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Weekend catch-up: Quotables.

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"Everything interesting begins in the mind." Cough.
It may be apparent we’re still bobbing about in the wake of the past terrible work week — so how do we even begin on what was also a banner week for reviewers, headed up by that genitalia-revisiting gem of a follow-up, "Basic Instinct 2"? We…don’t. But we’d like to point out two highlights:

Roger Ebert‘s attempt at reviewing Stone’s Tramell retread prompted all sorts of philosophically difficult questions:

"Basic Instinct 2" resembles its heroine: It gets off by living
dangerously. Here is a movie so outrageous and preposterous it is
either (a) suicidal or (b) throbbing with a horrible fascination. I
lean toward (b). It’s a lot of things, but boring is not one of them. I
cannot recommend the movie, but … why the hell can’t I? Just because
it’s godawful? What kind of reason is that for staying away from a
movie? Godawful and boring, that would be a reason.

And Armond White delivered a review destined for the Armond annals of fame, coming up with one of those enigmatic critical arguments that so endears the crazy bastard to us (and leads us to occasional talks with Matt Singer of a "What film will Armond champion this month?" pool):

Commercial filmmakers could do worse than update Shakespeare as the makers of "She’s the Man" have done. They could pretend to be hip by being fashionably superficial as in the horrible new hipster bloodbath "Brick" which disgraces the teen-movie genre that John Hughes revolutionized. Through coarse imitation of film noir clichés cynically transferred to a high school setting, "Brick" disgraces basic social ideas. But "She’s the Man" enlivens the basics of falling in love and of sexual maturity by sweetly adapting the premise of Shakespeare’s "Twelfth Night."

It’s doesn’t quite have the wild-eyed irrationality of his hoisting up of "You Got Served" ("proudly pop, a hiphop musical with muscular dancing that expressed the sexual and political energy of a not-yet calcified culture"), but then again, his heart’s clearly not in it with "She’s the Man" — it’s just another way to take a swipe at "Brick" (♥!) which is far more about film noir than about high school, anyway. But…anything to keep the phantom hipster menace at bay, huh, Armond?

And we’re very late on this, but it was (weirdly) Sara James in fashion trade rag Women’s Wear Daily who broke the news that the New York Times has chosen to nominate Manohla Dargis for the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, along with art critic Michael Kimmelman and architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff. Foolish accompanying unnamed-source bitchiness:

"By no means do you ever hear that [Dargis] is the best critic [the Times] has," said one person who’s worked with her there. "She’s known for synopsizing and giving stuff away. You’re not supposed to read her if you don’t want to know what’s going to happen."

We won’t touch upon any of the issues of basic journalism that require at least a hint of a synopsis in one’s review — we’ll just leave you to wonder what would be left of, say, Stephen Holden’s reviews, were he to be no longer allowed to summarize. Ah, whatev, as they say back in our homeland — clearly, we’re fans of Dargis, but the only film critics to have won the prize are Ebert (back in 1975) and the Wall Street Journal‘s Joe Morgenstern (last year).

+ Basic Instinct 2 (
+ Memo Pad: Everyone’s A Critic … Look Alive (WWD)

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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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