As all of you surely know, the season is a changing. The clouds will soon retreat, the bears will soon come out of hibernation and eat crazy people who try to be a part of their society, and the suicide rate will steadily drop in places like Chicago well...at least until the Cub's first pitch of the season. That's right ladies and gentleman, in at least one of Bill Murray's relived Ground Hog's Days this year the ground hog didn't see its shadow, which can only mean one thing. Spring is almost here.
And, while the advent of spring means different things to different people, it can only mean one thing to members of the Motion Picture Industry like myself (Hey if you'd written the first 9 1/2 pages of a screenplay about compulsive masturbation, mailed it to Judd Apatow, and found out later that he was using it to mop up his own masturbation spew whenever he was out of tissues...you'd have earned your spot in Hollywood too). It's Academy Award Season.
So in preparation for Sunday's big award ceremony, I recently took the time to parooze this year's nominees, in hopes of being able to whittle the list down to a select few before applying the Bad Boys II test of movie quality I introduced you to last year in order to claim one film this year's ultimate champion. However, after I looked over the nominees brought forth by my fellow members of the Academy I discovered one thing. I had only seen one of the movies.
Granted I didn't need to see films which featured Borat suddenly being child appropriate (Hugo), any woman married to George Clooney leaving him for any reason other than the fact that he's a communist (The Descendants), a horse not named Seabiscuit (War Horse), Woody Allen still being alive (Midnight in Paris), or minority cast members who do not laugh at Eddie Murphy jokes and act like Ricky Gervais is some British racist (The Help), to know that they were not real contenders in the race for the Best Movie of 2011. That's a given.
But what about the other three films? What about Tom Hanks playing a dead guy and Sandra Bullock a way less hot version of her Oscar winning self in the Blindside? What about a movie about silent movies that doesn't feature Charlie Chaplin getting a hand job (and all of us discovering whether he was always truly silent)? What about another Brad Pitt film, where he costars with an inanimate tree?
Yeah I think we've heard all we need to. So grab the popcorn on Sunday night folks, and enjoy hearing about a lot of crappy movies that could literally put Christian Bale from the Fighter to sleep no matter how much crack he'd smoked out of that soda bottle. It should be a hell of a show.
Why Moneyball Wins
OK so I just established that Moneyball is the only Academy Award nominated film that more than 0.293% of the nation has seen, so it kind of wins by default right? Yes, that's true. But that doesn't necessarily mean that Moneyball isn't at least somewhat worthy of the honor that I, the Sack, am going to bestow on it. Now...let me show you why.
1) Jonah Hill is Still Fat-This is perhaps the biggest thing that Moneyball has going for it. Look we all know and love the fat, sloppy Jonah Hill who stole our heart in Knocked Up/Grandma's Boy/Superbad and also probably hadn't seen his dick since he was 8 years old/was going to die of a massive heart attack by the time he was 40. That Jonah Hill was funny, charming, morbidly obese and got to bang Emma Stone before anyone knew who she was. Not a bad resume if you ask me.
But now, Jonah Hill is fairly skinny, looks weird, and is offending fat people everywhere (myself included) more than that show the Biggest Loser for basically saying that he is too good for us Old Country Buffet loving folk. I mean have you seen the 21 Jump Street Trailer? Yeah it looks hilarious, but how much more hilarious would it look if a fat Jonah Hill was paired with one of my 456,219 go gay guys? (Channing Tatum...so hot. Not that there's anything wrong with that).
So how are you going to remember Mr. Jonah Hill? I am going to remember him as the tubby slob who was significantly slower than his partner (and fastest kid alive) Michael Cera. I think that's the way he would want it. And Moneyball may have been our last chance to see the man for what he truly was.
2) It's About Sports-Look it's no secret that sports are the most important aspect in our society, far surpassing things like politics, the economy, oil, and even the ongoing Cold War. Why else do you think Kenny Powers, Jeremy Lin, and Tim Tebow are bigger news stories than Barrack Obama, Mit Romney or Jesus Christ?
