After a false start that resulted in original director Steven Soderbergh leaving the project, this adaptation of Michael Lewis' best-selling baseball book chronicling the sabermetric approach to the game pioneered by Oakland A's GM Billy Beane went forward with Bennett Miller at the helm. Brad Pitt plays Beane, while Jonah Hill makes his dramatic debut as scouter Peter Brand, a character reportedly based on real-life scout Paul DePodesta.
Someone tell me: What happened to David Fincher? When the director who brought us uber-dark, smart films such as Se7en, Fight Club and even The Game makes a sap-filled movie the likes of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, you have to ask yourself that question. And the only answer I've been able to come up with is that he must have grown a heart. And, for Fincher, this is not a good thing.
November 4 has come and gone, but the voting isn't over yet. Voting for the People's Choice Awards started yesterday and continues through December 7. You don't get many choices, though. Looking at the just-announced list of nominees, you might think only a handful of movies came out in 2008. Iron Man, The Dark Knight, and the new Indiana Jones will vie for top honors in both the favorite movie and favorite action movie categories. It's not surprising that in an award system based on popular opinion the highest grossing films would rise to the top of the list. Statistically speaking, chances are pretty good that even if you only saw three movies this year, those were the three you saw. Other not-unexpected movie nominees include Wall-E, Sex and the City, and Mamma Mia!
It looks like the Coen Brothers might have another success on their hands: Their latest film, Burn After Reading, not only landed at the top box office spot with a $19.4 million opening weekend, but it also helped the whole nation recover from last weekend's embarrassingly low take. Brad Pitt and George Clooney's presence in Burn After Reading might have helped the Coens to such a lofty opening weekend.
Angelina Jolie gave birth to her and Brad Pitt's twins (a boy and a girl) on Saturday night. And nothing else happened anywhere in the world. At least that's what the news media would make you think. Possibly nothing else will ever happen in the world as long as the Jolie-Pitt clan continues to live and breathe and breed and adopt.
These days, you can't fire up the Internet without hearing more casting news about Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Bastards. Today is no exception, as we bring you not one, not two, but three new bastards and one bastardette who have joined the cast. German actors Christoph Waltz and Til Schweiger, American comedian Paul Rust and National Treasure star Diane Kruger are the latest additions, according to reports in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. I'm pretty sure roughly one-third of the globe's population are playing roles in this movie, or have at least been considered for a role. In fact, just a few weeks ago, Tarantino even tried to tap me for a part.
The Venice Film festival (that's the Venice in Italy, if you didn't know) is the world's oldest film festival, and it got underway yesterday for the 65th time. Emceed by Russian actress Ksenia Rappoport, known in Italy for her turn in the film The Unknown, the opening day of the fest featured an afternoon screening of Vittorio De Sica's 1948 classic The Bicycle Thief. But no one really gives a damn about any of that crap, because George Clooney and Brad Pitt were there, omigod!
Nope, that joke still isn't old. But lest you think that I am actually calling Brad Pitt and Simon Pegg total jerks (they're not -- Pitt speaks up for causes around the world, and Pegg gladly shakes hands with nerds), what I actually mean is that they are both involved in bastard-related casting news. Pitt has definitely signed on to play Lt. Aldo Raines, the Tennessee-born hillbilly leader of the Nazi-killing WWII Army unit known as the Inglorious Bastards, the subject (and title) of writer/director Quentin Tarantino's next film. Tarantino flew to France specifically to recruit the actor, and the news that he has accepted has made me stab several pictures of Nazis in excitement. (I currently do not have access to real Nazis.)
Earlier today, I said that Angelina Jolie's impending birth of twins was being treated like an M. Night Shyamalan movie. You probably said, "didn't that guy's English teacher warn him about overuse of hyperbole?" Well, guess what? That suspenseful news conference the Associated Press kept pimping all morning has turned out just like a Shyamalan movie: There's a surprise twist, and it sucks. Jolie isn't having her babies anytime soon.
Longtime Hollywood outsiders Joel and Ethan Coen are becoming as mainstream as Michael Bay these days. (I kid, of course, in comparing the intelligent, quirky writer-director team to the director-producer of Bad Boys, Armageddon, and Transformers.)
But they are gaining popularity outside of their loyal cult following. In February, they won three Oscars (and gave the most subdued speeches in awards show history); and it was announced today that they'll open the Venice Film Festival with Burn After Reading, starring some relatively unknown actors: you know, actors like George Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, and Brad Pitt -- all of the actors who non-mainstream filmmakers are working with these days.