In the past year, Aaron Sorkin has written the screenplays for Moneyball and The Social Network, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Taken on the surface, no two films could be more dissimilar; one is about baseball, the other about the internet. So what would draw Sorkin to such disparate subjects, if not for the simple challenge of doing something different? Dig a little deeper, however, and you may just find that these two films are meant to serve as bookends. Both deal with men who speak a language unfamiliar to the common man. Their central characters live in sealed worlds we couldn’t possibly hope to penetrate. Neither man is motivated by money, but is in search of something greater than it. In The Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg pursues a dream of creating the perfect method for human beings to connect with one another, all the while sacrificing his own personal relationships. And in Moneyball, Brad Pitt plays a man so desperate to achieve a different kind of dream, that he steamrolls everything and everyone in his way to do it. I can only imagine the sort of pleasure Sorkin must have experienced when he was approached with the idea.
Archive for December, 2011
Tags: Billy Beane, Brad Pitt, Chris Pratt, Film, Jonah Hill, Moneyball, Movies, Oakland A's, Reviews
Tags: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Film, Guillermo del Toro, Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes, Movies, Review
It takes a poorly executed horror movie to show its creature in full CGI glory only minutes in, but it takes a colossally bad one to not only give away its premise at the outset, but repeat that premise only moments later in writing during the opening credits. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, a film I’m hoping writer-producer Guillermo del Toro doesn’t consider a high point, does both of these things. How could a movie developed by one of modern cinema’s finest filmmakers go so horribly wrong? And how could del Toro have allowed such fatal mistakes?
Tags: Film, House of the Devil, Movies, Review, The Innkeepers, Ti West
Ti West’s The Innkeepers is a brisk, creepy little thriller, despite the fact that nothing much of significance happens for the first 90 minutes. It’s like the twin brother of West’s fascinating The House of the Devil (2009), a film that builds its scares with mood and quiet, instead of false jumps and musical stingers. Few horror movies any more have me sitting on the edge of my seat, but The Innkeepers somehow managed to do it, and do it well. I have a suspicion that, based on these two films, West may well be the new horror auteur.
Tags: Film, Midnight in Paris, Movies, Review, Woody Allen
How many of us have often wondered about the greenness of other grasses? If we’d been born into another time and place, how different would our lives have been? Gil (Owen Wilson) understands this question with a singular focus that borders on obsession. He’s having an affair that began with the suddenness of love at first sight. The object is Paris, a city so glorious in Gil’s romantic, if slightly naive, eyes, that if it were a woman, he’d probably strip and make love to it. He’s enamored with the lights and couples noodling in sidewalk cafes, and the history of his greatest idols — Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Gertrude Stein — who haunted these streets long before they became “classics” on a Barnes & Noble bookshelf. Their lives must have been charmed, Gil thinks, creating their finest work with great skill and admiration, while bathing in Bohemian culture. What greater inspiration does he need to move away from the mundanity of writing Hollywood screenplay hack and finally pen his great American novel?