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

7Feb/180

Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017)

I absolutely LOVE a good prison movie. Just like I enjoy films set on trains, edgier (i.e. PG13 or greater) sports movies, alien movies, shipwreck movies, or survival movies set in the jungle, there is something about a good prison movie that perks my intrigue, keeps me interested, and has me thinking about it long after it's over. The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Hurricane, Rescue Dawn, Escape from Alcatraz, Lock Up, Murder in the First, Midnight Express, Brokedown Palace, Dead Man Walking, The Longest Yard, Felon, Law Abiding Citizen, Death Race...the list goes on and on. So what could a prison movie offer that we haven't seen before on the silver screen or television dramas like Prison Break or Oz or on television documentary shows like Lockup or Locked Up Abroad? There is no shortage of options when it comes to getting your prison fix. But there definitely something that you haven't seen before in S. Craig Zahler's (Bone Tomahawk) Brawl in Cell Block 99. Could it be that it's the most brutal prison movie ever made? You could argue that it is. It certainly could be the goriest. If you haven't seen the horror-western Bone Tomahawk yet, prepare yourself. I had heard about it but still wasn't ready for what I saw. I hated it. But I am going to go back and watch it again. And the reason for that is because of how much I really, really enjoyed Brawl in Cell Block 99.

3Dec/170

Mudbound (2017)

An early and serious contender for 2017's Best Picture is a movie that may not have found its way to a theater had it not garnered so much critical acclaim. Dee Rees's (Pariah) Mudbound is a Netflix original movie and had it not been for The Academy of Motion Pictures' rule of all Oscar-nominated films be available to the public via movie theaters, who knows where it would have landed. This is not the Netflix's first movie to receive so much praise that the movie had to be released in the theaters. 2015's Beasts of No Nation faced a similar fate. However, the kudos that Beasts of No Nation originally received faded as Oscar season approached and the movie ultimately did not receive a single nomination. The same won't be the case for Mudbound which very well could earn a Best Picture nomination as well as nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Jason Mitchell), Best Supporting Actress (Mary J. Blige), and Best Adapted Screenplay just to name a view.  It's an early prediction and I have yet to see any of the other contenders, but this does feel like a very weak year for movies and I would be shocked if Mudbound is not nominated for Best Picture and I would be surprised if it doesn't win at least one award in one of the other categories before cinema's biggest night of the year is complete.