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


Patriots Day (2016)

Too soon? Money grabber? These are two fair questions to ask about the timing of Peter Berg's (Deepwater Horizon, Lone Survivor) 2016 Patriots Day. The movie is based on the April 15, 2013, Boston City Marathon bombing, an event that killed three people and wounded hundreds of others. It might seem like it's too soon for a movie studio to be capitalizing on the tragic events of that day. For many, the event is still fresh in the minds. When I saw the trailer for this movie for the first time, my tendency was to agree. But after seeing this movie, I have changed my mind and instead will go with the mindset that if you're going to make a movie out of a tragic event such as the Boston City Marathon bombing, you better get it right. And I'll be the first to say that Berg and all those associated with this movie did, in fact, get this right. It was a respectful movie that looked at the incident from a variety of angles. And while I have not researched fact versus fiction yet, I am going to give Patriots Day the benefit of the doubt and say that it checked its facts before production. I do know that the lead character Seargent Tommy Sanders (Mark Wahlberg - The Fighter, Daddy's Home) is not an actual character, but, instead, is a composite of various officers in the Boston Police Department. I'm lukewarm on whether I like this or not I like this idea. As you watch this film, you'll quickly learn that Tommy has to be fictional because there is just no way one person can be in every single important situation in the film. It makes Tommy out to be a singular hero. I understand the Hollywood aspect, but I also understand paying homage to a true story. I think I would have preferred each character of the Boston Police department to be more accurately portrayed, but with already an abundance of characters, I could see how that could take away from the effective storytelling of the film.


Black Mass (2015)

Black Mass? More like Black Mess. This movie was not just a story that most of us could care less about, but it's boring. It reminded me a lot of American Hustle in that it was set in the same time period, it had an amazing cast, and, most importantly, the high expectations coming into it. I wouldn't say that this movie was as disappointing because it didn't have the Oscar expectations going into it like American Hustle did. Nonetheless, like the Christian Bale led movie, I expected big things out of this Johnny (Finding Neverland, Chocolat) endeavor. I don't know if this movie was trying to be a combination of The Godfather/The Departed/Public Enemies and others, but it didn't succeed outside of making Depp look like an old Jack Nicholson. I did like seeing Depp outside of the quirky roles he has been performing in as of late. And while he was pretty good, I really did feel like the movie was brought down, in part, to how boring his character was. Unlike American Hustle, in which the performance were good (yet still overrated), the performances in Black Mass were flat. A terrific cast is absolutely wasted here. It is a disappointing movie in every sense of the word.


Cop Car (2015)

Dark humor movies aren't my thing. They never have been. They never will be. I want my comedies to my funny. I want my dramas to be filled with drama. I do like a lot of dramedies, but, to me, dark humor movies don't fall into that category. I also like movies that make me think, keep me entertained, or, preferably, both. Jon Watts's (The Amazing Spider-Man 3, Clown) Cop Car did neither of these things for me. While I understand there are lots of critics of Indie films out there who will enjoy this film, this is a movie to avoid for the everyday moviegoer. I feel like for many movie fans, this is the top of movie that you'll ask yourself how you can get those 90 minutes of your life back. For me, the film had promise. I felt that it was building towards something good. Unfortunately, at least for me, it never came close to reaching what I had hoped for. In fact, it didn't come close.