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

2Apr/170

Logan (2017)

James Mangold's (3:10 to Yuma, Walk the Line) Logan is about to set the standard for the next wave of superhero movies...the death of a major character. In an age of movies (particularly superhero ones) where we've seen sequels, prequels, and reboots, we have yet to see the beginning, middle, and definite conclusion of a story. We've seen plenty of superhero movies that COULD be a conclusion story, but we've all learned the hard way that we think is the end probably isn't the end unless we see that character killed off. And, let's be honest, even then we don't really know. When there is the potential for hundreds of millions of dollars to be made, who are we to believe that the end is the end. Often times, the end is determined by a crappy movie in a series that doesn't resonate with audiences or critics. Sometimes, that movie can be a concluding story, but often times it is not. But (spoiler, but not really) based on what happens at the end of the film, I don't expect to see him back. I know I probably will in some other fashion, but that can be an argument for a different day. Until then, I'll continue to sing the praises of Logan. And at the time of this review, I have it as a top five Marvel movie of all-time.

7Nov/160

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Hacksaw Ridge > Saving Private Ryan. That was what I claimed immediately after my theater viewing of Mel Gibson's (Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ) newest film. I've since slept on this, but haven't entirely backed down from this statement. However, it has been awhile since I've seen Steven Spielberg's 1998 Best Picture and I really should have watched it again before making this bold claim. Nonetheless, it doesn't take away from Gibson's film. Hacksaw Ridge was based on a true story whereas Saving Private Ryan was not. For me, when all else is equal, gives the nod to the one that is more factual based. Don't get my wrong, Saving Private Ryan was an amazing movie. The Invasion of Normandy Omaha Beach to open the movie was one of the most captivating and memorable action sequences in the history of film. When I made the claim that Hacksaw Ridge was a better movie, I almost inserted the caveat that "outside of the opening 30 minutes of Saving Private Ryan, Hacksaw Ridge is a better movie." But that seemed like a copout. If I was this passionate about Hacksaw Ridge, I couldn't spoil it with some kind of condition that limited my case.

2Oct/162

Deepwater Horizon (2016)

If you're going to make a big-budget disaster movie, it might as well be based on a true story. Personally, I'm so over the huge blockbuster disaster movies like The Day After Tomorrow, Poseidon, Independence Day, The Core, Volcano, Into the Storm, Armageddon (which I actually really like), San Andreas (which I also kind of liked), Dante's Peak...the list goes on and on. The point of these movies, and so many others, is to make a big buck. Forget about the plausibility, most of these movies are utterly ridiculous. The hero(es) always overcome the most extreme circumstances and, often, end up saving the world in the end. Now while the 2010 disaster which caused the worst offshore oil spill in United States history and made British Petroleum (BP) the most villainous company on the face of the planet at the time, the story of Deepwater Horizon does take some liberties along the way. While the unfortunate events on that night of April 10th certainly did happen, the events on that rig felt very much like James Cameron's Titanic after the ship hits the iceberg. 

25Sep/160

The Magnificent Seven (2016)

I'm starting to think that Hollywood is either completely out of original ideas or knows that they are guaranteed a minimum hundred million dollars at the box office if it remakes a movie and has a starting cast of Hollywood A-listers. There is absolutely no reason why The Magnificent Seven needed to be remade. I have not seen the first one, but I imagine it was probably a pretty good movie when it was made...56 years ago. There have not been many great westerns produced in this century and, while they were good, most of them have been remakes (3:10 to Yuma, True Grit). There have been others (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, The Homesman), but there really haven't been many in this genre of film when compared to others. While I appreciate a good western (Young Guns was my number one movie of all-time from when I was 15 until I was about 25), I dislike a bad western just as much as I dislike a poor  movie in other genres. And while I wouldn't necessarily call The Magnificent Seven a poor movie, I definitely would call it an unneeded one. Unless you love westerns, there's no need to see this movie. This absolutely is a movie that you don't need to see on the big screen.

5Jul/160

Free State of Jones (2016)

With his scraggly beard, yellow teeth, foreboding scowl, and deliberate limp, Matthew McConaguhey's (Amistad, A Time to Kill) portrayal of Newt Knight, a poor white farmer who led an extraordinary rebellion during the Civil War, is a far cry from the same man who was pigeonholing his career a decade earlier by playing the same character over and over in hit or miss romantic comedies like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Failure to Launch, The Wedding Planner, Fool's Gold, and The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past just to name a few. McConaguhey reinvented himself three or four years ago and re-established himself as dramatic leading man with the likes of The Lincoln Lawyer, Interstellar, HBO's True Detective, Killer Joe, Mud, and Dallas Buyer's Club, for which he won Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role at the 2014 Academy Awards ceremony. While he's had his misses recently (has anyone even heard of 2016's The Sea of Trees?), he has continued to have the ability to pick and choose his movies and, unlike his string of romantic comedies, he continues to branch himself out further and further.