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

5Jan/180

The Big Sick (2017)

I was all set to review this movie and talk about, what I considered to be, its major flaw before I did one thing first...I looked at other reviews and learned that this film is based on a true story. So rather than belabor the point I wanted to make, I'll simply reference it a little later in the review and talk more about its merits and more minor flaws. Before I begin, I'll mention that I didn't think Michael Showalter's (Hello, My Name is Doris) The Big Sick was marketed all that well when it was released over the summer. First of all, the title of the movie, its poster, its actors, and even its plot just didn't make sense. Through in that Judd Apatow's name was attached to it and you had the thought that this was a raunchy comedy, much in the mold of Trainwreck, This Is 40, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up and a host of other movies he didn't even direct but was affiliated with as a producer or screenwriter. The Big Sick felt out of place from the start. It took word of mouth for this movie really to get noticed and appreciated by audiences (despite its 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes). If anything, moviegoers were told that this movie was more like This Is 40 than any of Apatow's other films, but even that film received more leeway because it was a sequel to Knocked Up, which was as foul-mouthed as they come. It didn't help that The Big Sick had a cast of relative unknowns. Sure it had Ray Romano (television's Everybody Loves Raymond, television's Parenthood) and Holly Hunter (The Piano, The Firm), but these two, while having a decent amount of screentime, clearly supported the two leads. Kumail Nanjiani (HBO's Silicon Valley, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates), a relatively unknown at the time, penned and stared in this film as himself. It was a calculated risk that clearly paid off in the end. Another relative unknown, Zoe Katan (Revolutionary Road, The Savages), stars opposite Nanjiani as his on again/off again girlfriend Emily. They work as a couple and the trials and tribulations experienced by each aren't completely far-fetched. Heck, it's based on a true story so some might say they aren't far-fetched at all. This movie surprised me with how much I enjoyed it and how engaged I was with it, despite its unevenness (at times) and that its conclusion could be seen by all miles away.

30Mar/160

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

What do you need to know about Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice that you haven't already been told? This has easily been the most hyped movie of 2016 so far. In fact, there may not be another movie all year that receives this kind of publicity. And rightfully saw. This film pits arguably the most recognizable superheroes in the world against one another for the first time. If you saw a movie in the theater at any point between, say, November 2015 and March 2016, you likely saw a preview for this film. What the preview does such a great job of is not really letting us know who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. Just when we think we figure it out, we see a trailer portrayed in a completely different light. Marvel is doing the same thing with Iron Man and Captain America for the trailers of Captain America: Civil War (maybe even more effectively than the movie being reviewed today). It is interesting. It is even more interesting that these two rival companies are releasing these movies so close to one another. An argument could be made that Marvel could have waited until Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was released and then learned from any mistakes that were made while also capitalizing on what the Warner Brothers movie did well. But, as we know, that we have delayed production and would have probably pushed this movie to a release date to the beginning of 2018 at the earliest.