Monday, June 25, 2012

The Netflix Files: June 18-24

 Louie Season 1 (2010) created by Louis C.K.

Seeing as Louie is often described as the "actual" best comedy on TV, I jumped at the chance to give it a go when it showed up online, seeing as the new season was right around the corner.  With shows like these - based on a comedian's life/stand up material - one has to be open to a very distinctive point of view, which often presents some type of adjustment curve. With Louie, however, the adjustment curve lasted a long time (essentially the whole season), and at the end I still wasn't sure I was a fan, let alone a believer that this was the best show on TV. Mining humor out of awkward situations is nothing new at this point, but C.K. seems to revel in a certain blend of ugly unpleasantness and direct social commentary that often feels forced and unfunny. Comedies with darker sides are, likewise, not novelties, but Louie goes too far with it at times, being too dour, unpleasant, and/or gross for its own good, often suffocating the humor in order to make some sort of point.

Grade: C+/C

Louie Season 2 (2011) created by Louis C.K.

If the first season of Louie was a major disappointment, then consider season two the show's redemption. While the problems of season one are still present, the humor comes through so much more, and the bitterness and melancholy often feel earned. The episode structure remains the same (and is surprisingly limited, consisting usually of two separate sequences that never go very far) but the results are so much stronger. The mid-season episode "Subway; Pamela," the series' shining moment so far, is the best example, providing moments of hilarity, absurdity, and just the right touch of sadness, courtesy of C.K.'s relationship with fellow single parent Pamela (Pamela Adlon). And, where season one ended and left me seriously debating whether I wanted to continue with the show, season two's wonderful conclusion has left me eager for the start of season three this Thursday.

Grade: B/B+

Raise the Red Lantern (1991) dir. Zhang Yimou

Before Zhang Yimou began making wildly colorful fantasies (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), he made his mark on global cinema with this lush, restrained look at family relationships in 1920s China. After her father's death, Songlian (the seemingly ageless Gong Li) is married to a wealthy man, becoming his fourth (simultaneous) wife, and competes for his attention and affection with the man's three other brides. The material certainly has some operatic overtones, but Zimou and the cast manage to execute the story, set entirely within the rooms and walls of the husband's stone compound, with a level of dignity (and even coldness) that prevents it from devolving into melodramatic nonsense. Performances all around are strong, and it's easy to see why Li's career quickly exploded after the film's debut. A slow, but sumptuous and ultimately affecting drama that has held up well. 

Grade: B+

The Man Who Wasn't There (2001) dir. Joel Coen

One of the Coen brothers' lesser discussed efforts, this foray into noir proves to be surprisingly engaging and enjoyable. The plot hits many familiar beats (a man blackmails his wife and her lover until things spiral out of control), but the screenplay navigates the territory so as to make it feel fresh. Billy Bob Thorton, in the central role, is used to strong effect as Ed, a low-key, quiet figure who finds himself in escalating circumstances. The supporting cast is great as well, filled with nice turns from Frances McDormand, James Gandolfini, Tony Shaloub, and Katherine Borowitz, who delivers the film's best performance in a single riveting (and bizarre) conversation with Thorton. Despite the Coens' tendencies to wink at the audience, the film does play well as a straight noir despite one bit of out-there plotting (it's too good to spoil) and a smart jab at the verbosity of noir voice over narration. It may not get the recognition it deserves, but this strongly acted and immaculately designed film (thank you again, Roger Deakins/Dennis Gassner/Mary Zophres/etc...) is a true gem in the already jewel-encrusted crown that is Joel and Ethan Coen's career.

Grade: B+/A-

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Trailer: Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina"

Teased as being a revolutionary take on Tolstoy's classic novel of forbidden love, Joe Wright's return to highbrow literary adaptations looks as (if not more) gorgeous as his previous films (we'll pretend The Soloist didn't happen). Wright's last outing was the deliciously strange Hanna (2011), a successful deviation that benefited from his lush style. Now that he's back in his comfort zone, expectations will likely be higher, considering both the source material and the execution. Using a series of sound stages, the fill will allow for unique transitions between and among locations, with doors opening out onto fields, trains running through the set, and more. Rumors indicate that the execution is both more and less avant garde than previously stated, but overall, Wright's Anna looks like a truly sumptuous and dazzling film. In addition to Keira Knightley and Jude Law, the film boasts a stellar supporting cast, including Emily Watson, Matthew Macfadyen (from Wright's Pride and Prejudice), and Olivia Williams. The British accents seem a little odd, considering the story's purely Russian identity, although perhaps it's for the best, considering that a film full of poorly executed Russian accents would be even more off-putting. Still, this minor quibble aside, Anna Karenina looks like an energetic and lush period film with the added benefit of its unconventional setting(s). The only question left is, "how many tracking shots will Wright manage to sneak in this time?"

