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Life as an “Interquel”

Life as an “Interquel” (photo)

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This week finds us lampooning the ’50s, waxing nostalgic about the ’80s and lamenting the fact that Vin Diesel ever made it out of the early ’00s. There are also high school kids trying to get off, Brian Cox trying to get out and the finest nomadic goat herder rom-com you’ll ever see.

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Having played no small part in shepherding in the current bromance boom, “Superbad” director Greg Mottola reverts back to the more traditional boy-meets-girl formula for this ’80s comedy based on his own experience working amidst the disheveled and dispirited at a Long Island theme park. Perennially awkward Jesse Eisenberg stars as James Brennan, who, having realized a tad too late that a degree in renaissance literature was not the fastest track to six figures, resigns himself to minimum wage eternity while making eyes at the cute and edgy Em (Kristen Stewart), unprepared for the skeletons her closet contains. Bill Hader, Kristin Wiig, Ryan Reynolds and Margarita Levieva co-star as a few of the uptights and cool kids that populate the park.
Opens wide.

“Alien Trespass”
The only possible explanation for the lack of spoofs of the golden age of sci-fi cinema circa the 1950s is that in many respects it’d be hard to distinguish them from the genuine article, but director R.W. Goodwin, an executive producer of “The X-Files,” anchors his attempt somewhere between “It Came From Outer Space” and “Mars Attacks.” “Alien Trespass” is presented as a recently unearthed genre classic in which a flying saucer slams into a Mojave mountain range, causing the lost extraterrestrials to assume control of the bodies of gawky scientist Ted (Eric McCormack) and other locals while repairs are carried out on their damaged ship.
Opens in limited release.

“Bart Got A Room”
The tale of an awkward Jewish teen desperate to lose his virginity will likely draw comparisons to “American Pie,” right down to his uncomfortably enthusiastic dad (played here by a Jewfro’d William H. Macy), but a PG-13 rating ensures that no kugels were harmed in the making of this family-friendly film. Opting for gags that are more about growing up than grossing out, first-time writer/director Brian Hecker is content for his coming-of-age comedy to be sweet where others might insist of saucy. Steven J. Kaplan stars as Danny Stein, an overachiever in every respect but his love life. In need of a date for prom, he turns to his eccentric parents (Macy and Cheryl Hines) and his best friend (“Arrested Development”‘s Alia Shawkat) to make sure he doesn’t go solo.
Opens in limited release.

“C Me Dance”
When a lot of people hear the term “evangelical horror,” they will immediately think of films like “Jesus Camp” (Google the term and in fact, that’s the first thing that comes up), but as oxymoronish as it sounds, it’s become a genuine subgenre, with last November’s “House” being a recent example. While “House” had an eerie locale and a veteran character actor (Michael Madsen) in its midst, faith-based writer/director Greg Robbins’ no-budget shocker has only a camera and some red contact lenses to work with. Robbins also stars as Vince, a “hard working, God loving man” whose daughter Sheri’s (Christina DeMarco) dreams of dancing are shattered by a devastating medical diagnosis. Prayer grants the distraught Sheri a miracle only for the Devil (Peter Kent) to try to intervene.
Opens in limited release.

“Enlighten Up”
Despite the fact that yoga’s essentially is a simple prescription of body posture and breathing exercises, it’s also a surprisingly divisive phenomenon. For every person who swears it’s the most liberating experience of his or her life, there’s another who dismisses it as a bunch of tree-hugging hippie crap. As one of the former determined to convert one of the latter, documentary filmmaker Kate Churchill observes and reports on the progress of her skeptical guinea pig Nick, who’s pledged himself to Kate’s extensive yoga immersion program that threatens to bend both his body and mind to its breaking point.
Opens in New York.

“The Escapist”
When it comes to prison, British cinema is generally only interested in what happens to get you in there and what happens after you get out, rarely bothering with the period in between. Similarly Brian Cox, a titan in the annals of great supporting players, takes surprisingly few lead roles, so when he does choose one you can be sure there’s something to it. Set amidst the customary horrors of prison, debuting co-writer/director Rupert Wyatt places his pathos in the hands of aging lifer Frank Perry (Brian Cox), who assembles a ragtag convict crew, each with a particular skill to lend, to assist in an audacious great escape upon learning his estranged daughter is ill. Damian Lewis, Joseph Fiennes and Seu Jorge are among his charges.
Opens in limited release.

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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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