Monthly Archives: April 2013

The List: Marvel’s Best Superhero Films

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Like it or not, we live in the age of the superhero film. Although its origins can be traced back to the late 1970s with Richard Donner’s Superman, the comic book medium had created these characters long before that. Myself being a life-long comic book fan as well as a film buff, I see both the positives and negatives of such a trend. But as far as I’m concerned, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Although there have been plenty of clunkers, which have spawned sequels for no apparent reason, we’ve also been given a treasure trove of legitimately good adaptations of these fairy-tale-like characters. Marvel, who seems to have cornered the market on the superhero film as of late, is one of these companies with a backlog of memorable characters that have been brought to the big screen. As a life-long Marvel fan (Spider-Man in particular), it’s definitely exciting to see your favorite childhood characters brought to life for your enjoyment every Summer.

In anticipation of the release of this week’s Iron Man 3, I’ve decided to make a list of my favorite Marvel adaptations, both those made by Marvel Studios as well as outside studios. Let the Summer movie season commence!

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April Blogger Challenge: Something New I Learned this Month

This is the last post for the April Blogger Challenge. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go trivial or philosophical with this one, so I decided to use it as a segue into a new challenge instead!

From my last post, An Event You Would Like to Blog About, I discovered some cool blogs about Jane Austen. What new thing did I learn that I didn’t already know? Well, due to the anniversary of Pride and Prejudice‘s publication, there is a Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge! Who needs more excuses to watch P&P adaptations? Not me! But, I’ll take ’em anyway.

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IFF Boston 2013: A Black & White Doubleheader of Much Ado About Nothing & Frances Ha

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U.S. Release DateJune 7th, 2013

On my last day at the festival, I had the pleasure of catching not one, but two great films. First up is Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, which marks probably the strangest film-to-film transition for a director in the history of cinema. Last year, Whedon wrote and directed the mega-blockbuster smash The Avengers and chose to follow it up with this low-budget modern re-telling of a Shakespeare work that he shot in twelve days at his home. Now Whedon has long-been known for his television work, creating shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and my fav Firefly, and has amassed an incredibly large fan-base in the process. This fact certainly showed upon my arrival for the screening of his latest as I quite possibly endured the longest line in the history of cinema. Yes, longer than any midnight blockbuster showing I’ve been to. This is the power of the Whedon merging himself with ‘The Bard’, and it’s safe to say that the film as a whole is certainly a success.

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April Blogger Challenge: An Event You Would Like to Blog About

Today’s challenge is to choose an event we would like to attend and write what we would say about it. There are plenty of events that interest me: music festivals like Lollapolooza, film festivals like Sundance, sporting events like the Olympics, and the list goes on. I could have chosen any of those events to write about, but no, I dare to dream. Thus, I choose to reveal my geek card and tell you that the event I could only hope to be invited to as a blogger (and then write about) is “a week of Regency related revelry” at the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, UK.

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Yes, this is a real event. And, actually, there are many Austen festivals that happen worldwide. But, I want the most authentic experience possible, so I’m gonna go with the UK on this one. No, it’s not like Lost in Austen or Austenland (all flirting is real here!). The event takes place in September and (I’m just going to throw this out there) if anyone involved with the festival wishes to hook me up with some free passes and what not, I’d be most obliged!

What would I have to write about if I went? I think if I followed in the footsteps of Austen’s characters, it might look something like this…

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IFF Boston 2013: Prince Avalanche Review

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U.S. Release Date: August 9th, 2013

An interesting case-study could be made of writer-director David Gordon Green’s filmmaking career thus far. He began with small critically-acclaimed indies like George Washington and All the Real Girls, but come 2008 he veered off into unexpected territory by becoming a member of the Judd Apatow-clan and directing the stoner comedy Pineapple Express. Since then he’s had less success with his follow-up mainstream comedies, although he’s continued to show his penchant for stunning visuals on the incredibly underrated and misunderstood HBO comedy Eastbound & Down. Last year in complete secrecy he got Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch together to remake the Icelandic film Either Way, and the result was Prince Avalanche, a combination of the two distinctly different periods of David Gordon Green’s career. And boy, does it work.

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IFF Boston 2013: The Spectacular Now Review

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Over the course of the next few days I will have the pleasure of attending numerous screenings at the 11th Annual Independent Film Festival Boston which takes place every year at various movie theatres in the Boston area. Last night, I attended the opening night of the festival at the Somerville Theatre which was accompanied by a screening of James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now.

