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DID YOU READ

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.

“Blindsight”
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.

“CJ7”
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.

“Frownland”
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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Uncle-Buck

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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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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