Tag Archive: Moneyball

I thought Clint Eastwood was done acting and was ready for a new career of talking to chairs. Guess I was wrong because here he is playing a grumpy(go figure) man who all he has ever known is baseball. He’s a scout for the Atlanta Braves. His eye sight is starting to go and the organization is beginning to think time has passed him by and maybe the game has changed so much it’s time for him to move on. That’s when his daughter Mickey(Amy Adams) comes into the picture. Their relationship has been cold at best, when she finds out about his eye sight, she decides to put her career as a top notch lawyer aside to go on a road trip with him scouting a top high school prospect. Along the way they meet a young scout for the Red Sox named Johnny(Justin Timberlake) who helps Mickey wake up from her funk and possibly fall in love…

This movie is pretty thin, it’s basically the anti-Moneyball. It has a lot of old school baseball in it. Problem is when baseball isn’t the focus the movie drifts into basic formula type film. The only thing the movie has going for it is the leads. Amy Adams is a great actress, this can really not be debated anymore. She’s dominated multiple type of roles. Here she is woman covering up her pain with angst and work. Her dialogue with Eastwood is the best part, the father/daughter connection works here. If it wasn’t for the obvious talent and chemistry between her and Timberlake the love story in the film wouldn’t work at all.

With that all being said the film flip flops between being fun and being overly corny. Eastwood leans heavily on being the out of touch old guy. Half way through the film the little jokes towards his age get old. The film also takes a lot of liberties when it comes to the baseball aspects of the film. After following a talented but obnoxious high school super star, they magically find a Mexican kid who can pitch like Sandy Koufax, no joke they say this in the film. It’s hard to believe a kid with that much talent wouldn’t be noticed. It really felt as if they thought the crowd seeing this movie would be only interested in the love story or Eastwood, so it treats the baseball aspect carefully. Moneyball never treated the audience like it didn’t understand the game, this film mentions elements of the game but doesn’t dive into it at all. I would have rather had a lower budget film just following a baseball scout whose eyes are failing him.

The film is a fine date film and a solid movie to take your parents to, otherwise it’s not exactly a perfect piece to see it in theaters. Really it’s major highlight is Clint Eastwood, he and Adams are so good you’ll have a hard time disliking their scenes together. As a baseball movie though it fails over all.

Rating: 6/10

I didn’t really respond or post much about the Golden Globes(Thought they were “alright”). I’ve decided to not stay silent about the Academy Awards though. I’ll be going over the larger categories, listing the nominations and giving thoughts. This is my first year doing this hopefully you’ll be coming here for years and commenting on how wrong I am.

BEST PICTURE: The Artist, The Descendants, The Help, The Tree of Life, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, War Horse, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

I’m actually rather surprised by this list and delighted all at the same time. Hugo is really gaining a lot of steam this awards season. I personally loved The Artist and Moneyball, War Horse deserves to be there. The Tree of Life making it is a surprise along with ELAIC which hasn’t really been making any headlines recently. If I had to guess though this is between the Artist and The Descendants, don’t be surprised if Hugo wins though.

BEST ACTOR: George Clooney(The Descendants), Brad Pitt(Moneyball), Jean Dujardin(The Artist), Damien Bachir(A Better Life), Gary Oldman(Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).

Wow! Now this is full of surprises. No Leo, no Fassbender(which is a Shame… Get it? The movie he was in was called Shame… I’ll move on) but Damien Bachir and Gary Oldman are in there, they both really deserve it. I really dug Brad Pitt in Moneyball but I don’t think he stands a chance. I think it’s a race between Dujardin and Clooney. I hope Dujardin wins, but I think Clooney is bringing it in.

BEST ACTRESS: Glenn Close(Albert Nobbs), Viola Davis(The Help), Rooney Mara(Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Meryl Streep(The Iron Lady), Michelle Williams(My Week with Marilyn).

This is rather interesting because how close this will be. The Globes copped out by placing Michelle Williams in the “Musical or Comedy” actress role but they couldn’t do that here. All Streep does is win so you have that. Viola Davis made a huge impression in The Help. Glenn Close played a chick who is so ugly she can pull off being a man. Any other year and that wins the award for you. Michelle Williams deserves this one but Mara is going to get over looked which is a real shame. That was such a hard and daring role. I just hope the Academy members realize that Streep has won before, like a lot, so let someone else get a trophy.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Kenneth Branagh(My Week With Marilyn), Nick Nolte(Warrior), Jonah Hill(Moneyball), Max von Sydow(Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close), Christopher Plummer(Beginners).

