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

21Feb/180

Hostiles (2017)

The very first scene of Scott Cooper's (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace) under the radar Hostiles lets you know one thing right off the bat. We get a good 10-minute scene of a four-man group of Comanche warriors comes rolling out of nowhere, attacks a family of five in the brutalist of fashions, before burning down the ranch and taking off with their horses. After this scene, we get the title Hostiles pop up on the screen and we know quickly we are in for something different than Will Smith's Wild Wild West. This movie is not for the weak at heart. If you do not like tragedy, this film is not for you. If you have a stomach for, sometimes, senseless killing, characters who carry anger so deep that it burns their souls, and guilt so heavy that it tears lives apart, then this movie could be for you. If you crave a good old-fashioned western, then this movie surely will suffice. And if you want to see A-listers like Christian Bale (The Fighter, The Dark Knight Rises), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, A United Kingdom), Jesse Plemons (The Post, Other People), Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird) and Ben Foster (Hell or High Water, Lone Survivor) continue to cement their names in Hollywood, you can't go wrong with Hostiles, easily one of the five best movies of 2017. Though it's unlikely to dethrone Wind River for me, it's doing its most darn make its case in the 11th hour.

2Feb/180

Lady Bird (2017)

I think if you told someone that Saoirse Ronan (The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Lovely Bones), the actress who won audiences over with her innocent portrayal of a conflicted young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s New York City in 2015's fabulous Brooklyn (which earned her a Best Actress Nomination) is the same person playing the lead role two years later in Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird, they'd look at you funny before looking at pictures of her from both movies, recalling scenes from each, and then of kind of nodding their heads and saying, "Yeah, I guess that is the same actress." While a movie I didn't really resonate with and definitely near the bottom of the Best Picture nominees in the lackluster 2017, I did appreciate her performance...one that was just as honest and true as the one she gave in Brooklyn. And similarly to 2015, her work in this movie is likely the third or fourth best of the year and landed Ronan her second Academy Award nomination.

26Jan/180

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

As the release of 2017 movies slowly (and mercifully) comes to an end, each review provides an opportunity to reflect deeper and deeper on the year that was. I've mentioned a few times in recent reviews that 2017 has, by far, been the worst year for movies since the inception of this blog back in 2010.  There are movies that very may finish on my end of year Top 5 that wouldn't even come close to finishing in my Top 10 in any other year. Unfortunately, for this review, Luca Guadagnino's (A Bigger Splash, I Am Love) Call Me By Your Name did not benefit from a week 2017. While this movie has done very well with the critics and likely will earn multiple Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture, Best Actor (Timothée Chalamet - Lady Bird, Interstellar), Best Adapted Screenplay as well as potential nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Armie Hammer - Nocturnal Animals, The Birth of a Nation) and Michael Stuhlbarg (The Shape of Water, Arrival), Best Original Song, and others, it still didn't captivate me in the way I expected it to. For those expecting this to be the greatest movie about gay love since Brokeback Mountain, you may be disappointed. Brokeback Mountain is an A+ movie. Guadagnino's (A Bigger Splash, I Am Love) Call Me By Your Name is a B at best.