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Friday, January 25, 2013

Posnanski reviews “Trouble with the Curve”

Maybe the movie didn’t have enough of the invisible President bit?

In so, so, so many ways TWTC does a much greater disservice to scouts that it does to the stat people. Heck, it merely makes stats-people into unrecognizably cartoonish figures who hate baseball but want to work in it so they can take over the world with their baffling “batting average” statistics. Big deal.

But scouts … this movie was supposed to celebrate them. Instead it makes grumpy and unfunny old men* who have some sort of weird super-power ability to hear drifting hands. This is exactly the stale depiction of scouts that Moneyball did such a good job of lampooning in the first place….

But here’s the point: If you want to celebrate a scout, why wouldn’t you have him NOTICE all these things. This gets at the very heart of what scouts do. They watch the games. They talk to the players. They learn all about the families. They listen to the fans. If you are doing a whole movie about what scouts can tell you that computer can’t—this is very crux of the argument. One of my favorite scout stories involves a scout in Venezuela who saw a kid play. He was too small, he was too slow, he couldn’t hit a lick. But the scout loved him, loved him because he had these beautiful soft hand, the ball just stuck to his glove, velcro, and he had this marvelous arm and this wonderful attitude. The scout kept following around the kid—there was something about him.

He called the GM personally to plead the case. He said he only needed $5,000 to sign the kid. $5K. It was nothing. The GM said no. Kid can’t run. Kid can’t hit. Who cares about soft hands? The scout said, “Fine, I’ll put up the 5K myself and prove you wrong.” The GM was impressed with that and he liked the scout a lot and he said, “OK, fine, you can have 5K.”

The player turned out to be Andres Blanco—not a star, certainly, not even an everyday player. But the guy got 654 plate appearances in the big leagues, made some dazzling defensive plays and was one hell of a deal for $5,000.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 25, 2013 at 03:29 PM | 426 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: andres blanco, clint eastwood, films, hollywood, movies, posnanski, scouts, trouble with the curve

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   1. Bug Selig Posted: January 25, 2013 at 07:21 PM (#4355179)
First, it was clear that Clint was not playing the part of a guy who is a shell of himself - he was a guy who was a shell of himself playing a part. It was sad to see.

Second, has anyone connected in any way with the game of baseball ever referred to a fat 3rd baseman as a "5-tool" player? Why start now?

Third, said fatty had obvious personality/family issues that Ray Charles would have spotted in his first 10 seconds of screen time. I'm glad we had the grizzled Jedi of the intangible to let us know that he would be a problem.

Amy Adams is cute, though.
   2. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 25, 2013 at 07:25 PM (#4355184)
Love Amy Adams, like baseball, but there's no way. It looks wretched.
   3. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 25, 2013 at 08:11 PM (#4355199)
Second, has anyone connected in any way with the game of baseball ever referred to a fat 3rd baseman as a "5-tool" player?


no

Third, said fatty had obvious personality/family issues that Ray Charles would have spotted in his first 10 seconds of screen time.


I think the character was a mash-up of two prospect archetypes, he had Jeremy Brown's body and Bryce Harper's (alleged) attitude...

   4. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 25, 2013 at 09:48 PM (#4355230)
First, it was clear that Clint was not playing the part of a guy who is a shell of himself - he was a guy who was a shell of himself playing a part. It was sad to see.


It was sad to see when Eastwood was making shabby, horribly written and acted muck where he was a shell of the original role and mailing it in, like with the fourth Dirty Harry, Sudden Impact, and a similar piece of crap, the DH knock-off The Gauntlet. That was 35 years ago. What a turd that was.

For a guy who was capable of knocking out two good movies per decade Eastwood made mind-boggling amounts of crap.
   5. bobm Posted: January 25, 2013 at 09:56 PM (#4355233)
Next week Posnanski reviews such recent releases as Pride of the Yankees, The Babe Ruth Story, and The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings
   6. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 25, 2013 at 11:40 PM (#4355283)
FTFA:

The plot -- and there will be all sorts of "spoilers" in here, so stop if you want to see this movie, though I will say this movie seems kind of spoiler proof since you see everything coming long before it arrives -- the plot is built around an old scout named Clint Eastwood who is played by Clint Eastwood and looks just like Clint Eastwood. I guess the guy's name in the movie wasn't Clint Eastwood, it was something else, but there is literally not one second when you don't think of him as Clint Eastwood. The movie begins with him trying to pee, and you think: "Hey look, Clint Eastwood is trying to pee." It's like that throughout. Hey Clint Eastwood is eating a hot dog! Hey, Clint Eastwood is breaking a bottle!


This is true of every movie Eastwood makes since A Fistful of Dollars (1964) a half century ago, and certainly no later than Dirty Harry (1971). It's probably the essence of stardom (which is the pleasure of watching a person) as opposed to acting (which is the pleasure of watching a person submerged).

How many movies are there where Eastwood appears in a film and "there is literally not one second when you don't think of him as Clint Eastwood"? (I'm not sure it's a particularly useful criticism of a major star, and it's not really why many people go to movies. They go to movies to SEE Clint Eastwood. Not to see him disappear into character.)

I suppose that happens occasionally in The Unforgiven, where rolling around in pig shit and having two young children plays against the type of iconic tough guy loner, but his physique and height are so unusual that he never really disappears. I suppose someone has written something on the difference between stars who can disappear into roles even after they become well known (Streep, Hackman), and those who can't (Eastwood, Pacino, though even Pacino does a nice job of disappearing into character in People I Know in a way Eastwood can't). It's an interesting distinction.
   7. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 01:53 AM (#4355328)
If you RTFA, he makes a lot of strong points about how dumb the plot is, and how the movie could have been much better without actually changing anything significant. Hollywood is so massively inefficient and wasteful that I really wonder when we're going to get a Moneyscript. No wonder they're all Democrats, they adore inefficiency and incompetence.
   8. DA Baracus Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:01 AM (#4355331)
No wonder they're all Democrats, they adore inefficiency and incompetence.


Clint Eastwood of course being a noted Democrat.
   9. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 26, 2013 at 03:04 AM (#4355337)
The Gauntlet


Hey, don't knock The Gauntlet, it's one of my guilty B movie pleasures.

