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Jun 25 2011

Yes,No,Maybe So: "Moneyball"and "Footloose"

Striiiiike.I forgot to sound off on the trailer forMoneyball. And then there'sFootloosewhat shuffled by us,too. It's been a long week.TGIF and all that...only it's already Saturday.What?Okay,here we go.You know how we do here.We manage expectations with the patentedYes,No,Maybe Sobreakdown.How excited are we/should we be for each new movie?

First up...Brad Pitt in the baseball stats dramedyMoneyball.

YESBrad Pitt.And there's something mellow but casually exciting about the presentation overall...which is rather like the sport of baseball come to think of it,wherein nothing much happens until it does.

All behind-the-sport dramas made after 2006 are always going to come up short on account ofFriday Night Lights(2006-2011).That's just the way it is.It's like trying to envision what the future will look like afterBlade Runneror trying to do a porn drama afterBoogie Nightsor somesuch.Several of the shots of Brad Pitt here instantly recall Coach Taylor for example even though they're probably not trying to.Plus the topic just seems so dry,right?True stories also have the disadvantage of inevitable and therefore (sometimes) anti-climactic finales.

MAYBE SOThe trailer doesn't get all obsessed about Philip Seymour Hoffman being in it which is a considerable relief.If the trailer is true it looks like Jonah Hill is the one to watch IF (and I still think it's a big IF) the film gets any sort of Oscar traction.I liked Hill inCyrusand though heseems a bit limited in the range department,choosing the right projects can really help to shift perceptions about that or at least maximize what can happenwithinthe confines of any actor's range.The script is by Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian,both strong writers,and though that's not an automatic yes (must we invoke the name ofCharlie Wilson's War?for example),it's a good sign that it'll be lively and smart.

Me,I'm a maybe so and I'll lean whichever way the Oscar buzz does.But then it does star Brad Pitt so chances are very good that I'll see it.

The other night while I was out at a party and my friendKennethtotally got in my face about how Brad Pitt is a terrible actor and I'm like no-no-no.Brad Pitt is...well he's Brad Pitt!♥.He's been continually underrated his whole career despite being a huge star with the exception of that highly unnecessary Oscar nomination for hisBenjamin Buttonturn,the equivalent of Depp'sNeverlandnomination surely ("Yes,you'retotallyboring in this but WE JUST LOVE YOU ANYWAY!").So maybe whether or not you're a yes,no or maybe will come down to Brad?

And the remake ofFOOTLOOSE(2011) [see trailer here]


YESMiles Teller in the Chris Penn role?That could be fun.And though it pains me to say it...when an original isn't sacred -- andFootlooseis only sacred in the nostalgic sense not in the "movie"sense -- it's sometimes fun to watch how they reinterpret key moments.Like,when Kenny Wormald crazydances in that empty warehouse,they won't have to go all silhouette body double right?

The most annoying bit in the trailer is surely the "It's OUR time"town hall righteous speechifying since the movie looks as generic as can be and anything but generation-defying...unless today's generation prides themselves on being super lame Frankenstein's monsters stitched together by their parent's nostalgic parts.Also in its insistence on looking like both a hip-hop movie AND a remake of "Dirty Dancing"AND the original "pop"film AND a country and western joint,it's clearly trying to be all things for all people and will subsequently have no identity of its own.

Plus (by which I mean minus): exploding trucks.

And a lead female star so bratty you want Dennis Quaid to give her a good spanking and ground her.Where is Lori Singer's weirdly comatose sensuality...the believable byproduct of a stifling home environment (with or without the cello)

Craig Brewer wrote and directed it and though I can'tfor even one framespot the brave provocateur behindHustle & FloworBlack Snake Moan,maybe you can?Or maybe the trailer is just a bad lie and the film will be interesting?

"No"unless reviews by nearly every trustworthy critic surprise.

Where are you with these two pictures?

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Reader Comments (26)

I'm leaning towards no for Moneyball.I'm not very much into sports movies and as a European I have no affection for baseball whatsoever.
Brad Pitt is an actor who doesn't know how to act subtle.He CAN be good when he plays characters with some quite defined mannerisms (great as Christian Slater's strung-out roommate in True Romance),though this doesn't always guarantee success (Inglourious Basterds).
But put him in something that doesn't come with defined quirks and he is plain bad (like Meet Joe Black or the aforementioned BB).

