So, I saw ‘Moneyball’ Friday night.
It was good!
This won’t be a long post – it’s an extra to go with the Tuesday and Thursday posts of this week.
In fact, I wouldn’t have even posted about Moneyball had…
1. I not stumbled upon this poll on the top 10 sports films of all time earlier today,
2. The poll had not included the film ‘The Wrestler’, which I included in the list of all time greats in the original Sports Films post,
3. My intention to write two pieces on wrestling this week! (Craig O’Donoghue, your mouth may start watering now…)
Oh, and 4. Number 1 wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t spent over an hour surfing the web on my iPhone in the waiting room at the hospital. God bless the iPhone. What would I do without it!? (No surgery required for the bent finger btw, thank you for asking.)
Moneyball in a nutshell
So, the Moneyball movie is good, really good. But, temper your expectations. Mine were high: Baseball. Stats (mmmm, numbers…). Brad Pitt. Jonah Hill. Phillip Seymour-Hoffman … who never, ever, makes a bad film. Oscar buzz over Pitt’s performance. And then my friend pulls out a 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes just before we go in. Can’t lose, right?
Drop your expectations 25% and you’ll be fine. To me at times, Pitt looked as interested and multi-faceted as he did in the widely-canned ‘60 Minutes’ interview from 2 weeks ago that even his interviewer, Tara Brown, slammed.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s still good in it. I mean, he’s Brad Pitt. But, if he gets an Oscar for that, well they may as well give one to Nic Cage. Oh hang on…
Jonah Hill is excellent, there’s no overriding romantic narrative to get in the way for the devoted sports geeks, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman is Phillip Seymour Hoffman. So, it’s a good film, great, even, and you’ll enjoy it.
And beautifully, it is a sports film. Of course there are the necessary wrinkles to keep you devoted to the narrative, but I doubt that this one’s ending up on the Arena Channel in 7 years’ time.
Over to the UK
Our friends in the UK had their own thoughts on the top sports movies of all time. There are a couple of UK-slanted responses, notably the 2001 Fighter (not the Christian Bale / Mark Wahlberg version) and the critically acclaimed ‘The Damned United’.
Top 10 greatest sporting movies voted by UK fans:
1. Rocky (1976)
2. Cool Runnings (1993)
3. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
4. Raging Bull (1980)
5. The Wrestler (2008)
6. The Blind Side (2009)
7. The Damned United (2009)
8. The Fighter (2001)
9. Invictus (2001)
10. Escape To Victory (1981)
Asides from Fighter and United, however, our lists are closely aligned. Pleasing to see was ‘Rocky’ in its rightful place on top, with Cool Runnings (no. 2!), Blind Side, and importantly, The Wrestler making the grade. Credibility builds for this week’s posts!
We just have to speak to them about Invictus. Seriously?
Rugby … what are you gonna do?!
Tomorrow’s post kicks off our week of wrestling! Is it even a sport? Should I continue including it in my list of banned viewing pleasures?
They’re phonies, fakers, prissies in colourful leotards, right?
Wrong. Dead wrong.