My July in Review

My July, although sparse in terms of worthwhile theatrical stints, was benchmarked by an above average pair of superhero flicks and a typically outstanding effort from one Wes Anderson. In taking advantage of Barnes & Noble’s 50% off art house and Criterion Collection sale, I actually spent more time purchasing films than I did viewing them, which is why this past month’s list is a little more “mainstream” in terms of its content. As always, enjoy, and feel free to comment on anything you’d like!

NOTE: Make sure to check out the first round of catch-up I played with a few entries into 2012’s canon I missed upon their initial release!

Being Flynn (Paul Weitz, 2012)

*Read my thoughts here.

The Dark Knight Rises (Christopher Nolan, 2012)

As yet another masterful entry into Christopher Nolan’s personal take on the Batman mythos, The Dark Knight Rises fits the bill as both a pretty stellar superhero flick and fitting end to a mind-blowingly popular franchise. Falling victim to intense scrutiny that’d inevitably cause you to think less of it upon repeat viewings, TDKR is more of a “one and done”-type deal; a film that prides itself on its heavily detail-oriented scripting and overall grandiosity to overshadow its noticeable flaws. Even though Bane isn’t quite the villain Ledger’s Joker was throughout the film’s immediate predecessor, he’s still very much a worthy adversary as the last thirty to forty minutes of Nolan’s final go with the franchise packs an appreciable, moreover incredibly satisfying emotional wallop. Like I’ve implied, it’s far from perfect, however Nolan’s ambitions have gone a long way in painting a portrait of the the Dark Knight none of have ever seen before.

Rampart (Oren Moverman, 2011)

*Read my thoughts here.

The Amazing Spider-Man (Marc Webb, 2012)

Suffering from all the problems you’d expect from carbon copy of a preexisting film, Marc Webb’s creative take on Spidey’s beginnings benefits from an altogether grittier presentation and palpable chemistry between its two charismatic leads. Thriving on ample amounts of character development and a throwback to the comic’s modest origins, this reboot maintains a slight edge over its predecessors thanks to an inherent sense of likability brought about by its stronger suits and serviceable bits of action. A matter of personal opinion of course, but I’m sure some agree. Full review here.

Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)

Awkwardly humorous, heartfelt and glaringly singular in nearly every aspect, Anderson’s latest is characteristically “him” and as such the best he’s put forth within the realm of contemporary cinema. A story about misunderstood youth and a subsequent, quirkily perceptive examination of first love, Moonrise Kingdom is easily the auteur’s most accessible work to date as well as his most mature, painstakingly crafted and beautifully realized right down to its set pieces and subdued yet effective emotional core. One-note or not, Anderson’s proven time and time again that his efforts deftly serve to break up the monotony that Hollywood’s louder, big-budget trash tends to bring about barring the select few productions that have actually succeeded in this regard throughout the summer season. Full review here.

Total number of films watched (including re-watches): 9
Other first-time viewings
(in alphabetical order): Intruders (Fresnadillo, ’11), Margaret (Lonergan, ’11)Rampart (Moverman, ’11), Safety Not Guaranteed (Trevorrow, ’12), Ted (MacFarlane, ’12), The Watch (Schaffer, ’12)

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