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DID YOU READ

Opening This Week: October 1, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “Trade,” Roadside Attractions, 2007]

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

“Bordertown”

Much has changed in the ten years since director Gregory Nava helmed “Selena,” the biopic about the late Latin music star that shot Jennifer Lopez to fame. Lopez went on to become a musical sensation, selling millions of CDs while working on award-winning films with directors like Steven Soderbergh, Oliver Stone and Martin Brest (a Razzie is still an award). Nava has kept a low-key profile, working on the Frankie Lyman biopic “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” and producing the PBS series “American Family.” This re-pairing of the two finds Lopez playing a journalist investigating a series of murders on the border of Juarez and El Paso — the film met with an infamously bad reception when in premiered at Berlin this year.

Opens in Dallas and El Paso (official site).

“The Darjeeling Limited”

Owen Wilson’s recent troubles saddened us, but there’s no better opportunity for a rebound than a starring role in frequent collaborator Wes Anderson’s latest — even if the part contains some uncomfortable real-life echoes. Wilson plays a man who hopes to reconnect with his two younger brothers (Jason Schwartzman and Anderson newcomer Adrien Brody) by taking them on a train trip across India. Jeer of the year goes to Fox Searchlight for cutting the 13-minute accompanying short “Hotel Chevalier,” which gives background on Schwartzman’s character and features a nude Natalie Portman: Boo!

Opens in New York (official site).

“Feast of Love”

Director Robert Benton, best known for helming the Oscar-winning “Kramer vs. Kramer,” hasn’t really directed anything that’s peaked our interest since the 1994 drama “Nobody’s Fool,” but if there’s one thing Benton is most known for, it’s getting strong performances out of his actors — the man’s directed eight different actors to Oscar-nominated performances. We’d be a little surprised if Benton’s latest gets any Oscar love, as this ensemble piece concerning the love lives of a small community in Oregon sounds a bit overdone, “Big Chill” style.

Opens wide (official site).

“The Game Plan”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson attempted to shed his action star status with last year’s well-received football film “Gridiron Gang,” and this year the People’s Champion looks to tackle (sorry) the kid-friendly crowd with his family film “The Game Plan.” The Rock plays an NFL quarterback whose bachelor lifestyle gets turned upside down with the arrival of the seven-year-old daughter he never knew he had. Hey, it worked for Vin Diesel, sort of.

Opens wide (official site).

“I’ll Believe You”

Director Paul Francis Sullivan, who worked previously as a field producer for “The Daily Show,” makes his feature debut with this film about a late-night radio host who receives a panicked phone call in an indecipherable language and enlists the help of his friends to uncover the true identity of the first-time caller after the FBI gets involved. David Alan Basche, best known for “United 93” and last seen playing the Crab on “30 Rock,” stars alongside supporting actors Patrick Warburton, Fred Willard and Ed Helms.

Opens in limited release (IMDB Page).

“The Kingdom”

Before we become inundated with end of year “serious” movies featuring important stories about American influence in the Middle East, government conspiracies and Tom Cruise pretending to be a senator who watches too much Fox News, we have what looks to be a solid thriller courtesy of “Friday Night Lights” director Peter Berg and new screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan, about an FBI team sent to Saudi Arabia to investigate the bombing of American citizens living on Middle Eastern soil. We’re (truly!) glad to hear that Berg cut down on the politics and focuses more on the action — the film’s like a history lesson followed by a monster truck rally. Now that’s a rollicking good time.

Opens wide (official site).

“Lust, Caution”

Ang Lee’s hot and steamy follow-up to his Oscar-winner “Brokeback Mountain” has drawn some serious buzz ever since the project’s original inception — this Shanghai-set period piece has everyone from the MPAA to Chinese government officials all stuffed up. The film tells the story of a young woman (newcomer Tang Wei) who gets swept up in a dangerous game of emotional intrigue with a powerful political figure (Tony Leung, who just oozes sexuality). The film is to be released in the US with a dreaded NC-17 rating, while Chinese censors are cutting nearly 30 minutes for release in Lee’s native homeland. The film also recently won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, which should reassure you that this ain’t no “Showgirls.”

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Outsourced”

Director John Jeffcoat helms this indie comedy about an American novelty products salesman (Josh Hamilton) who must relocate to India to train his replacement after his entire department is outsourced. The film won the Golden Space Needle Award at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“The Price of Sugar”

Paul Newman narrates this Bill Haney-directed documentary about the efforts of a Catholic priest advocating for thousands of Haitian workers employed by the sugar trade. The film premiered earlier this year at South by Southwest, where it went on to win an audience award.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Trade”

A Polish woman, a Texas cop, a young Mexican man come together when a girl is kidnapped and sold into slavery by sex traffickers. “Summer Storm” director Marco Kreuzpaintner collaborates with “The Motorcycle Diaries” screenwriter Jose Rivera on this adaptation of a 2004 New York Times Magazine article by Peter Landesman. The film premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

Opens in New York and Los Angeles (

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Rev Up

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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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.

via GIPHY

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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