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Opening This Week: November 22nd, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: Lauren Ambrose in “Starting Out in the Evening,” Roadside Attractions, 2007]

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

“August Rush”

Freddie Highmore plays an orphaned musical prodigy stranded in the middle of New York who, with the help of a mysterious stranger (Robin Williams), attempts to find the parents from whom he was separated at birth (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Keri Russell). While “August Rush”‘s bohemia-heavy vision of the city may remind us of a sappier version of “Rent,” we’re hard-pressed to hate on director Kirsten (daughter of Jim) Sheridan’s musical fantasy — it does seem like a prettied-up response to her father’s own heartfelt New York ode “In America.” Plus, kudos to Keri Russell for capping off a great 2007 after “Waitress” and a short run on “Scrubs.”

Opens wide (official site).


For those who still haven’t seen the 2005 indie drama “Junebug,” welcome to the film that’s going to make Amy Adams a star. Adams plays a peasant girl who falls in love with a prince in a Disney-esque animated world, and is banished to real-life New York City by the evil queen (Susan Sarandon). It’s about time Disney poked a little bit of fun at its animated history, but we’re just excited to see our favorite Winston-Salem resident get the exposure she deserves. Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey co-stars as a divorce lawyer who falls in love with Adams after she lands in the live action world.

Opens wide (official site).

“Everything’s Cool: A Toxic Comedy About Global Warming”

“Blue Vinyl” directors Daniel B. Gold and Judith Helfand re-team for a documentary about a group of activists who try to raise awareness for global warming. The film premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

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


This latest actioner is based on the PlayStation 2 video game series of the same name, which tells you all you need to know (i.e., this will suck). Reports of director Xavier Gens getting fired from the production have been widespread ever since filming was completed, and while Timothy Olyphant may be a fine actor, why couldn’t they get an actual bald guy to play Agent 47? What is Vin Diesel even up to these days? And how did Jason Statham turn down this role?

Opens wide (official site).

“I’m Not There”

Todd Haynes’ highly anticipated Bob Dylan biopic finally hits theaters, and we expect it to enthrall as much as frustrated viewers. Haynes strays from the familiar biopic by following six distinct characters, each depicting different stages of Dylan’s life and embodying a different aspect of his life story and music. Big names like Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger and Cate Blanchett play the different Dylans. The film won the Special Jury Prize at this year’s Venice Film Festival.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Midnight Eagle”

“Fly, Daddy, Fly” director Izuru Narushima helms this adventure film about a former war photographer who witnesses the crash of a U.S. bomber nicknamed “Midnight Eagle” and becomes involved in an international hunt for its secret payload, a nuclear warhead that threatens to wipe out Japan’s entire population.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Nina’s Heavenly Delights”

Pratibha Parmar’s U.K. comedy film explores national, racial and sexual identities through the character of Nina Shah, a young Indo-Scottish woman who returns to her deceased father’s restaurant and falls in love with its new owner, Lisa. The film premiered earlier this year at the Bite the Mango Festival.

Opens in Los Angeles (official site).

“Starting Out in the Evening”

Andrew Wagner’s drama finds an ambitious grad student (Lauren Ambrose) who convinces a writer (Frank Langella) that her thesis can resurrect his flagging literary career. The film premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

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

“Stephen King’s The Mist”

Suddenly Stephen King adaptations are in vogue again, and Frank Darabont (of “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile”) re-teams with the prolific horror writer for a story about how everyman David Drayton (Tom Jane) is caught up in a freak storm that unleashes bloodthirsty monsters on his small town. Scaaaaaryy…we guess.

Opens wide (official site).

“This Christmas”

Writer-director Preston A. Whitmore II follows up the awful, awful “Crossover” with this well-cast drama about a family’s first Christmas holiday get-together in four years. Whitmore enlists ace actors Regina King, Delroy Lindo, Columbus Short and Idris Elba (what hasn’t he been in this year?) for this holiday ensemble drama. Eat that, Tyler Perry.

Opens wide (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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