Tag Archives: Brad Pitt

Best Baseball Teams On Film

On the heels of one hell of an introduction to the MLB Postseason, a lot of us have received the shot in the arm we needed to get captivated by baseball in the form of a dramatic 162nd day of the regular season. Even though the A’s failed to qualify for the postseason for the fifth straight year, my season isn’t quite over yet. Today I’ll finally be heading out to the theater to check out the new Billy Beane flick, “Moneyball.” I’m really curious, and in some ways scared, to see how I feel about it. The movie looks great on paper. A-List actors, well-respected writers, and a critically acclaimed director make it an immediate favorite to win the World Series of baseball movies. Even the reviews are pretty much nothing but solid. I’ve even heard the word OSCAR tossed around. But I’m scared to get my hopes up to high for a movie I’m about to see, let alone one about my beloved A’s.  I’ve found over the years, that the way I feel about the team is reflective of the way I feel about the movie, and vice versa. So, I’m especially curious to see how I digest Moneyball, which documents the 2002 season, which will forever be etched in stone in my memory. I went to somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 games that year, including the historic 20th win in a row, as well as the game 2 victory over Boston in the ALDS (Dyslecix and I left the Coliseum with little doubt that this series was a wrap). For that reason, I expect plenty of goosebumps as some of Hollywood’s finest reenact some of my most memorable A’s moments. Every clip of the movie I’ve watched so far has looked pretty bad. I didn’t see The Social Network or Capote, so I don’t really know what to expect when it comes to screenplay and directing. All I can hope for is that the movie doesn’t change the way I feel about the A’s. If anything, I’m worried it’ll make me long for the good ol’ days when my team was a winner. We’ll know, though, if that happens, then the movie was a success. In the meantime, I’m going to take a look at other famous movies about a particular MLB Baseball team and see how it helped form opinion – either about the team or the movie….

Minnesota Twins: Little Big League I’ve always been neutral on the Twins. On the one hand, they’re a fellow low-budget, moneyball-type team. On the other team, they seem to pop up against the A’s in the playoffs every few years. I love this movie though, for two reasons. The fella who plays Lou is Timothy Busfield, who’s from Sacramento. Even more impressive is that Billy Heywood is played by Luke Edwards. Many of us remember him as the little brother of Fred Savage in the classic Nintendo film, The Wizard. Few of us remember him as the title role in the based-on-a-true-story, I Know My First Name Is Steven.

Chicago Cubs: Rookie Of The Year The only way you don’t love this movie is if you’re over 30. Otherwise, you dreamed of breaking your arm and magically being able to throw 105 mph. This movie always reminds of a relaxing weekend day, probably because that’s always when it’s on TV. It’s also probably because it’s about the Cubs, so all of the game footage is during the day. People often fail to make the connection between Henry Rowengartner and Kevin from American Pie, but overall, he was good in this movie – except when he struck a guy out and said, “Kewl!” The Cubs have been scouring the Little Leagues ever since, and have yet to find a pitcher as good as Rowengartner.

Cleveland Indians: Major League I & II I probably would have liked the Indians no matter what, since my best childhood friend’s cousin was the manager of the team from 1991-1999. Even if that weren’t the case, I’d always be a closet Indian fan thanks to the Major League movies. Know what else? I probably would have never picked them to go to the World Series this year either if it weren’t for these movies.

Los Angeles Dodgers: The Sandlot I’m pulling this one out of my ass here. I’ve seen most of the Sandlot a thousand times, but mostly on TV, and therefore rarely in its entirety. So, if I’m wrong about the kid ending up on the Dodgers, please forgive me. But if it’s true, it’s only fitting that one of that classic group of kids ended up on a good team. I liked the Sandlot gang and I like the Dodgers (with the exception of 1988)

New York Yankees: *61, Pride Of The Yankees, The Scout – For all the movies about the Yankees, I don’t think I’ve seen any of them. That’s pretty reflective of real-life, where I have a vague grasp of Yankees history, but haven’t really made the effort to get to know all the facts.

