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"Game over!"
Old, but still worth visiting (we’ve been awfully busy) — the Onion AV Club has a rather superbly snarky list of well-known twist endings (no "Rosebud" though — does that even count?). Regarding "Saw"‘s finale:

Does it work? Good Lord, no. As an out-of-the-blue shock, it’s fairly effective, but it raises a ludicrous number of questions, starting either with "Why didn’t they notice him breathing?" or "Exactly how stupid do the filmmakers think we are?"

Could it work today?
No. Perhaps some day, super-advanced medical technology will enable industrious serial killers to stop breathing for 90 minutes and watch their victims through closed eyelids, but that day has not yet arrived.

The list was of course in honor of our darling M. Night. (And it looks like our guess about "Lady In The Water"‘s ending was way off — the twist is, there is no twist! There’s a mindfuck for you.) At the LA Times, Patrick Goldstein writes about the glee with which much of the media and Hollywood has witnessed the film’s failure, and how it ties in to "The Man Who Heard Voices," which we’re almost certainly going to have to buy.

What makes the book especially damaging, despite its relentlessly sycophantish portrayal of the filmmaker, is that Night violated Hollywood PR Law No. 1: Never let people see you as you really are. In an era when stars hide behind their handlers, who vet writers, limit their access and keep them miles away from any dirty laundry, Night let [Michael] Bamberger see it all — straight, no chaser. If Night weren’t so insufferable, his honesty would almost be charming. In one scene, he is put out that [Disney production chief Nina] Jacobson is late arriving home from a children’s birthday party to meet Night’s assistant, who is delivering a closely guarded copy of the "Lady" script.

As Bamberger puts it, "Night felt the reading of his script shouldn’t be considered work. It should add to the weekend’s pleasure."

Even earlier in the month, Philip Kennicott at the Washington Post sings the praises of the open endings of "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu" and "Caché":

These films do to the viewer what parents must ultimately do to
children: force them to shift for themselves. If you’re in a certain
needy frame of mind, this is the very definition of the art-house film
nightmare: to invest hours in a story and have it end like a surly
shopkeeper pulling down the storefront grate. But it’s also a sign of
trust, on the director’s part, to let his children go forth to make
sense of things on their own.

Finally, Ben Davey and Joanna Cohen at the Sydney Morning Herald wrap their weekly top-five column with their top five ‘go out with a bang’ films.

+ "It’s people!": Are twist endings still necessary? (Onion AV Club)
+ Call It Shyamaladenfreude (LA Times)
+ The Surprise Ending? It’s the Absence of One (Washington Post)
+ Top five ‘go out with a bang’ films (Sydney Morning Herald)

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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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