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“Monopoly” as bad advertising.

“Monopoly” as bad advertising. (photo)

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There’s too many stupid movies these days based on comics, video and board games and theme park rides, but I’ll skip the dearth of originality preamble and, well, just pass go and collect $200. That’s because there’s a new movie based on “Monopoly” in the pipeline and there’s not a thing you can do about it. Suck it up. For the edification of the Los Angeles Times‘ Geoff Boucher, writer Frank Beddor explains how Ridley Scott came to be attached: it was all thanks to the originality and hypnotic qualities of Beddor’s scenario. He “created” a “lovable loser” (the first in film history) who isn’t a very good real estate broker but is — oh sweet irony — really good at “Monopoly,” and awakens one morning to find himself in “Monopoly City.” Of course, it’s not really about money: “it’s more a metaphor for life, the taking of chances and this character through this process learns that he can do a lot of things. He’s completely brave and strategic and risk-taking while playing this game but in real life he’s a mess. He won’t roll the dice. That’s the character and journey he has to take.”

I won’t mock it; it’s too easy. If Ridley Scott really thinks it’s a good idea to follow up his utterly unnecessary “Robin Hood” redo with a board game adaptation, that’s his problem. I do, however, question the marketing logic behind this. While recent toy tie-ins like “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” have tapped into the nostalgia for the ’80s, “Monopoly” stirs up different kind of memories: Beddor claims Scott signed on in part because of how super-wicked-awesome the script was, and in part because he had “these epic ‘Monopoly’ battles with my family when I was young.” Which is adorable. I would, however, point out, that Scott is 71 this year; Beddor has kept his age off the Internet, but if he graduated high school in 1977 (as, to be fair, only an unsourced Wikipedia line claims), he’s close to 50, and their fond memories of endless, protracted (“epic”) board games with their lovely families may not match the memories of anyone slightly younger, such as anyone forced to spend hours with their family in forced “bonding” time. (In my opinion, it’s the family that jams “Rock Band” that stays together rather than the family sulkily huddled over “Monopoly,” but what do I know?

Beddor’s precedent logic — that “Pirates of the Caribbean” was just a theme-park ride, and it was turned into incredibly successful (and maddeningly boring) movies — doesn’t apply here, simply because I doubt that a vast majority of the blockbuster hordes who saw it actually had any knowledge whatsoever of the actual, dated Disneyland ride and although “Monopoly” is still here — in video game form – do people really want to spend much time at Park Place? As I said before, it’s inevitable, just as one should expect “Monopoly: The Movie: The Game” any day now.

[Photo: “Monopoly” video game for Wii, Electronic Arts, 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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