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

16Mar/170

The Accountant (2016)

Gavin O'Connor's (Pride and Glory, Miracle) The Accountant is a movie that resonated with audiences ($86 million at the box office, 78% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes) but nearly as much with critics (a score of just 51% on Rotten Tomatoes). I saw the movie on its opening weekend because I thought the trailer looked fantastic and I've been a big fan of just about everything Ben Affleck (Argo, Gone Girl) touches, both in front of behind the camera since 2007's Gone Baby Gone, a film that the led to his reemergence as a Hollywood A-lister. The Accountant looked like it would be the type of movie I love, a gritty drama/thriller that is dark, mysterious, and violent. The Accountant is just that, with its lead character is some masterful number cruncher by day and assassin by night. I was disappointed that I did not enjoy as much as I had hoped. More perturbing was that so many of my friends would ask me if I liked the movie and when I would have to tell them that I didn't, they would be surprised and said that they liked it. I chalked it up to me not having a good day at the theater. Perhaps I was tired, didn't feel like being at the movies that day (unlikely), or caught up in texting someone in an empty theater (more likely). I decided I would give the movie another chance when it came to Netflix and, this time, really pay attention. Since so many people saw this movie or are wanting to see it, I was determined to give it as solid of a review as I could. While I did like my second viewing more, I still didn't love it. And I think a lot of it had to do with me wanting to know everything that was happening and wanting to make sense of it. I was struggling to do this. I had to look at some spoiler sites and read some reviews of others to really appreciate this movie for what it's worth. There is an audience for it. If you like the Jason Bourne movies, you'll likely like this. Likewise, if you like movies that have its lead characters dealing with a group of complex disorders of brain development, which is one definition of Autism, you'll like this movie. The Accountant is a movie that I recommend with the preface that you really need to pay attention to this film at all times as there is a lot happening at once. And, also, you need to suspend your beliefs to really enjoy the film. The Accountant (Affleck's character) is a man who can do it all. But then again, so is Jason Bourne and most people (including me) love those movies, especially the first three.

27Jan/150

Cake (2014)

If you want to see the second best performance (nobody is going to be able to touch Julianne Moore in Still Alice) by an actress in 2014, make sure to check out Daniel Barnz's (Won't Back Down, Phoebe In Wonderland). While the movie might not wow you, the performance of Jennifer Aniston (The Good Girl, Rock Star) absolutely will. Nearly unrecognizable, the one time Friend is a physical and emotional wreck during the entirety of the movie. Playing Claire, a mother who lost her young son in an automobile accident while accruing numerous injuries to her legs, arm, back and face that have forced her to become addicted to pain killers, Aniston gives the performance of her career. Now while I have yet to see two of the five nominees for Best Actress (Moore and Marion Cottilard - Two Days, One Night), I will say that Aniston's performance rivals Reese Witherspoon (Wild), Rosemund Pike (Gone Girl) and Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything). I'll give Cottilard the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe there were six great performances for five spots. However, if I were voting, Aniston would have got my vote over Jones (even though I thought Jones was great). I will explain why in the paragraphs below.

17Mar/120

50/50 (2011)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra) further exemplified what I predicted of him after seeing 2009's (500 Days) of Summer and that was that he was the next big thing in Hollywood. Gordon-Levitt (just 29 at the time) had already showed his abilities as a supporting actor in a number of critically acclaimed movies including Stop-Loss, The Lookout, and Brick. However, these movies all failed to top $11 million at the box office. (500 Days) of Summer not only generated $32 million domestically, but also earned Gordon-Levitt a Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical Golden Globe Nomination. Though he did not win the award that year (Robert Downey Jr.'s won for his role in Sherlock Holmes), it opened the door for more starring roles for the young actor. This included the opportunity to star in 50/50, a movie that he earned his second Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical Golden Globe Nomination.

26Mar/110

Up In The Air (2009)

The trailers that came out for Jason Retitman's (Juno, Thank You For Smoking) 2009 heavy-hitting dramedy Up In The Air make it seem like any corny romance, comedy, drama movie blend that that we've seen 100 times before. The trailer made me wonder what George Clooney (Michael Clayton, Oceans 11) was thinking agreeing to make what I perceived to be One Fine Day Part II. This movie had all of the makings for a character so disconnected from the world only to realize three quarters of the way through that what they thought they never needed was what they thought they needed the most.