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I’m a Polar Bear, Get Me Outta Here

I’m a Polar Bear, Get Me Outta Here (photo)

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On the nonfiction side of cinema this week, you’ve got portraits of a famous banjo player, an infamous boxer and, er, nature, while the fiction side delves into a dystopic, mutant-infested future, a bedraggled small town in Korea and Bret Easton Ellis’ decadent ’80s Los Angeles.

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The Mouse House launches its brand new nature documentary arm Disneynature with an Earth Day premiere of this year-in-the-life-of-our-planet feature. The bad news is that “Earth” recycles a lot of the footage from the BBC series “Planet Earth,” which anyone who feels the least bit smug about their TV already owns. The good news is that “Planet Earth” is pretty sick, and seeing it on the big screen is bound to be an improvement over even the glossiest home HD experience.. Patrick Stewart narrated the U.K. version of the film, but here in the U.S. Lord Vader himself, James Earl Jones, lends his gravelly vocal gravitas to the inevitable environmental message.
Opens Wednesday, April 22nd in limited release.

“Treeless Mountain”
Two young Korean girls are put in the care of their neglectful, alcoholic aunt while their mother tries to track down their absentee father in this second film from director So Yong Kim, whose 2006 debut “In Between Days” was a critical favorite. Left to their own devices, Jin and Bin must fend for themselves, but “Treeless Mountain” doesn’t give in to easy sentimentality, instead choosing to tell its delicate and absorbing story from an immersive child’s eye view.
Opens Wednesday, April 22nd in New York.

“Baby on Board”
Heather Graham and Jerry O’Connell play a workaholic couple whose lives are thrown into chaos by their unplanned pregnancy in this film from Brian Herzlinger, who you may remember from “My Date with Drew.” The most notable thing about this comedy may be that distributor Angry Monkey Entertainment is launching it exclusively in digital theaters classified as “E-Cinema,” as opposed to those meeting the “D-Cinema” standard, a distinction that likely won’t matter to any average moviegoer.
Opens in limited release.

“Empty Nest”
Argentinean filmmaker Daniel Burman’s last feature, “Family Law,” was about the relationships between fathers and sons. His new film, “Empty Nest,” skips ahead to a post-parenting era. The comedic drama looks into the lives of a prosperous and supposedly happily married couple who find that, their children grown and gone, they have no choice but to deal with decades of accumulated annoyances and resentments. The husband, a playwright suffering from writer’s block, escapes into flights of fancy he begins to have trouble separating from reality.
Opens in New York.

Writer, punk rocker and former model Dito Montiel made a splash with his filmmaking debut, 2006’s autobiographical Queens-set “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints.” For his next trick, Montiel’s trying out more mainstream territory with this action flick starring “Saints”‘ Channing Tatum as a streetwise (naturally) hustler who’s brought into the world of underground bare-knuckling brawling by a man who becomes his manager (Terrence Howard).
Opens in wide release.

“The Garden”
Also known as the nonfiction film no one had heard of at the Oscars, Scott Hamilton Kennedy’s “The Garden” was up for an Academy Award for best documentary feature earlier this year, but is only now getting its turn in theaters. The film delves into the battle to preserve a 14-acre community garden in South Central Los Angeles that developers hope to bulldoze in order to build warehouses.
Opens in Los Angeles.

“Il Divo”
How dead-on you’ll find Paolo Sorrentino’s savage satire will depend on your familiarity with Italian politics — the film skewers the less-than-honorable Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, who’s been elected to the Italian parliament seven times despite, or because of, his shady connections. Even if you’ve never heard of Andreotti, who reportedly walked out of a screening declaring “no, no — that is really too much,” there’s something to be said for Sorrentino’s visual style, which juxtaposes its flashiness with an intentionally and amusingly flat performance from lead Toni Servillo.
Opens in New York.

“The Informers”
Though he’s credited as one of the screenwriters on this adaptation of his 1994 short story collection, Bret Easton Ellis backed away from the film in a recent interview with MTV, saying “as a writer, you definitely feel a certain lack of control.” Maybe it’s that “The Informers,” a tale of ’80s L.A. excess starring Kim Basinger, Billy Bob Thornton, Brad Renfro (in his last film) and many others, was shredded by critics when it premiered at Sundance, with Variety claiming it rated “less than zero on the sophistication scale.”
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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