Movie Report Card: May 2013

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The Movie Report Card is a monthly series of posts that are dedicated purely to sharing the movies that I watch each month and my thoughts on them. Near the bottom, I assign certain titles to a few of the movies that I watched for the first time. They are Best of Class (my favorite movie experience), Teacher’s Pet (a noteworthy film that pleasantly surprised me), and Failing Students (any film with a grade lower than C-).

Grades:

-The Master (Anderson) A
-Mud (Nichols) A-
-Iron Man 3 (Black) C
-The Fog (Carpenter) B
-The Great Gatsby (Luhrmann) B-
-The Beach (Boyle) B+
-The Double Life of Veronique (Kieslowski) A
-Brazil (Gilliam) A
-42 (Helgeland) B-
-Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (Bird) B-
-Star Trek Into Darkness (Abrams) B
-The Great Gatsby (Lurmann) B
-Brute Force (Dassin) B
-Holy Motors (Carax) A-
-Beasts of the Southern Wild (Zeitlin) A-
-Dogville (von Trier) A
-Amelie (Jeunet) A
-Arbitrage (Jarecki) A-
-The Phantom of the Opera (Julian) B+
-The Raid (Evans) B
-The Grapes of Wrath (Ford) A
-Good Night, and Good Luck. (Clooney) A-

Comments:

First off, I revisited P.T. Anderson’s The Master, which I gave a C+ back in March. Why did I watch it again? There are two reasons: 1) Some thought it was genius and I wanted to understand why. 2) I honestly felt like I had had the wrong expectations when I first saw it. To paraphrase A.O. Scott, The Master is made in a way that makes it extremely easy to misunderstand. I came out of my second viewing convinced that the film was one of the best of 2012.

Carpenter’s The Fog was a nice, entertaining horror flick. It isn’t anything profound, but it made for a fun watch.

I hadn’t seen Danny Boyle’s The Beach before, but I thought it was incredibly interesting. DiCaprio may overact in a few of the scenes, but I loved the way that the film studied his character. It also had Boyle’s trademark style, which is always a plus.

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The Double Life of Veronique was a sublime film and my first experience with anything by Krzysztof Kieslowski. It feels like one of those films that can be studied and dissected in-depth, so I do anticipate that I’ll see it again.

I watched the fourth and latest Mission: Impossible film again. It didn’t quite have as much to offer the second time around, but it definitely wasn’t boring.

In an attempt to see more Criterion Collection films, I watched Brute Force, a prison film starring Burt Lancaster and directed by Jules Dassin. While the film was well-made, it really wasn’t too memorable.

Revisiting Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amelie, and The Grapes of Wrath only further convinced me how wonderful they all are.

Arbitrage was a skillful, tense thriller and it really deserves to be seen by more people.

What I saw in theaters:

Mud was quite good. In fact, it was probably the best 2013 film I’ve seen so far.

After seeing Iron Man 3, I really don’t understand any of the praise that it has received. It is a painfully ordinary superhero flick and probably the worst film of the Tony Stark trilogy.

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While 42 wasn’t a perfect movie, I can’t see a better film being made on the Jackie Robinson story.

Star Trek: Into Darkness was quality blockbuster entertainment. I thought it was an improvement over the 2009 reboot (which I did like).

What I wrote reviews of:

-The Great Gatsby
-The Red Balloon
-Brazil
-Holy Motors
-Dogville
-I’m Not There

Progress:

I watched The Phantom of the Opera for my silent film. It was impressive and intriguing, though it isn’t among my favorite movies from that era.

The martial arts movie I watched in May was The Raid. Despite some cliché storytelling, one-dimensional characters, and an all-together lack of depth, it was not a bad movie. You really have to watch the film on its own terms in order to fully enjoy it. The action sequences were awesome and I did have a good time.

Areas for Improvement:

-Write more reviews (at least seven)
-At least one classic B-movie

Best of Class: Brazil
Teacher’s Pet: Dogville
Failing Students: None!

And as always, thanks for reading!

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18 responses to “Movie Report Card: May 2013

  1. Glad you turned around for The Master and Mud’s pretty great as well. I still need to see The Three Colors Trilogy from Kieslowski and I hope to watch The Double Life of Veronique after that.

    • I haven’t gotten around to the Three Colors trilogy yet, but I know I will sometime. Obviously, Double Life comes highly recommended. Thanks.

  2. G;ad you were able to reevaluate The Master! While not quite my favorite from 2012, it was the highest quality film of that year in my opinion. I rewatched it awhile back as well and I was happy that it still held up.
    Sorry you didn’t like Iron Man 3; I had a lot of fun with that film myself. Still not sure how it compares to the rest of them though because I haven’t got around to rewatching them yet. I know I’ve seen them, but I can’t remember them!
    Glad you liked Star Trek though, that’s my favorite film of this year so far :)

    • Yeah, I don’t think The Master is really my favorite film of 2012 either, but I do at least think that it’s one of the best.

      Of course, I can’t blame you for having fun with Iron Man 3. :) I thought it was funny at parts, but I just didn’t think it was anything special.

      On the other hand, Star Trek is one of my favorites so far as well. Thanks!

    • It is very, very ordinary. At this point, there are few superhero films that I am excited about watching anymore (Man of Steel, the Dark Knight trilogy) and I really could have gone without seeing Iron Man 3.

  3. You watched quite a lot and what a great selections! I still haven’t got around to seeing The Master yet but your change of heart about it makes me curious now, I should give it a go one of these days. Glad to see you gave Holy Motors a high score too. Btw, which Phantom of the Opera did you see? Was it the 2004 version?

    • Thanks! Definitely look into The Master. It’s a very interesting film. And Holy Motors, if you haven’t seen it, is a one-of-a-kind experience.

      I watched the silent Phantom of the Opera, the one starring Lon Chaney Jr. I haven’t actually seen the 2004 version. Are you a fan of it?

      • Oh I did see Holy Motors, I gave it a 4/5 in my review :)

        I like the 2004 version, mostly because I adore Gerry Butler’s performance as the Phantom. I know critics panned it and I agree it’s not a perfect film but I happen to love it. The set pieces are gorgeous and again, I’m willing to overlook the flaws as I was quite mesmerized by GB’s and Emmy Rossum’s sensual but emotional performance. It’s a younger cast and not meant to be a ‘scary’ Phantom, actually he’s VERY sexy, ahah. I adore the music too, which is crucial for this adaptation.

        • Oh cool! I’m gonna have to read your review of Holy Motors then. I love hearing different opinions on that movie. 4/5 seems like a pretty fair score too.

          I should probably give the new Phantom a try then. I mean, the critics don’t always get it right. I do know a few people who love that movie as well.

  4. I so wish I could squeeze in as many movies as you, that’s some list! I really wanted to see Mud but my local cinema decided to only show it once at some stupid time during the day when I was at work. Good work Garrett.

    • Thanks! I’m pretty lucky to have this much free time right now, so I’m trying to take full advantage of it. That’s too bad about Mud, I usually end up having to wait for smaller films like that come out on DVD or something, but they actually showed Mud for some reason.

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