filmmaking…and that’s before we even get to the story. Since an actual synopsis of the film would border on impossibility, we will go with the premise: Following the death of her actor father, Domino and her model mother relocate to Beverly Hills for a better life. Domino finds the lifestyle and the prospect of a career as a model to her disliking and proceeds to become not just a bounty hunter, but one of the best bounty hunters around, along with partners Choco (Edgar Ramirez) and Ed (Mickey Rourke). That’s all you really need to know – the rest (and there is a lot of it) sort of flies at you – mescaline spiked tea, severed arms, an armored car heist, former 90210 stars, the DMV, reality TV, Christopher Walken, the freedom of Afghanistan and a too-bizarre-for-words appearance by Tom Waits in the desert.

Tony Scott has somehow managed to out-Tony Scott himself with “Domino.” The hyper-kinetic editing and fiddling with film speeds and exposures resembles something between a seizure and a film shot out of a paint ball gun. That said, the film is remarkably entertaining if often bewildering. “Domino” was a labor of love for the director, who was friends with the real life Domino Harvey, and he pulls out every trick he has in his bag. The screenplay by Richard “Donnie Darko” Kelly similarly manages to throw in everything but the stylized kitchen sink. “Style over substance” seemed to be the general criticism aimed at the film when it was released in theater, but it’s precisely this approach, along with the film’s scattershot, far-fetched narrative, that elevates the real life Domino to comic book superhero status. Domino Harvey’s actual life was far-fetched to begin with; why not drive it right over a cliff? While Scott’s style of filmmaking usually does nothing for me, here he goes for broke and, for once, it pays off. The filmmakers describe the film as “bounty hunting on acid.” That’s an understatement.

The DVD release comes with a couple of worthy extras, including a short documentary on the real Domino Harvey (who passed away before the film’s completion) and a making-of in which Scott and Kelly discuss their various inspirations for and approaches to making this highly unorthodox film. “Domino” may be a cinematic barrage, but it was unduly dismissed — it’s a fun film and a suitably exaggerated telling of an already stranger-than-fiction life. As Knightley’s Domino states in the final scene, “If you’re wondering what’s true and what isn’t, you can fuck off. I’ll never tell you what it all meant.” Indeed.

The “Domino” DVD will be released by New Line Home Video in wide- and full screen editions on February 21.

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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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