Tag Archives: The Spectacular Now

“To err is human, so err…” – The Winners of the 2013 Summer Movie Season


Labor Day weekend is upon us and thus the summer movie season officially comes to a close not with a bang, but with a One Direction concert movie. Not being one to judge entities solely by their endings, here I will discuss the summer of 2013 and the wide array of films that came along with it. So, what films and actors won the summer? Below I’ve declared my personal winners, from those who delivered unbelievable performances to those films that fulfilled this summer’s fun quota in insanely entertaining style.

Cate Blanchett


It’s become a rarity in Hollywood nowadays for many Oscar-contenders to be born out of the Summer movie season, but every now and then one squeaks through nonetheless. Cate Blanchett’s latest performance in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine is one of such incredible depth and strength that I find it hard to imagine there will be a lead female performance able to match it for the rest of the year. She makes Jasmine the kind of sociopathic socialite that is not only hard to like but hard to completely understand, which is what makes her such a compelling protagonist. Blanchett gives Jasmine a heart, just one that continually reveals her truly selfish intentions. She wants to live the life of a well-off New Yorker but is forced to muddle along with her sister in San Francisco amongst her greasy, working-class sexual conquests. This drives Jasmine crazy, crazy enough to keep her talking to herself and alienating all the people who actually want to care for her. Blanchett has long been admired as one of her generation’s greatest actresses, and this performance may just be the one to top them all.

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Ashley’s Great Expectations for The Spectacular Now


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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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


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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IFF Boston 2013: The Spectacular Now Review

iffb iMAGE

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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