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« The Ides of March: Watching souls curdle | Main | Wolcott »

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actor212

A couple of comments:

1) Did you think Benjamin Button was an ensemble movie? I really thought it was Pitt's (as told by Blanchett, of course).

2) Art Howe (GRRRRRRRRRR! Frikkin' Mets...) is a sidelight to the story. I love Hoffman, think he's among the great character actors of all time, but if he doesn't fit the story, don't overuse him. That would be like bringing Mariano Rivera in to pitch the seventh inning of a tight game.

3) Howe represents the "old guard" of baseball. "Brand" represents what's changed baseball in the past fifteen years: sabremetrics. The Red Sox captured the Tyrannosaur of sabremetrics, Bill James, and ended up with two championships for it. The film needs to focus on that relationship since, effectively, Brand is Beane's Kenobi. Howe is Uncle Owen.

Lance Mannion

actor212: Brand is Beane's Kenobi. Howe is Uncle Owen.

Perfect!

Actually, Button was one of the movies I had in mind when I wrote about Pitt's hiding his good looks in movies with gimmicky plots and eccentric characters. And while it is Benjamin's story Pitt is still paired with Blanchett, who is a big star.

GregN

Very nice review!
I don't see many movies, but having read the book (and Bill James since 1980)I couldn't pass it up. With that disclaimer, I'd say this is an Oscar-worthy film. Direction, writing, acting, cinematography were all outstanding and made it (the picture) better than each individual contribution.
As for Howe, I see it this way:
Without the extension he wanted, he was managing "by the book" to land a job the following year. I think he even said something to that effect in the dugout(?). He wasn't about to play Hatteberg at 1st base and make potential employers think he'd gone mad.
Finally, you really have to view this as a just a story. Real baseball fans will know that certain liberties were taken re players lost/added. And you have to suspend logic as well: weren't the idiot scouts the same ones who found Giambi, Damon, and Izzy in the first place? Funny how stupid they got over the ensuing years.
Anyway, great movie and review!
Thanks!

Janelle Dvorak

I was going to bring up "The Assassination of Jesse James" but then I remembered that the movie also became Casey Affleck's. And for what it's worth, having watched Art Howe in managerial action during my salad days, I always thought he was a twit. Not necessarily the kind of twit portrayed in the movie, but a twit nonetheless.

Ken Houghton

How is Howe's story in the linked article dealt with? "Hi, I'm Billy Beane and my job right now is to f*** you over for no good reason. And I Like My Job!"

actor212

Without the extension he wanted, he was managing "by the book" to land a job the following year.

And his subsequent experience with the Mets (a .420 winning percentage over two years) bears out that, in fact, the movie was more accurate than Howe wants to admit.

Lance Mannion

Janelle,

I think Pitt was very good as Jesse James, but as you pointed out, it's really Casey Affleck's movie. Now that I think about it, as James Pitt is to Affleck what George Clooney is to Ryan Gosling in Ides of March.

loretta

Poor Daryl Strawberry. What a waste of talent.

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