And did you just complain that the 4th sequel in a film series was a bad film? And that an actor who has been working since te early 60s and been in near a hunnerd movies made a few stinkers?

Thank you Lieutenant Obvious, that one was too much and you are now demoted from Captain.
   10. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 26, 2013 at 03:17 AM (#4355338)
10: heh. I think pointing out that Eastwood has made about 2 good movies a decade means that what is left constitutes a little more than a 'few stinkers'. It's interesting--there are some stars who are smart, and when they're involved in movies that don't turn out all that well for whatever reasons, they at least manage to avoid being associated with utter shit; Eastwood's not all that smart*** and he hasn't avoided that problem. (First, stretching a bore like Harry to five films was a filmically depraved thing to do. Second, the dialog in the fourth outing of Friday the 13th was vastly better than the fourth time Eastwood propped up the corpse of Harry Callahan, who in small doses is at least a little interesting.)

I have no problem at all with guilty movie pleasures, but if The Gauntlet is one of yours, I'm concerned for you. It's criminally dull. Even the orgiastic, blasting at the bus sequence is stupidly done. Blah and boo, sir!


***In context, of course. Anyone who can organize the making of a major film, even when a lot of that work is delegated, is unlikely to be profoundly stupid, though there are exceptions.
   11. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 03:23 AM (#4355341)
Clint Eastwood of course being a noted Democrat.


Republicans demand tons of money regardless of the value, or lack thereof, they create. To deny them that is communism.
   12. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: January 26, 2013 at 03:54 AM (#4355345)
Once again I raise a glass to you, KT.
   13. Greg K Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:31 AM (#4355352)
I went into Trouble with the Curve specifically choosing to forget everything I knew about baseball since I didn't want to judge it on whether or not it was an accurate portrayal of baseball scouts.

As Posnanski notes, even by that standard it was still a terrible movie.
   14. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: January 26, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4355380)
Gran Torino is awesome, the part where Clint comes out with the Garand and tells'em minority kids to get off his lawn is classic Clint

Edit: Amy Adams is Jenna Fischer but not having been on a decent TV show
   15. OsunaSakata Posted: January 26, 2013 at 10:17 AM (#4355382)
I'm not sure it's a particularly useful criticism of a major star, and it's not really why many people go to movies. They go to movies to SEE Clint Eastwood. Not to see him disappear into character.


In the last fifty years, maybe Harrison Ford when he was doing Mosquito Coast. He seems to be trying again with his portrayal of Branch Rickey in 42. I remember Ford was a boring interview, which I used to take as a sign of a good actor in that the character was interesting, not the actor. Then I realized some actors are just plain boring.

Robert DeNiro is famous for disappearing into character, although he isn't in the same starpower class with Clint Eastwood. Do you think De Niro could be believable out of typecast like an old money WASP CEO?

I thought of two other baseball scout movies - The Scout and A Talent for the Game. Are those any good?
   16. Greg K Posted: January 26, 2013 at 10:23 AM (#4355383)
Edit: Amy Adams is Jenna Fischer but not having been on a decent TV show

To be pedantic again (it seems like all I do recently!) Amy Adams has been on a decent TV show. In fact, the exact same decent TV show Jenna Fischer was/is on.

Of course, in the real world, it's pretty clear exactly what you mean. I just thought that was a neat little element to the thought.
   17. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4355390)
Every time I see the movie's name, I think of Black Randy & the Metrosquad's "Trouble at the Cup." Which, considering the movie's lack of quality, I gather amounts to a defamation of Black Randy's memory. *sigh*

(For movie buffs, said band can be seen performing in Ladies & Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains, which I see has been legitimately issued on DVD fairly recently -- a development I of course hastened by paying $20 or so for a DVD-R not too long before that, as is my unfortunate wont.)
   18. Publius Publicola Posted: January 26, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4355407)
Robert DeNiro is famous for disappearing into character, although he isn't in the same starpower class with Clint Eastwood.


Really? Maybe I'm out of touch with popular opinion but I think he is.
   19. Darren Posted: January 26, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4355410)
I like Robert DeNiro like any American male should, but how did he win anything for Silver Linings Playbook? What a nothing role.
   20. Publius Publicola Posted: January 26, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4355421)
It's kind of startling how low Poznanski has sunk on the journalistic scales the past few months. For somebody who supposedly takes himself seriously as a baseball writer, what the hell is he doing reviewing a 3rd rate movie that apparently nobody ever saw, with good reason?

FWIW, I did see it, the only reason being that I get all the movie channels and, after channel surfing, I stopped to watch it for about 15-20 minutes. That's all I could take. The plot was about as formulaic as you could get. I found myself reciting the lines of the characters before they were actually spoken.

Eastwood has apparently decided that his character formula for the remaining years of his career is going to be a lonely, grizzled old guy estranged from his daughter. Seen it before, Clint. Now try something else.
   21. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 26, 2013 at 12:07 PM (#4355425)
Robert DeNiro is famous for disappearing into character, although he isn't in the same starpower class with Clint Eastwood. Do you think De Niro could be believable out of typecast like an old money WASP CEO?

In "Limitless" De Niro plays a powerful businessman named "Van Loon". Old Dutch money is even older than WASP! I liked it though he mainly just had one big speech.
   22. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: January 26, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4355428)
It's kind of startling how low Poznanski has sunk on the journalistic scales the past few months. For somebody who supposedly takes himself seriously as a baseball writer, what the hell is he doing reviewing a 3rd rate movie that apparently nobody ever saw, with good reason?
Taking a break from his series of position-by-position analyses of historical standards at the HoF for writers vs other electing bodies?
   23. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 26, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4355433)
This just in! Writers nowadays sometimes have "websites" or "blogs" where they write about whatever they want!
   24. billyshears Posted: January 26, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4355435)
Is $5,000 + salary + development costs for a guy who had what amounted to a season of ineffectual major league performance really a good deal? Seems to me, unless a player gives a team major league performance worth more than his aggregate costs of development and salary, it's a bad deal.
   25. Morty Causa Posted: January 26, 2013 at 12:42 PM (#4355460)
People try to distinguish star quality and acting quality in a way that always leaves me cold and unconvinced. It’s making a distinction in kind that only exists in degree as to particular qualities.

