I will provide a link to this post on the top of the Looking Closer blog soon. (Currently, there’s a link to the 2005 journal.) This is the post where I’ll catalog every film I see in 2006.

* = indicates first-time viewing

2006
December
The Last King of Scotland* (DVD screener)…..B
The Secret of Roan Innish (VHS) ….. A-
Marie Antoinette*……B+
The Holiday*…..C-
Children of Men (second viewing)…..A
Letters from Iwo Jima*…..A-
The Devil Wears Prada* (DVD screener)…..C+
Joyeux Noel (DVD)…..B+
Notes on a Scandal* (DVD screener)…..B
Water* (DVD)…..B+
49 Up* (DVD)…..A-
The Nativity Story*…..C

November
United 93* (DVD screener)…..A+
Catch a Fire* (DVD screener)…..B+
The Double Life of Veronique (Criterion Collection DVD)…..A+
Casino Royale*…..B+
Half Nelson*…..B+
Children of Men*…..A
Thank You for Smoking* (DVD)…..B
Stranger than Fiction*…..B+
Pan’s Labyrinth*…..A

The Prestige*…..B+
Akeelah and the Bee* (DVD)…..B+
The Proposition* (DVD)…..B+

October
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang* (DVD)…..C
A Prairie Home Companion (second viewing, DVD)…..B+
Little Children*…..A-
The Queen*…..A
The Fountain*…..B-
Flags of Our Fathers*……A-
The Departed*…..B+

September
Babel*…..B+
The Science of Sleep*…..B+
The Illusionist*…..B+
High Fidelity (DVD, second viewing)…..B+

August
Army of Shadows*…..A-
Lassie (2006)*…..B+
Promises* (DVD)……A
The Gospel According to St. Matthew* (dubbed) (DVD)…..B
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby…..C+

Brick* (DVD)…..B+
Nightwatch* (DVD)…..B-
Little Miss Sunshine*…..B

Hawaii, Oslo* (DVD)…..B+

July
Miami Vice*…..B

Monster House*…..C
Lady in the Water*…..B-
The Best of Youth, part 2* (DVD)…..A-
Touch the Sound* (DVD)…..A-

Three Times*…..(still considering… probably an A-)
Mission: Impossible 3*…..B
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (DVD)…..C+
2001: A Space Odyssey (DVD)…..A+
The King*…..C-
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (second viewing)…..A-
The most satisfying large-scale adventure film since The Fellowship of the Ring.
Nightwatch* (DVD) B
Shopgirl* (DVD)…..B

June
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest*…..A-
Superman Returns*…..C+
Extremely disappointing. It recycles so many elements from the first film, it’s like a re-make… but without actors that make me care or believe, and with a supervillain so foolish that he never inspires even a flicker of fear.
The Best of Youth, part 1 (DVD)….A-
A River Runs Through It (DVD)……A
A Scanner Darkly…..B
Cars*…..B+


May
X-Men: The Last Stand*…..C
Duma* (DVD)…..B
Ikiru (VHS)…..A+
The New World (fourth theatrical viewing)…..A+
Taxi Driver (DVD)…..A
Saved (DVD)…..B
Three Colors: Blue (DVD)…..A+
The Miracle Maker* (VHS)…..A-

April
A Prairie Home Companion*…..B
A Man for All Seasons (DVD)…..A+
One of the greatest scripts ever written, with profound, and profoundly quotable, dialogue.
Babette’s Feast (DVD) ….. A+
My feelings for this film only grow stronger over time. It’s one of the most beautiful and moving films I know.

March
L’Enfant*…..A
The Five Obstructions (DVD, second viewing)….B+
The Motorcycle Diaries (second viewing)…..A
I admire this film more all the time.
V for Vendetta*…..C+
Junebug (DVD) (second viewing)…..A
Man, I love this movie. It brought me to tears last night. I think it’d edging its way up toward the top spot on my Best of 2005.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (DVD) (umpteenth viewing)…..A+
Don’t Come Knocking*…..B+/A-
Mirrormask* (DVD)…..B+

February
T
ristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story*…..B

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (DVD, second viewing)…..B+
The New World (third viewing)….A+

Yes* (DVD)…..B+
The New World (second viewing)…..A+
Even better the second time. I believe this is one of the most profound works of art for the screen I’ve ever seen. Easily the best film of the last few years… perhaps my favorite since Three Colors: Blue. What a fantastic month at the movies I’m enjoying.
Elizabethtown* (DVD)…..C+
Sophie Scholl: The Final Days*….A-
Junebug* (DVD)….A
The 2005 film I most regret misisng during its theatrical run. It would have been in the Top 10 lists I submitted to various magazines, but alas, too late.

January
Mystery Men (DVD)….B-
It’s a guilty pleasure, but it sure is a lot of fun thanks to the enthusiasm of the actors. Geoffrey Rush alone is reason enough to see it.
Tsotsi*…..B+
The New World*…..A+
Another Malick masterpiece… perhaps my favorite of his films.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin* (DVD) (2005)…..D
Steve Carrell has proven in Anchorman and TV’s The Office that he’s one of America’s funniest actors. But here, the material is so relentlessly crass and adolescent, so dependent on cheap locker room antics, that it prevents him from doing the things he does best. I couldn’t make it past the 40-minute mark, I found the company of his neanderthal co-workers so overbearingly unpleasant. I’ve heard it has “a good message” in the end. But it doesn’t matter. It’s disingenuous to praise a film for the good message it has at the end when it spends almost two hours playing to our baser appetites. That’s like giving us a vitamin after shoving a bunch of trash down our throats. The movie will delight the sex-obsessed frat boys it tries to lampoon, and I doubt it will really engage their conscience at all.
Millions (DVD) (third viewing) ….. A
Watching this film again and introducing it to some friends, I was moved even more deeply, and further impressed by the script, the editing, the music, and the performances. I stand by my decision — this is now, unquestionably, my favorite film of 2005.
Hoodwinked!* (2005) …..B+
The year’s first animated feature is fun, fast-paced, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, with another great voice performance by Patrick Warburton as the wolf. An impressive debut for writer/director Cory Edwards. Review coming soon.
Strings* (DVD) (2005)…..B
Phenomenal puppetry, among the best ever filmed… but it’s oppressively humorless and parades out a whole library of stale myth-cliches. See it for the astounding imagery.
The Beat My Heart Skipped* (DVD) (2005)….. B+
A great lead performance and a nerve-wracking sense of impending doom make this a memorable thriller, full of unconventionally thoughtful tangents, and elevated by an inventive use of classical music in its soundtrack.

 

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