I only thought Capote was okay. An okay film, with average directing and a great lead performance. Moneyball is a better film, a better directed film, with many fine performances. (None as outstanding as Hoffman in Capote, but still...) Bennett Miller does pace things too leisurely, with too many shots of Brad Pitt gazing onto the field in extreme close up. It takes over an hour before the Moneyball strategy is fully put into effect, and the scenes with the daughter hijack the film. I don't care that they're nicely played, these brief moments derail a film that's already lacking a good pace.
I keep debating over if Moneyball is slow or is it just my ADD personality. Whenever you get a scene that's full of Sorkin dialogue, Miller has the cast deliver it in a flat, matter of fact style. There are pauses here that I'm not used to. I understand the reasoning. It removes the Sorkin stigma of all the characters sounding like the same voice and it fits these showpieces with Steven Zaillian's non-stylized contribution. (And I would say the Zallian/Sorkin split is 70/30). Then again, the best scenes - the scout meetings and the trade deadline phone calls - clearly come from Sorkin's pen.
In the end, I found the film to be interesting, mostly absorbing and as someone who didn't know what happened, moderately suspenseful. A solid, professional effort that should make my Top 20 for 2011.
RATING: * * *
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Mrs. 1SO had never seen a Brad Pitt movie. As her first time watching him, she was mostly impressed. Not blown away, but she thought he lived up to the years of hype about him being a solid, charismatic actor. She was most surprised by his comic timing. "Of course the dialogue is funny, but he has a very relaxed way of delivering it that's funny without trying to be funny." Of course, she didn't have Inglourious Basterds or Fight Club to compare it to.
Bond #5 for Mrs. 1SO
I didn't much enjoy From Russia With Love, but this one is still fun. I love the characters, but the action is still very dated in places. With very few exceptions, most action films pre-Bullitt just weren't good with the action.
* * *
Mrs. 1SO also thought it was better than From Russia... and liked Connery quite a bit in this one. Her favorite character, in fact possibly her favorite from all she's seen, is Gert Fröbe as Goldfinger. She thought he was a great balance of hammy fun and menace. She also liked Oddjob, but wished he was more than cartoonishly unbeatable. However, she still thought a lot of it was too cheesy, and not fun cheesy but bad cheesy. The fly over sleep scene had her rolling her eyes and she has no interest in further Connery Bonds.
Mrs. 1SO will return to Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies. After that I am thinking about The Spy Who Loved Me