Oscar History

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Entries in Moneyball (17)


Yes, No, Maybe So: "Moneyball" and "Footloose"

Striiiiike. I forgot to sound off on the trailer for Moneyball. And then there's Footloose what shuffled by us, too. It's been a long week. TGIF and all that... only it's already Saturday. What? Okay, here we go. You know how we do here. We manage expectations with the patented Yes, No, Maybe So breakdown. How excited are we/should we be for each new movie?

First up... Brad Pitt in the baseball stats dramedy Moneyball.

YES Brad Pitt. And there's something mellow but casually exciting about the presentation overall... which is rather like the sport of baseball come to think of it, wherein nothing much happens until it does.

All behind-the-sport dramas made after 2006 are always going to come up short on account of Friday Night Lights (2006-2011). That's just the way it is. It's like trying to envision what the future will look like after Blade Runner or trying to do a porn drama after Boogie Nights or somesuch. Several of the shots of Brad Pitt here instantly recall Coach Taylor for example even though they're probably not trying to. Plus the topic just seems so dry, right? True stories also have the disadvantage of inevitable and therefore (sometimes) anti-climactic finales.

MAYBE SO The trailer doesn't get all obsessed about Philip Seymour Hoffman being in it which is a considerable relief. If the trailer is true it looks like Jonah Hill is the one to watch IF (and I still think it's a big IF) the film gets any sort of Oscar traction. I liked Hill in Cyrus and though he seems a bit limited in the range department, choosing the right projects can really help to shift perceptions about that or at least maximize what can happen within the confines of any actor's range. The script is by Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian, both strong writers, and though that's not an automatic yes (must we invoke the name of Charlie Wilson's War? for example), it's a good sign that it'll be lively and smart.

Me, I'm a maybe so and I'll lean whichever way the Oscar buzz does.  But then it does star Brad Pitt so chances are very good that I'll see it.

The other night while I was out at a party and my friend Kenneth totally got in my face about how Brad Pitt is a terrible actor and I'm like no-no-no. Brad Pitt is... well he's Brad Pitt! ♥. He's been continually underrated his whole career despite being a huge star with the exception of that highly unnecessary Oscar nomination for his Benjamin Button turn, the equivalent of Depp's Neverland nomination surely ("Yes, you're totally boring in this but WE JUST LOVE YOU ANYWAY!"). So maybe whether or not you're a yes, no or maybe will come down to Brad?

And the remake of FOOTLOOSE (2011) [see trailer here]


YES Miles Teller in the Chris Penn role? That could be fun. And though it pains me to say it... when an original isn't sacred -- and Footloose is only sacred in the nostalgic sense not in the "movie" sense -- it's sometimes fun to watch how they reinterpret key moments. Like, when Kenny Wormald crazydances in that empty warehouse, they won't have to go all silhouette body double right?

The most annoying bit in the trailer is surely the "It's OUR time" town hall righteous speechifying since the movie looks as generic as can be and anything but generation-defying... unless today's generation prides themselves on being super lame Frankenstein's monsters stitched together by their parent's nostalgic parts. Also in its insistence on looking like both a hip-hop movie AND a remake of "Dirty Dancing" AND the original "pop" film AND a country and western joint, it's clearly trying to be all things for all people and will subsequently have no identity of its own.

Plus (by which I mean minus): exploding trucks.

And a lead female star so bratty you want Dennis Quaid to give her a good spanking and ground her. Where is Lori Singer's weirdly comatose sensuality... the believable byproduct of a stifling home environment (with or without the cello)

Craig Brewer wrote and directed it and though I can't for even one frame spot the brave provocateur behind Hustle & Flow or Black Snake Moan, maybe you can? Or maybe the trailer is just a bad lie and the film will be interesting?

"No" unless reviews by nearly every trustworthy critic surprise.

Where are you with these two pictures?

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