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


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.


Sully (2016)

Two days after seeing the best lead actress performance I have seen so far in 2016 (Alicia Vikander - The Light Between Oceans), I saw the best performance by a lead actor so far this year in Tom Hanks's (Forrest Gump, Captain Phillips) portrayal of Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger in Clint Eastwood's (American Sniper, Mystic River) Sully. While 2016 has been a major letdown for movies through its first eight months, Sully, at least, gives promise that you are guaranteed one fantastic film and hope that there will be many, many more as Oscar season approaches (Manchester by the Sea, La La Land, Fences, Nocturnal Animals, Loving, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk just to name a few). 2016 has proven and will continue to prove that it is a year like no other since I began this blog back in 2010. Through its release date (September 9), Sully is, hands down, the best movie of 2016 and the only one that I feel 100% confident will stay in my top 10 after I've seen all of the big movies of 2016.


Bridge of Spies (2015)

Bridge of Spies. The ultimate cure for insomnia. Okay, okay, wasn't that bad. It actually started great. It was also based upon a true story so it had that going for it. But Lincoln, War Horse, and Munich were all Steven Spielberg directed movies as well and I found all three of those to be incredibly boring. I'm a huge Spielberg fan, but after doing a quick scan of his filmography, he hasn't directed a movie I've liked in a decade (2005's War of the Worlds). And I get wanting to branch off from the science-fiction/action-adventure genre that really defined him, but when it comes to these dramas, he seems to be missing something. Of course there are exceptions to the rule. Saving Private Ryan was one of the greatest movies ever made. So while I appreciate his desire to recapture the glory he achieved in a movie like that or a movie like Amistad or a movie like Schindler's List, I must then wonder why he's wasting his time on a movie like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Worse, based on how poor that movie was, why his set to direct a fifth installment of the series. Long story short, this isn't the same Steven Spielberg of the 1980's and 1990's. There will be fans of the style of films he seems to be mostly concentrating on now (heck Munich, War Horse, and Lincoln were all nominated for best picture), but all three of these movies (as well as Bridge of Spies) just felt long and boring to me.


Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

Emma Thompson (Howard's End, Remains of the Day) got hosed out of an Oscar nomination! I had made it a goal to see all of the nominees in all of the major Academy Award categories, but I didn't see the snubs or the next in lines for Best Actor, Best Actress, etc. unless their movie was nominated in one of the other major categories. It's been awhile since I did a review on all of the really good movies of 2013. I'm pretty sure I had already replaced Amy Adams (American Hustle) with a more deserving candidate. I just don't remember who I replaced her with at the moment and don't feel like going back and looking. I say that I'm pretty sure I did do this though because I believe I replaced the Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor for this movie because I didn't feel like any of them were deserving. I think I did keep Jennifer Lawrence as a nominee because the nominees in the Supporting Actress category in 2013 were not overly impressive. But this review isn't about the underwhelming American Hustle. It is about the under-appreciated Saving Mr. Banks, a movie that I had written off as a lame little kids movie after a single trailer. It was one of those movies that I told myself I would eventually see because it had so much hype surrounding it and I have yet to talk to a person who didn't, at least, really like it. It was also the most snubbed movie when the Academy Award nominees came out. While Saving Mr. Banks wasn't one of my ten favorite movies of the year, I very well think it should have been the tenth movie nominated for Best Picture (there were only nine nominees this year). And Thompson absolutely should have been nominated for Best Actress. So for argument's sake and assuming I already replaced Adams with an actress from a different movie who did not get nominated, I will give Meryl Streep's (August: Osage County) nomination to Thompson, even though I thought Streep was fantastic in her role. Streep's role was by no means as complex as Thompson's. Plus Streep has been nominated more than any other actor or actress ever.


Captain Phillips (2013)

The movie of 2013 that I think I found to be most disappointing was Captain Phillips. This was by no means a bad movie, but I approached this movie with the belief that this was going to be THE movie of the year. It was anything but the movie of the year. It wasn't even a top 10 movie of the year. After all is said and done, it most likely won't even be a top 20 movie of the year for me. I'm not entirely certain what the main reasons were that I didn't like it. I will rattle off a couple during the course of this review, but I think that, ultimately, it came down not meeting my extraordinary high initial expectations.