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“Scary,” satire.

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"We need your support."
Via David Germain at the AP, "Scary Movie 4" has a $41 million opening weekend (apparently without screening for the critics, though some, like Ben Wasserstein at Slate, managed to review, and give it a far more thorough reading than it may have deserved, just fine), the first number one opening for the Weinstein Company, and the best Easter weekend debut ever.

And they say independent film is dead.

In honor of this "hilarious" "indie" "spoof," something to think about from William Booth‘s interview with director David Zucker and producer Robert K. Weiss (the team behind the last two "Scary Movie"s and 1980’s "Airplane!")

"Scary Movie" mocks horror films and pop culture. An audience member
who does not enjoy physical comedy involving alien sphincters and Oprah
may choose not to peruse the Zucker-Weiss product. It is spoof, it is
slapstick, it is stupid. And it has made Leslie Nielsen rich and famous
beyond his wildest dreams.

In other supposedly satirical news, Anthony Breznican at USA Today looks over the less-than-flattering portrayals of the Bush White House in both "Scary Movie 4" and this week’s "American Dreamz."

"American Dreamz" is more hopeful than cruel about whether a president can pull out of a second-term slump and renew the public’s faith in him, says writer/director Paul Weitz ("American Pie," "About a Boy").

"I definitely thought certain people from the right would be annoyed with a sendup of the administration, and some from the left would feel I let the president off the hook," Weitz says. "In the end, the president is a fairly sympathetic character in the movie."

Well, we hadn’t really expected razor-edged satire from Weitz (despite "About a Boy" being something of a guilty pleasure for us), but after dismal reviews in both Variety and the Hollywood Reporter, the film’s shaping up to be barely watchable.

Breznican also has a sidebar in which he talks with Dennis Quaid, who plays faux Dubya in the film, and others about the film’s possible (but probably not) controversial aspects. But never truer words than this summation of the film’s soft targets:

John Amato, proprietor of the liberal political blog, says "American Dreamz" will catch on only if it’s an entertaining movie, not just because it spoofs a president.

He adds that, for many of the president’s critics, Bush and his policies have become self-parodies.

"Some sort of (movie) satire about Bush doesn’t really engage anybody," Amato says. "We see what goes on every day."

And the Boston Globe‘s Mark Feeney places the film less in the realms of political satire than in the long tradition of films mocking television.

[T]he implication is clear: The movies give us the truth (or at least a truth), while television just sugar-coats or, the lesson of ”Network," panders to maximize profits. ”Network" is in a class by itself: the ”Sunset Boulevard" of movies about television. (Did William Holden suffer from whiplash?) When Peter Finch, as rogue network newsman Howard Beale, bellows ”I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore," you can almost see a thrilled membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences mouthing the words along with him. Take that, TV! Is it any wonder Finch won the best actor Oscar (the only actor ever to win posthumously), and Paddy Chayefsky won for best original screenplay?

Also at the Globe: a slideshow of TV-slamming flicks.

+ ‘Scary Movie’ Sends Weinsteins to the Top (AP)
+ The B-Team (Washington Post)
+ Pardon the potshots, Mr. President (USA Today)
+ The president as parody (USA Today)
+ A movie tradition: mocking television (Boston Globe)

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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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