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


Wind River (2017)

There are so many takeaways from Taylor Sheridan's Wind River that I don't even know which one to bring out first. I guess that I'll start by saying that, though flawed, this is the best movie of 2017 through the first eight months of the year. It's an epic masterpiece that might be missed by the common moviegoer who is so overwhelmed with the commercialization of movies like Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and War of the Planet of the Apes, that they might not even know it existed, let alone a movie that it might be interested in seeing. In a 2017 Hollywood that has seen a massive uptake in remakes, reboots, sequels, and prequels, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to find originality in a story and then, if you do, for that originality to come out in a way that encourages you to see it again and, hopefully, has a lasting impact on your life. That is what Sheridan, an incredibly gifted screenwriter, has done here in his first film behind the camera. Already to his screenwriting credit are the memorable Sicario and Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water. It's unlikely that Wind River will receive the same box office success as his first movie or the same critical acclaim come Oscar season as his second, but this is one hell of a directorial debut.


The Revenant (2015)

Why not save the best for last? It doesn't always work out that way, but The Revenant was the final movie released in 2015. In fact, except for in a few select theaters in a few select cities, you couldn't see the movie until January 7th. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely it was. It seems like we've seen trailers for months building this movie up. Each time I saw a preview, I couldn't help but get excited. I believe that this might have been my most anticipated movie since Shutter Island and with that movie I had reason to be weary because it was a 2010 movie that was released in February. You usually don't get the best movies of the year released that early in the year. While Shutter Island exceeded expectations, The Revenant was all that and more. Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Great Gatsby) has been burned by the Academy so many times before. While The Revenant is his fifth Academy Award nomination for acting, he should have at least three or four more. None of those past omissions matter now though as DiCaprio is the front runner to win Best Actor this year. I wouldn't quite qualify him as a lock to win, but it is only a two actor race and his performance was more impressive than the fabulous performance given by Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl.


The Good Lie (2014)

"Inspired by true events" verses "This is a true story" are two very different things. The first could mean anything and it's harder to get upset when you find out fact and fiction don't always meet eye to eye. When you are told that what you are about to see is a true story and then you find out later that facts (both minor and major) have been changed along the way, you have the right to get a bit more upset. The Good Lie is inspired by true events. And while they bring light to a very important issue, as far as I can tell, the character story that was told was mostly fictional. Now this brings up an interesting conversation. Would you rather see a movie that is strictly factual but doesn't tell the most exciting story or one that is based out from a real situation, but has, for the most part, specific characters and specific situations that are more fictionalized. I'm careful with what to write here, not because I'm worried that I'll give away any spoilers, but because I don't want to knock I movie that I thought was really good. And I think heartwarming might not even be the best choice of words here because the main characters in this movie went though some absolutely horrific situations over the course of their lives. But if the story was all doom and gloom, would it attract the audience a story like The Good Lie hopes to attract? I think you want to shed light on certain issues while also offering hope. That is what this movie does. Nonetheless, I think the topic is open for debate because I think a very small percentage of the stories related to the brutal 1983 Civil War between Northern and Southern Sudan ended as positive as did story told in The Good Lie.