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.

3Feb/160

Love & Mercy (2015)

Love & Mercy, the Brian Wilson biopic that shows two time periods of the life of The Beach Boys' most recognizable face is one of the most underrated movies of 2015. Forgot whatever you know or think you know about Brian Wilson. For me, that was absolutely nothing. I knew he was a member of The Beach Boys but that was about it. I'm not really a fan of The Beach Boys, but after seeing this movie, I have a new appreciation for the band and especially for Brian Wilson. While the band is known for its carefree car tunes like Surfin USA, I Get Around, and California Girls, not all was as peachy as I thought it to be. I've always thought as The Beach Boys as one of those bands that didn't have a lot of substance in their songs. Not being a Mr. Happy Go Lucky type guy myself and having only been to the beaches of California a couple of times in my life, I couldn't relate to their music like I could a Tom Petty or a Bruce Springsteen. Their songs to me were just that. Peachy. While I am not going to go out and buy their entire anthology, I will give some of their songs a listen whereas I might not of in the past. Originally I had no intentions of seeing this movie. I actually thought it was a documentary at first. But I'm so very glad I decided to see it. I think every fan of the band and everyone who enjoys a good biopic should go out and see this movie.