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Review: “Micmacs,” paddywhack, give a dog a bone.

Review: “Micmacs,” paddywhack, give a dog a bone. (photo)

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Reviewed at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.

A man who works in a video store and spends his days watching movies catches a stray bullet to the brain and winds up in a movie himself in French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “Micmacs,” which looks a bit like “Yojimbo” or “A Fistful of Dollars,” where a savvy warrior places himself between two powerful rivals and engineers their mutual destruction, refracted through Jeunet’s (best known here for “Amélie”) trademark whimsical touch.

The man in this case is Bazil (Dany Boon) and after he survives his head injury but loses his job and his home, he’s taken in by a group of misfits that resembles a French, grown-up version of The Goonies, and includes a contortionist (Julie Ferrier), a girl with a knack for numbers (Marie-Julie Baup), and a human cannonball (Dominique Pinon). After Bazil learns that the bullet that’s taken up permanent residence in his skull and the land mine that killed his father in Africa years earlier were made by competing weapons manufacturers, he plans his revenge and recruits his new surrogate family to help him.

Their schemes bring a Rube Golderbergian prankster’s ethos to “Ocean’s 11”-style heist film shenanigans: they might stage a sexual encounter to distract a horny guard, and then a woman who can fit herself inside a refrigerator might slip a mickey in his coffee while he’s distracted. Leave it to Jeunet to take a fairly serious issue — the ethics of profiteering off the manufacture of deadly weapons — and tackle it with a hefty dose of absurdity and outlandish humor. Also leave it to Jeunet to make a film that uses the language of silent physical comedy to celebrate the spirit of grassroots activism and journalism on the Internet. By linking the two, he suggests that artists and journalists carving out a niche on YouTube are the ones carrying on the spirit and magic of film’s first pioneers, not the established filmmakers in Hollywood (or, for that matter, directors like himself).

04232010_micmacs2.jpgThere’s not much more to “Micmacs” than that, and audiences allergic to quirk should be warned that the film contains several sequences contaminated with near toxic levels. But Boon, a relative unknown in America but a massive star in France, is a charmingly disheveled protagonist, and the movie bounces from one ingeniously designed set piece to the next with the same ethos as its protagonists: an air of fun and a spirit of invention.

“Micmacs” will be released by Sony Pictures Classics on May 28th.

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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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