Well to start off it will probably be Plummer. Love that Nick Nolte got the nomination for a role most over looked, hell the movie “Warrior” got over looked by most of America(Check it out you won’t be let down). I don’t get why Jonah Hill keeps getting nominations, he didn’t really bring anything to that role. I just feel like this is people trying to push him as a real actor, hard to do that when your upcoming movie is the “21 Jump Street” remake. For me Branagh should win, but I don’t think he will.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Berenice Bejo(The Artist), Melissa McCarthy(Bridesmaids), Janet McTeer(Albert Nobbs), Octavia Spencer(The Help), Jessica Chastain(The Help).

Octavia Spencer is getting this even though it should be Berenice Bejo(Who should be in the “Best Actress” category). Sad to see Melissa McCarthy here though. Mainly because she doesn’t belong and it’s obvious this was done as a ratings booster. Try and get people who love this movie to check out if she wins. She won’t but come on really? She was funny but… Come on!

BEST ANIMATED FILM: Rango, Chico and Rita, A Cat in Paris, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots.

Doesn’t this list seem fake? It just is weird first off not seeing a Pixar movie here. Seeing anything with a “2” in it is weird. One of the films is called Puss in Boots. I loved Rango so I hope it wins but for the comedy of it I hope Boots takes home the trophy.

BEST DIRECTOR: Michel Hazanavicius(The Artist), Alexander Payne(The Descendants), Martin Scorsese(Hugo), Woody Allen(Midnight in Paris), Terrence Malick(The Tree of Life).

Well there is a lot of talent there. The list is simply perfect. To me it should be Hazanavicius. Will probably be Payne. Glad Woody Allen got on there and especially Terrence Malick. Wouldn’t be too surprised though if Scorsese came out on top here.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne(The Descendants), Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian(Moneyball), John Logan(Hugo), George Clooney and Grant Heslov(Ides of March), Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan(Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).

Yes I’m doing the scripts… Because I write scripts as a hobby. Anyway this is going to the Descendants but I think Moneyball should get it. Ides of March was also a very well done script but I think with the political tone going on right now it won’t get a lot of votes.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Woody Allen(Midnight in Paris), Michel Hazanavicius(The Artist), Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumulo(Bridesmaids), JC Chandor(Margin Call), Asghar Farhadi(A Separation).

Saved the best for last! This is a stacked category. The Artist of course should get it but I really believe this will be the place where Bridesmaids gets one as a “see we’re cool” item for the Academy. It’s nice to see Chandor and Farhadi make the list but I don’t think they stand much of a chance.

Well there it is… Some of the nominees and my responses. I look forward to the show it’s like the Super Bowl for movies and I love every second of it.

Movie Review: Moneyball

We very rarely get sports movies coming to theaters these days. Moneyball is a treat that really everyone should see even if they’ve never gone to a baseball game. The plot which is based on the true story of Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane is important and very much a story of all under dogs just set in the world of baseball. Based on the award winning book with the same name, we open on the 2001 playoffs where the A’s are defeated by the New York Yankees. After the season they A’s loose three of their top players to free agency as big money spending teams like the Red Sox and Yanks sweep them up. Billy Beane(Brad Pitt) must put together a team for a fraction of the cost most other teams can. After meeting a financial whiz kid Peter Brand(Jonah Hill), who helps him put together a formula of using pure stats to pick up players most teams would look over.

The film flows very well, this is due to Brad Pitt’s fantastic performance. You become very connected with him because you get what he’s going through. Most Americans these days are pinching pennies, can’t exactly buy everything they want. That is what Billy had to do. Every team could outspend him so he had to innovate. The story of how he does this is easy to follow even though the film is filled with recent baseball history. What gives the film a little more pull is that we get Billy Beane’s back ground, as a young player, he was told by a scout to not go to college, to sign and go to the minors young. He took the pay check and went into the system. Things didn’t really pan out. This story helps Billy’s arc as we watch him change as General Manager.

The film never really gets bogged down, we flow through what is longest season in sports. A solid balance of baseball and comedy really made this movie fly by for me. Once it was over I really wanted to see it again, in a way I was so taken in by Brad Pitt’s performance I felt like I missed a lot. I can not stress enough that even though this film has a lot of baseball references, if you’re new to the game or don’t know the game at all, you won’t really be lost. Because the game of baseball is a minor player here, the real story is Beane and his arc from being a young ball player, to running a major league club. The film is good on multiple levels, it works as a drama, a comedy and as a sports movie. You’d really be losing out if you miss this one.

Rating: 10/10