Stars can act; all actors have some quality which if possessed to a greater degree would make them a star. (Or if a greater audience came to appreciate that quality.) In fact, you see this with really memorable character actors. (Bogart is a good example here; memorable character actor for a long time who parlay those qualities into stardom.) To a great extent, being a star means filling a niche, and there is only a limited supply of those. And he has something to do with that niche becoming fully marketable.

The best way to think of what either stars or actors do is to look at it as giving performances that audiences (viewers) respond to. That means it’s not so much about what they do or don’t do (although that’s interesting as an exercise in study); it’s about how they make people feel. That’s what decides. What counts is not the performer’s method or approach; it’s how he makes the viewer respond. How and to the extent he makes the viewer feel something. And whether star or mere actor that’s not a categorical difference. Stars or journeyman actor, they all try for that.
   26. Xander Posted: January 26, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4355483)
Robert DeNiro is famous for disappearing into character, although he isn't in the same starpower class with Clint Eastwood.
What the what? DeNiro crushes Eastwood on peak. It remains to be seen how he holds up in longevity, but considering Eastwood has played a parody of himself for the last 20 years, DeNiro should easily catch him on that too. Eastwood has no role that can match DeNiro in Godfather 2, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, Casino, etc.
   27. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: January 26, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4355491)
Deniro's face is on a Macau casino
   28. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4355504)
What the what? DeNiro crushes Eastwood on peak. It remains to be seen how he holds up in longevity, but considering Eastwood has played a parody of himself for the last 20 years, DeNiro should easily catch him on that too. Eastwood has no role that can match DeNiro in Godfather 2, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, Casino, etc.


What the what?

When did actual acting ability have anything to do with starpower?

Eastwood's been a bigger star than DeNiro for almost 50 years.

Furthermore, even on the acting front, they've both been playing essential variations of themselves for the last 30 years; it's not like DeNiro's been Daniel Day-Lewis, for example.
   29. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 26, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4355507)
First, stretching a bore like Harry to five films was a filmically depraved thing to do.


Eastwood agreed to make the last Dirty Harry movie in exchange for the studio agreeing to let him direct "Bird." I don't see how you can criticize the man for that.
   30. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4355508)
It's kind of startling how low Poznanski has sunk on the journalistic scales the past few months


I liked his previous piece on Trouble With the Perv much better.
   31. Into the Void Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4355515)
What the what? DeNiro crushes Eastwood on peak. It remains to be seen how he holds up in longevity, but considering Eastwood has played a parody of himself for the last 20 years, DeNiro should easily catch him on that too. Eastwood has no role that can match DeNiro in Godfather 2, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, Casino, etc.


I don't necessarily disagree with you, but to say that Eastwood has no role that can match DeNiro in something like Casino (basically the same role he had already played in Goodfellas) or Godfather 2 (of which he appears in maybe 30 minutes of) is a bit much. Eastwood's role in The Man With No Name trilogy is one of the most well known and archetypal in cinematic history.

   32. Publius Publicola Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4355524)
Eastwood agreed to make the last Dirty Harry movie in exchange for the studio agreeing to let him direct "Bird." I don't see how you can criticize the man for that.


Perhaps you can't criticize him for it but what does that say about his star power, that he had to sell out in order to get financing for a low-budget indie movie? DeNiro didn't have to do that when he made A Bronz Tale.

You could argue that Deniro got lucky early by falling in with Scorcese but I have never seen him in a film where you're asking yourself "Why did he sign on for this piece of crap?". You could say that for about half of Eastwood's movies. I mean, Every Which Way But Loose? That's like the cinematic version of Heehaw.
   33. Greg K Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4355527)
I wonder if it's a generational thing as well. For most people I know under the age of 30 DiNero vs. Eastwood isn't much of a contest. It's DiNero in a walk and a confused look as to why you bothered asking.
   34. Greg K Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4355529)
I have never seen him in a film where you're asking yourself "Why did he sign on for this piece of crap?".

You can count yourself lucky you never saw New Years Eve.
   35. Into the Void Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4355532)
You could argue that Deniro got lucky early by falling in with Scorcese but I have never seen him in a film where you're asking yourself "Why did he sign on for this piece of crap?".


Ever seen Analyze That? Or Meet the Fockers? Or Red Lights? He's done plenty of terrible movies, like all actors have.
   36. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4355535)
Perhaps you can't criticize him for it but what does that say about his star power, that he had to sell out in order to get financing for a low-budget indie movie? DeNiro didn't have to do that when he made A Bronz Tale.

Nope, but DeNiro totally leveraged his star power to get A Bronx Tale made. Chazz Palminteri refused to sell the rights to his one-man play of the same name unless he could write the screenplay and star as Sonny. DeNiro offered to meet those conditions in exchange for also starring in it and directing it. He even used his star power to get a license from the NYCTA to be able to drive the bus in the film.

Also agree with #33. I am far more familiar with the complete works of DeNiro than Clint Eastwood. I have only seen a handful of the films that made Eastwood famous, and when I was coming-of-age film-wise, DeNiro was king. I think I speak for most of my generation when I say we didn't start visiting Eastward's oeuvre until later in life (I'm 34).
   37. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4355537)
I'm no movie buff, but isn't a guy like Daniel Day-Lewis, like, five times the actor either Eastwood or DeNiro? Isn't this discussion less about who is a better actor, and more about who is a bigger star?

I like them both, but I think how you judge DeNiro depends a lot on how good you think he is his comedic roles, like Meet the Parents. I personally don't care for him that much in such roles, so I think he is somebody who basically excels at playing the same kind of character (smart-alecky, "who you lookin' at?!" kind of tough guy) in a ton of movies.

Eastwood's advantage, I think, is that he doesn't play one type of role as well as DeNiro plays one type of role, but Eastwood plays more types of roles better than DeNiro. For example, could DeNiro remotely play a character like Eastwood's in The Bridges of Madison County? I'm not seeing it.

