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.

29Jan/180

The Post (2017)

I was able to preview Steven Spielberg's (Jaws, Saving Private Ryan) The Post two years before it was released to the public and even a year before it went into the production. It was called Spotlight and it won the Oscar for Best Picture. It was a fantastic movie. I wish I was more than kidding and with that, I could be more positive about my viewing of, what I hoped could be, one of the best movies of the year. That was months ago when I only knew of the movie title and that it starred Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. In my head, I envisioned a movie about an army outpost and was very intrigued. But then I saw the preview and I wished the movie would have been about a post office instead. Then, when I was halfway through the movie, I wish I had been watching a movie about a bedpost, a fence post, or any other post that would have represented something far less predictable and boring than the waste of talent and time that was being projected on the screen in front of me. It was one of those times (I've had many recently) where I have been more than grateful for having a MoviePass. The thought of actually paying for some of these 2017 movies is even more terrifying than the disappointing IT, a movie that was neither scary nor good. And, with the exception of a couple of non-Oscar nominated movies that I am still looking forward to, but have yet to see (Hostiles, The Florida Project), The Post successfully ends 2017, the worst year for movies so far this century.

25Jan/180

Get Out (2017)

Jordan Peele's debut feature film Get Out was a film that I originally wasn't going to review. I liked the movie well enough but it wasn't one that I totally felt comfortable writing about. I only do so now because it is likely to be nominated for Best Picture and could get as many as 10 nominations. This is kind of crazy for a movie released in February. It certainly isn't unheard of, but it is rare. It's Academy Award nominations, 99% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and $175+ million in box office revenue off a $5 million budget confirm that this is one of the most surprising and successful movies of all-time. It may be THE most successful horror movie of all-time if you measure it by those four factors alone. It's a movie that keeps you engaged and entertained from its very first scene (think a toned and shorter version of the first scene in Scream), powers its way through a unique plot that you've never seen on film before, and keeps you on the edge of your seat through its bold and unpredictable final act. It's not only a great time at the movies that will keep you guessing until the very end. If takes on some underlying racial tones and tensions of the day that makes it seem like comedian Peele (Key and Peele) has been doing this his whole life. But this is is his first real dabble with anything outside of comedy, his first attempt at writing something for the big screen, and his first attempt at directing. He nailed each of these with pure precession. He will undoubtedly receive an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. There will be other nominations too and it appears that Best Picture will be one of those. It will be much deserved in a year that will, for the most part, be forgotten about when it comes to movies. That is outside of little, unsuspecting movies such as this. 

31Dec/170

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.

29Aug/170

Wind River (2017)

There are so many takeaways from Taylor Sheridan's Wind River that I don't even know which one to bring out first. I guess that I'll start by saying that, though flawed, this is the best movie of 2017 through the first eight months of the year. It's an epic masterpiece that might be missed by the common moviegoer who is so overwhelmed with the commercialization of movies like Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and War of the Planet of the Apes, that they might not even know it existed, let alone a movie that it might be interested in seeing. In a 2017 Hollywood that has seen a massive uptake in remakes, reboots, sequels, and prequels, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to find originality in a story and then, if you do, for that originality to come out in a way that encourages you to see it again and, hopefully, has a lasting impact on your life. That is what Sheridan, an incredibly gifted screenwriter, has done here in his first film behind the camera. Already to his screenwriting credit are the memorable Sicario and Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water. It's unlikely that Wind River will receive the same box office success as his first movie or the same critical acclaim come Oscar season as his second, but this is one hell of a directorial debut.