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How to outhype “Avatar.”

How to outhype “Avatar.” (photo)

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Robert Zemeckis is still trying to make motion capture happen. His upcoming Jim Carrey-starring version of “A Christmas Carol” will be his third made using the process, despite the fact that neither 2004’s “The Polar Express” nor 2007’s “Beowulf” was an overwhelming triumph at the box office.

There’s little indication that the public cares what sets “motion capture” apart from original recipe CGI; at press time, it does not yet appear to have escaped the uncanny valley. That Zemeckis keeps getting away with this suggests that being willing to test-drive unwieldy new technology is still worth a large investment to studios who can use it later when the bugs have been worked out, a trick he worked before with “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”

But even when expectations are low, Disney aims high. Since May, the Mouse House has been crossing the country with a trainful of props from the movie, beginning in LA and ending at Grand Central. And for its latest trick, Disney will drop one million pounds to flip the switch on London’s holiday lights early, a deal that took them two years to negotiate.

As Cahal Milmo reports in the Independent, instead of the traditional gradual illumination by neighborhood through the first half on November, all of the West End’s lights will come on at once on the 3rd to coincide with “A Christmas Carol”‘s premiere.

Though Milmo gets a bit churlish about the “apparent subjugation of one of the bulwarks of the Christmas calendar to the marketing timetable of a corporation with annual revenues of $37bn,” no one else seems willing to kick up a fuss about this bumping up of the holiday season a full fortnight, though there is a mention of “the hitherto unknown Movement for the Containment of Xmas,” which sent out notes threatening to superglue store locks shut if Christmas cards were put on sale too early. Carrey better watch out.

[Photo: “A Christmas Carol,” Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, 2009]

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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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