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


Mudbound (2017)

An early and serious contender for 2017's Best Picture is a movie that may not have found its way to a theater had it not garnered so much critical acclaim. Dee Rees's (Pariah) Mudbound is a Netflix original movie and had it not been for The Academy of Motion Pictures' rule of all Oscar-nominated films be available to the public via movie theaters, who knows where it would have landed. This is not the Netflix's first movie to receive so much praise that the movie had to be released in the theaters. 2015's Beasts of No Nation faced a similar fate. However, the kudos that Beasts of No Nation originally received faded as Oscar season approached and the movie ultimately did not receive a single nomination. The same won't be the case for Mudbound which very well could earn a Best Picture nomination as well as nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Jason Mitchell), Best Supporting Actress (Mary J. Blige), and Best Adapted Screenplay just to name a view.  It's an early prediction and I have yet to see any of the other contenders, but this does feel like a very weak year for movies and I would be shocked if Mudbound is not nominated for Best Picture and I would be surprised if it doesn't win at least one award in one of the other categories before cinema's biggest night of the year is complete.


Everest (2015)

I know I am in a major minority when I give my review of this movie and I know there will be many who wonder what I'm talking about. But...this movie absolutely sucked. I realize that many have never seen a mountain climbing movie or, worse, have only the likes of Vertical Limit to compare it too. But before I get to far into my review of Everest, let me mention a few mountain climbing movies that I would watch a dozen times again before forcing myself to watch Everest. The most notable one to me is a recent one that most people have never heard of. It's the 2008 (or 2010 depending on who you ask) German released North Face (Nordwand). It takes a few minutes to get past the subtitles, but it's worth it. This movie is absolute horrifying in its detail of its climbers experiencing some of the most brutal physical elements in nature. There is also Touching the Void. There is also K2. Heck, I think I'd even put Cliffhanger up there as a more entertaining movie. And while it's not about reaching any sort of summit, the absolute best climbing-based movie is the fantastic 127 Hours, one of the best two hours you can experience with a film (side note...watch the director's cut). But as far as Everest goes, man did I have extraordinarily high hopes for this film. And it disappointed on just about every level.


Terminator Genisys (2015)

I wanted to like Terminator Genisys. I really, really did. I know it got slammed by the critics (26% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), but I am a fan of the franchise. I even watched Terminator Salvation (a movie that Christian Bale should never have wasted his time with) a few days prior in anticipation of this movie. I knew all about the movie's problems. I knew that fans of the franchise would be, at the very least disappointed. I knew that many of the die-hards were upset with this movie. I had heard that it was confusing and difficult to follow. I knew that that the trailer gave away the movie's major twist. Yet I was willing to forget all of these things and held out hope that this movie could be more. I mean this was The Terminator franchise. It couldn't be worse than PredatorsLive Free or Die Hard, or Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull could it? Those three movies were packed full of junk (especially Indiana Jones) and should have never been made. Well I am happy to report that Terminator Genisys was better than the three movies I just mentioned combined...but it still was disappointing. It was action-packed. It is very, very reminiscent of Terminator 2: Judgment Day (a movie that, in 1991, was so far ahead of its time in terms of CGI that it was absolutely ridiculous). It told a story that would have been good...had it completely disowned the previous movies in the franchise (especially the original and Terminator 2: Judgment Day). Terminator Genisys made it appear as if the first four movies in the franchise never happened. Really? That's the story? What would have happened if what happened didn't happen? This is a Terminator film. Most of us don't want to turn on our minds too much for a summer action flick like this.


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

I'm not the hugest fan of reboots. I often think, "Why?" or "What's the point?" or, "Can Hollywood really not come up with an original idea?". However, at the same time, I'm a big fan of origin stories. Usually if the first movie in a franchise is really, really good, I'll keep watching the sequels until they just start to stink. Once you lose me though, you lose me and I'm not coming back. So each subsequent movie in a franchise doesn't necessarily need to be better than the start movie (in fact I don't expect it to be), but it still better be pretty darn good. Some of my favorite movies in the last decade include Batman Begins, Iron Man, and even The Hangover. These three movies illustrate my point perfectly. The Dark Knight, unquestionably, and The Dark Knight Rises, probably, were both better than Batman Begins. In the Iron Man franchise, Iron Man was definitely the best, Iron Man 2 very good, but not great, and Iron Man 3 still decent. With The Hangover, the first one was brilliant, The Hangover 2 one had me asking "Why are they doing this again?", and the third one was so terrible that I will not pay another dollar if these franchise continues and has made me much less interested in ever watching the original one again. I have not seen any of the Planet of the Apes movies from the 1960's and I'm not sure I ever well. The luck kind of cheesy. With that said, the premise of the movie itself is kind of cheesy. I did see the the Mark Wahlberg 2001 Planet of the Apes and, despite some initial reservations, enjoyed it. This movie will likely be the forgotten one of any the Apes movies since it's a standalone and not part of a franchise. The 2011 James Franco led Rise of the Planet of the Apes I thought was a very, very good movie. At the time, I didn't know it would be a franchise. That was foolish thinking though. Grossing $175 million in the United States alone all but assured the series would continue. But I personally could care less about how much a movie makes. It was a good enough movie to make me excited to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and all of the great reviews for it seemed to warrant my hype.


The Great Gatsby (2013)

To say that Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Departed) killed it 2013 would be an understatement. Prior to his Academy Award nominating role as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street, DiCaprio portrayed Jay Gatsby, one of the most legendary characters in literary history, in a most sincere an intense way. It was a performance that F Scott Fitzgerald himself would be proud of and would almost make him forget all of the other sub par attempts to recreate his work of fiction that almost all of us have read in high school.