Sunday, September 25, 2011


While this may surprise you, I have read the Moneyball book that the film is based on. Actually, I don't want to lie. I read the first half of the book, found out they were making a movie, and then saw no point in finishing the book. Anyway, the book was interesting and had a business feel too it, so I figured I would love the movie. Also, just in case you don't know, I am a baseball fanatic, and my dream job is to be a general manager of a Major League Baseball team (that's what Brad Pitt plays). I have been waiting and waiting for this movie, and I was really hoping it would not let me down. A movie that combines numbers and baseball kinda makes me wanna pee my pants. In excitement that is.

It is really hard to criticize a plot that is based on a true story. I mean, it's not like they could change it or anything. Nevertheless, there were a few things that I believe could have been changed to make the movie flow better. Throughout the first half of the film, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) is flashing back to his past every little while, and it really helps to show why he is so passionate about his job. I just wish they could have organized that better to where the outcome of that flashback is sort of surprising and is revealed throughout the entire movie. Also, I don't think they did a good job of embracing Beane's personal life. They did include his daughter in the film, but it didn't really fit in with the story. Overall, the story is very good and interesting. There were a few dull moments, but I never felt like they were wasting time.

Best Scene (This is new!): The final few minutes of Moneyball were really the best, in my opinion. There was one point where I thought that they should have stopped, but then I was surprised. The final scene really shows how life is full of choices, and it is hardly ever easy to chose.
While I'm not a huge fan of Brad Pitt's movies, he is a fairly good actor and did a fine job portraying Billy Beane. His character was very easy-going at one moment and throwing things the next. He was certainly convincing at all times. The thing that really amazed me was how well he and Jonah Hill accented each other. They were funny and believable and just downright good. As I said earlier, Beane's daughter Casey (Kerris Dorsey) had an awkward role at times. I just think it could have been done better. The role of Art Howe as manager was necessary, but Phillip Seymour Hoffman didn't do as well as you would expect from such a great actor. His body language just didn't seem to fit his hard-headed role. David Justice (Stephen Bishop) was a character that was very important in showing how Billy Beane really was doing things different. I thought he had the most well used storyline in the film.

Best Character: I never thought I would say this, but Jonah Hill was very good in a dramatic role. He played Peter Brand, who really was the brains behind Beane and his crazy ways. Hill was still funny at times, but he was very convincing and, as I said, really accented Pitt's character.

Worst Character: Chad Bradford, played by Casey Bond, was one of the players that had a major role in the film. Unfortunately, he really had no storyline at all. He was the only character that I felt was unnecessary.

Moneyball is a great sports story, and it is very different from most sports stories. The numbers and the game are married in a most splendiferous kind of way, but I avoided peeing my pants. Because it is so different, I'm just glad that this story got told, and that I didn't have to finish reading the book. I can only dream of one day becoming as influential as Billy Beane has been to the game of baseball. Hopefully any kids that watch this film will realize that they are not restricted in the sports world if they lack athleticism. I could probably go on forever talking about my love for the game, but I will shut up. I give Moneyball 3.76 out of 5 stars.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Movie News for the Week of September 23, 2011

Unfortunately, this was a very slow week in the world of movie news, so I apologize for the brevity.

1. Chris Evans announced this week that he did not expect a Captain America sequel to be ready until 2014. Most people believed that the sequel would be out in 2013 along with Iron Man 3 and Thor 2, but it looks like we will have to wait a little longer until we get another good Marvel film.

2. Universal announced this week that they are working on a new Scarface movie. The studio says that the new film will be neither a sequel or a remake, but will just involve many elements of the Al Pacino version.

3. Future Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth has signed on to be a part of The Expendables 2. I don't quite understand what his role will be alongside all of the old men, but maybe it won't suck.

4. Disney announced this week that they will be adding a new attraction to their Disney World theme park based on.......... Avatar! "Avatar Land" will be inside of the Animal Kingdom park and will be about 12 acres in size. I have never been to Disney World, but Avatar was the coolest 3D thing ever, and I can only imagine how great the rides will be.

