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


Wind River (2017)

There are so many takeaways from Taylor Sheridan's Wind River that I don't even know which one to bring out first. I guess that I'll start by saying that, though flawed, this is the best movie of 2017 through the first eight months of the year. It's an epic masterpiece that might be missed by the common moviegoer who is so overwhelmed with the commercialization of movies like Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and War of the Planet of the Apes, that they might not even know it existed, let alone a movie that it might be interested in seeing. In a 2017 Hollywood that has seen a massive uptake in remakes, reboots, sequels, and prequels, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to find originality in a story and then, if you do, for that originality to come out in a way that encourages you to see it again and, hopefully, has a lasting impact on your life. That is what Sheridan, an incredibly gifted screenwriter, has done here in his first film behind the camera. Already to his screenwriting credit are the memorable Sicario and Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water. It's unlikely that Wind River will receive the same box office success as his first movie or the same critical acclaim come Oscar season as his second, but this is one hell of a directorial debut.


A History of Violence (2005)

I remember when I first saw A History of Violence in the theaters in 2005. It was not what I was expecting at all. I remember thinking the movie was decent, but not what I expected. This was also when I started to really get into the Oscars. I remember being absolutely flabbergasted when William Hurt (The Doctor, Children of a Lesser God) was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. At that time, my beef with his nomination was that he was only in one scene (basically the last scene in the movie). I felt that in order to warrant this kind of acclaim that you needed to be on the screen for more than 15 minutes. As I watched it again (for just the second time ever) last night, I realized that he didn't deserve the nomination, not because he was only one the screen for 15 minutes, but because his performance sucked. He was such a minor character and his performance could have been played by anyone and it wouldn't have affected the movie. If anybody deserved a nomination for this movie, it would have been Viggo Mortenson (The Road, Eastern Promises), who, as he always seems to do, hit a home run as this movie's lead.


Cop Car (2015)

Dark humor movies aren't my thing. They never have been. They never will be. I want my comedies to my funny. I want my dramas to be filled with drama. I do like a lot of dramedies, but, to me, dark humor movies don't fall into that category. I also like movies that make me think, keep me entertained, or, preferably, both. Jon Watts's (The Amazing Spider-Man 3, Clown) Cop Car did neither of these things for me. While I understand there are lots of critics of Indie films out there who will enjoy this film, this is a movie to avoid for the everyday moviegoer. I feel like for many movie fans, this is the top of movie that you'll ask yourself how you can get those 90 minutes of your life back. For me, the film had promise. I felt that it was building towards something good. Unfortunately, at least for me, it never came close to reaching what I had hoped for. In fact, it didn't come close.


Snow Angels (2007)

I'm a huge fan of small town dramas (not the ones that are dispersed with quirky, sarcastic, or black humor, but the really heavy dramas) so when the unheard movie Snow Angels fell into my lap, it felt too good to be true. This movie made less than $500,000 at the box office despite some mostly positive acclaim from the critics (67% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes). It stars a couple of A list celebrities in Kate Beckinsale (Underworld, Brokedown Palace) and Sam Rockwell (Moon, The Way Way Back) as well as some unknown actors and actresses who gave some dynamite performances. All in all, while the moving will depress the heck out of you, it is a wonderfully crafted movie that fans of these small town dramas would most likely enjoy. Fans of Rockwell should most certainly see this movie as this is one of the finest performances of his career.