September 2011 - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Moneyball (2011)

The movie is shot beautifully but never makes a big deal of it.

 Moneyball is a great example of a great story well told.  The movie is not flashy and does not rely on fancy camera shots or trick editing.  The director, Bennett Miller, believes that the story and acting will keep people's attention and lets the movie play out.  Because of this, we are treated to one of the best sports movies in the past ten years on top of a truly great performance from Brad Pitt.

Anyone that has a passing knowledge of Major League Baseball knows that the teams are split into the “haves” and “have-nots.”  Teams like the Yankees and Red Sox seem to have a bottomless wallet and can field winning teams by cherry picking the best free agents.  The rest of the teams that don't have $100 million payroll budgets are left to scramble for players to make a winning team from the leftovers.

For years these smaller ballclubs relied on their farm system and scouting to keep them competitive.  After a painful loss in the 2001 division series to the big bad Yankees, the GM of the Oakland A’s, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), knows that something has to change.  He has a fraction of the budget that the Yankees have, he is losing three of his star players to free agency, and he doesn’t have the money or available players to keep contending in the stacked American League.


Inside Out (2011)


That's HHH.  He's a big wrestler from the WWE.  A few years ago it used to be called the WWF.  He was in this group called Degeneration-X.  Sometimes they told people to suck it.  Never have I so wished the universe of a movie fold in on the actors portraying its characters in the hopes that someone would tell this film to suck it.

No.  There's perhaps some kind of pleasure to be gained there.  Maybe for the movie to which is being sucked.  Or for the possible suckee if they are into pleasing other people.  But this film has no intention to please or to be pleased.  It merely intends to exist, sucking up valuable time out of your life in order to show that gut shots do not actually kill people.


The Ledge (2011)

I've never quite been an altar boy but I understand the need for faith and the legitimate good some people are able to derive from its existence.  However, if you look to most entertainment as a guideline for what constitutes religion, you'll have nothing but evil and sexual denial in some fashion.  Where are the good religious couples who have a healthy sex life, do some good and try to live their lives peaceably?  Moreover, why do movies like The Ledge have to be so damned satisfied with themselves in pointing out not everyone who is religious is someone to admire?

The Ledge is clearly a personal project for Matthew Chapman, who acts as the director, screenwriter and one of the credited producers for the film.  It means, outside of heavy studio interference, this is his movie to completely botch.  Unfortunately for Mr. Chapman, "religious people are evil" isn't the sort of observation which is going to set the cinematic world on fire and his directing style barely has the style of a Kevin Smith film.


Ten Reasons Film Geeks Will Stick With Netflix

Netflix used to be the film geek's best friend.  It had all the movies you could want, you could rate said movies, and then they sent them to you at a very low cost.

This summer, a 60% rate increase was announced and took some of the sheen off the company.  Many people threatened to cancel their service.  Then, just this week, Netflix apologized for the way they handled the price increase and then decided to make matters worse by splitting the company into two separate entities (streaming and disc through mail) with separate billings and queues.

Again, people ranted and raged and threatened to cancel their service.  Yet the true film nerd knows they will stay with the company. Here's why:

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Sleep, My Love (1948)

Danny no longer writes for Can't Stop the Movies, and can be reached at his fantastic site

It's hard to beat a good setup: a woman wakes up on a train with no idea how she got there. She'd fallen asleep at home and now she's on a train to Boston... with a gun in her purse.

And that is the highpoint of Sleep, My Love, a thriller that carefully undercuts itself at every opportunity. Is she going crazy? No, she's okay. Is her husband honest? No, he's cheating on her. Does he have a reason? Yes, here's our vampish femme fatale to lurk among the shadows. Will Claudette Colbert end up alone because her husband's a cheating bastard? No, we've got a new romantic fling for Colbert to fall back on.

If that sounds cheesy, it gets worse. Her romantic fling is Robert Cummings, an actor who pretty much relies on a level of smarmy charm that is rarely an asset. I've reviewed a couple of his films before-- his turn What a Way to Go! was painful while The Accused actually made good use of his chauvinistic aura-- and his presence here is dreadful.