The Phases of Marvel

Super hero movies have been heavily dominating the box offices as of late and have made a considerable amount of money, often breaking records within their respective release years.  Yes, they are ripe with explosions and witty banter, but does any of it mean anything? Normally, one might consider these traits and come to the conclusion of, no—that action heavy movies rarely have a redeemable plot outside of what is happening in that moment of that one movie.  If you have any ideas like this or are just curious about what Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe (DMCU for short) is up to, you’ll pleased to know that there is a lot yet to be seen.


DMCU is made up of several ‘phases’ that started as far back as the first Iron Man (2008) and is still going strong with the newest upcoming feature being Captain America: Civil War (2016).  There are three phases which are made up of specific Marvel movies seen below.

You may be wondering: “Why all the phases and Movies?” or “Wow I missed a lot a movies!” And possibly, “Where’s Deadpool?”

Do not fret, if you are behind on movies, you can find a great many of them at the Wells Media Center. As for the phases, think of them as a convenient way to organize over twenty movies created over the expanse of eighteen years.  Whatsmore, each movie isn’t mutually exclusive. Characters pop up within other character’s movies whether it be through a well-placed possession, end of credits cameo or in movie cameo.  More often than not, they are there to lay some ground information for the DMCU projects. And if you’re wondering why Deadpool isn’t here, that’s because he isn’t part of the DCMU but rather a character currently owned by FOX.


As you can see, we are now in phase three with Captain America: Civil War coming out this May.  This movie is sparking quite a bit of debate as fans are wondering whether or not Disney will adhere to the comic this movie is based on.  For those who don’t know, the premises of this movie is the idea that superheroes should be held accountable for their actions regardless of their identities through the Superhero Registration Act.  Lines are drawn aggsdgmongst the established characters within the movies so far and it only escalates from there with the ending result of a dead Captain America.  Fans wonder if Disney will end it this way as the comic did or go their own way, so we wait.




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Catching Up for Lost Films

Like many people today, I am often overwhelmed by the sheer amount of quality media being released seemingly daily.  If I had a nickel for anytime someone has said to me something along the lines of, “you haven’t seen The Martian?!” or “why haven’t you caught up on The Walking Dead?”, I’d have enough money to actually pay for movie tickets so I wouldn’t miss anything.  This is why I took on a challenge.

Last year, Doug Benson of the “Doug Loves Movies” podcast and various Netflix stand-up comedy specials issued himself a challenge to watch 365 movies (that’s a movie a day, folks).  In an effort to catch up on some critically-acclaimed (and some not so critically-acclaimed) movies I’ve missed, I’m attempting this challenge for 2016.  So far, I’m 33 films in (admittedly 6 films behind, but nothing some elbow grease and shirking other responsibilities can’t fix), and I’ve encountered some great films that can be found in the Browsing library here at Media Services.


Now I was way behind on this one, but between hearing the hype about how brilliantly a young Leo Dicaprio portrays a mentally-disabled teenager, and the desire to see a young Johnny Depp playing a more down-to-earth character, I had to finally watch What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.  This film mainly follows the relationship between Gilbert (Depp) and his disabled brother Arnie (Dicaprio).  Between having to be the main breadwinner for his brother, two sisters, and shut-in mother, struggling to keep the curious (often to a dangerous extent) nature of Arnie in check, and pining for the affection of a young lady (played by Juliette Lewis), Gilbert does a lot of growing up in the time the movie takes place.  Wonderfully acted by the whole cast, especially Dicaprio, who earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination at just 19 years old, and beautifully shot in a rural Iowan setting, I highly recommend this film.


Now for a slight shift in tone, another film I’ve finally watched recently was Hot Fuzz.  Being a big fan of Shaun of the Dead, the involvement of stars Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and director Edgar Wright was an immediate draw for me, I just hadn’t gotten around to seeing it.  This movie, like Shaun before it, is a send-up of a popular movie genre, this time being the buddy-cop movie.  While the adventures of the perfect record-having Sgt. Nicholas Angel (Pegg) and the screw-up son of the town’s chief inspector Danny Butterman (Frost) poke loads of fun at numerous buddy-cop tropes from over the years, it does it from a place of affection and appreciation of those films, much like the spoof pioneers Mel Brooks and the Zucker Brothers.  If your a fan of films like Airplane! and Blazing Saddles, and you don’t mind explosions either, this film is right down your alley.


