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


mother! (2017)

There are two different types of people in the world. There is the group of people who, when asked if they've seen Darren Aronofsky's (The Wrestler, Black Swanmother will say no. And then there is the group of people who kind of look at you with a bizarre look on their face and shamingly say, "Yeah" and hope that you don't ask any follow-up questions. And that's not to say they are embarrassed by admitting that they've seen the movie (we've all been at theater before when we walk out with our heads down, hoping that we don't see anybody that we know because we don't want them to know we just paid to see a movie that was THAT bad), but because the film is so far out there that a follow-up question asking the person what they thought about it or if they liked it might allow them to draw conclusions about us. Aronofsky makes movies that you either love or hate. I absolutely adored The Wrestler and Black Swan, but passionately hated Noah. I have a certain respect for Requiem for a Dream and have desperately tried, but have been unsuccessful in my attempts to sit through The Fountain. If you have not liked a single one of the movies that I just referenced, I can almost guarantee that your experience with mother! will not be an enjoyable one. However, if have liked one or more of the five previously mentioned film and are willing to go into mother! with an open mind, I cannot promise that you'll enjoy it, but I do think you will appreciate it. I found myself appreciating it far more than enjoying it, but I THINK I still enjoyed it. I will say this...the film started like a normal film might start, but ended differently than any film I've seen before. And the entire time, I could not look away from the screen. This film absolutely offers something that you just haven't seen before, especially with a cast as magnificent as this one.


The Hours (2002)

Oh, man, what a fantastic movie is. This was actually my second viewing of The Hours. I first watched it maybe back in 2010 and remember being extremely surprised with how much I enjoyed it. I would not have given this movie a chance back when it came out in 2002, but my interests in films have changed dramatically since then. Now that's not to say I still can't enjoy a blockbuster (I actually watched Captain America: Civil War earlier in the same day and loved it), but I am much more into the human aspect of independent dramas like The Hours than I am about action movies or comedies. This movie deals with depression, a topic that I am, unfortunately, very familiar with. And it does it from three different time periods with three different stories that are loosely at times (and not so loosely) during others. This movie knotted Nicole Kidman (Cold Mountain, Rabbit Hole) with, surprisingly, just her third nomination to date (as of May 2016) and her first and only win. With a prosthetic nose, she was virtually unrecognizable as Virginia Wolf. But it wasn't her physical characteristics that stood out. It was the way that she immersed herself in the role of a woman who you would think had it all, but was so mentally troubled that she could not find any sort of happiness in her life. An accomplished actress, this is the performance of her career in a movie that shouldn't be missed by anybody who views life with a cup half empty sort of mentality.


A History of Violence (2005)

I remember when I first saw A History of Violence in the theaters in 2005. It was not what I was expecting at all. I remember thinking the movie was decent, but not what I expected. This was also when I started to really get into the Oscars. I remember being absolutely flabbergasted when William Hurt (The Doctor, Children of a Lesser God) was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. At that time, my beef with his nomination was that he was only in one scene (basically the last scene in the movie). I felt that in order to warrant this kind of acclaim that you needed to be on the screen for more than 15 minutes. As I watched it again (for just the second time ever) last night, I realized that he didn't deserve the nomination, not because he was only one the screen for 15 minutes, but because his performance sucked. He was such a minor character and his performance could have been played by anyone and it wouldn't have affected the movie. If anybody deserved a nomination for this movie, it would have been Viggo Mortenson (The Road, Eastern Promises), who, as he always seems to do, hit a home run as this movie's lead.


Jeff Who Lives At Home (2012)

The unassuming yet hilarious Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I Love You, Man) further shows his range in the low grossing, but critically acclaimed Jeff Who Lives At Home. The movie, co-written and co-directed by brothers Mark and Jay Duplass (Cyrus, Baghead) is classified as a comedy, but is more than just a barrel of laughs. Some true to life scenarios are tackled here and not passed off just to get a chuckle from the audience. These include the process of seeking personal life fulfillment, dealing with the process of aging alone, and the terribly sense of self when learning that your partner is having an affair. I sort of compare the movie to Little Miss Sunshine or Juno, but it's much funnier and the more dramatic story lines occur more naturally and aren't as forced on you. Jeff Who Lives at Home is a really good movie to watch at home on your couch on a rainy Saturday afternoon. While it will never wow you, if you let it, it will surprise you and leave you with a good taste in your mouth.


Pollock (2000)

Ed Harris (The Abyss, The Hours) delivers the performance of his career in Pollock, the story of American artist Jackson Pollock who revolutionized American painting in the 1940's New York City. Harris, who also directed the movie, portrays Pollock as an emotionally and mentally unstable  wreck of a human being whose personal demons were often overshadowed, or should I say overlooked, by his adroit skill in abstract painting. His use of dripping and splattering wild combinations of colors was unique and new and captured the attention of some of America's most notable artists, museum owners, and journalists.