Here he is........... THE DARTH KNIGHT!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Movie News for the Week of September 16, 2011

1. Earlier this week, Mel Gibson announced that he would be developing a film about Judah Maccabee, a Jewish warrior. As you can only assume, many Jewish organizations are throwing a fit about Gibson being involved in anything Jewish, but he has yet to remove his name from the film.

2. It has been announced that both Top Gun and Ghostbusters will be returning to theaters in the coming months. In other, Ghostbuster-related news, John Hodgman has really stirred the pot with some of his comments this week. The "PC guy" implied that he was offered a large role in a third Ghostbusters movie. He also added in his comments that Bill Murray would not be a part of the film, which would certainly be huge. No one knows if this is true or not, but we will certainly wait and see.

3. For the theatre lovers out there, some big news about the film version of Les Miserable surfaced this week. Both Helena Bonham Carter and Russell Crowe have signed on to star in the film. Also, there have been rumors floating around that the movie may be shot in 3D, which, if you ask me, is absolutely pointless. IT IS A MUSICAL. If there was like 3D music, now that would be cool.

4. The creators of HBO's recently completed Entourage say that they will be making an Entourage movie. The only question right now is when the movie will be made.

5. The popular Broadway show The Book of Mormon will be turned into a movie. The creators said that they would let it run its time out on Broadway and go touring before making the movie, but they seem very convinced that a movie will eventually happen.

6. Jake Gyllenhal's Source Code will likely be turned into an hour-long drama on CBS. There are few details on the project as of now. There is no one in talks to take over Gyllenhal's lead role, but you can expect to hear more in the coming months.

7. For all you Star Trek fans waiting for the sequel, wait no longer! J.J. Abrams signed on to direct the film this week and he says that he wants to get the project moving quickly. The script is expected to be finished by the end of the month and Abrams wants to begin filming this winter.

With the controversial Star Wars Blu Ray coming out this week, I decided to show you a few cool Star Wars things I have found recently. Enjoy!
1) Han Solo Ice Trays
2) Bill Murray as Han Solo
3) A building design based on the sandcrawlers from A New Hope

Sunday, September 11, 2011


While most virus movies turn people into monsters or zombies, Contagion dared to be different. This difference was the main reason that the film interested me. Another reason was that the trailer told very little about the plot. I love it when trailers leave you hanging... a lot. Even with these two positives, I sort of expected Contagion to be subpar. Virus movies tend to be really good or REALLY bad. The trailer did very little but flash big Hollywood faces one after another, which kind of made me think that this movie may just try to hook audiences with its actors and ignore the importance of plot all together. Let's face it, movies with many big names usually suck. That's just how it is.

Overall, the plot differed greatly from previous virus movies that I have seen. The coolest thing early on was how you sort of followed the virus, watching how people touched something, then sneezed on this person, who shook someone's hand. It really made me feel like this could seriously happen tomorrow. The story was very very real and lacked the usual predictable plot lines. Everyone in the movie reacted to the situation just like I probably would have. There was no random action scene here or awkward love scene there. There were a lot of different plot lines, but they never made it a point for everyone to meet up coincidentally or anything like that. In my personal opinion, if movies like this freak you out, don't go watch it!

As I said, I was a bit worried about the fact that so many stars were in the film, but this really never bothered me while I was watching. There were even more familiar faces that completed the cast, but I didn't find them out of place either. Laurence Fishburne and Matt Damon had the largest roles, in my opinion, but the focus was really distributed well among the stars to make each of their roles important. Jude Law kind of gets on my nerves. Just thought I would throw that out there.

Best Character: Dr. Ellis Cheever, played by Laurence Fishburne, was probably my favorite character, but it was very hard to choose. Fishburne played a bit sensitive, compared to his usual tough-man self. I thought he did a great job and was very relatable if you put yourself in his shoes.

Worst Character: Dr. Leonora Orantes, played by Marion Cotillard, was completely irrelevant to the entire film. Her goal was to figure out where the virus originated, which you would think might be useful. But there is a twist in her plot that was really the only weakness in the entire film, which is a bit disappointing considering how awesome her voice is.