On the topic of big-time actors, where does Tom Hanks fit in all this? Is there any actor in the last several decades who went on the kind of successful run (in terms of awards and box office receipts) of Hanks in the 1990s? Philadelphia. Forrest Gump. Apollo 13. Toy Story. Back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Two Best Actor Academy Awards in a row - one of only two do pull that off - in totally different roles. (Forrest Gump after playing a guy dying of AIDS?! Then he plays an astronaut? Then the voice of the lead character in one of the biggest animated films in history? WTF?!)

And I'm not even talking about Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail (that's the same move two times). Da Vinci Code and Cast Away, though...I mean, who is pulling that #### off in the last half-century?

I can't believe he was the co-star of Bosom Buddies.
   38. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4355539)
I forgot about Analyze This. Ugh.
   39. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:45 PM (#4355541)
Perhaps you can't criticize him for it but what does that say about his star power, that he had to sell out in order to get financing for a low-budget indie movie?


I think it says that the studios were far more interested in a gangster movie starring Robert DeNiro than in a jazz movie not starring Clint Eastwood.
   40. Swoboda is freedom Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:46 PM (#4355542)
DeNiro is like Ernie Banks. He is going to the Hall of Fame for the first half of his career.
   41. McCoy Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:46 PM (#4355543)
Eastwood in his day could get people into the movie theater to watch his movie while De Niro never really could do that. Films that made money in which De Niro was in tended to be ensemble casts. He's a character actor that somehow became an A-lister. He's William H. Macy but with all the kudos of being an A-lister.
   42. DA Baracus Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4355544)
Is $5,000 + salary + development costs for a guy who had what amounted to a season of ineffectual major league performance really a good deal? Seems to me, unless a player gives a team major league performance worth more than his aggregate costs of development and salary, it's a bad deal.


Compared to payers who were drafted and got more in signing bonus and salary bonus and never sniffed the majors, yeah, it is.
   43. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4355546)
Ever seen Analyze That? Or Meet the Fockers? Or Red Lights?


Or Little Fockers? Or Righteous Kill? Or Hide and Seek? Or 15 Minutes?

Or The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle???

DeNiro's been mailing it in with express postage for a quarter ####### century ...
   44. Blastin Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4355547)
DeNiro's a better actor, Eastwood a bigger star/draw (and better director, though DeNiro's only done two).

And yeah, DeNiro was basically a big-time character actor. Which is what made him so good at his best. Eastwood did the star thing very well for a very long time, too. But Eastwood doesn't have a Mean Streets/GF2/Taxi Driver/Raging Bull era to point to, even though his 60s films (especially the trilogy) were fantastic. (And yes, he wasn't the star of GF2... that's why he won the Supporting Oscar.)

And yes, DeNiro's had lower lows recently, for sure. But unlike WAR, the Fockers series doesn't subtract from the quality of a Raging Bull.
   45. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4355550)
DeNiro's a better actor, Eastwood a bigger star/draw (and better director, though DeNiro's only done two).


I feel like Eastwood's last 10 or so movies have been giant turds delivered on an unsuspecting public. I also liked the DeNiro-directed movie about the CIA from a few years back a lot. So I'll go with DeNiro over Eastwood as a director for the last decade.
   46. Blastin Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4355551)
I liked Mystic River and Letters from Iwo Jima just fine.
   47. Publius Publicola Posted: January 26, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4355552)
Eastwood's advantage, I think, is that he doesn't play one type of role as well as DeNiro plays one type of role, but Eastwood plays more types of roles better than DeNiro.


Totally disagree about this. It would be impossible to disagree more. If there was any actor who played the same guy in every film, it was Eastwood. Deniro's roles have been much, much more varied- This Boys Life, The King of Comedy, Awakenings, Mad Dog and Glory, Men of Honor, etc, etc. Eastwood would #### his pants if he had to do and accent, for instance, or play a physically frail character.
   48. McCoy Posted: January 26, 2013 at 03:00 PM (#4355555)
Clint Eastwood is John Wayne without the cancer.
   49. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4355557)
Ehhh, Letters From Iwo Jima though it isn't any great shakes, face rapes The Good Shepherd into the toilet, Rocco Siffredi style ...
   50. Into the Void Posted: January 26, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4355558)
Eastwood would #### his pants if he had to do and accent, for instance, or play a physically frail character.


Or a homeless person, a la Being Flynn.
   51. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4355559)
Eastwood would #### his pants if he had to do and accent,


Like The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle!
   52. billyshears Posted: January 26, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4355613)
Compared to payers who were drafted and got more in signing bonus and salary bonus and never sniffed the majors, yeah, it is.


But aren't they both net losers for the team? I don't see how the example can be characterized as "one hell of a deal". Perhaps identifying a player who everybody else thought was crap as good enough to get an extended cup of coffee in the show is an example of a certain kind of scouting acumen, but a scout's job isn't to pull AAA level players out of the morass. I doubt the scout is getting a pat on the back for finding a player, no matter how inexpensively, who just barely couldn't cut it.
   53. Chicago Joe Posted: January 26, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4355622)
Every time I see the movie's name, I think of Black Randy & the Metrosquad's "Trouble at the Cup." Which, considering the movie's lack of quality, I gather amounts to a defamation of Black Randy's memory. *sigh*


Pass the Bowie, I think I'm dust.

Black Randy spent every day of his adult life destroying his memory, from what I understand.
   54. Darren Posted: January 26, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4355623)
Among men, Eastwood and deniro are probably close. But isn't Eastwood way behind with women? His peak was all guy movies, and the rest of his caret has been pretty much the same. I just can't see it being close.
   55. puck Posted: January 26, 2013 at 05:56 PM (#4355637)
Good DeNiro movie not mentioned: Midnight Run.

Geez, looking at his filmography, DeNiro's sure been in a lot of movies...The Mission, Brazil, Bang the Drum Slowly. He was even Frankenstein's monster.
   56. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:03 PM (#4355640)
I'm no movie buff, but isn't a guy like Daniel Day-Lewis, like, five times the actor either Eastwood or DeNiro? Isn't this discussion less about who is a better actor, and more about who is a bigger star?

I like them both, but I think how you judge DeNiro depends a lot on how good you think he is his comedic roles, like Meet the Parents. I personally don't care for him that much in such roles, so I think he is somebody who basically excels at playing the same kind of character (smart-alecky, "who you lookin' at?!" kind of tough guy) in a ton of movies.

