They told me that you didn’t have to be interested in baseball to enjoy this movie.
To an extent, that is true, having a fundamental understanding of the game and of professional sports in general really helps to put a lot of things in context. I happened to watch Moneyball with a few folks who had very little knowledge about baseball (the game) and its history (the business), and I could tell that some of the content went right over their heads… like the reference to the “Curse of the Bambino.”
Despite this, Moneyball turned out to be quite an enjoyable movie, thanks largely to the convincing performances by Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen. We can understand the challenges of working with a severely limited budget and being able to understand the game purely for its numbers, rather than for its spirit or the “gut reaction” that typical talent scouts may have used.
The interplay between the charisma of Pitt’s character and the relative coyness of Hill’s character was compelling, especially when you see how they interact with representatives from other MLB teams. The scene where Jonah Hill’s character cinches a deal over the phone, where he slowly draws in his fist in silence, really speaks to the passion that people have for the game (and for winning).
It’s true that you don’t necessarily need to have a passion for baseball to enjoy Moneyball, but without that sense of perspective, you’ll miss out on half the game.
Based on the trailers, I thought that this movie was going to be largely a comedy. It sure seemed like Seth Rogen would take advantage of the situation, capitalizing on his friend getting cancer so that he could go get some girls. While there is some of that, this movie was actually a lot more thoughtful (and depressing) than I had expected.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who I will always remember as “the kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun,” offers us a powerful glimpse into the world of a young person diagnosed with cancer. He still has relationship problems. He puts on a front of strength and resilience, but on the eve of the risky excision surgery, his real emotions come bursting through. And all the time, Seth Rogen’s character is there for this somewhat twisted buddy comedy. 50/50 is not what I expected and I’m all the happier for it.
Paranormal Activity 3
After watching the first two Paranormal Activity movies, there really weren’t too many surprises with this third installment. Offered as a prequel, Paranormal Activity 3 goes back to when the two young women were just little girls, giving us some background history on the initial hauntings.
We get shocked with some cheap thrills and sudden scares, as can be expected, but it’s good finally to gain some insight into the origins of the strange events that befall this family. The sight gags are what they are and you still won’t get much in terms of a compelling story, but that’s not really the point here anyway. As before, all you’ll get is some “what was that” horror without too much of the bloody slasher flick fare. And that’s about it.