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Shia’s not shy about criticism.

Shia’s not shy about criticism. (photo)

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In Cannes promoting his new film, Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” Shia LaBeouf publicly criticized the last film that brought him to the glamorously carpeted steps of the Grand Théâtre Lumière, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” According to The Los Angeles Times‘s Steven Zeitchik, LaBeouf opened up about his dissatisfaction with both his performance as Mutt Williams and with “Indy 4” as a whole. “I feel like I dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished,” LaBeouf said. The “Transformers” star also singled out the infamous Tarzan-esque vine swinging sequence (“The actor’s job is to make it come alive and make it work, and I couldn’t do it. So that’s my fault.”) and added that Harrison Ford shared his view of the film (“We had major discussions. He wasn’t happy with it either.”).

I get a big kick out of LaBeouf’s comments, and not just because I hated “Crystal Skull.” (In fact, I thought the first two-thirds of it were rather fun; I’m with Shia on the Tarzan stuff though.) No, I’m particularly entertained because LaBeouf’s being honest and candid at a time when honesty and candor are probably the least valued elements of film coverage. As a guy who’s attended a lot of press junkets — the place where most of the interviews like the one between Zeitchik and LaBeouf happen — I can tell you: these are not places for probing, hard-hitting reportage. Mostly, they are the home to a cautious, anxious dance between filmmakers (looking to get the most and best publicity) and journalists (looking to get the most and best access). Video interviews rarely last longer than five minutes; print interviews longer than 20. There’s danger on both sides: if actors say something dumb, it winds up all over the Internet; if reporters ask questions they’re not supposed to ask, they find themselves uninvited from future junkets.

05172010_shia2.jpgThough it’s been decades since most reporters had unfettered access to stars, it seems like a few Hollywood actors are, like LaBeouf, beginning to grow weary of the Hollywood code of silence. Former “Grey’s Anatomy” star Katherine Heigl has become almost as famous for her derogatory comments about her work as the work itself; she famously called “Knocked Up,” her breakthrough from television to film, “sexist,” and described her character as a “killjoy” and “a bitch.” Earlier this year, Matthew Goode told The Daily Telegraph that his recent romantic comedy “Leap Year” was a “turgid” movie and a “bad job” that he took so he could “come home on weekends.”

And it’s possible that in speaking out, LaBeouf was taking a cue from his “Transformers” co-star Megan Fox who, while promoting “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” on “The Early Show” said of the movie, “I’m in the movie, and I read the script, and I watched the movie, and I still didn’t know what was happening. So I think if…you see it and you understand it, I think you might be a genius.” Fox also broke another unwritten rule during her eventful “Revenge of the Fallen” press tour: she publicly bashed her director, Michael Bay, comparing him to Hitler and Napoleon in a single soundbyte. (LaBeouf wisely tempered his criticism with several well-chosen, butt-kissing compliments about “Crystal Skull” director Steven Spielberg.)

Social media sites like Twitter are breaking down the publicist-erected wall between fans and stasr more and more every day; Jim Carrey recently drew headlines for criticizing Tiger Woods’s wife Elin Nordegren on his Twitter account. All of these factors may force studios to tighten the reins on their talent even further. Personally, I’m hoping, somehow and someway, we get back to the days when a guy like Roger Ebert could write a story about Lee Marvin hiding other women’s panties from his girlfriend and threatening to kill his dog.

[Photos: “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” Paramount Pictures, 2008.]

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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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