Monthly Archives: June 2013

Suits: Season 3 – Starts this July!

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I have been HOOKED on this show ever since I stumbled across it. I think I watched both seasons within a couple of weeks (…maybe less). A new season is upon us and I can’t wait!

Where we left off:

The team came out against Hardman and Folsom Foods unscathed (and Hardman’s name *finally* came off the wall).

Harvey (Gabriel Macht) was upset with Jessica (Gina Torres) for making the decision to merge the firm with Edward Darby’s (Conleth Hill) London based firm. So, what did he do? Filed a lawsuit against Darby and made a wager: if he wins, Darby goes back to London, if he loses… well, it’s Harvey.

Dana Scott (Abigail Spencer) tried to gain Harvey’s affections (she ended up not marrying the guy she was engaged to), which meant getting his attention first by taking some of his clients, forcing them to work together. Ultimately, he didn’t seem interested in anything beyond a physical relationship. Ouch.

The will they/won’t they question was answered when Mike (Patrick J. Adams) and Rachel (Meghan Markle) hooked up in the file room… awkwardly.

Rachel received a rejection letter from Harvard and Louis tried to put the blame on himself.

What we might expect from Season 3:

The promo line “A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand” sums up the clips we’ve seen so far the best. Looks like every relationship will be tested.
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Ashley’s Great Expectations for The Spectacular Now

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I just finished Jim Tharp’s novel, The Spectacular Now, in anticipation of the movie premiere this August. I must give a shout out to fellow Miserable’s blogger, Andrew, for introducing me to this work. He told me about James Ponsoldt’s take on the lives and love of these Oklahoma teenagers that premiered back in January, at Sundance. Andrew sold me on the fact that my newest celebrity crush, Miles Teller, would play the party-hearty protagonist, Sutter Keely. As if it couldn’t get any better, the script was adapted by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Webber, the writers of “500 Days of Summer.”

    So, below I have listed some of the things I want to see carried over, explored more, or possibly changed from the book to the screen. Let’s just call this list: “Ashley’s Great Expectations.”

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The Miserables Review: Man of Steel

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Fallon: Summer blockbuster reviews continue as we make our way through June. Below, Hillari, Andrew, and I review the much anticipated “Man of Steel.”

*******This review may contain spoilers*******

Hillari: Okay, so here is my little spiel…. I loved this movie. I loved the world that was created. I loved the overall message that was related. And, I don’t think there are many women who would argue with me when I say, I loved the casting! Now, it is long and it’s intense, but remember they call it action-packed for a reason.  If you’re looking for a movie this summer that will uplift you, empower you, and just generally make you want to be a better person — I suggest you see this film.

Andrew: As someone who has always been highly critical of the character Superman, seeing him as only a one-note barely flawed and unbeatable alien, I was surprised when the first trailer for Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” hit movie screens and I loved it. A grounded take on Superman that makes him a more relatable and flawed human being (although technically he is not from this world) was always something I wanted to see. It was with this expectation that I went into my midnight screening of MOS.

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Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani: A Quick Review

*This review contains spoilers*

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Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (a.k.a.- YJHD/ This Youth is Crazy) follows the story of Naina Talwar (Deepika Padkuone), Kabir “Bunny” Thapar (Ranbir Kapoor), and their friends Aditi (Kalki Koechlin) and “Avi”nash (Aditya Roy Kapur). The four go on a holiday trek together to Manali after Naina bumps into Aditi (by chance) and realizes she needs more from life than her studies. “Scholar Naina” (the one with the glasses, obviously) is studious, serious, and simple. Bunny is a charming flirt filled with wanderlust. Naina falls in love with him during the holiday, but says nothing because he has dreams of traveling the world (and outspoken views against marriage). Fast forward eight years later, the four are brought together again after they’ve drifted apart. Naina and Bunny are drawn towards each other once more, but has too much time passed?

I *really* enjoyed this. I thought I would like it, but I was surprised by how much. The story is typical of what you might find in any romcom, but the execution was on point. It started off with a great cameo from legendary actress, Madhuri Dixit. The actors had good chemistry, and not just the leads, but supporting as well. The songs/dances were upbeat, with lots of energy (fantastic dancing, Ranbir!). I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie where the characters looked like they were having so much fun. I certainly haven’t walked out of a theater feeling as light as I did in quite a while. A really nice change of pace if you’re looking for one.

-Fallon

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2013: The Year in Film So Far

With June upon us and nearly half the year in film gone already, it’s the perfect time to take a look at the films that have come and gone in this sixth month span, with a specific eye on my favorites of the bunch. It’s also time to look at the best performances of the young year as it’s simply never too early to look toward awards season this Fall. Each year, there seems to be a film or performance that sneaks through the cracks and somehow, someway stays relevant long enough to take the Academy by storm (i.e. The Hurt Locker in 2009). There are also those films that I didn’t have much expectation for, but that took me completely by surprise. With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at a few films and performances that struck a chord with me and may just end up on my year-end list come early 2014.

Best Surprises

Fast & Furious 6

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A film that I had absolutely no expectation for until the positive critical notices started rolling in was Justin Lin’s latest entry in the Vin Diesel led Fast & Furious franchise. I had been fooled once before with Fast Five, so it was to my great surprise that this entry finally backed the critics up. With a simple yet effective story and some of the most absurd stunts ever committed to film, Furious was quite simply an entertaining time at the cinema. While not a great film, it’s a whole lot of fun, even for an automobile amateur such as myself.

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Covert Affairs: Season 4 – Starts This July!

