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Long live Thomas Lee.

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Neighbor, how stands the Union?
The other day Page Six reported that the Alec Baldwin‘s long-lost directorial debut "The Devil and Daniel Webster," a Stephen Vincent Benét update and adaptation which was originally shot in 2001, has not only been recut and retitled "Shortcut to Happiness" for its release tomorrow but will be billed as the pseudonymous work of one Harry Kirkpatrick. The film, which stars Jennifer Love Hewitt as we’ve always wanted to see her — as Satan — was mired in legal issues for years, and has acquired the mythology of an epic disaster of a flick. As it’s opening in Las Vegas, Rochester, Fort Myers, Columbus, Albuquerque and Santa Fe, it won’t be reviewed by most major critics. (There’s a trailer here.) Alas. Xan Brooks at the Guardian‘s Film Blog is prompted by the Kirkpatrick news to reflect on the retirement of Alan Smithee, the now infamous pseudonym of choice for those who’d rather not put their own name on a film: "These days I like to picture Smithee on a golf course somewhere,
resplendent in sun visor and roll-neck as he lines up for a putt and
reminisces about the good old days."

Brooks also wonders if Kirkpatrick will replace Smithee. Forgive us, but we believe that Thomas Lee was the DGA-blessed Smithee alternative that was settled on after Walter Hill‘s name was removed from 2000 flop "Supernova" (a film that was finished up by Francis Ford Coppola in a re-edit). We’re pulling for Tommy — he’s got the double e’s that made Smithee so appealing, but is less aggressively Anglo, reminding us that all peoples, whether their drive be ego, artistic sensibility or economics, are able to wage war against a major motion picture studio.

In honor of messieurs Kirkpatrick, Smithee and Lee, some quick kitsch:

The New York Times loves "Xanadu," at least in Broadway form. Writes Charles Isherwood: "Can a musical be simultaneously indefensible and irresistible? Why, yes it can."

There’s a direct-to-DVD remake of "Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure" in the works, according to Jay A. Fernandez at the LA Times, who turns up this tidbit:

More than a decade later, [the films’ original writers] actually tried to get a third "Bill & Ted" feature made, with the idea of checking in with the guys as middle-aged men. Actors Keanu Reeves (Ted "Theodore" Logan) and Alex Winter (Bill S. Preston, Esq.), now both in their 40s, were reportedly game until Reeves’ manager advised his client, by then a major movie star (although still on-screen climbing in and out of phone booths), against revisiting the material.

Edgar Wright is one of the directors musing over vintage genre trailers (in his case, Mario Bava’s "Danger Diabolik" and Freddie Francis’ "Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors") at Trailers From Hell.

And Emily Dugan at the Independent reports that a new book on Clark Gable contains details on how Marilyn Monroe was dirrty. Literally. The author, David Bret, claims that "She could not have been less fastidious regarding her personal hygiene. Like Jean Harlow, she bleached all her pubic hair and never wore panties… she suffered from what today would be described as irritable bowel syndrome."

(NY Post)
+ Is Harry Kirkpatrick the new Alan Smithee? (Guardian Film Blog)
+ Heaven on Wheels, and in Leg Warmers (NY Times)
+ Bill and Ted adapt to 2007 (LA Times)
+ Danger Diabolik (Trailers From Hell)
+ Glamorous, gorgeous, flatulent – the secret history of Marilyn Monroe (Independent)

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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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