In perhaps my biggest mistake of 2015, I missed out on seeing the masterful Interstellar in theaters.  Initially I wrote this film off as a clone of 2014’s Gravity, and didn’t have much interest to see it.  But after hearing critics sing the praises of Matthew McConaughey and seeing that Christopher Nolan, who directed my all-time favorite movie The Dark Knight, was also attached to this, I decided to give it a shot.  I was not nearly prepared for the heartfelt, visually stunning, and blood-pumping saga that I was in store for.  In the not-so-distant future, Earth is ravaged by sandstorms, and food is more scarce than ever.  In a last-ditch effort to save humankind as we know it, Cooper (McConaughey), a former pilot, must lead a space mission to find other inhabitable planets in our galaxy…or outside our galaxy.  With an epic score by Hans Zimmer of Inception fame, a stellar (pardon the pun) supporting cast including Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, and Jessica Chastain, and elements of adventure, suspense, and even sci-fi, this film is not to be missed.  I missed this film for over a year, and after watching it once it instantly got on my short list of favorite movies.  Do yourself a favor and pick it up from Media Services today.

If your interested in widening your film horizons, or even taking the 365 movie challenge like me, stop in Media Services in the Reference Reading Room at the Wells Library today!  If you feel so inclined, leave comments below telling what movies you’re adding to your list and how for into the 365 you are!  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to check out numbers 34 and 35 on my list right now.


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The Sixth and Final Season of Downton Abbey

With many tears of sadness, the British TV show, Downton Abbey began airing its sixth and final season, with it finally reaching the U.S. on PBS this January. For those of you unfamiliar with Downton, the TV show is a period drama about the aristocratic Crawley family and the lives of their servants, who live in the lower level of their estate, Downton Abbey. The show takes place in Yorkshire, England, and begins the day after the sinking of the Titanic, proceeding through the early 20th century. The story lines show how historic British and world events affect the lives of the Downton residents and British social hierarchy. Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, leaves no ounce of drama out of this captivating TV show.

If you like history, drama, romance, an aesthetically pleasing TV show, snappy one-liners from Maggie Smith, and British accents, then Downton Abbey is the show for you. Luckily at Media Services, we have the first five seasons ready for you to check out and binge watch before season six ends, and the lives of our beloved characters are only left to our imagination.

The Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith), suggests starting a little faster.

downton abbey quotes - Google Search:


*Listing of Downton Abbey DVDs at Media Services:


-Samantha Hanzel

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5 TV shows you need to be watching

With the rise of online streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, it seems that we have to put extra effort into not streaming and binging on TV. The question is where to begin? In the process of figuring this out for myself, I have listed below the top 5 of my favorite shows to binge watch.  I have attempted to create some diversity here, even if politics is not your thing; House of Cards still offers some dark humor, drama and lots of mystery.  So here are five ways to spend your valuable time, without actually wasting your valuable time. Happy Binging :)

americans The Americans (FX): This drama stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as Soviet KGB spies who pose as a regular married couple living the American Dream at the height of the cold war in the 80’s. All the while trying to raise their two unsuspecting children and navigate their way around their FBI agent neighbor who works in counterintelligence. The fourth season will be back on FX March 16, so there is still time to get caught up.

shamelessShameless (Showtime): This “dramedy” features the Gallagher family who live on the south side of Chicago and are constantly inundated with hardships. It follows Frank, a dead beat father who seems to have no care in the world, except where his next drink is coming for and Fiona the eldest daughter who has taken it upon herself to care for her younger siblings. The sixth season is currently on air.

orphanOrphan Black (BBC): This show is a mix of everything there is to love in a TV show. It’s at times funny, dark and mysterious, all the while keeping you at the edge of your seat. It starts with Sarah (the main character) assuming the identity of her clone Elizabeth after witnessing her suicide. Sarah soon realizes there are more clones out in the world and that she is a part of a bigger conspiracy. The fourth season will be premiering on BBC America in April.

thronesGame of Thrones (HBO): Based on the fantasy series  written by George R.R. Martin, it is set in the fictional land of Westeros and Essos and follows seven families fighting for the Iron Throne. It has multiple interweaving plot lines that you have to keep up with, but once you get the hang of it you won’t want to stop watching. The 6th season will air beginning April 24th.

