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The week’s critic wrangle: “28 Weeks Later.”

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For "I Don’t Want To Sleep Alone," "Brand Upon The Brain!" and "Day Night Day Night," go here.

+ "28 Days Later…": What initially looked like a write-off — a sequel in which neither the original film’s director or writer had any direct involvement beyond an executive producer credit, coming from Fox Atomic, whose titles thus far include "The Hills Have Eyes II" and "Turistas" and nothing else — is being heralded as a success and, possibly, that rare sequel that’s better than its predecessor. And what director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo has delivered is no feel-good flick: as David Edelstein at New York describes it, the film is "is blistering and nihilistic—a vision to reduce you to a puddle of despair… unlike the benevolent universe of Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds remake, this one offers little hope for survival. Parents go in an instant from protecting their children to trying to munch on them, and no government rescue is forthcoming." "28 Days Later was a tough and uncompromising horror film," adds Jeremiah Kipp at Slant, "but it’s all sunshine and laughter in comparison to the sequel. The thesis of this film is that the War on Terror is ultimately a self-destructive one for all concerned, from the bullying authority figures to the demoralized combat soldiers to the fractured family units."

"If ’28 Days Later’ was, in part, about the emergence of solidarity in the midst of crisis, ’28 Weeks Later’ is about the breakdown that occurs in what seems to be the aftermath," observes A.O. Scott at the New York Times. Scott Tobias at the Onion AV Club also salutes "the films’ pervasive message about the breakdown of order: Given so little response time, it’s remarkable just how quickly society can slide into chaos. Under Fresnadillo’s assured direction, 28 Weeks Later blurs the line between genre entertainment and a photojournalist’s shots of the next urban catastrophe."

Nathan Lee at the Village Voice puts it this way: "On the one hand, 28 Weeks Later is a fable of the reconstruction; it might have been called Nation-building of the Damned. On the other hand, so what?" Glenn Kenny at Premiere agrees that "the analogs to certain international quagmires don’t bog down the
brutal momentum and doom-laden logic of the storyline, and 28 Weeks
Later shows some serious stones in pretty much overturning the hopeful
ending of the first film."

Lisa Schwarzbaum at Entertainment Weekly likes the film, but is left with "the grim reality that a sequel, especially to a movie that once surprised, can never produce the same bite as the original. The genre twist is no longer so novel, the darkness of tone no longer so unnerving, the gaudy zombiedom no longer so tasty." Armond White at the New York Press, on the other hand, likes and resents "28 Weeks Later" while leaping on the opportunity to bash Danny Boyles original and then complain about the new aesthetic of modern action/horror films:

Above all, Fresnadillo aces what might be called the zombie movie aesthetic: his clear imagery is edited Tony Scott-fast, almost to the point of unintelligibility. Flashy shots, flickering lights, pandemonium rule. Incoherent action means it’s all just for shock. “Ah, man, this is FUBAR!” one G.I. cries when the new Rage Virus sends the military complex out of control. That’s the aesthetic: FUBAR.

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Give Back

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

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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