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


Life (2017)

Wow! Life > Alien.!

Yup. You heard that right. 2017 is off to a tremendous start! January, February, and March typically combine for the worst quarter of the year for movies. I've been reviewing movies since 2010 and each year has confirmed this belief. I didn't anticipate 2017 feeling differently but is slowly happening. First, there was the surprising Split, which I personally wasn't a fan of, but one that did fantastic with audience and critics. Then there was Logan, which at the time of this writing is one of my five favorite Marvel movies ever. Sprinkle in the surprise hit Get Out, the quality reboot Kong: Skull Island, the live-action smash success Beauty and the Beast and you already have five movies that, won't necessarily be up for awards at the end of the year, but will be remembered as success stories for 2017. Now add a late March release of Life, the Jake Gyllenhaal/Ryan Reynolds vehicle that has been wowing potential audiences with both extended trailers and television advertisements during some marquee events. And for good reason. The trailer drew my interest and, barring a complete rejection by the critics, I knew this would be a movie that I saw in the theater. I am actually surprised by the 66% critics score and even more shocked by the 61% audience score. This movie isn't necessarily a thinker in terms that you're going to get confused, but it does make you use your brain to follow along. For this reason, I don't expect an audience score to be 95% or whatever, but I would expect it to be much higher. Perhaps it was a little slow for some people at times. I certainly did not think so. I was hooked from the beginning and thoroughly engrossed the entire 103 minute run time.


The Girl on the Train (2016)

The Girl on the Train will often be confused with, as well as often compared to Gone Girl, 2014's box office success that also registered well with the critics. Both were highly anticipated adaptations of successful novels by two of the more popular present day writers. Both movies revolve around complex lead female characters who clearly are not completely mentally stable. It's easy to see how some people might say that The Girl on the Train could be a be considered a rip-off of Gone Girl, but it's not. The book had already been written and, I believe, the movie had already been in the works. The movies actually are quite different from one another. And, with that said, it's easy for me to see how The Girl on the Train might achieve the same financial success, but how its 43% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes is slightly less than half that of Gone Girl's 88%. The movie was far less captivating and much less memorable. Nonetheless, The Girl on the Train is a fine movie. In my opinion, it is much better than the book. And while it doesn't offer the same intriguing storyline as Gone Girl, it's worth checking out.