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Dog days.

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"For the record, it stinks."
On the cusp of August, film goings-on have slowed considerably (so much so that our guest post on Greencine Daily, which generated far more controversy than we’ll doubtless ever manage again, has earned its own spot as an item at The Reeler). Anyway, Mel who? Some reads to get you by:

The Telegraph reprints Chuck Klosterman‘s Esquire article on what’s wrong with "Snakes on a Plane." Similar territory was covered by Aemilia Scott later in Salon, but even despite our Klosterman allergy we like his piece quite a bit, partially because of signature anecdotes like this:

Here’s a true story. My friend Jenny is in law school, and one of her classmates went to see a movie in April. When the coming attractions started, the first image was of dozens of unsuspecting plane passengers sitting in the cabin of an airborne 757. The moment he saw this, the mischievous law student yelled, "Snakes on a plane!" presumably to amuse and unify the other patrons.

Unfortunately, this turned out to be a trailer for 9/11 movie United 93, which significantly reduced the hilarity of his outburst. But, hey, you know how it goes. That’s life. Snakes on a plane, or whatever.

There’s also a new issue of Filmmaker out — up on the web are the annual "25 New Faces of Independent Film" list, Matthew Ross‘ piece on "Half Nelson," Anthony Kaufman‘s interview with Kirby Dick, an interesting piece from Alexandra Delyle on MySpace and online marketing with regards to indie film, and a few other pieces.

The Guardian has blurbs from various critics about what reviews they could recant if they could. One of the film selections:

Anthony Quinn, the Independent, film

It’s an occupational hazard to overrate movies. There’s so little of merit that when a half-decent film comes along the surprise of it tempts a critic into excessive praise. But the only review I would amend is of Roberto Benigni‘s Life is Beautiful. I generally deplored its Chaplineseque sentimentality, but in conclusion gave him the benefit of the doubt and acclaimed his "exuberant humanity and foolhardy courage". How wrong can you get? When I read David Denby‘s incandescent review of it in The New Yorker I felt ashamed of my fence-sitting. So, for the record, it stinks – and I wish I’d said so.


Also in the Guardian, John Patterson writes with dread of the now ubiquitous trilogy; in the Toronto Star, the always-entertaining Geoff Pevere explains why it’s always been futile to expect originality out of Hollywood:

So today’s movie culture of retreads, knockoffs, rip-offs and re-makes is the opposite of new. (Or, God knows, original.) It’s as firmly stitched into the very fabric of popular moviemaking as ideas like: sex sells; you can’t shoot the dog; and, always appeal to your audience’s basest prejudices and fears.

Sequels go back at least as far as Charlie Chan and Frankenstein, re-makes to the original silent versions of Tarzan, The Wizard of Oz and Ben-Hur, and franchises to such endlessly marketable popular brands as Abbott and Costello, Bulldog Drummond, Blondie, Gene Autry, the Thin Man and Count Dracula.

And a list: The Top 50 Movie Endings of All Time. Fair warning: it’s on, so #2 is like, "Fight Club."

+ The shape of fangs to come (Telegraph)
+ SUMMER 2006 (Filmmaker Magazine)
+ Prose and cons (Guardian)
+ Third time unlucky (Guardian)
+ Haven’t I seen this somewhere before? (Toronto Star)
+ The Top 50 Movie Endings of All Time (FilmCritic)

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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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