House of Carhouseofcardsds (Netflix): This is one of the first Netflix original programs. It follows a power-hungry and ruthless democrat Frank Underwood who along with his wife constructs an elaborate plan to gain greater power in Washington D.C. As the nation is currently in full swing of presidential campaigns, this is a fun show to keep up with.  The entire fourth season will begin streaming on Netflix on March 4th.


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The Life of Pi. A Beautiful Story Worth Revisiting.



The 2012 heartwarming film takes place on a shipwreck that was en route to Canada from India. A young boy, Pi, lost his entire family on that one night. They were transporting a zoo which only left one animal survivor; A Tiger (Bengal). The story goes on as an uplifting triumph of man and animal learning to trust one another, lost at sea, in order to survive. What I took away from the film was that mankind must learn to live with animals instead of treating them as worthless. Their sole purpose of wanting to survive is in conjunction with us humans.

Not only does this movie portray unity with animals, it also shows that teamwork is a vital key to living. Without working together to achieve a certain goal, it has a higher percentage of failing. As I have heard in a famous quote; “United we stand, divided we fall.” Later in the film when the tiger fell ill, Pi took it upon his hands to try and help the tiger. They had developed an unspoken bond that captivated the audiences attention.

This movie is indeed a great watch, rather long, but nonetheless a family movie that teaches valuable lessons.

Movie rating: 9/10


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ALA VRT Notable Videos for Adults 2016 Winners

The American Library Association (ALA) Video Round Table Notable Videos for Adults Committee has compiled its 2016 list of Notable Videos for Adults, a list of 15 outstanding films released on video within the past two years and suitable for all libraries serving adults.  Its purpose is to call attention to recent video releases that make a significant contribution to the world of video.  The list is compiled for use by librarians and the general adult populace.

The Notable Videos for Adults Committee selected 15 outstanding titles from among 48 nominees for this year’s list of Notable Videos for Adults.  The availability of closed captions (CC) and/or subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (SDH) is preferred; inclusion and exclusion of same is indicated below. (repost)

Alive Inside  (2014) 78 minutes. City Drive Films. DVD. Available from various distributors. Does not include captioning.  Social worker Dan Cohen starts a campaign to provide nursing home patients access to music that reawakens their joy in life. [Owned by IUB Library — DVD.]

Call Me Lucky  (2015) 105 minutes. MPI. DVD. Available from various distributors. English subtitles, does not include captioning.  Stand-up comedian Barry Crimmins advocates for victims of internet child pornography.

E-Team  (2014)  89 minutes. Ro*Co Films. DVD. Available from Does not include captioning.  Human Rights Watch emergency team members travel to international hot zones to investigate abuses firsthand.

Freedom Summer  (2014) 120 minutes. PBS. DVD. Available from various distributors. Includes SDH. Organizers and student civil rights workers register voters in 1964 Mississippi and confront racism and resistance.  [Owned by IUB Library — DVD and online streaming.]

God Loves Uganda  (2013) 83 minutes. First Run Features. DVD. Available from various distributors. Includes SDH. The punitive homophobic government policies of Uganda are linked to the anti-gay theology of United States evangelist missionaries. [Owned by IUB Library — DVD and online streaming.]

Great Invisible  (2014) 92 minutes. Ro*Co Films. DVD. Available from English subtitles, does not include captioning. The high price of our dependence upon fossil fuel is made visible in this examination of the BP Deepwater oil spill.

India’s Daughter  (2015) 62 minutes. Women Make Movies. DVD. Available from English subtitles, does not include captioning. India questions its traditional gender roles following the brutal rape of a young medical student. [Owned by IUB Library — DVD.]

Kill Team  (2015) 79 minutes. Bullfrog Films. DVD. Available from and various distributors. Includes SDH. A whistleblower reports on war crimes committed by members of his platoon in Afghanistan. [Owned by IUB Library – online streaming.]

Missing Picture  (2013) 96 minutes. Strand Releasing. DVD. Available from various distributors. Includes SDH. Atrocities of Cambodian labor camps under the Khmer Rouge are reimagined with archival footage and clay figurines.

Punk Singer  (2013) 82 minutes. MPI. DVD. Available from various distributors. Includes SDH.  Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of Bikini Kill and LeTigre, co-creates the riot grrrl movement and influences a third wave of feminism.

Salt of the Earth  (2015) 110 minutes. Sony. DVD. Available from various distributors. Includes SDH.  Photographer Sebastian Salgado travels the globe documenting humanity, inhumanity, and nature.