Grade: A-

Review: "Safety Not Guaranteed"

Some films are based on novels, others on plays or short stories or articles. Not many, however, can boast that their story stems (however loosely) from an actual classified ad. A delightful mix of truth and fiction (although mostly the latter), Colin Trevorrow's Safety Not Guaranteed has been picking up enthusiastic reviews on the festival circuit all year. With the film currently in the process of a staggered limited release, I hope that more and more people will get to see what the fuss was about. Though it isn't a slice of top-tier work, Trevorrow's feature narrative debut is filled with engaging performances that help make this one of the indie surprises of the summer.

Revolving around an actual classified ad that sought out a companion for time travel, the story centers on a trio of magazine writers (make that one writer and two interns) who go to investigate the man responsible for the ad. Taking the lead is Darius (Aubrey Plaza), one of the two interns working for Jeff (Jake Johnson), who befriends Kenneth (Mark Duplass) in order to get a better sense of what makes him tick. 

Yet despite the potential for more overt sci-fi elements, the film keeps itself centered on the characters first and foremost. The execution is a little light and even a tad sitcom-ish in spots, but the performers bring a winning mix of humor and quirky pathos to their roles that helps balance the lack of true excellence in the narrative structure and direction. Plaza continues to use her trademark deadpanning to marvelous effect, yet she still manages to make her character feel like a distinct entity from her claim to fame, her role as April Ludgate on Parks and Recreation. The role plays to her strengths yet also pushes her just enough so that one isn't left with the impression that Plaza is simply coasting. Duplass is also strong, creating a convincing outsider without ever turning him into a condescending caricature. Despite the age difference, Duplass and Plaza have a nice (platonic) chemistry that helps keep the film engaging, even when it ventures off into a minor subplot or two.

In the supporting roles, Johnson (known for the sitcom New Girl) and Karan Soni acquit themselves nicely in their roles as a self-absorbed and lazy writer and a shy nerd respectively. Each gets a subplot of sorts, with the former's being more compelling, despite its distraction from the main narrative. At times the script separates the two characters from the Darius/Kenneth dynamic almost too much, though it never becomes more than a minor issue. Like the rest of Trevorrow's film, their stories are nicely told and produce entertaining, engaging results, even as they don't attempt for a deeper impact. Not that this is a bad thing, however. Safety Not Guaranteed knows exactly what it wants to be, never straining for more despite the sci-fi tinged narrative (save perhaps for the conclusion). Its themes are simplistic, yet they fit with the story and characters so comfortably that it hardly matters. It's just one more thing that makes Safety Not Guaranteed the small, yet fully satisfying comedy that it is.

Grade: B

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Netflix Files: June 11-17

Don't Look Now (1973) dir. Nicolas Roeg

A steadily engrossing mystery/thriller, Roeg's film, starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, builds its atmosphere more on grief and dread than on any sort of scares. The story of a couple trying to rebuild their lives in the Venice after their daughter drowns in an accident certainly takes its time to really get moving, though the pay off is ultimately worth it. Certain elements feel either stiff or dated - unfortunately this includes some of Sutherland's acting - but Roeg's method of capturing the scenes, often through delirious camera movements and off-kilter edits deserves credit. And even though the climactic scene almost threatens to throw the themes overboard in favor of shock value, it presents a memorably unsettling image that will make you question ever following someone in a red trench coat. 

