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Opening This Week: January 25th, 2008

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: “Alice’s House,” FiGa Films, 2008]

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

“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”

Writer/director Cristian Mungiu burst onto the international film scene with this abortion drama set in Communist-era Romania that was the surprise Palme d’Or winner at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. The film was recently nominated for the Best Foreign Language Golden Globe yet was suspiciously left off (along with “Persepolis”) the Oscar shortlist — a great injustice to two of the best foreign films of last year.

Opens in New York (official site).

“The Air I Breathe”

Though newbie director Jieho Lee recruited a somewhat awesome cast (Julie Delpy AND Forrest Whitaker!?) for his debut feature, the film’s Chinese proverb-as-metaphor premise gets a little too melodramatic for us. The film, which premiered at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, breaks life down into the four emotional cornerstones of life based on a traditional Chinese adage, with each vignette built around a character who embodies one of these emotions.

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

“Alice’s House”

Brazilian actress Carla Ribas stars as a married mother of three, living in a working class Sao Paolo neighborhood, who discovers a series of familial betrayals after partaking in a betrayal of her own. The film comes courtesy of documentary filmmaker Chico Teixeira and won the International Film Plaque at the 2007 Chicago International Film Festival.

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

“How She Move”

While we realize that we’ve seen this same movie over and over again the past few years (see: “Stomp the Yard, ” “Step Up, ” “Save the Last Dance”), there’s something charming about this low-budget Canadian film about a young student who must move back to her old neighborhood from private school and rediscovers her love for step dancing. Newcomer Rufina Wesley shines as the young woman who fights to join an all-male dance troupe, drawing comparisons to Michelle Rodriguez way back when “Girlfight” came out.

Opens wide (official site).

“Lost in Beijing”

Director Yu Li’s latest drama focuses on class differences and the aftermath of a rape involving a young woman, her boss, her husband, and her husband’s wife in contemporary Beijing. The film premiered early last year at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Meet the Spartans”

…ugh. Seriously, this might as well just be titled “2007: The Movie. ” Spoofing pretty much every pop cultural event from the past year, from Britney Spears’ latest meltdowns to the hit summer movies you already forgot about, co-directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (whose movies, by the way, boast an impressive 2.5 rating average on IMDB) drop their latest comedic abomination spoofing “300” with some Paris Hilton thrown in for good measure. Yeah, we really can’t wait until the next “Genre Movie.”

Opens wide (official site).


Oh Sly, we missed you so. After scoring critical and some moderate commercial success with 2006’s “Rocky Balboa, ” Stallone returns to the cinema refreshed and renewed at the ripe age of 60. “Rambo” finds our much beleaguered Vietnam vet antihero leading a group of mercenaries in Thailand to help rescue a group of aid workers that have gone missing. An original cut of the trailer hit the interwebz last year promising the kind of massive explosions and ultra-violence we normally expect from the “Rambo” franchise.

Opens wide (official site).

“Trailer Park Boys: The Movie”

Criminal dimwits Ricky, Julian and Bubbles plot to steal massive amounts of pocket change in this comedy based on the Canadian cult favorite TV series “Trailer Park Boys.”

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

“Tropa de Elite (Elite Squad)”

From “Bus 174” director José Padilha, “Tropa de Elite” is the story of two childhood friends who join the military police in Rio de Janeiro, only to discover widespread corruption and inefficient bureaucracy within the department until a retiring captain seeks the duo out to clean things up. Shortly after its release in Brazil in October 2007, it became one of the country’s most popular films ever.

Opens in limited release (IMDB Page).


We’re not sure what to make of director Gregory Hoblit’s latest thriller, which finds Diane Lane as a detective fighting the war against cyber crimes (much like “Dateline”‘s Chris Hanson, we suppose). Lane investigates a new internet predator who broadcasts a series of grisly murders on his website, with the fate of each of his tormentors left in the hands of the public. Comparisons to both “The Net” and “feardotcom” don’t really inspire to much confidence either, but Hoblit surprised us with last year’s “Fracture” and with Lane attached, we’re willing to give this one a chance, though we’re not expecting much.

Opens wide (official site).


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.


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…


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.