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


Foxcatcher (2014)

I've finally found the first "award buzzing" movie of 2014 that has lived up to its hype. While there have certainly been a handful of other movies that I've found to be good, there hasn't been a movie, with the exception of maybe Nightcrawler that has lived up to the hope that I had for the movie. That has certainly changed with Bennett Miller's (Moneyball, Capote) methodical and engrossing Foxcatcher. While this movie isn't for everybody, film purists will love it. This movie is likely to garner a Best Director Academy Award and without a doubt will land Steve Carell (Crazy, Stupid, Love., Date Night) his first Best Actor nomination. Mark Ruffalo (Reservation Road, Shutter Island) likely will also earn a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. And not to be lost is the performance of Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street) who gives the performance of his career. Three of the best performances of the year can be viewed in this film alone.


22 Jump Street (2014)

A comedy sequel that is better than the original is rare to find, if not impossible. I've had this conversation with some of my friends before. The example that we agreed upon was National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. It's sort of debatable if this is even really a sequel though.We couldn't find another sequel that was even really comparable to the first in terms of hilarity. The Hangover Part II was funny, but it offered nothing new and the first The Hangover was absolutely hilarious. After watching The Hangover Part III (which I found to be absolutely terrible), I found myself liking the first two even less. A lot of the great comedies (Old School, Wedding Crashers, Groundhog Day, There's Something About Mary) certainly made plenty of money to warrant a sequel, but went the smart route (at least to me) in not making a movie just to make a movie. There were a couple of franchises that did the original proud by being *almost* as funny (the American Pie franchise comes to mind). Then there other franchises that waited so long to make their sequel and had such high expectations that they were bound to fail (Meet the Fockers wasn't anywhere close to as funny as Meet the Parents and Little Fockers was more of an embarrassment than was The Hangover Part III). Likewise The Naked Gun is an all-time classic, but The Naked Gun 2 1/2 and The Naked Gun 33 1/3 are worth watching, but are not nearly as funny). So there wasn't a huge precedent for 22 Jump Street being as funny or funnier than 21 Jump Street. But, if it wasn't funnier than the original, it was darn close and certainly worth the price of admission.


G.I.Joe: Retaliation (2013)

G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the sequel to 2009's cash cow G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is one of those "so bad that it's good" movies. However, I'll take it even a step forward. This movie was so awful that it was awesome. It won't get reflected in my rating and this is the type of movie that I normally would rip to shreds (aka White House Down, The Day After Tomorrow, and numerous others), but this was a movie that I thoroughly enjoyed while, at the same, chastising it throughout my entire viewing. Perhaps I was kinder to this film because of how much G.I. Joe was part of my childhood. At the same time, that should also be the reason I should be ripping it the most. If I'm willing to give another franchise a chance of ruining some of my childhood memories then I would hope that the movie is a success at the box office and/or with critics so that future films will continue to be made. Before getting into the specifics of the things that I liked and I didn't like about this movie, I will say first that they probably had hundreds, if not thousands, of potential scripts that they could have pulled for both this movie and The Rise of Cobra. I don't remember The Rise of Cobra enough to comment on it right now, but the script for Retaliation was utterly insane.


21 Jump Street (2012)

You would think that the odds that a movie comedy remake of a television drama that, while critically acclaimed, ran for just five full seasons could be a blockbuster movie you think would be rare. I would think the same thing. And when I first saw the preview of Chris Miller's (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Shrek the Third) 21 Jump Street, my first thought was why. My second thought occurred after finishing the preview was this is going to be a disaster. Boy was I wrong. While I hadn't heard a single person say this movie was bad, it still sat next to my DVD player for over two weeks after its Netflix envelope arrived. Channing Tatum (Stop Loss, Public Enemies) and Jonah Hill (Moneyball, Superbad) are both decent actors. I'm certainly not going to go out of my way to watch a movie because one of these two is the star of it. As a duo, I thought they wouldn't work. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this movie.