This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.

DID YOU READ

Did You Hear About “Avatar”?

Did You Hear About “Avatar”? (photo)

Posted by on

This week we can immerse ourselves in tales of American sentiment, French fantasy, English history, Italian romance and alien invasion.

“Avatar”
After more than a decade on hiatus, James Cameron returns from his days as “King of the World” with a mind on conquering a few new ones in this sci-fi epic that the director maintains will alter the face of moviemaking forever. (Early reviews seem to agree.) A galaxy away from Cameron’s days as a miniature maker on Roger Corman’s “Battle Beyond the Stars,” “Avatar” blends performance capture technology with real world photography to create Pandora, where a troubled U.S. marine (Sam Worthington) is tasked with infiltrating the Na’vi, a tribe of primitive but proud aliens, via a genetically created body, though he finds his loyalties torn when he falls in love with one of their own (Zoe Saldana). The film’s reported $300 million price tag is surely the stuff of Hollywood accountant’s nightmares, especially since some have been quick to jump all over the oddly familiar premise as merely “Dances With Smurfs.” But hey, it’s James Cameron, so if he wants to film Julian Sands reading from a take-out menu inside a darkened cupboard, we’d still line up around the block to go and see it.
Opens wide and in 3D and IMAX.

“Crazy Heart”
Having scooped up a trio of nominations at the forthcoming Spirit Awards, writer/director Scott Cooper’s adaptation of Thomas Cobb’s novel finds Jeff Bridges stepping into the worn boots of Bad Blake, an over-the-hill country crooner subsisting on a steady diet of tips and regrets as he travels the Midwest bowling alley circuit for low-paying gigs. While in Santa Fe, he meets a curious feature writer (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who inspires him to face the humbling prospect of opening for his former protégé Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell) and getting his life back on track. The film’s country bonafides are affirmed by the producing presence of “O Brother Where Art Thou”‘s music supervisor T Bone Burnett and Robert Duvall, whose supporting role in “Crazy Heart” will remind many of his Oscar-winning performance at the center of the similarly themed “Tender Mercies.”
Opens in New York and Los Angeles on December 16th.

“Did You Hear About The Morgans?”
The holiday season is upon us, and that means peace on Earth and goodwill to all men — unless, of course, they’re insufferable yuppies, in which case they must be abused, tormented and ultimately shamed into repentance. For his first film since 2007’s “Music and Lyrics,” Hugh Grant reunites with writer/director Marc Lawrence for something of a reverse country-bumpkin riff on “The Out-of-Towners,” the 1970 Neil Simon comedy that Lawrence coincidentally remade once already in 1999. Also reuniting with Grant is his “Extreme Measures” co-star Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays Grant’s better half in a loveless Manhattan couple that is relocated to Wyoming after witnessing a mob murder and find their disintegrating marriage reinvigorated by small-town charm and the disarmingly slow pace of life.
Opens wide.

“Nine”
Were someone sophisticated (read: nerdy) enough to devise a Fantasy Football-type game based on the movies, you’d be hard pressed to pick a stronger starting lineup than director Rob Marshall has cobbled together for this likely statuette magnet. For starters, Michael Tolkin and the late Anthony Minghella penned the adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical inspired by Federico Fellini’s beloved autobiographical opus “8 1/2,” with Daniel Day-Lewis taking on the part of filmmaker and mercurial lothario Guido Contini. Delivering a raucous serenade to the enchanting enigma of women in all their guises, Contini, in desperate need of a hit, sweats out a script while dodging irate producers and curious journalists as his mind and memory drifts between thoughts of his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penélope Cruz), his confidante (Judi Dench), his mother (Sophia Loren), his muse (Nicole Kidman), a reporter (Kate Hudson) and a whore from his old neighborhood (Fergie).
Opens in limited release; opens wide on December 25th.

“The Other Side of Paradise”
Husband-and-wife team of director Justin D. Hilliard and co-writer/star Arianne Martin offer up a semi-autobiographical interpretation of their courtship in the form of a meandering road trip that sees two longtime friends dance around their deeper feelings and are periodically distracted by American indie staples like unwanted familial obligation and kooky backwater folk. Martin stars as Rose Hewitt, a free-spirited photographer who invites her recently dumped BFF Alex (John Elliott) to join her on a drive to a gallery opening in Austin, stopping en route to pick up her recently paroled brother Jamie (Frank Mosley) and drop him off with their dad (Jodie Moore).
Opens in New York.

12122009_Ricky.jpg“Ricky”
It’s a brave director (or merely a French one) that will play parental anxiety over infant mortality for chuckles, but that’s exactly what festival darling François Ozon does with this perplexing mixture of working class worry and far out fantasy about a diapered protag who literally wants to fly the nest. Born out of a bizarre short story by English author Rose Tremain, this surrealist portrait of primal fear stars Alexandra Lamy as Katie, a factory worker who conceives a child with her co-worker (Sergi López) that wreaks havoc on the couple’s simple domestic life as Katie begins to notice something strange about her new baby and her older daughter becomes jealous. In French with subtitles.
Opens in New York on December 16th and available on VOD.

“A Town Called Panic”
Originally a stop-motion series of whimsical tales about a trio of Plastiscine figurines in their remote prairie town, this Belgian animated feature could be best described as a less vulgar “Robot Chicken,” although Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier’s puppetoon in fact predates Seth Green’s Cartoon Network hit by several years. This bigscreen adventure centers on the Cowboy (voiced by Aubier) and Indian’s (Bruce Ellison) search for the perfect gift for their friend Horse (Patar) that lets loose a world of trouble for all three when an internet shopping mishap results in the unfortunate delivery of 50 million bricks that wind up crushing the gang’s house.
Opens in New York on December 16th; opens in Los Angeles on January 29th.

“The Young Victoria”
Reflective of the, shall we say, “selectively” multicultural nature of the European monarchies, this lush slice of squabbling aristocracy is produced by an American (Martin Scorsese no less), an Englishman (Graham King), and a former member of the British Royal Family (Sarah Ferguson), directed by a French-Canadian (Jean-Marc Vallée), and tells how Queen Victoria came to marry a Saxon Duke of German ancestry dispatched from Luxembourg at the behest of a scheming Belgian. (Phew!) As much a love story as a history lesson, the film follows Victoria (Emily Blunt) from her melancholic childhood prior to ascension to her many battles with her devious comptroller Sir John Conroy (Mark Strong), her dangerous alliance with elitist Lord Melbourne (Paul Bettany), and her singular relationship with the future Prince Albert (Rupert Friend), whose letters back-and-forth from Buckingham were the 19th century equivalent of going steady.
Opens in limited release.

Watch More
Uncle-Buck

Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

Watch More
IFC_Portlandia-AORewind-blog

A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

Watch More
SistersWeekend_103_MPX-1920×1080

WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

Posted by on

Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

IFC_Comedy-Crib_Sisters-Weekend-Series-Image

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

SistersWeekend_101_MPX-1920x1080

IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

IFC_Comedy-Crib_Sisters-Weekend_About-Image

IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

SistersWeekend_102_MPX-1920x1080

IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

Watch More