Tag Archives: Moneyball

Review: Moneyball

It’s pretty obvious that the sports genre has a tendency to revel in formulaic inspirational storytelling. But, when you’ve got a true story with a happy ending, isn’t that effect almost inherent? According to Moneyball, no. Is that a good thing? It depends what you’re looking for.

Brad Pitt is Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s coming off a hot season. However, as Billy frequently says, nobody remembers you when you lose your last game of the season and in 2001, the A’s lost to the New York Yankees in the playoffs. And that’s not even the worst of it. Billy is about to lose his three hottest players and has just $38 million to recoup his losses, a fraction of the budget of most MLB ball clubs.

In comes Jonah Hill as Peter Brand, a Yale graduate with a pension for baseball. Billy snatches him up from an entry-level position with the Cleveland Indians and makes Peter his assistant GM. Together they use Peter’s computer-based system to put together a championship team on a budget. While most look at players like the injured catcher, Scott Hatteberg (Chris Pratt), and 37-year-old David Justice (Stephen Bishop) as liabilities, Peter and Billy see them as cheap grabs with promising skills.

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Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Keeping It Real Pays Off For ‘Moneyball’ and ‘The Descendants’

Two rather lame weeks in a row. How disappointing? While the promotions section nearly fell short, we’ve got a slew of mediocre material to share. Okay, so that’s not saying much, but at least these items aren’t demotions-worthy.

The new trailer for We Bought A Zoo is a bit too ABC Family for my taste, but there’s a hint of some heartwarming holiday fun to be had. Similarly, Goon looks a bit like playtime for Seann William Scott and Liev Schreiber, but with names like those and Jay Baruchel and Alison Pill attached, how bad could it be? And while The Raid is making waves at TIFF, I’m somewhat unenthused with the trailer. Sure, there’s a ton of fantastically bloody action, but where’s the story?

Also worthy of taking a look at is the new clip from Real Steel, not so much because it’s a solid clip rather because it provides insight into what this whole robot boxing world is like. Still, this one will tear you in two as you won’t know whether to cheer on your favorite bot or laugh at the goofy dialogue Hugh Jackman is spitting out. Speaking of laughing, there’s a whole lot of happy giggling going on in a new featurette for New Year’s Eve. It’s actually more of a trailer-featurette hybrid, as it’s merely a few short snippets of interviews spliced together with the trailer, but for fans of this kind of filmmaking, anything that lists that massive all-star cast is enough.

As for posters, we’ve got four vibrant designs that are sure to both get you in the holiday spirit and excited for Harold and Kumar’s big return. That taglines are pretty amusing, too. A new motion poster for Chris Gorak’sThe Darkest Hour also arrived. While the imagery is cool, the lack of audio is a bit disappointing as is the awkward format. If you’re releasing a motion poster, why make it a video clip? Oh, maybe it’s because the embeddable poster format is too big for your web browser.

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Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Religious Fanatics, LARPers and Paranormal Entities

San Diego Comic Con is officially behind us and this edition of Best/Worst Movie Promos proves it — as just one film featured on the list had a presence at the event. It’s not necessarily because the material that came out of SDCC was lackluster, but more so because much of the footage debuted during the panels has yet to hit the web – in non-bootleg form at least.

Regardless, we still have a slew of material to sort through and while some received positions in the promotion and demotion departments, others find themselves floating in the abyss. Of the pieces in that middle ground, there are quite a few to note. In true Valentine’s Day fashion, New Year’s Eve follows that star-studded production up with a trailer packed with famous faces. As someone who didn’t appreciate the first film, this trailer doesn’t really do it for me, but clearly there’s a ton of moviegoers out there who enjoy some namedropping.

On the other hand, both Happy Feet 2 and Dirty Girl are quite appealing, albeit in completely different ways. The Happy Feet 2 trailer features dancing penguins with baby voices. Enough said. As for Dirty Girl, Juno Temple gets crude in the best possible way. The trailer presents it as Easy A on the road, but with a more unique texture. As usual, Temple is mesmerizing and has no trouble upping the intrigue for this one.

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