And I couldn't even be bothered to see that Footloose trailer,so I guess that's a no?

June 25,2011 | Unregistered CommenterLara

I don't think the film will be much exciting (Moneyball) if it doesn't have Brad Pitt in it.
I realized he's workind so hard now.Tree of Life,then this,then I thought he was still doing Cogan's Trade,but I just saw he already moved on to working on World War Z.Oscar for Hollywood Hard Working Man?

June 25,2011 | Unregistered CommenterMikhael

MIkhael -- i'm guessing if it ever happens it'll be Oscar for Longevity.Because that's what the beautiful men win for.They don't give it to them when they're young and purty like they do the girls.

June 25,2011 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

i don't remember herbie the love bug in the original footloose...
and where's the song?

June 25,2011 | Unregistered Commenterpar3182

Absolutely NO on the Footloose remake.Although I'll probably see it anyway.That funny-talking kid completely blows the big town hall speech--Kevin Bacon's speech was so great because he was so incredibly uncomfortable giving a speech.No confidence.This kid looks too cocky.Leave my childhood alone!

June 25,2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike P

Julianne Hough is charming as can be (and can sing and dance!),and she is the one to watch for!

June 25,2011 | Unregistered CommenterJae Ly

I'm a sucker for Brad Pitt,I've always thought he was underrated and it seems like he's really working hard to prove his detractors wrong nowadays so I'm a "Yes"forMoneyball.

I had ZERO interest in theFootlooseremake until Craig Brewer signed on to direct,and then this trailer came out and left me confused.I loved both of Brewer's previous efforts and,though it's just a trailer,I can't imagine this film being as good as those.I want to be open minded so I'll say I'm a "Maybe So"based on Craig Brewer alone.

June 25,2011 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

I lurved Capote and have been looking forward to Miller's follow up.The concept of Moneyball (sports movie with math) sounds like "formulaic movie with boredom,"and sadly this trailer doesn't do much to dispel that.I worry.

June 25,2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

Brad Pitt is my favorite modern male movie star.He's a character actor in pretty boy skin like Franco and does his best work in supporting roles.I said before that Moneyball could be his Brockovich but the movie inself could turn out to be his Blind Side.


Fuck No to the Footloose remake.I hate all remakes to films that exsisted while I was alive during their initial release.

June 25,2011 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtfu11

At one point,I was hoping theFootlooseremake wasn't going to be an adaptation of the pretty bad stage musical.Now I wish it was.I'd take 2 hours of "Mama Says"playing on loop over five minutes of what that trailer is showing.

June 25,2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

I've never seen the original Footloose and I haven't seen the remake trailer but one of the songs from the soundtrack was played on the CMT Music Awards (Country music Television for those that don't know).It was horrible.Don't know how the rest can be good besides Miles Teller's acting if the people in charge chose THAT song.

And no on Moneyball.You'd have to pay me to see anything with Brad Pitt in the lead.

June 25,2011 | Unregistered CommenterCity_Of_Lights

A vague MAYBE for Moneyball because I like Brad Pitt.Everything else about it looks dry and familiar.Absolute NO on Footloose.Never saw the original and this new one looks like Step Up 4 (or should I say Step Up 5?There is another Step Up being made,actually).

June 25,2011 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Armour

I have no problem with the Footloose remake (come on,the first movie wasn't all that good),but you could not pay me to see it.Unless an odd Oscar nomination comes out of it,you can count me out.

Moneyball-I'll see basically anything with Pitt in it,so I'm probably a yes in that department.

June 25,2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

I can't believe Bennett Miller waited six years to direct a super generic-seeming sports movie.I know he had replaced Soderbergh (who in turn replaced David Frankel) but this just seems like a lot of waiting,post Capote,for nothing.The only upside is Sorkin's involvement (we'll see) and Robin Wright actually appearing in another high-profile movie this year.Good for her.

"I liked Hill in Cyrus and though he seems a bit limited in the range department"

You're far too kind to him,he's barely even good at being funny.Plus,he just keeps ballooning,doesn't he?That would never fly if he was a young promising actress.Maybe I'm just fatigued over Hollywood shoving an actor like him down my throat or something.I'LL PICK WHO I WANNA LIKE THANK YOU.