Eastwood's advantage, I think, is that he doesn't play one type of role as well as DeNiro plays one type of role,


Wow ... lot of ... . just wow.

Well, I agree - you're no movie buff. And I'll agree with many of the previous posters who pointed out that DeNiro has been on a losing streak for, oh, about 20 years now. But...

Just calling DeNiro a movie star instead of an actor? Yikes, DeNiro has long been considered one of the greatest actors of his generation.

A smart-alecky "who are you lookin' at?" kind of role is the one character he does. Well, first - that's got to be the first time anyone has ever called Travis Bickle a smart aleck (and the line was "You lookin' at me?" He was a quiet loner who didn't relate well to others and starting going crazy. DeNiro also played Jake LaMotta, a tough boxer SOB who was a rotten husband and rotten person. Don Corelone. Rupert Pupkin. He's done quite a few different characters. And done them well.

He's done some good stuff in the last 20 years (Casino, Jackie Brown), but it's mostly a peak. Concur with the poster who compared him to Ernie Banks.
   57. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:13 PM (#4355644)
I feel like Eastwood's last 10 or so movies have been giant turds delivered on an unsuspecting public.

In that case, the public should have started suspecting a while ago.
   58.     Hey Gurl Posted: January 26, 2013 at 06:58 PM (#4355670)
spoiler..

I haven't seen the movie, but THIS:
*There is one final point. At the end, as mentioned, the lefty who had been throwing peanut bags faces the big prospect and makes him look foolish time and again on the curveball. But here's something that really bothered me. Before he threw curveballs, he threw the prospect some fastballs. The prospect couldn't hit those either.

Now, seriously, for me that was kind of the coup de grace of this movie's impossible ineptitude. If you're ALREADY going to illogic of having the No. 1 prospect in America not be able to hit a curveball, if you're ALREADY having a left-handed pitcher with a great curveball selling peanuts at the park, if you're ALREADY putting us through this whole mess: Why wouldn't you have the prospect crush the guy's fastball but then strike out on the curve. Doesn't that get closer to the point? I mean, the movie is called TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE. The whole essence is that he had TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE. Now, suddenly, the guy can't hit ANYTHING?


IS ####### MIND-BOGGLING. What the HELL?

AND it sounds like from JPoz's article that Eastwood wasn't even objecting to the player based on attitude stuff, just based on that he can't hit a curveball. The HELL? Way to COMPLETELY miss the point about the value of scouts. Good God. How do you bungle something so thoroughly?
   59. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 26, 2013 at 07:28 PM (#4355690)
He's done plenty of terrible movies, like all actors have.

Daniel-Day Lewis (already mentioned)?

And, most famously, John Cazale? (in the HoF, I guess he's Addie Joss)
   60. Greg K Posted: January 26, 2013 at 08:49 PM (#4355716)
Eastwood's advantage, I think, is that he doesn't play one type of role as well as DeNiro plays one type of role, but Eastwood plays more types of roles better than DeNiro. For example, could DeNiro remotely play a character like Eastwood's in The Bridges of Madison County? I'm not seeing it.

I think DiNero did quite well, and out of type for him, in Everybody's Fine.
   61. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 26, 2013 at 09:23 PM (#4355732)
Robert DeNiro is famous for disappearing into character, although he isn't in the same starpower class with Clint Eastwood.

Really? Maybe I'm out of touch with popular opinion but I think he is.


I don't think people react to news of a new release by each the same way, though. It may be that Eastwood is nearing the finish line and isn't doing as much as DeNiro, so anything new by him is an event; and Eastwood also being a real director helps his rep and gives the films where he acts and directs a boost. So, my impression is that Eastwood has a little more wattage than DeNiro.

Of course, that hasn't always been true. DeNiro had a much better peak.

edit: Speaking of all that, I've got High Plains Drifter on. We've just gotten past the scenes where Eastwood guns down three men for menacing him in a barber shop, then rapes Verna Bloom in a stable for insulting him. 1973 release.

"Eastwood's been a bigger star than DeNiro for almost 50 years."

I don't think that was at all true during DeNiro's peak. I suppose a box office study would tell us more, but DeNiro and Pacino for a while were at least as big draws as Eastwood, and were considered in a completely different class as actors.
   62. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 26, 2013 at 09:41 PM (#4355742)
Eastwood agreed to make the last Dirty Harry movie in exchange for the studio agreeing to let him direct "Bird." I don't see how you can criticize the man for that.


I did not know that. Point taken.

On the topic of big-time actors, where does Tom Hanks fit in all this? Is there any actor in the last several decades who went on the kind of successful run (in terms of awards and box office receipts) of Hanks in the 1990s? Philadelphia. Forrest Gump. Apollo 13. Toy Story. Back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Two Best Actor Academy Awards in a row - one of only two do pull that off - in totally different roles. (Forrest Gump after playing a guy dying of AIDS?! Then he plays an astronaut? Then the voice of the lead character in one of the biggest animated films in history? WTF?!)


How about DeNiro's run from 1974 to 1980?

Won: Best Supporting Actor, The Godfather Part II (1974)
Nominated: Best Actor, Taxi Driver (1976)
Nominated: Best Actor, The Deer Hunter (1978)
Won: Best Actor, Raging Bull (1980)
Nominated: Best Actor, Awakenings (1990)
Nominated: Best Actor, Cape Fear (1991)

The last two weren't interesting, but the first four were all very different roles. He also had major roles in 1973, in Mean Streets and Bang the Drum, Slowly. I'm happy to put that run up against Hanks'. Don't know which way I'd decide, but given the seriousness of the films' subject matter, I'm leaning DeNiro, and it may not be close.
   63. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 26, 2013 at 11:06 PM (#4355768)
Well, luckily, we don't have to guess.

Eastwood's been in 46 movies since 1967:

Adjusted Total: $4,293,697,200
Adjusted Average: $93,341,200
Top Adjusted film: Every Which Way But Loose - 283,260,100

Pretty ####### good for Hee Haw ...

DeNiro's been in 68 films since 1974:

Adjusted Total: $4,254,356,000
Adjusted Average: $62,564,100

Top Adjusted Film: Meet the Fockers - 343,666,100

All numbers from Box Office Mojo.