The Square  (2013) 109 minutes. City Drive Films. DVD. Available from various distributors. English subtitles, does not include captioning. Activists in Cairo Egypt’s Tahrir Square experience victories and defeats as they advocate for democracy and freedom over the course of two years.

Watchers of the Sky  (2014) 121 minutes. Music Box Pictures. DVD. Available from various distributors. Includes SDH.  United Nations workers continue the life mission of Raphael Lemkin, a pioneer in the field of human rights and international law. [Owned by IUB Library —  online streaming.]

Web: Connecting Is Just the Beginning  (2013) 84 minutes. Sundial Pictures. DVD. Available from English subtitles, does not include captioning. After receiving laptops, villagers in rural Peru and a filmmaker teach each other about interconnectivity. [Owned by IUB Library — online streaming.]

Whole Gritty City  (2014) 89 minutes. Band Room Productions. DVD. Available from Does not include captioning.  New Orleans marching bands give student musicians purpose as they face challenges of adolescence. [Owned by IUB Library —  online streaming.]

Be sure to check back with Media Services for availability of titles.  “We Like to Watch!” (an old ALA VRT motto!)

~ Monique Threatt

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The Late, Great Alan Rickman

If you’ve been living under a rock this past week, then you may not have heard that the beloved Alan Rickman has passed away this last week due to pancreatic cancer. This has hit me particularly hard, as I’m sure it has others that have grown up watching Harry Potter and his love/hate (but mostly hate) relationship with Professor Snape. Naturally, I binge-watched all eight HP films once I heard the news. I regret nothing.

Although Alan Rickman was known mostly for his villainous roles like in HP, Die Hard,
and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, he was infinitely kind and proudly demonstrated his “sophisticated humor on multiple occasions, like the time he pranked Daniel Radcliffe on set…

Here is the actual prank, for anyone curious:

As tribute to his career, I wanted to draw attention to some of his films, currently residing in our collection at Media Services.


Where else to start, but the film that helped launch his career.

die hard   diehard

Die Hard – Hans Gruber

In his first big role, Mr. Rickman leads his group of armed bank robbers in a heist that leads to a Christmas party being taken hostage. It is revealed the hostages are a distraction while Gruber and his men steal $640 million from the company’s vault. This is an excellent movie choice, if you’re looking for action and adventure!

sweeneytodd   turpin

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – Judge Turpin

In the most evil role I’ve ever seen him act in, Rickman plays secondary character, Judge Turpin. After his corrupt dealings with Benjamin Barker a, which led to Barker’s unlawful arrest, Turpin takes advantage of Lucy Barker. Benjamin Barker takes on the alias ‘Sweeney Todd’ seeking revenge. If you like anything Tim Burton, this musical is a definite must-see.

loveactually   harry

Love Actually – Harry

His role in this film was a little bitter sweet. Although there are happy endings all around in this one, Harry and his wife still have some things to work through by the time the credits role, without much in lieu of closure for the audience. Still, it’s happier than it is upsetting! It’s a great film to watch during the holidays!

sense   sense

Sense and Sensibility – Colonel Brandon

As probably the most romantic film he’s ever been in, Sense and Sensibility lets him show his softer side as his character pursues the affections of Marianne Dashwood (Kate Winslet). Another favorite Rickman of mine, though I am partial to anything Jane Austen. Check this out the next time you’re looking for a good chick flick!

butler1   butler2

The Butler – Ronald Reagan

This movie tells the story of Cecil Gaines and his life as he serves as a butler in the White House for multiple Presidents. Although controversial, especially for the portrayal of Ronald Reagan and his wife as being racist, it is a powerful film and one that should not be neglected. Luckily, we have it at Media Services for your viewing pleasure.

quest1   quest2

Galaxy Quest – Alexander Dane/”Dr. Lazarus”

He holds his own, unexpectedly, in this comedy about actors living off their fame from their days on a once popular sci-fi TV show. They are forced to take on their roles again when aliens come to earth for their help. Definitely not the villain we’re used to from Rickman, but he was brilliantly funny in his role of a typical egotistical actor.This film was a favorite of mine during my childhood.

dogma1   dogma2

Dogma – Metatron

In this controversial comedy, Rickman acts as the voice of God, enlisting the help of an abortion clinic employee to help stop two fallen angels from gaining access to Heaven. Overall, this film was praised by critics and fans alike.

