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Under the influences.

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"Explores man's inhumanity to man"?
Anthony Breznican at USA Today gets his blog on with a piece that mines "Apocalypto" reviews for other movie references, because "Mel Gibson‘s Apocalypto was touted by the Walt Disney Co. as an original movie experiment." Breznican cites Ed Gonzalez of Slant  making "Matrix" comparisons and John Thomason of Orlando Weekly for seeing a "Jackass" likeness, while over at the Reverse Shot blog, correspondent "Micky" presents a Thursday game that involves guessing whether instances are from "Apocalypto" or "Home Alone":

5) Jaguar Paw exclaims "NGABWE TUNMONGOW!"

6) Main character rescued at the last minute by strange white man.

7) Film is a poignant metaphor for modern day America.

8) Jungle cat eats a living human jawbone.

Heh. Anthony Lane at the New Yorker sees another likeness:

The idyll is snapped when the tribe’s encampment is raided and its inhabitants, including Jaguar Paw, are hauled away—some to be sold as slaves, others to be sacrificed at a temple, above a swaying mob. (Before the execution, their skins are painted blue—a bad omen for anyone who recalls the blue-daubed faces of the rebels in “Braveheart.”) As the priest raises the knife, Jaguar Paw is spared, thanks to a happy coincidence lifted straight from a Tintin book called “Prisoners of the Sun.”

Over at the LA Times, Time critic Richard Schickel shows up on the editorial page for some more pointed (if, to us, over-dramatic) observations:

Ordinary movie violence generally happens on the fly, without an awful lot of calculation or consequence, though we can occasionally be instructed by it, as we were by "Hotel Rwanda" or the current "Blood Diamond." But psychosexual violence of the kind Gibson is drawn to takes us to a truly ugly place. It is beyond the reach of the law, diplomacy, public policy or moral resolve. We can punish its practitioners only when fantasy turns into horrific, real-world acts. But we cannot cure them. They represent the irreducible, ineluctable evil of the world — the grimmest side of the social compact.

This sidesteps the more pressing point — people love Gibson’s films. Even discounting our growing national taste for violence, Gibson has managed, remarkably, to pave the way for classy horrific gore. "The Passion of the Christ" was a immensely bloody film, and people saw it, and then came back with their kids in tow. If his films demonstrate "ritualized sadomasochism," well, we could care less for what that means about Gibson, who long ago reached a level of fame that one might as well directly equate to being barking mad. That ritualized sadomasochism is apparently what the people want — and that’s a topic worth an op-ed.

+ Critics make a point of ‘Apocalypto’ (USA Today)
+ Thursday Game: Apocalypto or Home Alone (Reverseblog)
+ FIGHTING MEN (New Yorker)
+ What’s with Mel’s bloody porn? (LA 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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