Grade: B

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (2006/2008) dir. Michel Hazanavicius 

Before storming awards season with The Artist, Michel Hazanvicius, Jean Dujardin, and Berenice Bejo were busy mimicking another time period and genre of film making. Itself a spoof of a series of spy novels, Nest of Spies is the director's resurrection of the slick spy flicks of the 50s and 60s. Mocking everything from the era's sexism and racism (Dujardin's protagonist is a firm believer that everything French and Western is the only way to go), the film is an enjoyable trifle, though it does outstay its welcome by about 10 minutes. Dujardin is once again perfectly cast, and Hazanavicius' mimicry of the old spy films is uncanny, but the overall feeling afterward is that this could have been a much sharper, wittier, and funnier film. 

Grade: B-/C+

The Terminator (1984) dir. James Cameron

No, this isn't the first time I've seen Cameron's landmark sci-fi action film, but it's been long enough that it seemed to merit a re-watch. Surprisingly, despite certain elements that either feel dated (the score), or reveal the film's budget limitations, the film remains an engaging and exceedingly taut piece of film making. Cameron's direction is uncluttered, and he invests the chase scenes and shoot outs with a bluntness that keeps them from devolving into exhausting or overwrought spectacle. The concern remains, somehow, on the characters, as limited as their arcs are, and it works. There are plenty of cheapshots one can take at Cameron's filmography, but nearly three decades later, The Terminator remains a definitive example of American action cinema at its best (on a tight budget, no less).

Grade: B+/A-

Friday, June 15, 2012

How about them shiny new trailers?

For a while (as in, before my Prometheus review) now, I've meant to do quick write-ups of a slew of new trailers for some BIG films for 2012. Obviously, I haven't so now it's catch up time. Most of these have been out for two weeks or more, but they're all interesting films, and I'm not going to miss a chance to needlessly scrutinize promotional material (I also need to get around to doing a Month in Review for May and April...or just combine it with June...ehhhhhhh). 

007: Skyfall dir. Sam Mendes

Set for release in November, James Bond finally returns, and it looks like the wait (prolonged by MGM's bankruptcy) will be worth it. What vague plot details exist are intriguing (something about M's past coming back and attacking MI6), and the presence of Mendes in the director's chair is certainly interesting. This looks like a continuation of the grittier tone that has taken over the franchise since Casino Royale, albeit with a bit more polish (thanks, Roger Deakins!!). Granted, it's a rather limited teaser, but this promises to be a return to form for Bond after the decent, but at times dull previous outing, 2008's Quantum of Solace. The structure is nice too, starting off with the world's most solemn word association game before unleashing a quick mash-up of high octane action at the end.

Grade: B

The Great Gatsby dir. Baz Luhrmann

Gatsby isn't the sort of novel that necessarily screams cinematic, but Baz Luhrmann's brand of crazy might just be the key to pulling it off. That, or this big budget, 3D adaptation will be a special sort of disaster. Either way, it at least looks like there's a great deal of energy on screen, and I look forward to Luhrmann bringing his Moulin Rouge instincts to the big, brash (but ultimately, empty) parties that defined the Roaring least for the rich guys. DiCaprio, Mulligan, and Joel Edgerton seem well-cast, and of course it looks gorgeous (Catherine Martin really is a gift to costume and set design), and even the 3D looks like it might be implemented to decent effect. The one question mark (aside from the iffy music choice in the second half) is Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway. Yes, the role is supposed to be a little on the blank side, but Maguire seems like he might turn out to be too blank. Still, even Maguire can't make this any worse than that Robert Redford adaptation from the 70s...right?

Grade: B-

Les Miserables dir. Tom Hooper

Even though I had a feeling that Tom Hooper's adaptation of the popular musical Les Miserables would be on the gritty side, I have to admit I was slightly caught off guard the first time I watched this. And while I'm still not sold on a handful of shots - some look a little too much like the film is desperately trying to be gritty/cinema verite - overall I'm sold on this. Hooper isn't a director known for being a stylistically or thematically daring auteur, but his sensibilities should lend themselves well to the material. The cast all seem to fit right in, though of course the trailer basically belongs to Anne Hathaway's rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream." Her singing has a rough quality to it that, while not immediately pleasurable in the way a standard Broadway belter's voice might be, works. The cast could all be belting out flawless, bold performances of the songs, but that would be for naught if the acting didn't come through. So even though the film, which had its cast sing live on camera, won't have the most polished feel, if it all works (or mostly works) then the songs will work as vehicles for the performers to act through. When you have the capabilities of the big screen (AKA: close-ups), belting to make sure everyone can hear you is no longer a necessity. It's the emotion that's more important, and that seems to be what Hooper is focusing on, which is good, because the man is good with actors. It may keep the film's soundtrack from being in endless rotation on someone's iPod, but it will likely serve the film as a whole better. Also: Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman singing on screen together? Yes, please (remember their Oscar duet?).

