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Opening This Week

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03032008_cj7_a.jpgBy Neil Pedley

[Photo: Stephen Chow’s “CJ7,” Sony Pictures Classics, 2008]

Still nursing a hangover from a week of drunken rage spent stumbling half-naked through the subways of New York, shouting at strangers and ticket machines about how “Michael Clayton” was robbed for best screenplay, I thought I was back in 2007. After all, there’s an ancient epic from Warner Bros., a new Martin Lawrence comedy and… well, Jason Statham seems to have a new movie every month. Upon further investigation, however, “300” and “Wild Hogs” haven’t been retitled and my life returns to some semblance of order.

“10,000 B.C.”
You’ve overseen the invasion of planet Earth by alien forces, trashed New York City by way of a gigantic lizard and buried the entire northern hemisphere under 300 feet of ice and snow. What’s next? Simple, really — you travel back in time 12,000 years and try to find shit to destroy there, instead! Director Roland Emmerich goes medieval on the prehistoric era with an extravagant epic employing 2000 A.D-era computer graphics to breathe life into huge woolly mammoths.
Opens wide.

“The Bank Job”
This Roger Donaldson-helmed cockney crime caper is based on the true story of a 1971 bank robbery of hundreds of security deposit boxes in London and its aftermath. Jason Statham and his crew of likely lads are hired by some shady figures looking to protect the Royal Family after compromising photos are traced to a box in the bank’s vault.
Opens wide.

After being cast out of Tibetan society under the belief that blindness is caused by demons, six visually impaired teenagers are taken under the wing of German social worker Sabriye Tenberken, who attempts the improbable by leading them 23,000 feet up the north face of Mount Everest. English documentarian Lucy Walker, who previously directed the Spirit Award-nominated Amish doc “The Devil’s Playground,” captures it all on film. “Blindspot” won audience awards at both the 2006 AFI Film Festival and at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival.
Opens in New York; expands March 14.

The irrepressible Stephen Chow follows up the hugely successful “Kung Fu Hustle” with this gentle family comedy. Chow writes, directs, produces and stars as a widower indebted to his boss and unable to afford a Christmas present for his son. Skulking around a junkyard, he stumbles across the film’s titular character, the impossibly cute CJ7, an alien he mistakes for a toy and brings home to unexpected results.
Opens in limited release.

“College Road Trip”
Once again recycling his “tightly wound authority figure with the short fuse” schtick, Martin Lawrence stars as a police chief and overprotective father who freaks out when he realizes just how far away his daughter’s college plans will take her. In a stroke of corporate synergy, Raven-Symoné, star of the Disney Channel’s “That’s So Raven,” plays Lawrence’s long-suffering offspring who tries to break out on her own.
Opens wide.

“Fighting For Life”
Terry Sanders, the two-time Oscar winner who last co-directed the Vietnam prisoner of war documentary “Return with Honor,” returns to the battlefield with this documentary about the unsung heroes of the U.S. armed forces — the field army medical core deployed on the front lines of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Taking politics out of the equation, the film focuses on the humanity and compassion of the people charged with saving lives under some of the most difficult and dangerous conditions on Earth.
Opens in limited release.

Winner of a Special Jury Prize for “uncompromising singularity of vision” at the 2007 SXSW film festival, “Frownland” is the story of a man trying to make a living selling coupons door to door. In his directorial debut, Ronald Bronstein delivers a darkly sardonic portrait of one man’s staggering level of social awkwardness and painful inability to communicate and form meaningful relationships with the people around him.
Opens in New York.

“Girls Rock!”
Arne Johnson and Shane King take us behind the scenes of Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls, a program designed to combat the indoctrination of teenage girls to conform to a preconceived image by the mainstream media. Every year, the camp takes in eight- to 18-year-old girls and schools them in self-empowerment through music, which leads not only to better self-esteem and self-image, but a chance at becoming the next Joan Jett.
Opens in limited release.

“Married Life”
Chris Cooper leads an all-star cast in Ira Sachs’s adaptation of John Bingham’s cult novel about a man who falls in love with a seductive young woman (Rachel McAdams) but can’t bear the thought of breaking the heart of his wife (Patricia Clarkson). He decides it’d be kindest to find a way to kill the missus. Pierce Brosnan costars.
Opens in limited release.

“Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day”
This romantic farce tells of Miss Pettigrew (Francis McDormand), a perpetually unemployed London governess who poses as a social secretary out of desperation and gets hired by dizzy socialite, Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams). Determined to enjoy herself for a change, Miss Pettigrew decides to make herself right at home and sets a task of navigating Delysia through her precariously overcrowded love life. “Pettigrew” was penned by the tag team of Simon Beaufoy (“The Full Monty”) and David Magee (“Finding Neverland”).
Opens in limited release.

“Paranoid Park”
Enigmatic, divisive director Gus Van Sant returns with another slice of his singular vision of American pie, complete with the usual flavors of innocence lost and youthful alienation. Based on the Blake Nelson novel of the same name, “Paranoid Park” relates the story of Alex, a young skateboarder who must deal with a crisis of conscience after he accidentally kills a security guard while trying to hitch a train ride. Cannes already issued its verdict — “Park” took home a special 60th Anniversary Prize at last year’s festival.
Opens in limited release.

“Snow Angels”
A highlight of last year’s Sundance Film Festival, “Snow Angels” reveals the unfulfilled lives abounding in a declining Pennsylvania town in indie darling David Gordon Green’s adaptation of Stewart O’Nan’s novel. A high school pair (Michael Angarano and Olivia Thirlby) fall in love as an estranged grown-up couple (Sam Rockwell and Kate Beckinsale) deal with the bitter end of their relationship. Amy Sedaris, Nicky Katt and Griffin Dunne round out the eclectic cast.
Opens in New York.

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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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