I'm starting to wonder if Hollywood film reviewers are being paid to say that movies this year are decent when they're actually so boring it's almost criminal that someone funded the making of them. Or maybe these critics are seeing director's cut versions of the films, since most reviewers watch films together in separate theaters from the general public. Either way, "Moneyball" is god-awfully boring and anyone who says differently is probably a fan of Major League Baseball.
"Moneyball" is what you get if you take the movie "The Replacements," make it about baseball, remove Keanu Reeves' whoa-factor and take away all the funny, quirky, bickering characters. Yes, it's about the science of creating a team that scores rather than one that looks good, but unfortunately I think that topic would have been far more interesting broken down in a Discovery Channel special with graphs that explain the intricacies of batting averages and the aerodynamics of pitching. It did not need to be extended into a dry, two-hour film that's far more technical than the average movie-goer would care to see.
That brings me to poor Brad Pitt. From the moment the Pillars of Hollywood announced the impending arrival of "Moneyball," Oscar buzz has been growing for Brad Pitt's performance as Billy Beane. Yes, Brad Pitt wants an Oscar. Yes, both films he's been in this year (this one and "The Tree of Life" - yet another snoozer) have resulted in the whispers of Academy Award greatness for the Late Tyler Durden. Unfortunately, if he does win next February it will be a Colin-Firth Oscar, as I've started calling it since February.
A Colin-Firth Oscar is one given based on the overall career that actor has had rather than the single performance for which the actor is nominated. It's a golfer's clap award, bolstered by thousands of industry professionals who simultaneously coo, "Oh yes, he's worked so hard and he was so close all those other times," and vote for him even though the performance for which he was nominated should never have received a nomination in the first place. Because no, Colin Firth did not deserve an Oscar for "The King's Speech."
If Brad Pitt wins for this flat-lined biographical drama, it will be in the tradition of Colin Firth, and who wants to win that way? It's too bad we can't just forego the Colin-Firth Oscar in favor of a retro award. Because I'll be the first one to say that Brad Pitt deserved one for "Twelve Monkeys" and "Fight Club" and at least a nomination for "Inglourious Basterds."
Otherwise, if you're into baseball you might feel the "romanticism" of the story behind this movie. And the film's script was partially written by Aaron Sorkin, the writer of "The Social Network," who made creating a website seem interesting. Jonah Hill, who in real life is disappearing before our very eyes, is really impressive in a serious role and probably deserves an Oscar nod more than Brad Pitt does, even though this movie shouldn't even exist near Oscar ballots.
In all other ways, this film fails to impress and I'm going to see "Killer Elite" today just to wash the "Moneyball" taste out of my mouth.
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