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-).
-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-
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.
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.
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:
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!