Chapter 1: In Which Clark Introduces Himself

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Welcome to 365 Movie Guy. My name is Clark Douglas, and I'm the guy. As the site's name so subtly hints, I'll be reviewing 365 movies each year – except leap year, of course, when I'll be reviewing 366. I thought about reviewing one leap year-themed movie every time February 29th rolled around, but then realized that I'd find myself forced to review and re-review the mediocre Amy Adams/Matthew Goode rom-com Leap Year every four years, and I'm honestly not comfortable with that idea.

Where were we?

Right, daily movie reviews. I'll admit that this isn't the easiest task in the world. Watching a movie and writing a review every single day is going to take a lot of time and a good deal of careful planning. I have a family and a full-time job, and both of those things obviously have to take priority over this project. I can't neglect one or the other just for the sake of tossing out a few thoughts on Iron Man 3 (though for what it's worth, I feel that Iron Man 3 is a significantly underrated movie). However, barring some unforeseen situation related to one of these two areas which completely prevents me from having time to do this, I'll be providing you with one movie review every day. For what it's worth, I'm not simply jumping in without a parachute. I've prepared a fairly extensive backlog of reviews for emergency situations, so just know that 1200 words on The King of Comedy are currently ready for deployment at a moment's notice.

So what will we – the royal we, you know, the editorial - be reviewing on the site? Movies playing in theatres. Movies arriving on home video. Movies which have been available on home video for years. Movies which are available via assorted streaming services. Basically, anything is up for grabs, and while a pretty significant portion of these reviews will focus on brand-new movies (roughly half, if things go according to plan), I'll also be digging into cinema's past on a regular basis and examining hidden gems, celebrated classics, justifiably forgotten duds and everything in-between. I may review a Bresson film one day and a Sandler film the next. There is room at the table for every genre, and I'll be making an attempt to review everything on its own terms – to judge movies for what they are, not for what I wish them to be.

Like everyone else, I have my personal biases. I'm partial to noir and sci-fi, and I tend to dislike traditional biopics. I've never disliked a Martin Scorsese film, and I've never liked a Baz Luhrmann film. However, I try to go into each film with an open mind and a spirit of optimism – the hope that it'll contain something worth seeing, regardless of whether I expect it to. I love movies that show me something I've never seen before, movies that place things I've seen before in a new light, movies that make me laugh, movies that make me think, movies that give me a better understanding of other lives and other cultures and movies that find creative ways to build on the foundation of other movies. It is possible to use movies as little more than a brain-deadening form of escapism, and some do. It is also possible to use movies as a gateway to a richer, more complex worldview. I believe in the transformative power of cinema. Though they are few and far between, I believe there are movies capable of changing our lives. I hope we'll discover a few together over the lifespan of this experiment. If not, I hope we'll at least have a good time.

A few words of thanks are in order. First of all, I must thank Joe Darnell for the many hours he's put into designing this site. Without his efforts, this whole thing wouldn't have been possible. He's taken a few of my quirkier suggestions with grace, added countless invaluable suggestions of his own and has demonstrated extraordinary patience in the process of teaching a novice like yours truly how to run this place. I also want to thank Michael Stailey and Melissa Hansen of DVD Verdict - I've spent over seven years writing for their fine website, and will gratefully continue to do so thanks to their willingness to let me cross-post some reviews between this site and that one. Finally, I want to thank my wife Bekah, who has been immensely supportive of this endeavor from day one and who enriches my daily life in so many ways.

Due to a combination of preference and laziness (though I'd rather call it something noble like "clarity of purpose"), I'm going to keep this site focused on its mission: reviewing one movie every single day. I'll be blogging now and then and offering some other features here and there, but the daily reviews will always be the meat n' potatoes of this place. I'll do my best to ensure that the site's reviews are worthy of your time, and invite you to read, share and comment... or just read. Away we go!