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The boys.

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"There's no more surprises."
At the Washington Post, Ellen McCarthy comes up with an amusingly hostile piece on "The Last Kiss" based around a phoner with Casey Affleck. Someone was not fond of the film, we take it?

"I think one of the issues is, how do you make a relationship work when you didn’t have any role models? A lot of people from our generation — their parents are divorced and their friends’ parents are divorced," he says. "And if you never saw a couple make it work, what guide do you have?"

Hmmmm. That’s interesting. Blame the folks who brought you into this world.

Meanwhile, Janice Page at the Boston Globe has an interview entitled "So how adorable is Zach Braff?" that’s studded with moments that lead us to assume "Not as much as he thinks he is."

"You can’t be fully in [a relationship] if there’s baggage," Braff says. "Even at the cost of losing the love of his life, [Michael] chooses his integrity, and I think that’s what buys the character back."

But isn’t there always baggage in a relationship?

"There’s always baggage. But there’s large baggage and then there’s carry-ons," the performer quips.

In the New York Observer, Sara Vilkomerson is the latest to add herself to the "Borat" media love-pile (a side effect of an otherwise apparently disappointing Toronto). She recounts the premiere that wasn’t:

So just to see a bunch of screaming fans who wouldn’t recognize—or care about—the influence of Truffaut if it fell from a burning, metaphor-laden sky is a happy novelty for a film festival. And all for a movie that will be equally dismissed as a cerebral retread of Jackass territory and celebrated as a vehicle for the first truly dangerous comedy since Andy Kaufman. Like South  Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, [Sacha] Baron Cohen creates comedy that refuses to be co-opted by the political right, left or middle.

Well, perhaps — but that hasn’t stopped people from trying. We have our own reading of the Borat character, but we’ll save it for when we’ve seen the film.

Paige Ferrari has an ode to Gael Garcia Bernal at MSNBC:

Bernal specializes in grit and gravitas, not rescuing people from invading spaceships, sucking snakes out of planes, or hunting down bad guys as a cop with a temper.  His characters do not always get the girl.  Often, they make us squirm in our seats.  But no matter how taboo a film’s subject, Bernal’s characters are always fascinatingly human — flawed, seeking redemption.  Who cares if we relate? We find it nearly impossible to look away.

And some typical Gondryisms from the director in Lynn Hirschberg‘s New York Times Magazine profile:

"When I first moved to America, in 1997,” Gondry told me one morning this summer, “I understood one word out of 10. So I would recreate whatever was said based on those few words…It was even worse with music,” he continued, as he perched on a makeshift desk in a corner of the dimly lighted sound stage. “When I first started making videos, I didn’t understand the English lyrics. So I looked at the rhythms, and I replicated an abstraction, which made my videos closer to what the musicians usually meant in the beginning. I could never be exact in my work, and that was a good thing.”

Some typical Jet Li-isms from G. Allen Johnson interview with the actor for the San Francisco Chronicle:

"When they translate ‘wushu’ into English, they call it martial arts," Li explains. "But if you translate it from Chinese, it is from two words: ‘stop.’ ‘war.’ You can expand it to ‘stop fighting.’ So I took a (historical) martial artist’s life and put my beliefs, my story into the film to talk about not just physical, but also mental philosophy about how to be a martial artist.

"Who’s your enemy? Who’s the most dangerous enemy in your life? I believe it’s myself. I am fighting myself. The enemy is not from outside, but inside."

At the New York Times, Terrence Rafferty pens a fairly nice piece in praise of the action star that does contain this clunker: "Except for the violence, what Mr. Li does is ballet," a comparison that should have been laid to rest after that great exchange in "Irma Vep."

In an interview from last week with Mark Bell at Film Threat, Richard Kelly tried to clarify or at least control the "Southland Tales" talk:

People have taken a rumor about the editorial situation of the film and kind of blown it out of proportion, that you’re unhappy. What’s the real situation?
Well, the real situation is that everything’s great. Sony bought the film right after the Cannes Film Festival and there was some old quote that was taken out-of-context and made in passing about how there was something bad happening with the film, and quoted as being recent news. But actually everything is great. I’m almost done with my final cut of the film. It looks like they’re setting a release date and we’re going to have a great release for the film. I’m actually incredibly happy to have had the extra time, breathing room, to finish it. You know, it’s been a long haul with this movie and so the film is in the best possible shape I think it’s ever been in, and I think it’s been like a Rubix cube, and I just needed time to solve it, and I’ve definitely solved it. Just exciting to finally show a trailer to people, just get the concept of the film out there, have them advertise and market it. It couldn’t be better, I couldn’t be happier. I think I’ve been fortunate to finally land at a big studio and have them kind of take me in and say "we believe in this film, and we’re going to let you finish it" and so… keeping my fingers crossed. You never know until that weekend, but so far it’s been amazing so, yeah, that article was, unfortunately, not accurate. It was old information and old out-of-context information. It’s all good.


+ ‘Last Kiss’: Love in the Time Of Cynicism and Divorce (Washington Post)
+ So how adorable is Zach Braff? (Boston Globe)
+ A Star Is Borat (NY Observer)
+ Is America ready for Gael Garcia Bernal? (MSNBC)
+ Le Romantique (NY Times Magazine)
+ ‘Fearless’ Li Moves On (San Francisco Chronicle)
+ Exit Kicking: Jet Li’s Martial Arts Swan Song (NY Times)

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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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