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


Dunkirk (2017)

Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception) might be the best technical director we've ever seen. His precession is perfect. His attention to detail is unmatched. His brain operates in a way that it is always a step ahead of his actors and two steps ahead of his audience. We've seen technical masterpieces throughout his, already, storied career. At 47 years of age, he already has masterpieces like Following, Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, The Prestige, Inception, and Interstellar all underneath his belt. His "worst" movie, according to Rotten Tomatoes, is Interstellar and that still has a 71% fresh rating. That means his "worst" movie still had five out of every seven critics still gave the movie a positive rating. But for all of the positives associated with Nolan's films (and there are many), he has failed to capture the often needed emotional component with every single one of them. When I am enjoying his films for their near technical perfection, their unpredictability, their vision, etc. (and I have enjoyed every single one), I wonder why I feel nothing emotionally. I'm loving these films, but I'm not invested in any single one of them (well...maybe The Dark Knight because that's one of the ten greatest films ever made). He had the perfect opportunity to create a situation that could have drawn out feelings in the audience with Interstellar. You had the actors for it. You had the story for it. Everything was in place for a story that could have been remembered for years. And it fell flat in its attempt to draw out human emotion. Nolan had the opportunity, once again, to right himself with Dunkirk. But he fell back into his old ways, retelling one of the more inspirational war stories of our time and leaving us completely detached from its characters, many of whom we are unable to differentiate from each other anyway. It is one of nine nominated movies for Best Picture. I believe it should be there. I think it could even win. I don't think it will. And I hope that it won't. It was by no means a bad film. In fact, it was a good one and even great in some ways. It just wasn't an overly memorable movie all around. And with all of the hype associated with it, I don't know how you can't be disappointed with the end product.


Bridge of Spies (2015)

Bridge of Spies. The ultimate cure for insomnia. Okay, okay, wasn't that bad. It actually started great. It was also based upon a true story so it had that going for it. But Lincoln, War Horse, and Munich were all Steven Spielberg directed movies as well and I found all three of those to be incredibly boring. I'm a huge Spielberg fan, but after doing a quick scan of his filmography, he hasn't directed a movie I've liked in a decade (2005's War of the Worlds). And I get wanting to branch off from the science-fiction/action-adventure genre that really defined him, but when it comes to these dramas, he seems to be missing something. Of course there are exceptions to the rule. Saving Private Ryan was one of the greatest movies ever made. So while I appreciate his desire to recapture the glory he achieved in a movie like that or a movie like Amistad or a movie like Schindler's List, I must then wonder why he's wasting his time on a movie like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Worse, based on how poor that movie was, why his set to direct a fifth installment of the series. Long story short, this isn't the same Steven Spielberg of the 1980's and 1990's. There will be fans of the style of films he seems to be mostly concentrating on now (heck Munich, War Horse, and Lincoln were all nominated for best picture), but all three of these movies (as well as Bridge of Spies) just felt long and boring to me.