June 25,2011 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Mark -- well no,it would never fly for a young actress.but then neither would the entire career of philip seymour hoffman and no one complains about that!

Daniel -- it is weird that it seems as much a Step Up sequel as a remake.

/3rtfull -- maybe that would be a rule that would satisfy everyone.well you'd have to be less strict but how about no remakes of anything younger than 50 years old.

June 26,2011 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

I know that blending this many Oscar nominees into one project does not automatically equal a BP nomination.However,unlike the majority of folks on this thread,I really liked the trailer and thought Brad Pitt did well with the lead character,and that Jonah Hill was squarely on the mark with his performance.And do not underestimate the attraction that baseball has for the older fraction of the Academy...it was America's pastime long before the Superbowl.If the Sorkin-Zaillian script really clicks,then this might drum up the one-in-twenty first place ballot slots it needs to make it.

June 26,2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

I am a yes for Moneyball,partly because Bennett Miller is directing it,and his last (and I believe only big) project was Capote,which turned out to be a great piece of filmmaking;and he did direct Philip Seymour Hoffman to an Oscar (and even Catherine Keener to an Oscar nod for one of her dullest performances).Anyway,given that and also Brad Pitt makes an enticing movie.Although I don't consider Brad Pitt a consistently great actor,I definitely believe he can be very good.People come down on him too harsh at times and I think they are too blind to see some of his accomplishments (Fight Club,Ocean's Eleven,Seven,and even Babel).
And a definite NO on Footloose.What the hell is up with all these remakes lately?Where the hell is the creativity and originality in Hollywood?

June 26,2011 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

Moneyball's music even seems like it's trying to be Friday Night Lights,haha.And it's not Snuffy Walden doing the soundtrack.

Also,Robin Wright (sometimes Penn) is in it too?I don't think I saw her in the trailer.

June 26,2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

NO NO NO WAY to Footloose.And no to Moneyball too..I find Brad Pitt terribly limited...only good as a goofball..

June 26,2011 | Unregistered Commentermsh

Moneyball is maybe so.Honestly,the trailer is appealing,and I want to see Pitt in a naturalistic,down-to-earth role instead of all the shtick he's been doing the past few years.But I'll follow the buzz.

Footloose is an unequivocal and unshakable no.

June 26,2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

"...choosing the right projects can really help to shift perceptions about that or at least maximize what can happen within the confines of any actor's range."

This part that you wrote describes how I feel towards Brad Pitt.

June 26,2011 | Unregistered CommenterPoppy

I'm giggling at the idea of a remake of Footloose,I don't know why.I guess it's the pictures of 80s outfits that come to my mind.So,I guess my answer is no.I could've lived my youth without the first one,why a second one?

And I'm a "maybe so"for the trailer of Moneyball.Yes,the trailer.I played it twice to see if I could find something appealing.And all I could think of was Leatherheads and how enjoyable (I truly did like it) that was compared to this.Clooney > Pitt/ Zellwegger > Hoffman.I know it sounds sacrilegious,but I'm not into Pitt in these star vehicles.He usually gets lost/uneven.Also Hoffman reminds me of my creepy dentist (and my dentist's creepiness increases because he reminds me of Hoffman).Don't have issues with it being a baseball movie,even if I don't get baseball at all,but at least it isn't a dog/horse movie.

June 26,2011 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

YES: When I looked at the trailer,I thought,hey,this looks like a popular success and might be pretty entertaining (which I hadn't thought before.I thought it would sink without a trace).
NO: It's a sports movie?with Phillip Seymour Hoffman?
MAYBE SO: If it has a medium warm reception or better,I'll go.

June 26,2011 | Unregistered Commenteradri

To tie in a joke on a bad comic book: If Brad Pitt has "limited range",Neutro has a brain.

June 26,2011 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

No to Moneyball - both Brad Pitt and Phillip Seymour Hoffmann are actors who initially keep me off from a movie.And I am not very interested in sports movies,even less in baseball movies (except for Bill Durham),so the story is not a selling point either.

And NO to Footloose.

June 27,2011 | Unregistered CommenterIvonne

Brad Pitt is a great actor

July 7,2011 | Unregistered CommenterDriver
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