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


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.


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.