Side Note: I also got to see Casey Affleck in person as he is the newly-minted Creative Advisor for the festival. It took everything in my power to not jump up on stage and heap him with praise for his performance as Robert Ford in the aptly titled The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) which not only was my favorite performance of that year, but one of my absolute favorites of recent memory. Anyway…

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The List: Mark Wahlberg’s Best Films

The List is a way of organizing our thoughts on a certain topic into an easily digestible post. Topics may range from ranking films of a certain actor who has an upcoming release, to even something as simple as listing our breakfast cereals of choice. Anything is game. Length will vary depending on the individual writing said list, and jumping from one topic to the next may leave you feeling a little dizzy, but FUN (from our perspective at least) is our weapon of choice.

For the first time in the history of my movie-going life, I find myself in this odd quandary. With the release of this week’s Pain & Gain, I find myself being ever so slightly optimistic at the prospects of a film by the man of a million explosions, the one the only, Michael Bay. To the masses, Bay is a success story. To the film buff community, he makes some of the dumbest movies this side of Lifetime. But with his latest, there’s a hint of something different. Something tongue-in-cheek. Something that may not be good per se, but something that could be, dare I say the word, fun? You may ask me, ‘what is different about this one?’ Well, I’ve got two words for you: Mark Wahlberg.

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Wahlberg is one of those actors who for some reason has never really gotten the true credit he deserves. Sure, he makes his fair share of dopey action films, but for someone of that ilk he sure has a laundry list of quality performances (much like one of my favorite actors, Nicolas Cage). He not only has the dramatic chops to endear us to any number of the characters he has played, but he’s damn funny to boot.

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April Blogger Challenge: Who’s Your Favorite Blogger?

Well, for me this is the easiest blog post of this month’s challenge. I didn’t have to think hard (woot!) or look far for the answer to this one. Who is my favorite blogger? Dana at The Dragyn’s Lair wins this award!

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She has inspired all of us here at The Miserables with her blog and has encouraged us in our endeavor to start our own. She even came up with this month’s challenges to help keep us writing!

Dana’s blog, The Dragyn’s Lair, is unique and varied. From trips to Disneyland to product reviews, there’s always something new and interesting going on there. She also does giveaways which are a lot of fun. So far, I’ve won twice! And no, I didn’t get special treatment for being a friend (it was a raffle people!).

She is also a great supporter of other bloggers and blogging in general. She is dedicated, passionate, professional, as well as full of information and SO helpful! I think she does so well with her blog because she genuinely wants to connect with her audience to make their lives better, whether that’s through entertaining posts, informative reviews of products, or giveaways.  You can go visit her blog here: The Dragyn’s Lair. And if you stop by, let her know that we sent you!

– Fallon

Who’s your favorite blogger? Anyone we should know about? Share with us below!

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April 20, 2013: Happy Record Store Day!

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So, this past Saturday was Record Store Day. Did you go and support your local record store?

To be honest, I can’t go too often (or should I say often enough?). But when I do, I make sure to have a limit that I cannot go over (I could do some serious damage!). I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking to it, though. I was able to score some great music and not break the bank. Here’s what I walked out with:

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April Blogger Challenge: A Review of Something Andrew Uses Daily

For my second entry in this month’s blogger challenge, I felt it was necessary to review something that is near and dear to my heart. Something that I honestly believe I can not live without. I partake in them everyday and will never regret it. When I am in need of something salty, no alternative will do. There is only one snack food that will forever have a place in my heart, and it just so happens that place is orange and square-sized. Yes, everyday I eat…

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My love affair with cheez-itz (the ‘z’ is hip, see) began long ago and although I can not remember the exact date, I like to imagine that it was a dark and stormy night. I was sitting on a pier down by the beach. It was pouring. I had nothing. And then I turned around and there they were, just sitting on top of that trash can. A vibrantly red box full of my new love. A portrait of them inscribed on it, their orangeness emanating into the atmosphere. The rain ceased. The clouds dissipated. Pure bliss.

Now I can see how you may think that is an awfully extreme picture I’ve painted, but I assure you, that that was me holding back. Writing a review of a box of Cheez-itz is nearly impossible for me. How can one truly express that feeling they get when they open a new box, rip the plastic open, and smell that cheesy goodness? You jam your hand in and come out with a fist full of orange crackers, sprinkled with salt, and as you choose one to toss into your mouth first, you know that whatever your choice may be, it will be the right one.

Cheez-itz are the greatest snack food because they represent a lifestyle (a lifestyle that may lead to a heart attack, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take). You can just sit back on your couch, watch some television, and cuddle up next to something that won’t talk during your favorite programs. The box is made of a cardboard sturdy enough to protect its contents, but also soft enough to prevent an unnecessary paper-cut.

So the next time you walk down the snack aisle in your local supermarket, I must make only one recommendation: Buy a box of Cheez-itz. But beware: if you’re not looking for a long-term relationship, you can take your commitment-phobe ass to the saltines. I’m sure you’ll be okay……..maybe……..probably not…….nah.

– Andrew

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