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Opening This Week: April 23rd, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “Jindabyne,” Sony Pictures Classics, 2007]

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

“The Condemned”

Snag the plot from “Battle Royale,” subtract whatever social commentary there was attached and pump the film full of steroids and you have “The Condemned,” the latest from WWE owner Vince McMahon’s fledgling film company. Last fall’s “The Marine” proved to be an enjoyable throwback to the action films of the Reagan era, though… still an awful film. We’re just hoping wrestler Steve Austin delivers a fatal Stone Cold Stunner. That would be bad ass.

Opens wide (official site).


It’s no doubt that a comedy about clam diggers from Lawn Guy Land can only come from actor/writer Ken Marino, former member of MTV’s “The State.” If you miss this film in theaters, though, don’t worry — it’s getting a DVD release only a few short days later on May 1. The film stars Lauren Ambrose, Paul Rudd, and Ron Eldard and is directed by “A Good Baby”‘s Katherine Dieckmann.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Invisible”

So this film is totally, like, “The Sixth Sense,” but, like, the twist is, we KNOW the guy’s already dead! We were hoping for something better from director (and “Batman Begins” writer) David S. Goyer. “War of the Worlds”‘s Justin Chatwin stars as a high school teenager who, following his death, fails to cross over to the afterlife and must find his killer to help his frustrated mother (Marcia Gay Harden) cope with his death.

Opens wide (official site).


It’s been roughly six years since the release of the Australian thriller “Lantana,” so we’re pleased to see director Ray Lawrence return with another film with roiling depths beneath a troubled surface. Three men on a fishing trip discover the body of a dead girl and wait until they return home to report their findings, shocking their families and scandalizing the community. The film won a slew of awards in Lawrence’s native Australia, so we’re expecting the film to be well-received domestically upon its release. Gabriel Byrne and Laura Linney co-star.

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

“Kickin’ It Old School”

Yes, Jamie Kennedy movies continue to get greenlit. The movie sounds like “13 Going on 30,” except Jamie Kennedy is less charming than Jennifer Garner. A young boy in the mid 1980s suffers a breakdancing accident and lapses into a coma before waking 20 years later looking to revive his breakdancing career.

Opens wide (official site).


Nicolas Cage appears to be continuing his streak of subpar films this week with an adaptation of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick’s short story “The Golden Man” that, as with most feature film adaptations of Dick’s writing, bears only slight resemblance to its source material. Cage plays a Las Vegas magician with the ability to see two minutes into the future, drawing the attention of an FBI agent (Julianne Moore) trying to help prevent a future terrorist attack. The thought of Cage wooing film girlfriend Jessica Biel is less than believable, but at least director Lee Tamahori is back to work, hopefully in men’s clothing this time.

Opens wide (official site).

“Poison Friends”

Emmanuel Bourdieu’s drama recounts what happens when a group of college students befriend (and are betrayed) by a pathological liar; left in the wake of their friend’s abandonment, the others must deal with the aftereffects. “Poison Friends” was the opening film at last year’s Cannes International Critics` Week and was an official selection at last year’s New York Film Festival.

Opens in New York (offical site).

“Sing Now or Forever Hold Your Peace”

The type of film that only exists in indie-land, “Sing Now or Forever Hold Your Peace” (that title!) details what happens when a group of former college a cappella singers reunites to perform at a friend’s wedding fifteen years later. The film comes courtesy of frequent “Mad TV” director Bruce Leddy.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Snow Cake”

We’re glad to see Alan Rickman back in dramatic roles after years as our favorite Hogwarts professor, but we do fear any film’s “I Am Sam” sensibilities. Rickman stars as a grief-stricken man who befriends the autistic mother (Sigourney Weaver) of a woman killed in a fatal car wreck.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Ta Ra Rum Pum”

An Indian American family is heartbroken after the father’s racing career ends in a debilitating accident. In order to make a living, the family moves to a poor inner city neighborhood and the father takes up a new job as a taxi driver, leaving his need for speed behind.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Triad Election”

Picked up two years after 2005’s “Election,” Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To’s follow-up describes what happens when current Triad chairman Lok (Simon Yam) seeks re-election despite competition, while Jimmy (Louis Koo) looks to leave the gang for legitimate business relations on mainland China. To’s film screened out of competition at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, and the director recently was honored as Filmmaker in Focus at the 2007 Rotterdamn Film Festival.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Wind Chill”

Emily Blunt’s post-“The Devil Wears Prada” career begins with this horror film about a couple of college students who become stranded on a stretch of road with a deadly history. This horror flick comes courtesy of “Criminal” director Gregory Jacob and “Shadow of the Vampire” writer Steven Katz.

Opens in limited release (official site).


What started off as a sensationalist tabloid story slowly turned into an exposé on the nature of sexual taboos and human nature in director Robinson Devor’s documentary on the death of Seattle family man Kenneth Pinyon, who died as a result of injuries he sustained while engaging in sex with a horse. The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Opens in New York (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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