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Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty.

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Yes, Topher.Been down, isn’t it a pity?
So "Spider-Man 3" took in $151.1 million in the US alone this past weekend (via the AP), a new record that had Sony Pictures chief exec Michael Lynton promising BBC News that "’Everybody has every intention of making a fourth, a fifth and a sixth and on and on.’

There would be ‘as many as we can make good stories for." Calmed down a bit, he tell Andrew Gumbel at the Independent that looks blockbusters aren’t everything:

Sony isn’t alone in pursuing what Lynton calls a "multi-label strategy" – putting out art and niche films through separate studio subdivisions. Sony has Screen Gems, which produces horror fare such as the Resident Evil series and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and Sony Classics, which puts out everything from prestige documentaries to Chinese martial arts epics, such as House of Flying Daggers, and the work of Pedro Almodóvar. And it doesn’t have to be limited to that. "We can serve the faith-based community, the African-American community, the teenage community," Lynton says. "It’s contrary to the view of globalisation that suggests that everything is going to get bigger and more American, that McDonald’s is going to take over the world. Sure, US films are the bread and butter. But in many countries, more than half the audience is going to films that are indigenous to that country."

Was it only two years ago that the end seemed near for the blockbuster? Now we’ve not only been giving proof that it’s alive and kicking, we’re two weeks away from what’s surely the most forgettable and personality-free potential record-breaker to ever debut footage at Comic-Con. Poised on the brink of a season that, while loaded with indie counter-programming, has clearly been turned back over to the big studios, Manohla Dargis at the New York Times has wise words for those who would turn up their nose:

[J]ust because a movie blows stuff up doesn’t mean it automatically stinks. A good blockbuster, like the recent Bond flick “Casino Royale,” takes you places you might never otherwise go and shows you things you could never do. It brings you into new worlds, offers you new attractions. It takes hold of your body, making you quiver with anxiety, joy, laughter, relief. When great blockbusters sweep you up and away — I’m thinking about watching “The Matrix” for the first time with a few hundred other enraptured souls — they usher you into a realm of communal pleasure. In a culture of entertainment niches, they remind you of what going to the movies can still be like.

Also at the New York Times, A.O. Scott tsk-tsks the undying habit of adapting TV shows for the big screen and the sentiments he sees as feeding it: "Nostalgia for the pleasures of childhood is a disease without a cure."

+ ‘Spidey’ pays off on huge budget gamble (AP)
+ Spider-Man hits to go ‘on and on’ (BBC)
+ Michael Lynton: ‘Success isn’t just about blockbuster movies’ (Independent)
+ Defending Goliath: Hollywood and the Art of the Blockbuster (NY Times)
+ Why the Movies Keep Digging Into TV’s Bottomless Dustbin (NY 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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