365 Movies By Day Reviews of Movies I Watch that I Feel Like Writing About

1Jan/180

Molly’s Game (2017)

In my personal life, I've mentioned many times that I am so glad I am not addicted to gambling. I have many other problems and the added temptation of a big payday by sacrificing my own hard-earned money with less than successful odds sounds absolutely miserable.

In Aaron Sorkin's directorial debut, he tells the story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain - A Most Violent Year, Take Shelter), an Olympic level skier who once ran one of the most exclusive high-stakes poker games for more than a decade, two years before her arrest that saw FBI agents surrounding her house with automatic guns in the middle of the night. It's a legitimate directorial debut and one that is worthy of its high praise. But despite how well made the movie is, I believe it to be a much more enjoyable and educational film if you are familiar with the game of poker. I have no idea how to play the game, so while I was fascinated by the movie, there were definitely many parts where I felt like the odd one sitting around a kitchen table because there were many terms thrown around that I did not understand as well as actions, motives, dialogue, and even purposes that felt very foreign to me. As a result, the movie didn't hook me like it did many of the other films that Sorkin also wrote (The Social Network, Moneyball, Steve Jobs, Charlie Wilson's War not to mention his credits as a lead writer on television's The West Wing and Newsroom). That's not to say Sorkin should stick to screenwriting. He absolutely should not. It's just that I will look forward to seeing him direct a movie revolving around a different theme in the future rather than revisiting Molly's Game, a film that, frankly, will be one that I will forever forget about soon after I write this review.

1Feb/150

The Judge (2014)

The Judge was exactly what I thought it would be...an average fictional movie that was released in the heart of better movies that were based upon true stories. There was a lot of hype around this movie, but I had a feeling that it would do nothing for me. And that was exactly what happened. Audiences seemed to really like this movie while critics slammed it. I'm in favor with the critics. At best, this was an average movie. At worst, it was a movie that tried every trick in the book to get you to think it was a great movie. The fact that Robert Duvall (Apocalypse Now, The Apostle) got a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination is a bit of a joke. His performance is a bit of an embarrassment when you compare it against the four other nominees. The highlight to this movie is not the story. Nor is it Duvall. If you are going to see this movie at all (which I would recommend you don't), you would see it for Robert Downey Jr.'s (Iron Man, Chaplin) very good performance.