But of course, raw numbers, shmah numbers, this here's Box Office for the Thinking Fan!

Let's go a little deeper.

DeNiro's Top 10 Adjusted:

1 Meet the Fockers Uni. $343,666,100 $279,261,160 12/22/04
2 Meet the Parents Uni. $239,566,600 $166,244,045 10/6/00
3 Shark Tale DW $201,513,500 $160,861,908 10/1/04
4 The Godfather Part II Par. $197,798,600 $47,542,841 12/12/74
5 Analyze This WB $163,695,000 $106,885,658 3/5/99
6 The Deer Hunter Uni. $162,845,800 $48,979,328 12/8/78
7 The Untouchables Par. $151,760,700 $76,270,454 6/5/87
8 Cape Fear Uni. $146,787,400 $79,091,969 11/15/91
9 Little Fockers Uni. $144,176,300 $148,438,600 12/22/10
10 Backdraft Uni. $143,899,700 $77,868,585 5/24/91

Eastwood's Top Ten Adjusted:

1 Every Which Way But Loose WB $283,260,100 $85,196,485 12/20/78
2 Any Which Way You Can WB $204,441,500 $70,687,344 12/17/80
3 In the Line of Fire Col. $192,272,800 $102,314,823 7/9/93
4 Unforgiven WB $189,758,100 $101,157,447 8/7/92
5 Magnum Force WB $174,799,500 $39,768,000 12/25/73
6 Dirty Harry WB $169,632,300 $35,976,000 12/22/71
7 The Enforcer WB $168,880,800 $46,236,000 12/22/76
8 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly UA $162,731,700 $25,100,000 12/29/67
9 Sudden Impact WB $161,889,800 $67,642,693 12/9/83
10 Gran Torino WB $160,471,000 $148,095,302 12/12/08

Hmmm, let's go through those.

DeNiro:

1: Secondary star
2: Secondary star
3: A secondary ####### voice
4: Supporting actor
5: Co-star
6: Co-star
7: Co-star
8: Co-star
9: Co-star
10: Supporting Actor

Eastwood:

1: Star (what? you thought it was the ape?)
2: Star (this one might have been the ape. he *was* a very charismatic orangutan, after all ... RIGHT TURN, CLYDE!)
3: Star
4: Star
5: Star
6: Star
7: Star
8: Co-star (well, star in reality, but we'll just let it slide for shits-n-giggles)
9: Star
10: Star

I'll let everyone draw their own conclusions ...

I will say this for all of this, I honestly don't know what's more depressing, the fact that Every Which Way But Loose and Any Which Way You Can grossed close to 1/2 BILLION dollars ... or that Meet the Fockers and Meet the Parents grossed OVER 1/2 BILLION dollars.

Let that be a lesson to us all, bullshit's the universe's eternal component ...

   64. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:28 AM (#4355795)
I don't necessarily disagree with you, but to say that Eastwood has no role that can match DeNiro in something like Casino (basically the same role he had already played in Goodfellas)...


Strongly disagree. In Casino he's the incredibly careful, backroom guy, desperately in love with Sharon Stone, and its his downfall. In Goodfellas Jimmy is just ice. Brutal. Casino is DeNiro's movie. Goodfellas isn't. It's Ray Liotta's film. That's a huge difference in character and in the film's focus.

And, most famously, John Cazale? (in the HoF, I guess he's Addie Joss)


A tip of the hat for the Cazale reference. From Wikipedia,

August 12, 1935 – March 12, 1978) was an American actor. During his six-year film career, he appeared in five films, each of which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture: The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon and The Deer Hunter. He is the only actor to have this multi-film distinction. From his start as an acclaimed theater actor, he became one of Hollywood's premiere character actors, starting with his role as Fredo Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's film The Godfather.


He was also bedding the young Meryl Streep. What a life. Oh, and The Conversation is a tremendous film. For the life of me, though, I can't remember Cazale's role.

edit: Ovation for 63. Well done!

Can I admit to enjoying Meet the Parents? It's entirely silly, but the story of a man weekending at his girl's parents' house where everything goes intricately wrong is well told; and I admit to a distracting attraction to Teri Polo. She's in that Sarah Polley/Amy Smart, sexy, trim, girl next door physical group that makes me a little bit goofy.
   65. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:34 AM (#4355799)
I really do think that for the Good the Bad and the Ugly, ultimately that's Eli Wallach's film, though obviously by then Eastwood was the big draw. I suppose that's a function of characterization in that Tuco never shuts up, and "Joe" rarely speaks at all. But even so the audience is clearly supposed to identify more with Tuco than the other two.

One of my top 5 favorites anyway, and I don't think any of the other top 4 have DeNiro in them.
   66.     Hey Gurl Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:43 AM (#4355804)
It's definitely the latter. And not only are 1 & 2 MEet the Parents and Meet the Fockers, but number 9 is "Little Fockers" which I assume is related but had never heard of until now.

There is no God........
   67. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:53 AM (#4355809)
Meet the Fockers had me actually, physically cringing and wincing during the first half hour, which was as long as I could last. I don't think it even drew one smile out of me. At least Meet the Parents had the sense to derive from something occasionally hilarious, the estimable There's Something About Mary.
   68. Publius Publicola Posted: January 27, 2013 at 12:53 AM (#4355810)
Pretty ####### good for Hee Haw ...


And McDonalds sells a lot of Big Macs. Big whoop.
   69. Walt Davis Posted: January 27, 2013 at 01:02 AM (#4355814)
So DeNiro is Ernie Banks ... then Eastwood is ... Frank Robinson? (directing-managing) Warren Spahn? Eddie Murray?
   70. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 27, 2013 at 01:02 AM (#4355815)
.


Eastwood was a complete critical joke after the Clyde movies. His rehab has been impressive, to say the least.

I'd put him in the category of pluggers who are smart enough to surround themselves with real talent and as a result occasionally get lucky. Getting Jack Green to shoot The Unforgiven is one example of that. Getting Gene Hackman to play Little Bill, and David Peoples to write the script are others. Eastwood's performance itself wasn't nearly enough to move it all that far towards Best Picture. He was able to push his man with no name persona into the role of William Munny just enough to make it seem fresh. Collaboration is important for any film, but I think it's especially true here. Eastwood deserved the Best Picture award, but it was more a collaborative effort than most.


edit: Walt, I'd put Eastwood in the category of above average ballplay, but not by a whole lot, who every five years has an MVP season. Who's that player? (Frank Robinson's years on average were better than Eastwood's. I'm looking for a player with more of a Harold Baines' true talent level.)


