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Opening This Week: April 6th, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: Richard Gere in “The Hoax,” Miramax Films, 2007]

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

“Are We Done Yet”?

The follow-up to Ice Cube’s 2005 family comedy “Are We There Yet?” finds our second-favorite former N.W.A. member married and living in suburbia with the same two kids who bothered him in the first film. After moving into a new house, Cube must battle with an eccentric contractor (the irascible John C. McGinley, most well-known for his role as Dr. Cox in “Scrubs”). What began as a remake of Cary Grant comedy “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” unfortunately turned into yet another bland family comedy sequel, but really, we weren’t expecting much to begin with.

Opens wide (official site).

“Black Book”

Paul Verhoeven’s American filmmaking career wasn’t all that bad (who can forget the three-boobed alien from “Total Recall” and Peter Weller’s death scene in the beginning of “RoboCop”?), but he’s suffered after “Showgirls.” We’re excited to see Verhoeven return to his homeland for his latest picture, a WWII-based drama about a Jewish singer’s fight for survival. “Black Book” has won critical acclaim for the Dutch filmmaker and even served as the Dutch entry for this past year’s Academy Awards — not bad for a former Razzie winner.

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

“Firehouse Dog”

Spuds McKenzie + firehouse + kids = this. Maybe something good will come out of “this,” as the premise was quirky enough for “Wonderfalls” co-creator and TV veteran Todd Holland, but really, we miss nagging toy animals.

Opens wide (official site).


What’s there to say about this Quentin Tarantino-Robert Rodriguez mash-up that hasn’t already been said? All we can add is that we’re excited as hell for this double billing of two of the most influential filmmakers of the 21st century. Though Rodriguez and Tarantino shot to fame in the mid 90s as directors of “cool” cinema (the Mariachi trilogy and “Pulp Fiction,” most notably), this collaboration cites the B-movies of the exploitation yesteryears. Plus, Rose McGowan has a machine gun for a leg — how cool is that?

Opens wide (official site).

“The Hoax”

We didn’t expect to get excited about a film directed by Lasse Hallstrom (ho-hum) and starring Richard Gere, but when that film tells the story of fraudulent author Clifford Irving, what’s not to get excited about? Gere reportedly does some of his best acting in years in this film festival favorite about an author whose “official” biography of reclusive millionaire Howard Hughes turns out to be bogus, leading to one of the biggest media frenzies in history. Marcia Gay Harden and Alfred Molina co-star as Irving’s wife and collaborator, respectively.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Reaping”

We’re trying to ignore the irony of the fact that production of this film was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina. This religious-themed thriller from genre director Stephen Hopkins finds a former Christian missionary inspecting a town suffering from supernatural occurrences similar to the Biblical plagues. Hilary Swank’s genre pictures generally seem to strike out, and, considering the way this one sounds like a bad M. Night Shyamalan pitch, we’re not expecting much.

Opens wide (official site).

“The TV Set”

Director Jake Kasdan may be more well-known for his filmmaking family (father Lawrence wrote the fifth and sixth “Star Wars” films) than his own career (the quirky “Zero Effect” and studio comedy dud “Orange County”), but his latest film offers some promise as it tracks an idealistic writer trying to navigate his TV pilot through the madness of the television industry. We love the idea of Sigourney Weaver as a headstrong network president.

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

“Whole New Thing”

“The Fishing Trip” director Annon Buchbinder’s latest film has been making the festival rounds since its premiere at Toronto in 2005, garnering a series of awards, including a win at the Commonwealth Film Festival and a Genie Award nomination (Canadian Oscars, eh). The film tells the story of a former home schooled middle school student who develops a crush on his gay English teacher when he’s enrolled at his local high school.

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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