Grade: B+

The Bourne Legacy dir. Tony Gilroy

Paul Greengrass may no longer be directing, but the presence of series scribe Tony Gilroy leaves little reason to fret. The style seems consistent with the previous Bourne films, and the trailer does a smart job of introducing the new protagonist (Jeremy Renner's Aaron Cross), while also showing how his story fits into the world and timeline of the initial trilogy. Renner is more than up to the task of being a leading man in a (hopefully) smart action-thriller, so it's good to see him finally get the chance, especially after being wasted in The Avengers. Add in the return of Joan Allen and David Strathairn, along with new roles filled out by Edward Norton and Rachel Weisz, and you have what looks like a good film to liven up the summer season as it enters its usually dire final month (August).

Grade: B+

The Master dir. Paul Thomas Anderson

The Master marks Anderson's first film since 2007's There Will be Blood, and if this first, Phoenix-centric teaser is any indication, the wait is going to be worth. The simple music, coupled with lots of suggestion create a sense of subtle tension even though we have no idea what exactly is going on. And even though the teaser runs less than two minutes, I can't deny that Joaquin Phoenix looks pretty damn mesmerizing here. The way he holds his face, and the bemused detachment in his voice suggest a figure who is dangerously close to breaking, yet you don't know exactly what said break would lead to. Add in cast mates like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams, and those rumors that the script's story has parallels to the founding of Scientology, and you have a runaway candidate for the year's best piece of marketing (sorry, Prometheus).

Grade: A

Django Unchained dir. Quentin Tarantino

Though it's still shooting, losing and gaining cast members left and right, Tarantino's Django Unchained managed to put out a trailer. The director's films have always had touches of spaghetti western films in their DNA, even as they tackled wildly different genres, so it's interesting to see Tarantino finally tackle the root of his style. The cast seems like they're having a ball (nice to see DiCaprio loosen up a little on screen), and some of the shots are great (the blood spraying on the cotton is fantastic). However, it seems to run a little long without building to much. Of course, it's just a preview, but it seems to lack the precision of the others listed here (yes, even Gatsby). Tarantino's always worth checking out, though, and I'm excited to see what he does with the material, particularly the issues regarding slavery and racism. It will also be interesting to see how Tarantino fares without longtime editor Sally Menke, who sadly passed away in late 2010. Menke had a way of matching Tarantino's rhythms that probably helped define them, which means there's quite a bit of pressure on Django's editor, the sort of pressure that could make or break the film.

Grade: B

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Review: "Prometheus"

Down to its title, Ridley Scott's Prometheus, the director's return to science fiction after three decades, has some lofty ambitions. Opening with shots of a primordial earth that recall moments of last year's The Tree of Life (well, until the hulking white alien shows up...), Scott's film, written by Jon Spaihts and Lost alum Damon Lindelof, though executed beautifully in terms of atmosphere, can't quite muster the courage to fully follow through on its somewhat lazy attempt at grandiose wonderment about our place in the universe. Still, the film's successes, of which there are plenty, deserve credit, and as far as being an engaging, well-crafted ride goes, Prometheus hits all of the right notes, even as it fails to launch into the same legendary stratosphere as Scott's previous sci-fi endeavors. 

After a beautiful prologue that captures the mysterious origins of all life on earth (DNA strands exploding out of a single, towering creature as it decomposes), the story proper begins with a team of archaeologists in Scotland. At a cave in the Skye Islands, the team has discovered a 35,000 year old cave with a painting that appears to show a large figure pointing toward a cluster of stars. Chief among the group are Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), who are also romantically involved. Their discovery, the latest in a series of digs conducted over several years, finally gives them enough evidence to receive funding from the powerful Weyland Corporation to find the star cluster, and see if there are any planets capable of sustaining life. The goal, at least for the archaeologists, is to see if mankind can truly meet its makers.

