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


Daddy’s Home (2015)

With apologies to the extremely funny The Campaign, first-time co-director John Morris and Sean Anders's (Horrible Bosses 2, Sex Drive) Daddy's Home is, ironically, Will Ferrell's (Old School, Step Brothers) best-starring comedy role since 2010's The Other Guys. It's not a movie I thought I would particularly like and one that I had serious doubts about as much as 20 minutes in (I hadn't laughed but maybe one time), but as the movie progressed it got funnier and funnier and by its conclusion it became a somewhat memorable movie that I wouldn't put on the "A-shelf" comedy list, but might find itself just a notch below. What made the movie work was the dynamics between Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor, The Fighter) who didn't have quite the same chemistry they had when they teamed is partners in the buddy cop The Other Guys but were still pretty close. While Daddy's Home was 100% completely predictable, it didn't make it any less fun and while Ferrell and Wahlberg weren't exceptionally awesome in the scenes where they weren't together, it more than made up for during the scenes where they shared screen time.


A Walk in the Woods (2015)

A Walk in the Woods, the 2015 comedy-drama that I thought would be a throwaway movie that I originally only watched so that I could add it to my list, turned out to be one of the biggest surprises of the year. Now, don't get me wrong. I'd be a fool to think that a year from now that I'd remember anything from this movie or that I'll ever watch this movie again. But for two hours on a Tuesday night in the middle of April, it was a very refreshing escape from reality and a movie had me grinning from ear to ear from the first scene until the last. Also, if Robert Redford (The Horse Whisperer, All is Lost) or Nick Nolte (The Prince of Tides, Warrior) called it a career today and this was either of their last movies, I think that would be okay. Each has had a solid career. While not his number one fan, I find it absolutely criminal that Redford has only been nominated for one Oscar for acting in his entire career (way back in 1974 for The Sting). Nolte has had more success as an actor in terms of awards (three Oscar nominations). And while these two actors are household names who each has more than a dozen movies that you could rattle off the top of your heads, their careers have followed very different careers. Nolte's career has been marred by controversies in his personal life whereas Redford as sort of been the poster boy of how an A-list actor can live his life while staying out of the tabloids. The two don't seem like much of a match for a movie like this so late in their careers. But the movie worked perfectly for each man. You'll leave your viewing knowing that each gave an admirable performance even though it's light-hearted and certainly not one of their most memorable ones.


Miss You Already (2015)

Beaches 2 or something more? Maybe somewhere in between.  Miss You Already tells the story of two lifelong best friends who have been there for each other at every single instance of their lives. Jess (Drew Barrymore - Charlie's Angels, The Wedding Singer) and Milly (Toni Collette - The Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine) have been nearly inseparable since Jess transferred into Milly's first-grade class in London after moving from the United States. Now, as the pair each approaches her 40th birthday, they are infused with a situation that no one can ever prepare for. Yes, this is both a friendship movie and a cancer movie. Yes, it will do its best to try to guilt you into tears. While the acting is not great and the story predictable, there is something about the movie that keeps you interested when a lesser movie would have lost you completely 45 minutes in.


San Andreas (2015)

Not being a guy who is really into the disaster film genre anymore (I turned off movies like The Day After Tomorrow and 2012 before I was even a third of the way in), I was more than tentative to give San Andreas a chance. It's a genre that once held great interest to me in my younger days. I enjoyed movies like Independence Day, Deep Impact, Cloverfield while absolutely loving Titanic (my favorite movie of 1997), The Impossible (my favorite movie of 1992), World War Z (my second favorite movie of 2013), I Am Legend (my second favorite movie of 2007), War of the Worlds, The Perfect Storm and, shamefully, Armageddon. But for every success like Deep Impact or Poseidon, there seem to be films like Twister or The Core that sets the disaster genre back. So, honestly, when I see a preview for a new disaster movie, my first instinct is to believe that it is going to be absolutely terrible. If it's got somewhat of a science-fiction element (like World War Z) or if it is based on a true story (The Impossible) AND it does well with the critics, it gets more of a benefit of a doubt. If it has neither of those things, it most likely will not. I thought the latter when I saw the first series of trailers for director Brad Peyton (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island) San Andreas.


Escobar: Paradise Lost (2015)

I could not help comparing Escobar: Paradise Lost to Leonardo DiCaprio's The Beach during my viewing. There were quite a few similarities and also quite a few differences. I'll start with the differences first. With the exception of The Man in the Iron Mask (which wasn't really promoted as a blockbuster), The Beach was DiCaprio's first really marketed movie since Titanic. It had a massive promotional campaign going on and was expected to vault DiCaprio even further as Hollywood's next leading man. I had huge hopes for The Beach and actually kind of liked it. The movie got panned by audiences and critics alike But before I get pounced on for enjoying it, please note that I was seeing this movie when I was about 24 years old. That is my defense. I cannot defend the actions where I watched the movie about three times since then. But I like the idea of a paradise that's too good to be true and a lead character who is suddenly so far over his head, he has no means of getting out. This was a similarity to the much less marketed Escobar: Paradise Lost, a movie that received mixed reviews, but, for the most part, had as many people who didn't like the movie as it had people who liked it.