Anaheim Angels of California: Angels In The Outfield Don’t like the Angels. Never saw the movie. Looks like a pretty star-studded cast with Danny Glover, Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Adrien Brody, and Matthew McConaughey. I’m still not gonna go and watch it though. My life seems to be better without the Angels around.

Boston Red Sox: Fever Pitch I gave this movie a chance, because I thought it would at least be entertaining. Negative feelings about Boston aside, this movie was so bad, so bad, so bad. If this movie was about my favorite team I would stop liking them. I’m trying to picture the Oakland version of this movie, but all that comes to mind is Poetic Justice…

Detroit Tigers: For The Love Of The Game I’ve never seen this, but it stars Kevin Costner, so perhaps I’m better off steering clear. I know of one friend who swears this is a great movie, but she’s a Red Sox fan, so perhaps I’m better off steering clear.

San Francisco Giants: A League Of Their Own Tom Hanks plays Bruce Bochy in this touching film about a bunch of women who came together to build a winner. Geena Davis stars as Buster Posey, and Madonna shines as pitcher Matt Cain. Lori Petty scored a breakthrough performance in her role as Tim Lincecum. But perhaps the star of the show was Rosie O’Donnell as Pablo Sandoval. The physical resemblence is out of this world.

Oakland Athletics: Moneyball TO BE DETERMINED…..

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Moneyball Movie Premiere Recap

Unfortunately my invitation got lost in the mail somewhere, surely, so I wasn’t in attendance for the movie premiere of “Moneyball” in Oakland tonight. Therefore, I couldn’t really recap it any better than the San Francisco Chronicle. Here’s some highlights…

Brad Pitt, Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman and Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin were among those on the red carpet at the Paramount Theater in Oakland on Monday evening as “Moneyball,” the movie based on A’s general manager Billy Beane and the 2002 Oakland team, made its national premiere.

“It’s very cool,” Pitt said as he paused on the carpet to speak to two Bay Area papers. “We’ve been gearing up for this viewing for a long time. This is a special screening for us.

“The people of Oakland gave such a great response. They stayed up with us for hours on end to tape the baseball scenes and never lost energy. We see a lot of fans from the ’02 season. It’s just special.”

Having played Beane in a movie, Pitt disclosed that he now follows Oakland, and he said, “I feel a bit romantic about the A’s.”

Another of the major actors, Chris Pratt, has a less than storied baseball background. Pratt, who plays first baseman Scott Hatteberg, said he has not hit a home run at any level, including T-ball, and in the movie, Pratt, a right-handed hitter, must bat lefty. Through the magic of cinema, his homer gives the A’s their record 20th consecutive victory.

Pratt nails Hatteberg’s preparations at the plate, and he accurately captures Hatteberg’s joyous trip around the bases on the game-winning homer.

“None of it was spontaneous,” Pratt said. “That was the one physicality that I really spent a ton of time trying to mimic exactly.”

High-powered baseball agent Scott Boras walked the red carpet, and though he’s called a bad name in “Moneyball,” he described the movie as “great for baseball.”

*Other observations from the Moneyball premiere: Jonah Hill is HELLA skinny. Philip Seymour Hoffman looks like Sandy Lyle again.


“Moneyball” Means The A’s Will Be Around In September

While Chappy and I have spent the majority of the 2011 season calling for Bob Geren’s head and preaching conspiracy theories about ownership sabotaging the team, Moneyball the movie has begun to emerge and take us back to the good ol’ days. The movie has been in the works for years now, but it looks like it’ll finally come out this September. It’d be really nice if the A’s were still playing when it comes out, but I’m not holding on to much hope for that. Hopefully it’ll force fans outside of Oakland to wonder, “what the hell happened to the A’s?” A star-studded cast gives the movie credibility, and the presence of Brad Pitt as A’s GM, Billy Beane, will help a lot of guys convince their wives and girlfriends to go with them to see it. Aside from Pitt, I’m interested in seeing Jonah Hill in a serious role, as the fictional Peter Brand, who is actually based on Paul DePodesta. I’m also excited for Andy from Parks & Rec to play Scott Hatteberg. The cast is so stacked that Phillip Seymour Hoffman doesn’t even have any lines in the trailer, and Robin Wright is nowhere to be seen, from what I can tell. The best part about all this for me is that I noticed former Royals pitcher, Jason Grimley, appears on the list of characters. That can only mean one thing – that the incredible 20 game win streak of 2002 is going to be recreated. In fact, I can tell just from the swing that Hatteberg’s walkoff homer from that game is in the trailer. Having been in attendance that night, I already have goosebumps just thinking about that moment being in the film. The downside is the list of filming locations includes Fenway Park, which was the site of games 3 and 4 of the ALDS that year, when the A’s squandered a 2-0 series lead and lost to the Boston Red Sox. That’s going to be a harsh reminder of walking out of the Coliseum after Game 2, thinking the series was in the bag. Nonetheless, you can bet that I’ll be hitting the theater to catch this one when it comes out….