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The newest season of “Covert Affairs” is only weeks away and I can’t wait!

Where we left off:

(the long ->) Simon asked Annie (Piper Perabo) to run away with him to the Maldives. In the end, she decided she couldn’t leave, but just as she was going to tell him, Lena shot them both- killing Simon and leaving Annie in critical condition. Auggie (Christopher Gorham) and Joan (Kari Matchett) eventually figured out that Lena was a double agent before she could kill Annie in a second attempt. Lena slipped away to Russia, while Annie tried to get her strength back. Annie went to Russia to find Lena, and killed her (in self-defense… mostly). But, Annie was found there and taken by the FSB to be interrogated about Simon’s ops. Eyal (Oded Fehr) and Auggie worked together to get Annie out of the Russian prison where she was being held. When she came back home, she worked with Eyal again because Mossad needed important intel. The mission eventually led Annie and Eyal to find Khalid Ansari and his girlfriend, Megan. Annie turned Megan, putting her in danger from Khalid, although we later find out it was really Khalid’s father who ordered the hit. (the short->) Annie traveled abroad to find Megan but found herself in a trap set by Khalid’s men, who later took Eyal hostage. After a successful rescue, Annie said goodbye to Eyal and flew home with Auggie. She later had a secret meeting with Henry Wilcox (Gregory Itzin) and agreed to work with him on an unknown project (Joan and Arthur’s (Peter Gallagher) names were mentioned), and Annie and Auggie finally had that conversation they’d been meaning to have for some time, and admitted their feelings for each other with a kiss.

What we might expect from Season 4:

The new season promo shows Annie tracking moles within the CIA. Looks like she’s kicking ass and taking names!

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The List: Best Portraits Of Romance on Film

This weekend, I will finally have the chance to see Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight, the believed-to-be final entry to what may just end up being my absolute favorite film trilogy. In 1995, Linklater brought the world Before Sunrise, a film focused on a chance meeting between Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) on a train to Europe that leads to one romantic evening spent together in Vienna. Based on a personal one-night encounter Linklater had with a woman whom he never saw again, the film was an achingly real portrait of young love between two individuals who don’t quite know what their next steps are in life. Nine years later, the sequel Before Sunset hit theaters with Jesse and Celine now older, but not quite perhaps as romantically wiser as either had expected. And now, once again nine years later, Before Midnight brings us back into their world.

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Counting the Before films among the greatest on-screen portrayals of romance that I have seen, I felt it was fitting that I list some of my other favorite film romances. Now, you won’t see any typical romantic comedies on this list because for me, the more real a given relationship is the more invested I am in seeing the story of that film unfold. Unfortunately, nobody can really accuse the modern romantic comedy of capturing anything close to the realm of realism. Instead, I’ve decided to give you a list of films that range from the depressing to the absurd, but that all contain some aspect of romantic truth. Given that the film genre of depressing romantic relationship dramas is one of my absolute favorites, it should come as no shock to you that these films rank fairly high on my absolute favorite films list. And now, onto The List.

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Game of Thrones: For Better or Worse — Expect the Worst

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The Land of Happy

Have you been to The Land of Happy,
Where everyone’s happy all day,
Where they joke and they sing
Of the happiest things,
And everything’s jolly and gay?
There’s no one unhappy in Happy,
There’s laughter and smiles galore.
I have been to The Land of Happy –
What a bore!

– Shel Silverstein

*** Spoliers Alert ***

I wonder at what age George R.R. Martin read this little poem. He certainly took it to heart. I don’t know about you, but after last night’s Red Wedding, I almost banned Starks and Lannisters and Freys for good. I knew that what happened was going to happen, but I was still holding out for a possible last-minute story change. Martin may look like Santa Claus, but this guy is definitely on my suspect list of possible Dementors. It seems like every time a character in his series has a string of hope – snap, crackle, pop – string of hope diminished. It gets very frustrating to me as a reader and a viewer, because I fall in love with these characters (especially Jon Snow!), and their hopes and horrors become my desires and fears. I mean, we’re in a world of dragons and direwolves. Can’t we get a fairy godmother or two?

However, before I told the whole of Seven Kingdoms to kiss it, I began to understand (kind of) what Martin was saying: life is not a fairy tale, and happy endings are hard to come by. And, although we may not be facing Tywin Lannister on a daily basis, we’re facing all kinds of other obstacles. I hope this doesn’t make you too depressed, because I just reread it, and now I’m a little depressed. At least I didn’t bring up the White Walkers…oops.

Okay, so I’ve decided that even though Martin’s characters continue to suffer and struggle but sometimes overcome – usually not – they’re still moving forward. So the next time you ask yourself, “Why am I still watching/reading this?” “Why do I continue to put my soul through this torment?” just remember that like the characters, you’re still moving forward, you’re still hoping…. It’s going to get better (maybe). It can’t get much worse (possibly).

-Hillari

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Now You See Me: A Quick Review

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I didn’t see a lot of advertising or hype surrounding Now You See Me. I think that definitely worked in this film’s favor. I walked in about ten minutes late and missed two of The Four Horsemen’s origin stories. This movie had a great cast and an interesting plot. All of the illusions were stunning! I kept looking for the strings and mirrors just like Morgan Freeman’s character. At times, I felt like it was more of Mark Ruffalo’s story than the magicians. The payoff at the end explains it in more detail, even though it was a little out of left field.  The overall theme of the film was not original but incredibly refreshing, “sometimes you have to give up logic and reason and just go on faith.”

-Ashley

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