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Clip Analysis: Just How Dirty Is the L.A.P.D. in “L. A. Noire”?

Clip Analysis: Just How Dirty Is the L.A.P.D. in “L. A. Noire”? (photo)

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Video game teasers tend to stick to a certain formula: dazzle the viewer with awesome graphics, show off some of the games’ abilities and maybe dribble a little story out to tantalize would-be players. But every so often, one piece of video-centric marketing will float above the rest or sink to join the sludge.

In Clip Analysis, I’ll be looking at trailers, teasers and just about any game-related video in an effort to call out what works and what doesn’t in terms of communicating a particular game’s coolness.

This time, I’ll be taking a look at the third trailer for “L.A. Noire,” the upcoming detective game from Rockstar Games.

If there’s one thing that’s true of a good detective story, it’s that nothing is as it seems. So, in this latest “L.A. Noire” trailer, it looks like the upstanding cops who’d be supposedly working to clean up the City of Angels with lead character Cole Phelps may not be so upstanding after all.

The new clip shows off just how tough a job it’s going to be for Phelps–played by Aaron Staton (“Mad Men”)–to try and clean up crime in post-war L.A. It’s entirely probable that the dead junkies, fixed fights and on-the-take cops seen in the trailer are all connected and it’ll be up to gamers interrogating suspects to find out how. One intriguing line (at 0:27) seems to hint that if Phelps wants to move up the food chain, he’s going to have to play along with the shady goings-on. Then, at the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ve got a commanding officer telling Phelps (at 1:05) to raise holy hell out on the streets, in the name of honest policework. It’ll be interesting if these moments hint at a choice Cole will have to make in the game. Generally, classic noir protagonists either stand strong in the face of temptation or find themselves needing make moral compromises of their own. No matter how it plays out, it looks like coming up against shady dealings involving heavy-duty drug deals and signs that not every cop in the LAPD may be on the up and up. And, as cinematic as it all looks, it’s important to remember that these scenes are what the actual gameplay’s going to look like. “Fringe”‘s John Noble shows up at 0:19 as gotta-be-a-bad-guy Leland Monroe, who’s sure to be a major player in the dirtying-up of cops in the game. L.A.’s got a long, unfortunate history of corrupt and overzealous policing so it’s great to see Rockstar’s creative nodding at such charged real-world occurrences. There’ll probably be more gorgeousness on dispay when “L.A. Noire” shows at Tribeca Film Festival later this month.

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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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