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 Martian (2015)

Fans of the self-published debut novel will not be disappointed by Ridley Scott's (Alien, Gladiator) adaptation of Andy Weir's The Martian. This is a good movie that should be viewed in 3D on the largest screen that you can see it on. While it doesn't come close as delivering the same experience as Gravity or even Interstellar, it is one of the rare movies that truly benefits by being seen in 3D. Before I get into this review, I want to mention that I will try to write it from the standpoint of someone who has not read the fictional novel as best as I can as I know this is something that most people have not read. With that said, I will refer to the novel. I will also give some spoilers, but I will give notice before diving into any of these. If you read around the paragraphs marked spoilers, you will be fine with reading this review before seeing this movie. The Martian is a very good movie, but it is not a great movie. I was not disappointed by it. If I hadn't read the novel, I think that maybe the trailers and the hype would have left me wanting more. This movie currently sits as my #6 movie of 2015, but I think there is less than a 1% chance that it will finish in my end of year top 10. It is a movie that I am very glad that I watched (again on the big screen and in 3D), but is one where one viewing is plenty. It didn't have the emotional impact that Gravity had nor does it have the What did I miss? I need to watch this movie again type of feeling Interstellar had. Also, as I will mention, something was missing overall from the performances especially considering that Scott landed the cast of the year. While I will heavily critique this movie, I again want to say that I really, really liked the movie. It was a very good adaptation of the book. It held my interest throughout its 2 hour 14 minute time frame. 


Welcome to Me (2015)

Kristin Wiig (Bridesmaids, The Skeleton Twins) got off to a bit of a late start in her movie career, but the hilarious Saturday Night Live alum is making up for lost time and immersing herself in as many unique roles as she possibly can. In my opinion, the funniest female cast member in the history of SNL isn't allowing herself to be typecast like so many of her predecessors (both male and female) by basically starring in full-length versions of the skits they performed on television. I think that in very recent years, many of the alumni (especially the females like Amy Poehler and Tina Fey) are establishing themselves as legit, in it for the long run actors, writers, directors, and producers. Of the three names mentioned in this paragraph, many will rank the talents as 1) Fey 2) Poehler 3) Wiig. I may be in the minority when I say Wiig is my favorite of the three, followed shortly by Fey. For me, while super-talented, Poehler is a distant third.


The Skeleton Twins (2014)

One of the most simple and honest movies in all of 2014 saw two of the most well known Saturday Night Live alums take on roles that were very, very different from anything that we have seen them in before. Rian Johnson's (Looper, The Brothers Bloom) The Skeleton Twins is a movie that deals with mental health, a topic that hits very close to home with me. This is one of those movies that is categorized as the hit or miss drama/comedy, but this is hardly a comedy. This isn't the heaviest movie in the entire world, but you certainly won't be smiling much as you empathize with the leads Maggie (Wiig - Bridesmaids, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) and Milo (Hader - Year One, Superbad). You might spend the first 15-30 minutes wondering when the comedy is coming, only to realize that maybe it not be. Best rest assured that you will know right away that this isn't the Hader and Wiig that you are used to. This is something much more profound. This is a film to be seen for the film enthusiasts of the world.


The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013)

If there was one trailer in 2013 that left you thinking, "That movie could either be really good or really bad", it was the trailer of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. This movie stars Ben Stiller, more ore less, outside of his normal comedy genre. This is certainly no There's Something About Mary or Meet the Parents. This isn't quite the equivalent of Ed Helms in Jeff Who Lives at Home, Jim Carey in The Truman Show, or Will Ferrell in Everything Must Go. Those movies, also each starring a comedic actor outside of their comfort zone were more dramas whereas this movie is both a drama and an adventure. In many regards, I appreciate the effort of Stiller venturing into something new. I think there is a place for a character of his ability in films similar to these. Unfortunately The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is not this movie. The movie is rated PG and I'm not entirely certain why. This isn't Night at the Museum. I don't feel like the younger audiences had/would have much interest in this movie. And even if it did appeal this group, I'm not sure Stiller is the star to lead it. Maybe, but I'm not sold. With that said, I do appreciate a movie that aims for the the PG rating when it seems it could easily drift towards the PG-13 rating.