Friday, October 17, 2008

"My shit doesn't work in Hollywood."

On a chilly December day in 2001, I woke up early, hopped in my car and drove to the local theater to see the long awaited adaptation of one of my favorite books: The Lord of the Rings. I remember getting out of the car and seeing a long line of people coming out of the theater, and a bus pulling up and dumping out a group of folks who immediately attached themselves to the end of that line. The atmosphere that day was nuts.

I can only imagine there will be the same uproar (if not more!) now that Variety is announcing the film adaptation of another favorite book of mine: Moneyball, by Michael Lewis.

Alright, truthfully, a Moneyball movie isn't exactly going to get E! in a tizzy or inspire an entire spin-off forum at the message boards of Cinema Blend, but for a segment of the population (myself and four felow bloggers included) seeing a film adaptation would be entertaining. In a geeky kind of way.

And to play the revolutionary waste of talent that is Billy Beane? Why, none other than the man you see pictured above: Brad Pitt (apparently chearing at a Yankees game, the very team that made the game so unfair, thus forcing Beane to find an art to win it). I can just picture Louis de Pointe du Lac suddenly standing up and hurling a chair through a wall now. Oh, it will be glorious. And as Skye points out, while a movie about Moneyball might not get a lot of buzz, Brad Pitt would, and it might get the masses to think a little bit harder about the failures of traditionalism.

Adapting the screenplay is Steve Zaillian, who you've probably never heard of but has, to his credit, the excellent Gangs of New York, which you liked a lot more than you think you did (I'm serious, go watch it again as proof). This is important to me because, if you couldn't guess from the last sentence, that's a major movie in the world of Grif.

For those of you who have never read Moneyball, you should get right on that. It's arguably the single most impactful sports book in history, and certainly in recent memory, as it engages readers in the story of Billy Beane's quest to exploit the insanity of baseball people to build a winning team cheap, largely relying on the devil's work also known as "statistics." It has changed the way many fans and front offices -- not just in baseball -- have looked at games. If you're not a fan of stats it's still a great insight in to how front offices operate. And even if you're not a sports fan, it's still a fantastic story of the lives of several misfit individuals and the brilliant business practices that changed them.

TL;DR: Detective David Mills quits after finding his wife's head in a box and ends up looking at really obvious things that other people think are evil in order to make the Yankees look stupid.

Sounds like a winner.


Grif said...

I have to say, the more I think about this, the more excited I get.

Think about the 20th straight win alone. Bradford and Hatteberg are our main side characters. Think of Bradford struggling with a Remember the Titans-esque crowd, and the Hatteberg pinch-hit walk off.


Anonymous said...

Two years old, but suddenly relevent again.

From Dirty Laundry: Casting Moneyball

As a Rangers fan, this stands out:

Ron Washington: Don Cheadle, who can really pull off any role and this one is pivotal.

Grif said...

This one's even better.

Because it casts Yukon Cornelius as Kevin Youkilis.