.
   71. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 28, 2013 at 02:45 PM (#4356613)
edit: Speaking of all that, I've got High Plains Drifter on. We've just gotten past the scenes where Eastwood guns down three men for menacing him in a barber shop, then rapes Verna Bloom in a stable for insulting him. 1973 release.


FWIW: The old broadcast TV edit made it appear that he didn't rape her (just slapped her) and that her later accusation of rape was false (and in line with her general lack of character)...

upon seeing the unedited version it changes the whole dynamic of the movie somewhat- the movie is even darker, the townspeople even worse, she becomes quite a bit lee unsympathetic.
   72. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 28, 2013 at 02:46 PM (#4356615)
Jack Carter is to Eastwood what Bill James is to Rogers Hornsby :-)

   73. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 28, 2013 at 02:56 PM (#4356626)
I really do think that for the Good the Bad and the Ugly, ultimately that's Eli Wallach's film, though obviously by then Eastwood was the big draw.


Lee Van Cleef was simpl;y playing evil
Eastwood was the Man with no Name

Wallach was the only one playing a flesh and blood human, with human emotions, frailties, etc., he even has human conversations with people, has family...

Plus there's a common scene in movies, you know the bad guy traps the good guy, but talks for too long before shooting, allowing the good guy to be rescued/escape... in this movie the one armed man tracks down down Wallach to kill him in revenge for losing his arm, catches him in a freaking bathtub, all he has t do is shoot him, but know he gloats, gives little speech, all the while Wallach's arm is very slowly moving under the suds, bang, "if you're gonna shoot, shoot, don't talk" (Said by Wallach AFTER shooting the one armed man)
the scene or variations on the theme has been done in many movies, never better than in Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo
   74. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 28, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4356628)
It's kind of startling how low Poznanski has sunk on the journalistic scales the past few months. For somebody who supposedly takes himself seriously as a baseball writer, what the hell is he doing reviewing a 3rd rate movie that apparently nobody ever saw, with good reason?


Did you miss his 2000-word review of the Hawaii Chair? Poz will write about anything and everything, usually very well. (His classic Snuggie review seems to have disappeared).
   75. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: January 28, 2013 at 03:23 PM (#4356650)
From way up in #15:

I thought of two other baseball scout movies - The Scout and A Talent for the Game. Are those any good?


They are both halfway between completely #### and slightly sub-cromulent. One of them ends with the star prospect suddenly having to pitch in a MLB game and being completely freaked out by it, so the scout puts on the catcher's gear and goes out and plays catcher and somehow no one notices. I think this was A Talent for the Game, but it doesn't really matter. Both worth watching if they're on TV, your internet connection is down, and you are too hung over to successfully reach the remote control.


   76. phredbird Posted: January 28, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4356669)
for the Good the Bad and the Ugly, ultimately that's Eli Wallach's film


wanted in 14 counties ...
   77. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: January 28, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4356671)
One of them ends with the star prospect suddenly having to pitch in a MLB game and being completely freaked out by it, so the scout puts on the catcher's gear and goes out and plays catcher and somehow no one notices.


And "The Scout" ends with the Yankees helicoptering Brendan Fraser to Yankee Stadium to make his MLB debut in the World Series, where he strikes out all 27 opposing hitters. Possibly on three pitches each.
   78. DA Baracus Posted: January 28, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4356675)
It's kind of startling how low Poznanski has sunk on the journalistic scales the past few months. For somebody who supposedly takes himself seriously as a baseball writer, what the hell is he doing reviewing a 3rd rate movie that apparently nobody ever saw, with good reason?


It's a short (by Pos standards) blog post about a baseball movie that was so bad he couldn't believe how bad it was. There's a case to be made that Pos has lost a few mph off his fastball but this ain't it.
   79. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 28, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4356678)

I'm no movie buff, but isn't a guy like Daniel Day-Lewis, like, five times the actor either Eastwood or DeNiro? Isn't this discussion less about who is a better actor, and more about who is a bigger star?


We're looking at his peak though. If you look at DeNiro up to when his career crested (say 1991 when he had Cape Fear, Goodfellas, and Awakenings under his belt) his stinkers were pretty few.

DDL may also be a bit different in that he just doesn't work very often (is he independently wealthy or something?) He was pretty much off my radar from "Last of the Mohicans" (1992) til "Gangs of New York" (2002) and that's because he did just FOUR movies over that decade, compared to DeNiro, who did TWENTY-FIVE movies over that time period. We'll see if DDL has to start picking up roles he doesn't want to take due to money as he ages.



He was also bedding the young Meryl Streep.


Geez, imagine if they had a kid - it would be born with an Oscar in its hand.
   80. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 28, 2013 at 03:53 PM (#4356684)
DDL may also be a bit different in that he just doesn't work very often (is he independently wealthy or something?)


He's from society Britons, yes.
   81. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 28, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4356716)

They are both halfway between completely #### and slightly sub-cromulent. One of them ends with the star prospect suddenly having to pitch in a MLB game and being completely freaked out by it, so the scout puts on the catcher's gear and goes out and plays catcher and somehow no one notices. I think this was A Talent for the Game, but it doesn't really matter. Both worth watching if they're on TV, your internet connection is down, and you are too hung over to successfully reach the remote control.


All I remember of "The Scout" is Bob Tewksbury starting for the Cards against the Yankees in Game One of the WS and Ozzie Smith striking out a bunch.
   82. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: January 28, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4356728)
From Wiki:

Following The Boxer, Day-Lewis took a leave of absence from acting by going into "semi-retirement" and returning to his old passion of woodworking.He moved to Florence, Italy, where he became intrigued by the craft of shoemaking, eventually apprenticing as a shoemaker. For a time his exact whereabouts and actions were not made publicly known. Day-Lewis has declined to discuss this period of his life, stating that "it was a period of my life that I had a right to without any intervention of that kind."
   83. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 28, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4356735)
We'll see if DDL has to start picking up roles he doesn't want to take due to money as he ages.

