Thursday, October 6, 2011


3 1/2 STARS

Just about everyone who knows me knows I am not a sports fan AT ALL!  But I am a fan of a lot of sports movies. Oh how can we forget the classics and some of my favorites: Rocky, Raging Bull, The Longest Yard, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Rudy, The Sandlot. Then there are the ones that are destined to be classics: Jerry Maguire, The Blind Side.  Sports films tend to always be this inspiring underdog story that puts everyone in an emotional stooper which is sort of ironic when sports are supposed to be this macho, yelling, bonding experience.  Then why do many of the movies turn the audience into sniffling, blubbering idiots trying their damnedest to keep their eyes dry?

Lets face facts people, Brad Pitt is not just another pretty face.  This guy is one of the iconic actors of our time with such extreme talent that it makes me want to weep at the distances he takes his characters.  He definitely does the same thing in the portrayal of Billy Beane.  Moneyball is the true story of how Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A's, turned the team into a profitable baseball club on an extremely tight budget in the early 2000's using computer analysis.  Now, of course, me not being a sports fan, I knew nothing about any of these events happening or anything on the background of this story.  However, the story was poignant, uplifting, and told in a way that any non-sports fan like myself could still appreciate what was happening.  Brad Pitt's performance is equally uplifting.  He wanted the audience to feel his frustration when it was right and it was the same when it was time to be excited.  I especially liked the camera work in the movie; how it would zoom in so close to his face and his reactions were so on time and dead on that it was like we were in those moments with him.

I was very impressed with Jonah Hill's supporting dramatic turn as the brains behind the computer analysis program Beane used to turn the team around.  Philip Seymour Hoffman played Coach Art Howe true to form as the hard ass Art Howe probably was, but of course, I wouldn't know.  I never had to break out any tissues for this one but there were some uplifting moments that gave me chills.  Even though Moneyball is the story of doing something great with very little, this film is certainly worth the donation from your own tight budget.

Thank you and see you at the next blog.




From the first time I saw the trailer I wanted to see this movie but I really didn't know what to expect.  I mean, a comedy about dealing with cancer and one of it's stars is Seth Rogen.  Well, for all of you who have not seen this movie of course, the casting was very solid.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is at the top of his game (and lately he has definitely been playing in the majors) in a performance that should win multiple awards.

He portrays Adam, a guy living it up in Seattle with a great job at a radio station, a great girl in Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) and of course, he has his best friend Kyle (Rogen) by his side.  Kyle's best friend duties are certainly put to the test after Adam is suddenly diagnosed with a rare form of cancer (he has a tumor on his spinal chord).  Right after the diagnosis, the audience is immediately transported into Adam's world of despair as everything he knows starts collapsing.  Well before he realizes this is all happening to him, he has to tell people starting with Kyle.  Seth Rogen was the perfect choice for this role.  50/50 is ultimately a dramedy with Rogen providing most of the comic relief as he normally does.  As I was watching the movie, I thought most cancer patients would love to have someone like that by their side while going through chemo and wondering if they were going to die.  Adam's mother is played by the great Anjelica Huston, whose portrayal is so heartfelt and intense that you may sometimes not notice her extreme domineering, except that quality of hers would fill the Panama Canal.  Bryce Dallas Howard plays Adam's girlfriend. She's a scank and I hate her but she plays the part well.  The adorable Anna Kendrick plays Adam's therapist.  She is so endearing in her part, you just want to put her in your pocket and take her home.

This movie has its funny parts.  You will laugh out loud several times.  However, the drama is intense.  It has to be, the subject matter is cancer.  I of course chose this as my next blog since it is following The Big C blog which is very reminiscent.  I think it is very brave for these movies and television shows to be made, finding the humor in possibly dying, but I also believe that these movies and shows are helpful to people going through this in real life.  There maybe a fifty fifty chance that Adam will or will not survive his illness, but the movie is a 100% helluva good time.

Thank you and see you at the next blog.