This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.


It’s Ebert vs. Knowles in the battle of “Kick-Ass.”

It’s Ebert vs. Knowles in the battle of “Kick-Ass.” (photo)

Posted by on

Somewhere in between Roger Ebert’s pan of “Kick-Ass” and arch-geek-number-one Harry Knowles’ rebuttal lies something like the truth.

For Ebert, the big concern isn’t the possible sexualization of a little girl (which is a baseless argument; the movie doesn’t go there at all, and to his credit he doesn’t worry about it) so much as the very real possibility that six-year-olds taken by their lazy parents to this insanely violent movie will attempt to imitate it with deadly consequences. Knowles’ response has something to do with how comic books train the youth of today to think independently and that the kids are desensitized by video games and are foul-mouthed, so nothing will surprise them.

Let’s talk about those video games for a second. Towards the end of the film [mild SPOILER], Hit-Girl advances upon a collection of bad guys and prepares to let the fire power fly. The movie then briefly becomes a first-person shooter a la “Doom” (the only feature aside from “House of the Dead” to try to translate that video game aesthetic to the screen so far), thereby implicitly acknowledging the multiple lines of things-that-are-inappropriate-for-but-wildly-popular-with-kids being crossed.

04152010_kickass.jpgIt’s part of the movie’s agenda of baiting every form of media that can show kids inappropriate things (YouTube comes up a lot). Everything reprehensible done by a child or teenager (Online porn! Back-alley sex! Bad language!) is tied to something most children already have ready access to. “Kick-Ass” lights the bomb and tries to simultaneously defuse it by reminding us that it’s just showing us kids doing things they can access already.

This isn’t the most responsible tack to take. If you’re inclined to already worry about the coarsening of American youth, “Kick-Ass” isn’t going to help at all. There’s sympathy to be had for both sides here — yes, this would’ve been culturally unacceptable 20 years ago (except as some kind of cultishly circulated underground VHS spectacular) and yes, worrying about the effect a movie has on children is old hat when the internet makes any depravity instantly accessible in ten seconds or your money back.

Sympathy for the angel or devil? Both — just because a movie aligns itself with things that are even worse and uncensorable doesn’t let it off the hook, but it’s impossible to imagine “Kick-Ass” warping more adolescent minds than, you know, underage viewings of “Fight Club.”

[Photos: “Kick-Ass,” Lions Gate Films, 2010]

Watch More

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

Posted by on

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

Watch More

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

Posted by on

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.

Watch More

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

Watch More