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


Dunkirk (2017)

Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception) might be the best technical director we've ever seen. His precession is perfect. His attention to detail is unmatched. His brain operates in a way that it is always a step ahead of his actors and two steps ahead of his audience. We've seen technical masterpieces throughout his, already, storied career. At 47 years of age, he already has masterpieces like Following, Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, The Prestige, Inception, and Interstellar all underneath his belt. His "worst" movie, according to Rotten Tomatoes, is Interstellar and that still has a 71% fresh rating. That means his "worst" movie still had five out of every seven critics still gave the movie a positive rating. But for all of the positives associated with Nolan's films (and there are many), he has failed to capture the often needed emotional component with every single one of them. When I am enjoying his films for their near technical perfection, their unpredictability, their vision, etc. (and I have enjoyed every single one), I wonder why I feel nothing emotionally. I'm loving these films, but I'm not invested in any single one of them (well...maybe The Dark Knight because that's one of the ten greatest films ever made). He had the perfect opportunity to create a situation that could have drawn out feelings in the audience with Interstellar. You had the actors for it. You had the story for it. Everything was in place for a story that could have been remembered for years. And it fell flat in its attempt to draw out human emotion. Nolan had the opportunity, once again, to right himself with Dunkirk. But he fell back into his old ways, retelling one of the more inspirational war stories of our time and leaving us completely detached from its characters, many of whom we are unable to differentiate from each other anyway. It is one of nine nominated movies for Best Picture. I believe it should be there. I think it could even win. I don't think it will. And I hope that it won't. It was by no means a bad film. In fact, it was a good one and even great in some ways. It just wasn't an overly memorable movie all around. And with all of the hype associated with it, I don't know how you can't be disappointed with the end product.


Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar is a good movie that aims to be not just a great movie, but a movie that people talk about for years and years to come. I imagine that there will be a circle of fans who will do this, but I think, for the majority of people, this will be a movie that they enjoy, but won't ever think of as being amazing or legendary. I could be wrong, but I think this movie tried too hard to make that lasting impression rather than just living in the moment of making a great film. As I will mention below, this movie could have been much simpler and, in doing so, much more effective. I felt the first 45 minutes of the movie created a cast of characters and a setting in which numerous stories could have been told and the film could have succeeded. I say this because really Interstellar this is first and foremost a space exploration movie with overtones of the importance of human relationships as well as the weighing what is best for society against what is best for an individual. Ultimately though, you want to know if I recommend the movie. And I do recommend it. As much as I wanted it to be great, it just wasn't. But it was still good. At 168 minutes, it is at least 45 minutes too long. And the spaceship scenes themselves are absolutely brutal. There is way too much boring talk of esoteric physics that went straight over the heads of 90% of the audience. It wasn't needed and forced you to try to use your brain to comprehend everything that was happening. That wasn't why I was there. I go to movies to not have to use my brain.


The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Prestige) last chapter in his Batman franchise is the exciting, but imperfect The Dark Knight Rises. This is an excellent movie and successfully concludes the best trilogy that I've ever seen. If you go in with the idea that it's going to be better than The Dark Knight, you are going to be disappointed. With Hedge Ledger's to die for performance as the Joker, The Dark Knight is as close to a perfect movie as you are going to get. It probably forever holds a place on my Top 10 Movies of All-Time list. The Dark Knight Rises is very ambitious, probably a little too ambitious. At 2 hours and 45 minutes, you'd think they have plenty of time to tell its story and conclude the franchise, but there is so much to the story and rushing its development and racing to its conclusion would not have resulted in a successful movie. This is one of those movies where a review such as mine won't persuade you to see it or not see it. You most likely have it in your head that you will either definitely see this movie or definitely not see it. So why do I write it? Because I made a commitment to myself to review every movie that I believe will be in my Top 10 list at the end of the year. I am very, very confident there will not be ten other movies released in 2012 that will be better than The Dark Knight Rises.