PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Moneyball” (PG-13) The nuts and bolts of managing a baseball team might seem like a criminally dull topic, but in an admirable labor of love, Brad Pitt and director Bennet Miller turn it into a tale of challenging conventions and revolutionizing America’s favorite pastime. Based on the story of Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane (Pitt), “Moneyball” is a surprisingly funny and relentlessly engaging story of how somebody changed the game without setting foot on the field.
While the characters are talking about team budgets and player stats, Pitt and Jonah Hill (yes, he’s a serious actor in this one) humanize the mathematics without getting in the way of the story. It’s an underdog story without the cheese, and a true-life baseball story that you don’t have to be a “SportsCenter” addict to appreciate.
“Killer Elite” (R) Jason Statham, Robert De Niro and Clive Owen serve up a gritty action flick with that magical mixture of thrilling and forgettable. Danny (Statham) is an ex-special forces kinda guy who teams up with his mentor, Hunter (De Niro) to take down Clive Owen’s underground badguy society. That’s as coherent as the plot gets or needs to be. For a no-brainer night of tough guys and explosions, “Killer Elite” is a decent action flick that won’t disappoint, unless you want to see De Niro in anything more than an extended cameo.
“Boardwalk Empire: The Complete First Season” (TV-MA) If you haven’t been watching or you don’t subscribe to HBO, take this chance to check out this rich series. Set in Atlantic City at the onset of Prohibition, the show follows “Nucky” Thompson, the remorseless racketeer played by Steve Buscemi. “The Sopranos” is so 1990s, but it’s not too late to jump on this worthwhile bandwagon.
DOG OF THE WEEK
“What’s Your Number?” (R) Ally Darling (Anna Ferris) is a city girl with a ridiculous name who has had a string of ridiculous lovers. When she comes across a magazine article stating that single women are doomed to be alone if they haven’t found The One after a certain number of relationships, Ally seizes the trite plot device and goes on a quest to see if any of her former beaus are actually the man she’s meant to marry.
This is the most tragic comedy on the shelf, folks. A staggering amount of comedy talent is weighed down by the most inane, predictable, slapdash romcom script ever put together. Andy Samberg and Joel McHale are among the wasted funnymen in bit roles. Anna Ferris is the most tragic of all; she’s charming, cute and funny, but just can’t seem to find that special movie that will make it all happen.
“Hawaii Five-O: The 12th and Final Season”
“An Idiot Abroad”
“Dennis the Menace: Season Four”
“G.I. Joe Series 2: Season 1”
“Best of Petticoat Junction Collection”
© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.