And, for roughly 45 minutes (an hour?), Prometheus remains set in a state of calm, just as Alien did decades ago before letting hell break loose. We witness the ship's Peter O'Toole-idolizing android, David (Michael Fassbender) waking the ship's crew up from deep sleep, and though David's presence sets the scenes apart from the complete stillness of Alien's opening, there remains something oddly magnetic about the sequence. It's in this first hour that Scott shows what made his first two forays into sci-fi so special: a willingness to take time, and slowly build a sense of place and atmosphere. Whether it's on board the titular transport/research vessel, or on the planet the crew lands on, the production design and visual effects create a remarkably tactile world, one that doesn't feel overly reliant on nice-looking, but plastic-y digital creations. As captured by cinematographer Darius Wolski, the locales of Prometheus posses a cold, at times slimy sheen that only adds to the overall feel. Even in the dark, subterranean exploration scenes when the team first enters a massive pyramid, there remains a sense of clarity to the imagery.

That the film gets the tone right so early on is an obvious boon to the overall effect. The performances are effective as well, although the size of the cast means that there are quite a few throwaway characters who are merely there for bad things to befall them. When the actors come through, however, they shine, even as Spaihts and Lindelof's script leaves them lost in space without much in the way of arcs. Rapace, most famous for being the original girl with the dragon tattoo, makes an appealing heroine, with a nice mix of vulnerability and steely determination. The combo comes in handy when the actress is required to go through a bit of Cronenberg-esque body horror in a scene that, while never reaching the impact of a certain moment from Alien, will surely leave many uncomfortably squirming in their seats. Fassbender's fastidious android is also fun to watch, with his mix of calculated distance and semi-human behavior proving to be one of the film's most intriguing mysteries. It's one of the few times that Fassbender has avoided injecting a true element of emotional vulnerability into a role, and thankfully it pays off and makes David more interesting to watch. Marshall-Green, as the science-first counterpart (as contrasted with the Christian Dr. Shaw), has some nice moments as well, although he's ultimately not given much that distinguishes him from the lower rungs of the ensemble aside from more face-time. Finally there's Charlize Theron, in her second icy role of the summer, remaining pretty one-note, while still being a compelling presence. Watching her yank David aside to pull information out of him is one of the most suspenseful scenes in the film, and there's nary a slimy monster in sight.

And speaking of slimy monsters, don't worry, Prometheus has its share. Whether it's the serpentine first creature the team encounters - which, when closed up, looks like an icky, pale tulip from the bowels of hell - or the tentacled menace that finds its way into a crew member, the creature designs and effects all come through. They're entirely CGI creations, yet they're rendered and shot with such skill that they feel uncomfortably real and dangerous. Only a large, squid-like monster fails to feel fully tactile; the bigger the creation, somehow the less real it feels.

Yet for all of its strengths in production design, direction, and atmosphere, Prometheus has, to invoke another name of myth, an Achilles Heel. The culprit is, unfortunately, the script. After opening such grand possibilities on the thematic front with the opening, Spaihts and Lindelof settle for a more routine execution that never quite follows through on its potential. The quest for mankind's origins and our place in the universe becomes more plot-point than theme, so that even when the film reaches its conclusion, it fails to inspire the same sense of awe that the visuals do. The direction manages to elevate the material and create some truly exceptional moments, but by the time Prometheus settles into its hectic final act, the weaknesses of the writing become too apparent to ignore, even as the film remains an entertaining journey. The first encounter with an alien creature, though effectively unsettling, is undermined by the outright stupidity of one minor character ("hey, look! some creepy snake creature. I should totally try to interact with it! No way that it will do anything aggressive!"). Character development also gets tossed aside, even with Shaw, the character most ripe with potential for a full, satisfying arc. As things get more hectic, Prometheus simply abandons attempts at ideas in order to simply satisfy the thrill-ride quota, which ends up leaving the last act feeling overly long. There's a handful of mini-conclusions that feel like they should segue into the very end, only for the film to keep going.

