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Let’s hear it for the boys.

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Back again.
If you somehow managed to miss it, let us ruin your lucky streak, you crazy recluse, you: this week, two films from extremely public and apparently quite sensitive men are opening. One, Kevin Smith‘s "Clerks II," we’re actually quite looking forward to; the other, M. Night Shyamalan‘s "Lady in the Water," we’ve already devoted enough energy to mocking (we slept like a baby that night).

But in the meantime, Smith’s and Shyamalan’s mugs are inescapable. At Time, Richard Corliss paints a portrait of Shyamalan as puppy-eyed angsty artist, while Barbara Kiviat pitches as few softballs Shyamalan’s way. We like this:

Who do you make movies for?

The collective soul.

Hah! Sigh. Scott Bowles in USA Today covers much the same ground:

There may even be something cathartic about the movie failing, he says. "Maybe what would really help is a complete disaster. Something that would clean the slate. People could trash me to oblivion, say I’m done. Then there are no great expectations. There’s nowhere to go but up."

Meanwhile, Stu VanAirsdale at The Reeler  corners Shyamalan on the red carpet at the film’s premiere, but gets better answers out of cinematographer Chris Doyle and his dates (yes): "’Hell,’ Doyle said. ‘If we don’t enjoy it, who will?’"

At the New York Times, Caryn James examines Shyamalan’s public persona.

And at Cahiers du cinéma, Hervé Aubron groups Shyamalan with Michael Mann:

This shared taste for the lackluster and the dull is fairly remarkable in Hollywood, where the Tarantinian revolution with its brightly colored voracity is never very far off. It is not a question of a simple counterpoint: the worlds of Mann and Shyamalan are gray because they are limbs. Their occupants are already dead.

Oof. Meanwhile, stupid gossip of the day, from Page Six (natch):

Actually, never mind. We were going to quote the whole piece about "Good Morning America"’s Joel Siegel loudly storming out of a "Clerks II" press screening ("First movie I’ve walked out of in 30 [bleeping] years!"), and Smith replying with a MySpace screed, but it makes us feel a little dirty. Here, read it yourself.

Ron Dicker interviews Smith for the San Francisco Chronicle, and Mark Olsen interviews him for the LA Times, but by far more interesting is Mark Caro‘s piece in the Chicago Tribune about Smith’s obsession with his own critics:

That’s what he does. He tracks down every review and every story about him, whether written by a nationally known writer or some anonymous schmo on a Web site. Not only does he read the test-screening reviews posted on Ain’t It Cool News but, until recently at least, also has perused the Talkback section.

This is kind of masochistic-verging-on-nutso behavior because Talkbacks tend to fill up with obnoxious comments no matter the topic. When somebody would talk smack about him, he’d actually post a response.

"I used to beat myself up about it or get in there and respond to each one of them," the 35-year-old filmmaker admits. "And then I’m like, it would be so much easier if I just didn’t read these Talkbacks."

Truer words, Kevin. At least you don’t kill off a critic in your new movie.  And to wrap this hastily and poorly written round-up up (see?), Bob Tourtellotte at Reuters groups Smith’s revisiting of his "Clerks" characters with the latest installment of Edward Burns‘ career-long, unintentional revisiting of pretty much the same characters, "The Groomsmen": "Whatever the psychology, both said that after recent years of making less personal films, it was time to reach back into their own lives for stories about getting married, having kids and moving on."

+ The Man Behind Lady in the Water (Time)
+ M. Night Shyamalan’s Scary Future (Time)
+ Much riding on Shyamalan’s ‘Lady’ luck (USA Today)
+ Night Shift: The Reeler Checks in with Shyamalan and Co. (The Reeler)
+ Directing the Film, Then Its Hype (NY Times)
+ Evénement. Mirrored Images: SHY and MANN (Cahiers du cinéma)
+ Smith’s ‘Clerks II’ is open for business (SF Chronicle)
+ Back to mining the store (LA Times)
+ I read the news today, oh boy (Chicago Tribune)
+ Directors tell Gen X’ers to grow up (Reuters)

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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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