Contagion certainly wasn't my favorite film of 2011, but it was one of the biggest surprises of the year, for me at least. The cast gelled well because they didn't interact very much, and the plot was very unique, which is a rarity these days. If you take Marion Cotillard out of the movie, it nears perfection as far as plot lines go. Because it really falls under no category, I have waited until now to tell you that the ending kind of sucks. My reaction was not really "that makes no sense" or "why did I just waste my time on this movie." Instead, it was "surely they could have figured out a better way to tell me this." I hope that explanation makes sense. With that being said, I assure you that the movie is worth your watch, regardless of the ending. I give Contagion 3.1 out of 5 stars and remind you to go wash your hands.... NOW!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Movie News for the Week of September 9, 2011

It was a fairly boring week in Hollywood, so I apologize for the brevity.

1. To many people's surprise, the chosen one to host The Academy Awards is none other than..... Eddie Murphy? There was much talk about Billy Crystal possibly returning to host the Oscars this year, but it was officially announced this week that Murphy will be the one to take the stage in 2012.

2. Singer Adele announced this week that she will be heading back to the studio in November to record a theme song for the new James Bond film. I personally am not a fan of Bond or Adele, so I'm good with their joining together.

3. A young writer has convinced Warner Bros to let him script a Beetlejuice sequel. There are very few details out yet, but they have said that this will not be a remake but, instead, will further the original storyline.

4. Director Ridley Scott has found writers for his once-failed Monopoly film. Board games turned films were quite the rage last year, but the hype soon turned to disgust, slowing down the production of many films like Monopoly.

5. Seth Rogen announced this week that he will not appear in the Knocked Up spin off. Much of the original cast will be appearing in the film, but Rogen himself did not want to confuse the audience with a surprise appearance.

Ben & Jerry's announced this week that they will have a new ice cream flavor out soon, inspired by one of SNL's most famous sketches of all time. Check it out:
Also, for you Harry Potter fans, here is a trailer for a new Daniel Radcliffe film called The Woman in Black. It looks rather freaky, if I might say so myself.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Movie News for the Week of September 2, 2011

1. A reboot of The Grudge is now being developed. There is a chance that this movie might go straight to DVD, like The Grudge 3. We will just have to wait and see.

2. There is now a writer for the new Sin City sequel, which means the movie will likely be getting underway soon. I personally hated Sin City, so this is very sad news in my opinion.

3. A potential title has been mentioned this week for the new James Bond film. The name Carte Blanche is being tossed around, which is the title of a Bond book, as was Casino Royale.

4. Bruce Boxleitner, who plays Tron in the Disney series, told reporters this week that a third installment of Tron is a "done deal." He also mentioned that the film would be coming out in 2013. Disney has a new Tron animated series in development, and Tron 3 will probably be dependent on the success of the animated series.

5. The Coen brothers recently announced that their next film will revolve around a struggling 60's folk musician. As a huge fan of the Coen brothers, this is very exciting news about a movie that could include a soundtrack similar to that of O Brother, Where Art Thou. The film will be called Inside Llewyn Davis.

6. Rumors have developed that Anne Hathaway might be joining Hugh Jackman as a part of the cast of Les Miserables. Russell Crowe, Amy Adams, Miranda Cosgrove, and Geoffrey Rush are a few other stars that are being courted to play in the big screen version of the classic musical.

7. It is basically official that Orlando Bloom and Elijah Wood will each make some sort of appearance in The Hobbit films. While it is not likely that their roles will be large, this is still very exciting news for Lord of the Rings fans.

This is the first trailer for The Hunger Games, which was revealed at the MTV Video Music Awards. It looks sort of dumb to me, but we will just have to wait and see.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Great Expectations: September 2011

Starting this month, I am going to share with you the three films I am most excited about each and every month. Hopefully I will have a chance to review each of the three films and more each month, but it is hard to promise because I do have a real life that might get in the way. My hope is that, by seeing a trailer for the three films, you will have an interest in the same movies as me. The movies are listed by release date. Hope you enjoy!

1. Contagion (September 9th)

2. Moneyball (September 23rd)

3. 50/50 (September 30th)