And, of course, the list wouldn’t be complete without his most renowned role…

hp   snape

Harry Potter Series – Severus Snape

I grew up with these films, so they have a special place in my heart, just as Mr. Rickman does. These are the films that made him a legend for so many. He was the perfect Professor Snape and J.K. Rowling knew it herself when he was cast. In order to prepare Rickman for his role as ****SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE LIVING UNDER ROCK MENTIONED ABOVE**** a double agent for Dumbledore, Rickman was informed by Rowling the ending to the series. This gave him an edge over the character and he took his role very seriously.

You will be dearly missed, Mr. Rickman.



**All media mentioned above is available at Media Services**

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Aqua Something Blog Post Whatever


I will not use this blog as a way to prove I have psychic powers. In fact, I don’t believe that such a thing is really possible of myself or any person I’ve met to date. This is chiefly because I imagine if people could read my mind they’d risk all the alarmed exits as a means of escape. No, I am not psychic. But I bet you’re wondering why anyone would waste time writing a blog post about Adult Swim cartoons. Continue reading

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Here in Media Services at Indiana University Bloomington, we’re getting ready to celebrate the holidays with some of our collection’s Christmas films! Check out some of our favorites below, and then check them out from Media Services!

In this Gen X Christmas classic, all nine year old Indiana boy Ralphie wants for Christmas is a genuine Red Ryder 200-shot carbine action air rifle. All his parents tell him is, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” Relive the holiday dysfunction with A Christmas Story, located in our browsing collection.







Every member of the family, from grandparents to anti-capitalist hipster grandchildren, will enjoy Charlie Brown and the gang’s rediscovery of the true meaning of Christmas. Find it in our browsing collection.




Celebrate the season with nine intertwined love stories set around Christmas and starring some of the UK’s biggest stars. Some call the relationships the films follows wildly romantic; others call them wildly unhealthy. Regardless, check it out in our browsing collection.


An unconventional choice, this classic is nevertheless set on Christmas eve and offers an action-packed alternative to countless other treacly holiday films. Ask for it at the Media reference desk. Yippie-ki-yay!





Will Ferrell is an optimistic human raised as an elf at the North Pole, Zooey Deschanel is the manic pixie dream girl who steals his heart, and James Caan is his gruff, Grinch-like father in this endlessly quotable modern holiday classic. Grab it in our browsing collection.





Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby lead an all-star cast in Irving Berlin’s Christmas favorite. Check it out from our browsing collection and enjoy it over winter break.



Of course, this is not all of our Christmas movies: search to see if we own your favorite, or stop by and browse our collections. Happy Holidays!

Meghan R.

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5 Documentaries to Inspire

“Whatever human endeavor we choose, as long as we live our truth, it is success.”
― Kamal Ravikant, Live Your Truth

Documentaries allow people to view worlds different from their own and learn something valuable from them. Especially in an academic setting, there is a lot of thought put into what one would like to do for the rest of their life, and how to accomplish it.

In this list of documentaries you will find extraordinary individuals who prove themselves to be outstanding examples of what it truly means to live your own truth. All share what it means to pair passion with an occupation, and how success manifests itself to them. There is no set experience or background required to find success, it’s really just all about what makes you tick.

1. Encounters At the End of the World, Werner Herzog, 2007


Follow Werner Herzog to Antarctica where he explores this stunning icy continent and the small group of people (and penguins) who call it their home.






2. Jiro Dreams of Sushi, David Gelb, 2011


Learn what it takes to be one of the best sushi masters in the world, and how terrified you’d be to visit the restaurant and have an 83-year old sushi master stare at you while you ate each work of art one-by-one in front of him.





3. Man On Wire, James Marsh, 2008


Philippe Petit performed a daring but illegal high-wire act between New York City’s Trade Center Towers in 1974. Imagine having an occupation that you love deeply, but could kill you at any second-this is where Philippe steps in…





4. Maidentrip, Jillian Schlesinger, 2013

MV5BMTc2MDg5MzUzNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTE4NTg3MDE@._V1_SX214_AL_Witness a 14 year old girl set the record for the youngest person to sail the world solo.







5. Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present, Matthew Akers, Jeff Dupre, 2012


Enter the world of an artist discussed and revered by many, performance artist Marina Abramovic. Learn about her life spent challenging and reflecting on the human psyche and what makes art so provocative and intriguing.







All of these titles are available at Media Services!


Best Wishes,

Kate L’Heureux





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