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A good editor can be a bad sign.

A good editor can be a bad sign. (photo)

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This Friday sees the release of the by most counts wretched rebooted “The Wolfman,” whose long and troubled production is no secret. The man who walked the movie through its final cut? Walter Murch, a golden god among editors for his pioneering work with sound design on “THX 1138,” “American Graffiti,” sound and editing on “Apocalypse Now,” and so on.

Yet Murch — who I presume commands a high fee for his participation on projects that, unlike “Tetro” and “Youth Without Youth,” are pretty useless — has some other notable flops he’s worked on: 1994’s Julia Roberts fiasco “I Love Trouble,” 1995’s “First Knight.”

Generally speaking, the presence of a legendary editor on an unlikely project spells trouble, a mess that called for the finest hands possible to attempt salvage it. Take Anne V. Coates, whose place in film history would be assured just for “Lawrence of Arabia”‘s match cut. (For good measure, her other credits include “The Elephant Man” and “Out Of Sight.”) Her latest film? “Extraordinary Measures,” the forgettable Brendan Fraser-Harrison Ford movie that’s already come and gone.

02112010_gadget.jpgMore examples: once, Dede Allen edited “The Hustler,” “Bonnie and Clyde,” “Serpico,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Slap Shot” and (just for good measure) “The Breakfast Club.” In the past decade, she’s been lured out of inactivity just a few times: for “John Q,” the failed Robin Williams sci-fi drama “The Final Cut” and a Julia Roberts movie so bad (“Fireflies in the Garden”) it never even saw domestic release.

Or Jerry Greenberg, Murch’s colleague on “Apocalypse Now,” the guy behind “The French Connection”‘s legendary car chase and a De Palma veteran (“Scarface,” “The Untouchables,” “Body Double”) whose credits over the last decade include “Inspector Gadget,” “Bringing Down The House,” and “Get Carter” with Sylvester Stallone.

Once you become awesome enough, it seems, you no longer edit good movies. You’ll be paid well to try to salvage the unsalvagable in post. And that’s the only good thing about terrible yet unamusing movies: they give editing legends the paychecks they deserve. And warn you to stay far, far away.

[Photos: “Apocalypse Now,” Paramount, 1979; “Inspector Gadget,” Disney, 1999]

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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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