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DID YOU READ

Opening This Week: December 1st, 2006

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “3 Needles,” Wolfe Releasing, 2006]

A round-up of the indie and indie-ish films opening in theaters this week.

“10 Items or Less”

Stop the presses. Morgan Freeman moves on from that same supporting role he’s been cast in for the past decade or so and plays the lead in this small indie about a… well… major movie star whose pickiness for screen roles lands him in Paz Vega’s small ethnic supermarket for research. Vega offers Freeman a ride home, the two learn about lots of stuff on the car ride back, and we continue to miss the Freeman of the “Shawshank” days. Challenge us, Morgan!

Opens in New York and Los Angeles (official site).

“3 Needles”

“The Hanging Garden”‘s Thom Fitzgerald directed and wrote this film containing three stories revolving around the theme of global epidemic — the film’s release coincides with the anniversary of the World AIDS Day. Shawn Ashmore stars as a Canadian porn star suffering from HIV, while Lucy Liu plays a reckless blood buyer in China, and Olympia Dukakis, Chloe Sevigny, and Sandra Oh are a trio of Catholic nuns trying to care for those infected in Africa.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj”

One of the lamer college comedies of recent years gets an unnecessary sequel this week, but with “Harold and Kumar”‘s Kal Penn as the film’s main character, Taj Mahal Badalandabad might be more than a one-note stereotype (amidst all the beer and boobs and farts, of course).

Opens wide (official site).

“The Nativity Story”

Nevermind the fact that Catherine Hardwick previously directed a film about boozin’ and druggin’ teenage girls and that star Keisha Castle-Hughes is sixteen and pregnant, “The Nativity Scene” is expected to be sugar and fluff all the way through. The film chronicles the journey of Mary and Joseph as they give birth to a baby boy who may or may not be the son of God. We’re still not sure, but we’re expecting it to be a lot more pleasant to sit through than “The Passion.”

Opens wide (official site).

“Turistas”

Director John Stockwell is used to filming hot people in wet and sweaty environments, as he did recently with “Into the Blue” and “Blue Crush.” Apparently, now he gets to kill those people in his latest. As a terrifying bus accident maroons a group of young travelers in the Brazilian jungle, they start to discover that the jungle hosts a terrifying secret. It’s kinda like “Hostel” meets “Lost,” except for the part where we care.

Opens wide (official site).

“Two Weeks”

Writer and director Steven Stockman casts Ben Chaplin, Thomas Cavanagh, Julianne Nicholson and Glenn Howerton as siblings who gather at their dying mother’s house for one quick, last goodbye but wind up trapped together for two weeks. Somewhere in this comedy is a tad bit of melodrama, I’m expecting, but with Sally Field playing the mother of the family, this film looks promising. It releases this week for Oscar competition in LA before a wider release next March.

Opens in Los Angeles (official site).

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Final Countdown

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 IFC.com

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Rev Up

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.

Uncle-Buck

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…