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Sounding the depths of “Hancock.”

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07022008_hancock.jpgSorry for the radio silence — vacation, then the always more challenging vacation recovery.

I know I’m not the only one to have mentally written off “Hancock” once its marketing campaign stopped presenting it as a comedy and started pitching it as an action movie, indicating that studio higher-ups somewhere had begun to doubt the film’s ability to generated Big Laffs, and decided to pretend it was never really intended to generate said Laffs to begin with. Despite what look to be some awesome tonal problems, “Hancock” has the most promisingly complex premise of the summer tentpoles, and while the reviews have been the definition of mixed, they’ve also suggested the film at least flirts with some semi-ambitious themes and goes places you wouldn’t expect from July 4th weekend fodder. A selection:

Wesley Morris at the Boston Globe: “As a courtesy I won’t be terribly specific, but the movie suggests a rather incredible racial odyssey. It culminates with an intriguing Hollywood metaphor for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s endless tussle for the Democratic nomination.”

Manohla Dargis at the New York Times: “He’s Pothole Man, Train Wreck Man, but mainly he’s Seriously Ticked Off Man, which, given that he’s also a black man in Los Angeles, suggests that this superhero story comes with some bite, even a few nibbling sharp teeth.”

An extremely supportive David Denby at the New Yorker: “We’re also puzzled by Berg’s visual style, which, in these intimate scenes, depends on a handheld camera, restlessly moving yet pinned to the actors in super-tight closeups. It’s as if he were making a Cassavetes psychodrama. Suddenly, we realize why he stays so close. We are watching genuine actors at work, not well-paid hired hands filling up the space between agitated zeroes and ones.”

Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times: “I have been waiting for this for years: a superhero movie where the actions of the superheroes have consequences in the real world.”

Stephanie Zacharek at Salon: “I still can’t get over the movie’s suggestive reference to Hancock’s coke use, or even just his reckless swilling of liquor — we are talking about a character played by one of the most popular stars in Hollywood today, an actor who, whether he wants it or not, has been draped with the mantle of role model.”

[Photo: “Hancock,” Columbia Pictures, 2008]

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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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