100 movies: Moneyball

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

MoneyballMoneyball (27/11/12)

Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.

Still playing catch up on the previous years big award winners it seems. Moneyball is the latest in the long line of films I’m playing catch up with. A film about baseball. See, I like my sports films. But usually I have more than a vague idea about the sport. Baseball? It’s like cricket, right?

Thankfully, I didn’t really need to know much about the sport to get the film. All good sports based films should be like that, right? So with my little knowledge of baseball I managed to really enjoy the film. Moneyball is pretty much an underdog story. A well told underdog story with some solid characters and a tight script.

I remember Brad Pitt being praised for his work on this film. Now don’t get me wrong, I think he was solid in this film. But I have never seen the big ‘wow’ about Brad Pitt. In any of his films. He’s never blown me away. I’m not saying he’s not a good actor. He is. I reckon. I’ve just never seen a performance from him that’s left me reeling. In Moneyball, I thought Brad Pitt did a perfectly good job. Sounds a bit patronising, right? It’s not meant to be! I just can’t think of a better way to put how I thought of him in the film. More than adequate, but it’s not the sort of role that’s a stretch for him, right?

For me, Jonah Hill stood out a bit more. Here he is in Moneyball, a fairly serious drama. And he’s considerably more toned down than I’ve seen him. I’m not Jonah Hill’s biggest fan. I’m definitely near the other end of the scale, but he stood out for me here.

Moneyball’s a good film. A well told story. I like the message it brings across. It’s not the sort of film I’m dying to see again, but glad I’ve given it a watch.
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

100 movies: The Tree of Life

100 movies of 2012

Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy!

The Tree of LifeThe Tree of Life (04/06/12)

A family with three boys in the 1950s. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence.

I honestly don’t know what on Earth to make of this film. I remember reading countless reviews singing the praises of this film. I also remember it polarising those who saw it too. I am in the section of those who saw it who just didn’t like it.

Actually, I’m not sure I can say I didn’t like it. As I honestly don’t know what to make of it. The narrative is non-linear and I’m fine with that, but watching the universe form and seeing dinosaurs and volcanoes just confused the heck out of me.

I know there are plenty of people out there who are reading this and thinking I’m a complete idiot. I probably am!

The second half of the film felt better to me. More of a focus on the family and the boys. I still don’t understand exactly why Sean Penn had to be in it. I understood who he was playing, but just didn’t think he’d need to be in it. *shrug*

There are some beautiful scenes. The framing of some shots are just a joy to see in cinema. But that’s all I could take away from this film. I just didn’t get it. It sucked away over two hours of my life!
Rating: 2/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

100 movies: Inglorious Update

100 movies of 2010

Shocking. I only saw one movie this weekend. Well two. But only one was new to me. The other? District 9. I forgot how brutal that film got. Talking of brutal, here’s what I saw:

Inglorious Basterds (12/09/10)
Quentin Tarantino’s war film. From what I remember, it was pretty well hyped. One of those films that slipped through the cracks when it was first released, for me. Meant to see it but never got around to it.

Enjoyed the film, but couldn’t help but feeling that there was a little too much hype. It’s good, but it feels as if Quentin Tarantino can’t do anything but overly stylized and/or violent films. I love a bit of violence in a film, and this is a war film, so should be expected. But it’d be nice to see a Quentin Tarantino film where you’re surprised he made it.

Other than that little issue of mine, good film with good performances. Entertaining enough.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the movies I’ve seen so far this year.

100 movies: Milk, Jesse James, Rendition & The Reader

100 movies of 2010

I’ve been a little bit poorly the last few days. Good thing? I relaxed, recouped and watched a few movies. Sadly, I had no movies that were what I wanted to watch – brainless, action and unthinky. The only movies I had were big dramas that are all fairly intense. They all required a certain amount of attention. Oh well!

Milk (26/02/10)
The true story of Harvey Milk, brilliantly portrayed by Sean Penn. Loved the movie very much. Everyone in it was brilliant, though Sean Penn did blow me away. So convincing in this role – couldn’t imagine any other actor in the role. A part of American history that I knew nothing of, so I felt that I walked away (figuratively) from the movie a little better educated.
Rating: 5/5

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (27/02/10)
Another ‘based on true story’ type of movie. I seemed to be watching a lot of those movies this year. While I did enjoy this one, it didn’t amaze me like I thought it would. Don’t get me wrong I did really enjoy it and everyone’s performance in it was brilliant, I just felt that it dragged. I usually love a good long movie. Length of movies doesn’t usually phase me. Only when it doesn’t feel like the movie is long for me. This movie felt long to me. Casey Affleck lifted this movie for me. He was brilliant!
Rating: 3/5

Rendition (27/02/10)
A good ol’ political drama. I think this is the first movie I’ve seen where Jake Gyllenhaal was playing an adult! Well, someone close to his own age. Though I didn’t think he did very much throughout the movie, except look a bit moody. It was a good enough political drama, though I didn’t feel the tension. Or any kind of real feeling to any one character. The saving grace was the bit of a twist in the movie time line that happened towards the end of the movie. Didn’t expect it but fully appreciated it!
Rating: 3/5

The Reader (28/02/10)
Amazing movie. I had no expectations from this movie other thank I knew I was meant to think Kate Winslet was amazing in it. And she was. Very beautifully told story with a really good performance to the actor who played young Michael.
Rating: 4/5

Read more to see the full list of movies I’ve seen so far this year.