Yet despite its flaws, it's hard to deny that Prometheus succeeds in enough places (though perhaps not brilliantly so) that it works, even as it devolves into a more standard sci-fi thriller as it progresses. The ideas are admirable on paper, though on screen they feel more like hastily sketched out premises that the writers forgot to follow through on. Still, once one removes the pretense of Spaihts and Lindelof's writing, what remains is still a rollicking, atmospheric, gorgeously-rendered slice of science fiction, filled with enough tension and thrills to make it memorable, albeit not to point where we'll be talking about it years from now. Whereas Scott's other two sci-fi films both made significant stylistic and thematic contributions to the genre, Prometheus is merely a nicely-handled entry that boosts its profile, without doing anything to give it a special place in the sci-fi canon. 

Grade: B

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Review: "Snow White and the Huntsman"

Arriving three months after Mirror Mirror, the other big studio Snow White film, Snow White and the Huntsman is drastically different in style and tone. Looking more like HBO's Game of Thrones, in comparison to Mirror's super bright, campy, family-friendly design, Huntsman is aimed at a slightly older demographic, one willing to take its fairy tales with a little more gravity. Yet despite individual pieces that are ultimately more successful, Huntsman isn't really an improvement over Mirror Mirror as it is, well, just different.

For the most part, the basic elements of the story are expected: a king makes a seriously bad choice in his second wife, who kills him and imprisons his daughter, only to determine that she needs to consume said daughter's heart to live forever. Thankfully, director Rupert Sanders and company help everything feel fresh with the rugged, lived-in medieval look. This is a lush world, one that feels more like it lives, breathes, and dies than the hyper-artifice of Tarsem Singh's film. And for a good half hour or so, everything comes together - despite fleeting blips - to create something rich, dark, and compelling.

Magnetic from her arrival on screen, Charlize Theron is wickedly entertaining as Ravenna, the evil queen holding Snow White (Kristen Stewart) as a prisoner, all while sucking the youth and beauty out of other captive maidens. Dressed in Colleen Atwood's sumptuous costumes, Theron embodies Ravenna with the icy heartlessness of a woman taught from birth that the key to a woman's success was her beauty, and nothing more. It's Ravenna's reign of terror that is the most enjoyable to watch, and the further the film gets from that, in the wildly uneven middle, the more it suffers. First-time director Sanders knows how to create some effective imagery and atmosphere, and when it all comes together, it can be quite compelling. Aside from Ravenna's scenes in the opening, the director also nails Snow White's nightmarish hallucinations as she stumbles through the Dark Forest during her escape from the Queen's forces. It's appropriately dark and unpleasant, and helps reinforce the idea of a more grown up world. Many fairy tales, were, after all, filled with extreme darkness, with everything from murder to suppressed sexual anxiety running amok, and Sanders' film reaches its high points when it taps into this. 

Unfortunately, the trifecta of writers don't keep up the momentum. Once Snow and the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) escape the Forest together, the movie becomes simultaneously rushed and sluggish. There's an entire plot thread involving Price William (Sam Claflin) and his desire to find Snow White, not having seen her since they were separated during Ravenna's brutal take over of the kingdom. It's not terribly interesting, and it distracts from the relationship between Snow and the Huntsman, who comes across as much more engaging. It feels like the film wanted to build some sort of love triangle, but then got tired of it and simply gave up without seeing through on any of it (yup, even in the end). The film also rushes into its climax, complete with an uneven war speech with lots of obligatory SHOUTING, and then next thing we know, Snow is all ready to go into battle (apparently it just doesn't take that long to learn how to wield a full battle armor...which was just lying around in her size...).

Thankfully the finale redeems some of this, although it doesn't carry the intrigue of the opening act. The grittiness comes through in both the real, actual battles and in the fantastical elements. The darkness and menace are always present as well, even when the film stumbles in execution. Even the film's one moment where it could potentially go into an overload of fantasy schmaltz, set against a magical forest populated with sprites and other creatures, ends with a moment of violence.

Snow White and the Huntsman ends up being a mixed bag, but it deserves credit for when it works. Some films are complete disappointments, but Sanders' film does come together with strong results. Had the middle built on the momentum of the first act, instead of squandering it, this could have truly built into a stellar big budget fantasy. As it  is, though, it's a mixed bag with a wide range of highs and lows that keep it from being the majestic, gritty epic it very likely has the potential to be.

Grade: B-/C+