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Brad Pitt. Try to shift your eyes away from him and read the actual post ... if you're able

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.

Rocky 1 - no surprise at no. 1

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.


About petek8

Pete Evans has just finished going 12 months without watching any sport. The journey stemmed from a sense that the balance was out-of-whack with my time and my priorities. Everything seemed to revolve around creating enough time and space to fit in the last game, games, recap shows or space to surf the net for the latest numbers and analysis. The cycle never ends - one season leads into another, seasons overlap if you follow various sports and the media's insatiable appetite for a new 'story' means that even the greatest of achievements aren't heralded for more than 3 days. So I stepped away from the machine for awhile and intentionally engaging with the journey by writing about it.

5 responses »

  1. “Brad Pitt. Try to shift your eyes away from him and read the actual post … if you’re able”

    Who’s writing this, you or your wife?

  2. I am glad Pete got the review out of the way with a tempered outlook on the movie, Moneyball. Rather than denigrate the entertaining night we had by stating the movie was ‘lukewarm’ (@11:40pm as we were leaving the cinema) I thought it was best to keep my opinion to myself… Aside from the fact the I was having a bad night from the start, hmmm… let’s see, Satay Sauce on white T-shirt is not a good look… $26 for a generous plate of Cantonese Sauce and raw Broccoli (would you like Beef with that?!) I need not make it a trifecta by making a negative post movie observation… Maybe I was still reeling from trying to see straight after noting the epileptic fit the camera was having that Pete ad several other patron’s had to complain about to get it rectified… (Did they actually do anything?!) So I held my cards close to my chest and waited for a fellow observer’s observation first! Yes it was slow, Yes I was humming Billy Beane’s daughters happy tune all day, and Yes there is a great true story with a very endearing will they or won’t they moment… but I’ll give a pass mark… just!

    • Mate, you take a long time to say that you got sauce on your top and the movie was average. But that is your gift! ‘Just a Pass’ – fair enough. $26 for that dish – not so fair…

      • Need to set the scene, mate… If I had of said ‘Just a pass’ and ‘Yeah got sauce on my top…’ no one would have really enjoyed my 9 words worth!

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