And our love for sport's certainly crosses over to the big screen. I mean can you name a bad sport's movie? Rocky IV/Miracle? Taught me that Americans always beat the Soviet Union because we are smarter, better looking, and don't talk with funny accents. The Replacements/Hooisers? Taught me that Gene Hackman may be the best motivator of men to ever live. The Sixth Man? Taught me to believe in something bigger myself (not to mention a Wayans brothers) again.
Because that's what sports do. They inspire us. They bring us together. They show us that nerds reading a spreadsheet and directing a baseball team which hasn't made a postseason appearance in 5+ years are still worthy of their story being told in a major motion picture. Basically sports brings out the best in each and every one of us (besides Coach K), and that's why sports movies never, ever disappoint. Go watch Slap Shot 2 (starring the more talented/famous of the Baldwin brothers, Stephen) if you still somehow don't believe me.
3) It Teaches Kids Math-It's no secret that American kids are struggling to learn that 1+1=2. Why? Well lead paint for one. Southern inbreeding for another. But also, I think kids are struggling to see the real world application with mathematics. I mean when are kids ever going to need to know trigonometry or geometry or addition or subtraction when they grow up and get into the real world? I asked my high school math teacher this exact question one time and she said, "Well, what if you work at a gold mine?" Gold mine? What is this the Yukon trail? That game sucked. The Oregon trail was much cooler.
But now kids are saying "hey, what if one day I work for a semi-professional baseball team in an economically depressed city with no money or fans and I need to figure out a way that we can compete with, then lose to, the Yankees in the playoffs?" Well shit son...you better get crackin on that math homework, cause there's a good chance that exact scenario could play out one day. So thank you Moneyball, cause you've done more to improve education in this country than those freeloading, overpaid public school teachers could ever dream of...or something like that.
4) Hippies Look Like Douchers-Imagine you were Brad Pitt's ex-wife in the movie, and you just left him for this guy, a far worse looking/less successful hippie who has no job, money, ambition or personal hygenie. That's like leaving Brad Pitt for, uh...me. Yeah...that lady has probably killed herself by now, and I for one don't blame her. Which brings me to my next point...
5) Brad Pitt-Look, am I attract to other men? No. But let me kick you a scenario. I'm at a beach cabana, and Brad Pitt approaches. He tries to lean in and kiss me. I would definitely resist, like at first. But if he was persistent? I think I might give in a little bit, just to see what it...felt like.
6) No Racial Stereotypes-And now let's get to the only problem in the world of sports right now...the racism towards Asian people. Just look at the youtube video below and know...Saturday Night Live is the first (and only) people to step way over the line on this thing. I mean it's one thing for ESPN anchors or editors to say Lin has a "chink" in his armor, or for a well respected sports journalist like Jason Whitlock (eh...what?) to make fun of Jeremy Lin's tiny Asian penis. That's journalism. But for SNL to do a skit where they make racially motivated jokes about a phenomenon in pop culture? That's way, way over the line...and probably why most of society always preferred Mad TV to begin with.
So, with that being said, it's very refreshing to see a sports movie that doesn't make racially biased judgements, or even really mention Asian people at all. That kind of equality is what America is all about.
So there you have it folks. Moneyball is a wholesome, educational, and Pitt style sexy film that probably will not stand the test of time, which I, for one, would vote for as the standout movie of 2011 any day of the week...especially if Pitt ever choose to make that beach cabana fantasy happen in real life. See ya in Cabo there Brad. Can't wait.
Text Update and Big Ups
My official text message popularity score since February 12th is +374 (302-inbox, 231-sent, 1 from females), and yes the one lady who did text me was my mom so...the ladies clearly love me. Also my Twitter popularity score has taken a little hit (losing 2 followers), but is still holding at 230 followers so...I guess I can't complain.
I also have a very special big up to extend in this edition of the blog, which of course goes to Mr. Brad Pitt. What a handsome devil.
Back next week with more on a Sack Artist tradition...peeing my pants at Mardi Gras.
Sachary L. Poelker
"The Sack Artist: Jack of All Trades"