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Opening This Week: March 23rd, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: Guy Pearce in “First Snow,” Yari Film Group Releasing, 2007]

A round-up of the best (or worst) $10 you’ll spend this week.

“Air Guitar Nation”

From spelling bees to crossword puzzles to mad hot ballrooms, filmmakers have found an interest in documenting something we can only describe as “competitive hobbies.” First time director Alexandria Lipsitz focuses on a group of selected individuals who dare to dream of air guitar greatness, as competitors from all across the globe meet in a small city in Finland to take part in the annual World Air Guitar Championships. Though we here at IFC News remain steadfast Guitar Hero II rockers, we’re hard-pressed to turn down anything guitar-related, real guitar or imaginary.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Color Me Kubrick”

After premiering nearly two years ago at the Dinard Festival of British Cinema, Brian W. Cook’s wildly eccentric film about a wildly eccentric poseur pretending to be a wildly eccentric director reaches US theaters. How can you not love John Malkovich as a fake Stanley Kubrick? Expect him to steal every scene in the film.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“First Snow”

First-time director Mark Fergus, who recently picked up his first Oscar nomination for the “Children of Men” adapted screenplay, co-wrote his debut feature about a hotshot salesman whose life goes into a tailspin after receiving an ominous fortune from a psychic. Guy Pearce stars as the man whose fate is left up to supernatural mysteries.

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

“The Hills Have Eyes 2”

“Rohtenburg” director Martin Weisz tackles the Wes Craven-penned sequel to that cannibal horror film from last year. Now, let’s take note, this is not the sequel to the European backpacking horror film or the one with the flesh-eating zombie/monkey virus or even another “Saw” film. Cannibals, people. Cannibals.

Opens wide (official site).

“Journey from the Fall”

This Vietnamese import from “The Anniversary” director Ham Tran follows what happens when a father is left behind in his native country as his family is forced to emigrate to the United States. Somewhere, we’re sure, Angelina Jolie is watching.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Last Mimzy”

You know, being the cinephiles that we are here at IFC News, we still have no idea what the hell a “mimzy” is. New Line Cinema founder and CEO Robert Shaye directs this kids’ film, his first since the 1990 crapfest “Book of Love,” about two siblings who begin to develop special powers after finding a mysterious box of toys. We’d guess that “The Office”‘s Rainn Wilson will be the best part of this one, but considering the film’s lack of positive buzz, theatrical release on a packed weekend, and Shaye’s directorial track record, we’re tempted to suggest that studio execs shouldn’t be headlining their own films anymore…

Opens wide (official site).


This Canadian suspense thriller from first-time feature director Bennett Davlin examines what happens when a medical researcher teams up with a doctor to root through the genetically stored memories of a serial killer. “Memory” stars Billy Zane and the hottest Cylon in “Battlestar Galactica,” Tricia Helfer.

Opens in limited release (official site).


It might be a little early to proclaim “The Circle” director Jafar Panahi Iran’s answer to Almodóvar, as the Iranian director fills his films with women fighting against oppressive societies. But still — “Offside” tells the story of a group of young girls who dress as boys in order to sneak in to a World Cup soccer game, as women are not allowed in the stadium. Word of mouth for this one is mostly positive.

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

“The Page Turner”

A former gifted piano player returns to the musical conservatory that turned her away, inveigling herself in as the page turner for the chairwoman who caused her to fail her entrance to the school. Catherine Frot and Déborah François (of “L’Enfant”) star.

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


Based on a true story. Troubled teens growing up in rough urban neighborhoods. Inspirational teachers. You get the drill. We wouldn’t expect anything new in the underdog sports film “Pride,” from first-time director Sunu Gonera, but at least we get to see Terrence Howard and Bernie Mac act up a storm.

Opens wide (official site).

“The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair”

“Gunner Palace” directors Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker present another documentary on the effects of war in a bombed-out Iraq as a freedom-loving Iraqi journalist is mistaken for Tony Blair’s possible assassin and sentenced to prison in Abu Ghraib. The film continues Epperlein and Tucker’s darkly comic take on the American occupation through the use of original comic book art and a Kafka-esque portrayal of the journalist’s imprisonment.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Reign Over Me”

Adam Sandler gets depressed (drama!) and Don Cheadle gets all Good Samaritan in “The Upside of Anger” director Mike Binder’s latest, about two college roommates who rekindle a friendship several years after the September 11th attacks. We liked Sandler a bunch in “Punch-Drunk Love” (we keep trying to convince ourselves “Spanglish” never happened…) and love Cheadle in everything, but we’ve yet to find a non-documentary film concerned with 9/11 that we actually liked. We’re hoping Binder’s film uses 9/11 as little more than a dramatic plot device, but we’re not holding our breaths.

Opens wide (official site).


Though this film may sound more like something Harrison Ford would’ve done fifteen years ago, we’re hoping director Antoine Fuqua can regain the form he displayed in 2001’s tense “Training Day.” Though we certainly love us some Mark Wahlberg ever since he dropped the Funky Bunch, sniper movies have a tendency to just not do it for us (“Enemy at the Gates,” anyone?).

Opens wide (official site).


Hollywood continues to destroy our collective childhoods with this update of the 90s film/cartoon/comic book series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Though director Kevin Monroe opted to film completely in computer graphics for this franchise reboot, we’ll take the live-action films any day of the week. In the immortal words of Vanilla Ice, “Go ninja go ninja go! Go ninja go ninja go!”
Opens wide (official site).

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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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