Saturday, June 30, 2012

#1: Moneyball

I love sports movies. The drama of the game and the emotions of the players usually gets me every time. It's not often that you watch a sports movie that's not about the players.  Moneyball is one of those movies, but it still holds all the drama and emotion of a traditional sports film.

Brad Pitt is Billy Beane, a former player turned scout turned GM for the Oakland A's. In 2001, he shook up MLB by choosing players based on the advice of an economics graduate from Yale named Peter Brand (Jonah Hill). Billy didn't have a lot of money to spend on superstars, so he had to figure a way to build a winning team on a budget. This was his way. It wasn't received well, and it had a rocky start, but there wouldn't be a movie starring Brad Pitt if everything had been perfect, right?

The movie, at times, feels more documentary than narrative, and I like that. When you're behind-the-scenes you really want to feel like you're peering into a world you're not usually allowed to see. As with most sports movies, I found myself completely getting into the Big Game scene. I sat on the edge of the sofa, bated breath, just waiting for the outcome. I tend to completely lose myself in a good cinematic sporting event, and this one did not disappoint.

Pitt, channeling Robert Redford like nobody's business, does an excellent job. He carries the humor, humility, frustration, and quiet gratification of Billy Beane throughout the story. It was also nice to see that Jonah Hill can indeed play serious. I was actually worried that his performance would resemble Owen Wilson's attempt at playing straight (which comes across as sarcastic). Hill fits comfortably, and I never laughed at him at inappropriate times.

If you're a fan of baseball, definitely see this movie. If you're a fan of the underdog, see this movie. It's heartwarming, a bit inspiring, and all around well done.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

30 Movies on Netflix: The List

  1. Moneyball
  2. A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
  3. 50/50
  4. Bad Teacher
  5. Jeff, Who Lives at Home
  6. Crazy Heart
  7. Real Steel
  8. The Switch
  9. Contagion
  10. Red: Werewolf Hunter
  11. The Debt
  12. Chronicle
  13. Anonymous
  14. Tower Heist
  15. The Change-Up
  16. Just Go with It
  17. What's Your Number?
  18. Friends with Kids
  19. The Sitter
  20. Our Idiot Brother
  21. 30 Minutes or Less
  22. The Back-Up Plan
  23. Young Adult
  24. How Do You Know
  25. Yes Man
  26. Love and Other Drugs
  27. My Week with Marilyn
  28. The Woman in Black
  29. Friends with Benefits
  30. Larry Crowne

30 Movies on Netflix

Hi there! I don't even know who's going to read this since it's been soooooo long. But I'm back to throw out a challenge.

I don't get to the theatre as much as I did before L&D came along, but I do still love my Netflix. I'm trying to catch up on some movies I've been wanting to see (and some I'm sure Tim would be interested in seeing), so I've moved 30 of those movies to the top of my queue.

All my shows are on hiatus until the fall season starts in September, so here's the challenge:

Watch all 30 of these movies (click here for the list) and write reviews for them before the fall season starts in September. Can I do it? I hope so!

In the words of Barney Stinson...