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DID YOU READ

The week’s critic wrangle: We didn’t even like you BEFORE you sold out edition.

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There are plenty of probably worthwhile indies bouncing around the theaters this week: "Wordplay," "Lower City," "Loverboy"…feh. We’re weary and just not up to an array of tasteful or tastefully erotic indies. So here are some thrown-together quotes regarding the two films opening this weekend that, as our colleague Matt Singer points out, are both the work of young directors who made splashy indie debuts and followed them up by leaping immediately into the Hollywood big kids pool, giving everyone a chance to rag on how they weren’t that great to begin with.

Jack Black.
+ "Nacho Libre": LA Weekly‘s Scott Foundas: "Like the abominable ‘Napoleon Dynamite,’ director Jared Hess’ second feature will doubtless capture the hearts and minds of 12-year-old boys everywhere, even if ‘Nacho Libre’ sacrifices the earlier film’s aggressive mean-spiritedness in favor of gentle slapstick lunacy."

Village Voice‘s Robert Wilonsky: "There is no movie more overrated in recent history than ‘Napoleon Dynamite’; it’s to cinema what the Doors are to rock and roll, a thing blindly and inexplicably championed as if it were a religion above being blasphemed by nonbelievers. And every time someone tries to explain its appeal—the deadpan comedy that plays like Bergman drama, the geek love that smells like self-loathing, the catchphrases that drop like rat pellets— it just slips a little further from my grasp."

Roger Ebert: "I have so often been assured that I missed the boat on ‘Napoleon’ that I plan to go back and have another look at it; but now here is ‘Nacho Libre,’ which has the same incomplete and fitful comic timing I thought I found in the earlier film."

Slate‘s Dana Stevens: "Personally, I never got ‘Napoleon Dynamite.’ Hess’ tribute to anomic misfits in an Idaho high school seemed like a Wes Anderson movie without the elegant wit or a Todd Solondz movie without the grim humor."

New York TimesManohla Dargis: "’Nacho Libre’ marks a nice step forward for Jared Hess, who has started to shake some of the tics — the obsessively symmetrical setups, the menagerie of user-friendly geeks — that gave ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ the flavor of an American Gothic pastiche, David Byrne’s ‘True Stories’ as recycled for the Sundance generation."

 

Lucas Black.
+ "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift": New York TimesNathan Lee (Stupid newspaper! Be more funny!): "The director, Justin Lin, proves that his overrated indie debut ‘Better Luck Tomorrow’ was a Hollywood calling card, while the writer, Chris Morgan, delivers none of the B-movie kicks that made ‘Cellular’ such a gas. The rapper Bow Wow co-stars with product placements by Nissan."

Roger Ebert: "Lin, still only 33, made an immediate impression with his 2002 Sundance hit ‘Better Luck Tomorrow,’ a satiric and coldly intelligent movie about rich Asian-American kids…That movie suggested Lin had the resources to be a great director, but since then he’s chosen mainstream commercial projects. Maybe he wants to establish himself before returning to more personal work. His ‘Annapolis’ was a sometimes incomprehensible series of off-the-shelf situations (why, during the war in Iraq, make a military academy movie about boxing?)."

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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.

via GIPHY

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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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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