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The wasted opportunity of “Undisputed 3.”

The wasted opportunity of “Undisputed 3.” (photo)

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We’re not really types to you present you with three brand-new EXCLUSIVE!!! stills of an upcoming movie, or to countdown to the premiere of a new trailer, or to chase down casting rumors. There are plenty of other blogs that do that kind of thing better.

But I’d like to point out the selection of “Five More Stills” from “Undisputed 3” over at Twitch, which amused/nonplussed me (it’s funny to imagine who would be holding their breath over this one). “Undisputed 3,” of course, is the third installment of the fighting-in-prison series inaugurated by Walter Hill in 2002’s “Undisputed” and continued on DVD with 2006’s “Undisputed II: Last Man Standing.”

Aside from the poster’s switch from high-falutin’ Roman numerals to good, all-American Arabic numerals, there appears to be a greater connection between the latter two installments (i.e., they kept the mean Russian prison boxing character) than between the first movie and its sequel, which, as can be the case when a franchise gets downgraded to direct-to-video budgets, had little in way of continuity with the original.

But the first “Undisputed” is actually one of the Naughts’ great underrated sleepers; within its self-imposed limitations, it’s just about perfect. Ving Rhames plays the Tyson-esque boxer sent to jail protesting he didn’t rape anyone; Wesley Snipes is the lifer and resident champ. A deal is brokered under the watchful eyes of Mafioso Peter Falk, and the final fight is everything you’ve been waiting for.

01152010_undisputed.jpgHill edits for economy and punch; it’s one of the more breathlessness-inducing movies I’ve seen from our dearly departed decade. It was also an immensely frustrating experience: distributor Miramax decided rapist-vs.-murderer lacked audience sympathy and, to his everlasting credit, Snipes refused to shoot a scene that would’ve made him more likable. In revenge, Miramax dumped the movie and Hill stalked off to television for a while, presumably disgusted that one of his best films had been treated so vilely.

The subsequent “Undisputed” films are, alas, all genre hambone and money-shot fights — which seems like a waste of the strong original premise. Direct-to-DVD sequels are a dime a dozen, even for decent films. But in this case, the original movie really worked in a stripped-down way a ’40s B-movie craftsman might’ve appreciated, and to see that tossed in the trash stings a little bit.

[Photos: “Undisputed 3,” New Line Home Video, 2010; “Undisputed,” Miramax, 2002]

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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 IFC.com

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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.

Uncle-Buck

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

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…