 


The Big Easy

I don’t know why, but the past few years I’ve been trying harder to see more states and big cities in the U.S., instead of heading out of the country every time I travel somewhere new. I ended up in New Orleans for the last six days, and have to say that it was a very fun trip. If you’ve never been, you have to go there at some point even if you aren’t much of a partier it would still be a fun trip to make. I’m not sure where this post will take me, but I thought I should write about the trip since I haven’t been paying attention to the sports world as much as normal. Since I have family that reads the blog it will let them know about the trip as well.

My trip started with heading to the New Orleans Arena to watch the Bulls vs. Hornets. Rose vs. CP3 was quite the match up to see first-hand. I’m still not really sure who is better. It’s no secret that Rose has a much better team surrounding him. After watching them go at it, there’s no question in my mind that Paul was the better PG that night even though his team lost. The main I came to that conclusion after watching them duel, is because Paul plays much better defense. Offensively I feel like they were equals, so defense was the tie breaker. The best guy on the floor that night was surprisingly, Marcus Thorton. He couldn’t miss, and was taking Bogans to school all game long! One of the coolest things they do there that I didn’t think I’d like was the “woooo” they scream after every free throw CP3 makes. I wonder if that will follow him to his next team when he leaves New Orleans? I was also wondering how the people there felt about Stern and Co. owning their team. Unsurprisingly, most the people I talked to seemed to just be happy they still have a team in their city.

Everything in Nawlins is old. I usually think of something as old when it’s from the 50’s or 60’s, but there, everything was built back in the 1800’s. The buildings are very close together, the roads are narrow, and if there weren’t cars everywhere you could fool me into thinking it was a time that my grandparents grew up in. Bourbon Street is a strange type of party scene, but VERY fun. It didn’t matter what night of the week it was, it was going off. I think I should’ve gone when I was in college. I really liked how nearly every bar had a courtyard in the back. The walk up bars were cool too, so if you just felt like walking the street with a drink you could. Live brass band music left and right is impossible to argue with as you stroll from one place to the next. Frenchman Street was amazing too. It’s where the locals hang out to see live Jazz every night in about 8 different bars scattered along the street. The food was nose sweat spicy, and lived up to all the hype. I’m also somewhat of an aquarium buff since I lived in Monterey for five years. The Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans was amazing, and had a wide array of displays, and some fish I’d never seen. It was easily one of the top two of the six I’ve been to.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are loved by everyone in New Orleans. We went on a couple of tours, and on both of them I think BraJolie were mentioned numerous times whenever they could be mentioned like where they lived, where their kids go to school, what their favorite bar was, and where they like to eat breakfast, etc. It was a semi-weird celebrity crush the city has going on with those two. Maybe it was all those houses that they built in the flooded areas that won them over. I was shocked to see how many vacant houses/lots there still are five years after Katrina. It’s truly sad, when we are wasting money overseas on wars and not helping our own citizens. I won’t beat that dead horse more than it already has been beaten though. Another thing I found interesting was I saw people wearing nearly as much LSU gear as Saints gear in the streets. I thought it was strange since Baton Rouge was an hour and a half away, and thought the Saints would at least rule New Orleans. I saw more LSU gear than Tulane and Layola gear which are the two colleges actually based in New Orleans. I tried to get into a few SEC sucks conversations, but nobody was having it. Probably a good thing.