Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.



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Glory Daze

Film #153


It’s two days before graduation, and Jack is having serious doubts about the future.

Year 1, Day 153

BEFORE: Today brings the end to this mini Ben Affleck chain with Glory Daze, an extremely small film before Affleck became a star for Good Will Hunting. This film also stars Sam Rockwell (last seen in Seven Psychopaths) so chances are I’ll like something about this film.

And in other news, today is also the end of another month, the fifth of this movie marathon. I’ll refrain from statistics this month (except to note my average review length increased 13.9% to 580 words per review - still a long way from the 50,000 mark for NaNoWriMo) and save those for an end of the year (halfway in the marathon year) reflection. For now I’ll just take this time to once again say how much fun I continue to have with this. Not only do I get to watch some great films, and some not so great, but I get to express my opinions about them to you, my wonderful readers. I feel like I’m constantly improving and evolving my writing into what I hope is something you find useful.

Here’s to another seven months; almost to the halfway point.

AFTER: At the outset, this film seems like it was meant for me. It’s about a liberal arts college student Jack (Ben Affleck) who doesn’t know where his life will take him after his impending graduation. Having the relatability factor however isn’t enough to make Glory Daze entertaining.

The biggest issue of the film is a lack of purpose. Like Chasing Amy, one of the intended purposes of the film is to say something about a big life question; in this case it’s life after college. But while Chasing Amy didn’t quite reach a perfect level of thought and discussion, there were definitely many seeds present of where the ideas could be taken. In Glory Daze, there’s almost nothing other than one or two meaningful lines lost in the mass of nonsense. There was no driving force moving the film along; instead it felt like Roomba going around in circles - inefficient and a waste of time.

And the quality of the acting left much to be desired. It’s very clear it’s the beginning of their careers as they are still going through a learning process and honing their craft. While Ben Affleck and Sam Rockwell are terrific actors today, the same can’t be said of their acting almost 20 years ago. John Rhys-Davies (Gimli from The Lord of the Rings) does give a decent performance as an art professor and French Stewart is the best of the gang of friends.

All-in-all there isn’t that much going for Glory Daze. The story lacked a clear motivation and purpose and the poor acting didn’t help it out much. The best comparison I can make is this: Glory Daze is like Animal House except stripped of it’s humor and lively characters. If you want to see Affleck’s or Rockwell’s beginning, by all means Glory Daze is the film for you. But otherwise, steer clear of the film.

RATING: 2 out of 5