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

2Jun/170

Lights Out (2016)

Lights Out is based on a 2 minute and 41 seconds short by directing newcomer David F. Sandberg. Creepy from its opening scene all the way to its final second which WILL creep you out, the film got the funding to be developed into a full-length film that stars not one, but two well-known actresses. The 2016 release flew under the radar. I never even heard of the film until it was brought up on repeated occasions of The Film Vault, a movie podcast site that inspired the Six Pack feature on my blog. If you're a person who watches A LOT of movies, the Film Vault is a weekly must listen to. Anderson and Bryan review all the recent films while also doing a Top Five segment each week (top five stabbings, top five divas, top five movies we can't wait to show our kids, etc.). Also, they assign each other movies that the other one probably would never see on their own and require each other to follow through on these assignments. Like almost all podcasts, it can get a little long at times and sometimes the movies they discuss are so obscure that you might have only seen two or three of the 15+ films they discuss each week. But if you watch a lot of movies, even if you don't necessarily agree with their lists entirely, you're going to be introduced to a lot of movies you've never heard of. And, if nothing else, you'll at least be intrigued to research some of these films to learn more. That's exactly what happened to me with Lights Out

28May/170

Alien: Covenant (2017)

Ridley Scott's (Gladiator, The Martian) brainchild franchise proves a few things. The Alien series still has legs. Its sequels continue to evolve. And Scott has no plans of letting his baby fall into the wrong hands again. Ridley's monster first burst onto the screen in 1979's Alien, a movie that did for space travel what Steven Spielberg's Jaws did for swimming on beaches just four years prior. It certainly wasn't the first movie set on a spaceship. And it certainly wasn't the first horror film. But, if it wasn't the first horror film set in space, it was certainly the first one we all remembered as being the first one. And, just as the tagline of the original movie poster suggests, In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream, nothing can be truer as sit down and prepare ourselves for one of the Alien movies (minus the two Alien Vs. Predator movies of course).

5Apr/170

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.

28Jun/160

The Shallows (2016)

Congratulations to all associated with, what will be, the biggest surprise moneymaking movie of 2016. Jaume Collet-Serra's (Non-Stop, Run All Night) The Shallows will have used a highly successful marketing campaign (which included showing its terrifying trailers during sporting events and popular primetime television shows) along with positive scores from the critics (75% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) on its way to making, my guess, more than $300 million worldwide by the time everything is said and done. This will make The Shallows the biggest non-superhero, non-G-rated movie to be released in the first half of 2016. It's exactly everything you would expect it to be and, for a majority of its audience, that will be perfectly fine. If you want an escape from reality fare, this could be the movie for you. If you want to take your thinking cap off for an hour and a half, this ould be the movie for you.  If you want a movie that builds upon each and every single scene in its quest to terrify you, this could be the movie for you. Even if you are just looking for a movie with beautiful cinematography, this could the movie for you. But if you are looking for something that is even the slightest bit believable or you care about any top of quality acting in your lead or sub-characters, The Shallows most certainly is not your movie.

26Nov/150

It Follows (2015)

Total creep fest. 2015 was looking for a legitimate horror. While this movie has completely flown under the radar for the general public, word of mouth has allowed the independent It Follows to quickly become a cult classic. Not only is this the best horror movie of 2015, it is the best horror movie in years. Honestly, the feeling that I got while watching this movie was what I expected to feel in, perhaps, the most over-hyped horror movie of all-time, 1999's The Blair Witch Project. I think when I saw The Blair Witch Project in the theater, I was expecting to be scared in ways that I had never been scared before. I know that a few of the friends that I went with were completely freaked out and I was wondering if we had just watched the same movie. The Blair Witch Project is a different type of horror than, say, A Nightmare on Elm Street. I think that perhaps as a 23-year-old, I hadn't yet adapted the idea that what you might imagine could be more terrifying than what you actually see. I've mentioned on this blog a couple of times that I need to go back and watch The Blair Witch Project just to see if I view it the same way that I did 16 years ago. By looking at its 87% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, I'm willing to admit that I am probably missing something when I give it a grade of a D-. But this is neither here nor there. This about It Follows, which is much more like The Blair Witch Project than it is A Nightmare on Elm Street. It's 96% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes is very much on par to my view of the movie. It Follows is an instant horror classic.