He doesn't strike me as the type to take roles just to take roles, but you never know. Thomas Pynchon has ANOTHER book coming out this year, so leopards can change their spots, I guess.

Also, I really like Han 'Em High, Eastwood's most underrated movie, IMHO.
   84. Ron J2 Posted: January 28, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4356762)
First, stretching a bore like Harry to five films was a filmically depraved thing to do.


I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before. Saw an interview with Michael Caine where the interviewer actually asked him why he'd appeared in so many awful movies. He looked surprised for a moment and then said something very close to, "their checks cleared". (and added something like I act for a living)

Also explained that he didn't direct for much the same reason. He could act in many more movies than he could direct (and was always in demand)

Also said that he'd take some roles without even reading the script if they were being shot in an interesting location.
   85. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: January 28, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4356763)
Michael Caine, on Jaws: The Revenge:

"I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific."

   86. McCoy Posted: January 28, 2013 at 04:56 PM (#4356766)
owe a coke.
   87. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: January 28, 2013 at 05:03 PM (#4356777)
Reading that (and I've seen the "Jaws" quote before, which is hilarious), it's sort of funny that Caine has slowly become one of those "instant prestige, just add [actor]" guys.
   88. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 28, 2013 at 05:05 PM (#4356781)
DeNiro's been in 68 films since 1974:

Adjusted Total: $4,254,356,000
Adjusted Average: $62,564,100

Top Adjusted Film: Meet the Fockers - 343,666,100


Simply quoting DeNiro's cash totals kind of misses the point. DeNiro in his early career took a series of roles in films that offered meaty roles for a serious actor, even though those films had little or no chance of becoming blockbusters.

For a long time, Raging Bull was considered unfilmable. It's a feel-bad story about a not-particularly-nice human being. Scorsese didn't want to direct it. Schrader's script was considered unfilmable for reasons of content. DeNiro is the guy who made it happen - without him, there's no Raging Bull. He pressed copies of the book on Scorsese and countless studio executives. He cast Joe Pesci, then an unknown, after seeing him on a made-for-TV movie. He spent months learning how to box, toned and tuned his body to perfection to convincingly play an elite athlete, then deliberately wrecked it by gaining 70 pounds of flab in four months to better play the older LaMotta.

The end result is an incredible film, and a great piece of work by DeNiro... but at the end of the day, it only did an adjusted $67.5M because it's a sports movie about a self-destructive wife-beater. Should DeNiro be penalized for wanting to make a substantive art film, rather than just a blockbuster about a vigilante who shoots drug dealers?
   89. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 28, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4356791)
He doesn't strike me as the type to take roles just to take roles, but you never know.
Weirdly, he's been in two fairly poorly regarded thigns lately: The Ballad of Jack and Rose and Nine. The former is written/directed by his wife, but I'm not exactly clear why he wanted to do Nine. Perhaps there was a song in his heart.
   90. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: January 28, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4356812)
but I'm not exactly clear why he wanted to do Nine. Perhaps there was a song in his heart.

I thought that was a bit out of character for him, too. I wonder if doing a musical was a personal challenge he wanted to cross off his bucket list. But it's not like he mailed it in for that one.
   91. DA Baracus Posted: January 28, 2013 at 05:22 PM (#4356817)
but I'm not exactly clear why he wanted to do Nine. Perhaps there was a song in his heart.

I thought that was a bit out of character for him, too. I wonder if doing a musical was a personal challenge he wanted to cross off his bucket list. But it's not like he mailed it in for that one.


Oh he did. Literally:

On May 14, 2008, Variety reported Daniel Day-Lewis was in talks to star in the film as Guido Contini, the film's lead character, after Javier Bardem dropped out due to exhaustion. Later, it was reported Day-Lewis sent producers a video of him singing and shocked them with his voice.
   92. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: January 28, 2013 at 05:35 PM (#4356835)
I stand corrected!
   93. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 28, 2013 at 05:58 PM (#4356864)
Strongly disagree. In Casino he's the incredibly careful, backroom guy, desperately in love with Sharon Stone, and its his downfall. In Goodfellas Jimmy is just ice. Brutal. Casino is DeNiro's movie. Goodfellas isn't. It's Ray Liotta's film. That's a huge difference in character and in the film's focus.


The Goodfellas Jimmy wouldn't have had James Woods beaten up when Sam did, he would have had Woods disappear for good. And "love/lust" or what, Sharon Stine's chaarcter would not have lived to have died of a drug overdose after leaving Jimmy...

Of course both movies actually hewed somewhat closely to real life*, Jimmy was based on a real life sociopathic mob killer named Jimmy Burke, Sam in Casino was based on well, a non-sociopathic bookie.

*Actually most of the goons in Goodfelles were cleaned up somewhat- just about every main character was made less less mean/vicious in the movie than in real life (yes including Pesci's character)
   94. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 28, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4356867)
Personally I think the Lee Van Cleef character in "GB & U" is the most interesting character out of the 3.

I agree with Shooty that Hang em High is under-rated and I also enjoyed "Pale Rider"
   95. Zach Posted: January 28, 2013 at 06:20 PM (#4356897)
Eastwood portrays the scout who has signed every single good Atlanta Braves player ever. Ralph Garr. Dale Murphy. Tom Glavine. Chipper Jones. Andruw Jones. Jair Jurrjens. You kind of had to wonder why the Braves even had a scouting department.

Oh, come now. How hard can it be? Amy Adams is a scout for like five minutes and she signs the next Koufax without leaving the motel.

I'd put the movie at about 1.5-2 stars. I saw it on a plane flight, and even with all its faults, it was still better than the alternatives. Its big fault is that it's SO committed to the easy answer. It's like they filmed the cliffs notes instead of the script.

I did like the scenes between Justin Timberlake and Amy Adams. They're both pretty charming on screen.
   96. Zach Posted: January 28, 2013 at 06:22 PM (#4356899)
Eastwood's comp is a peak guy who becomes a career guy by virtue of hanging around far longer than anyone thought possible. Plus, he has to be ornery. Nolan Ryan, for sure.
   97. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 28, 2013 at 06:27 PM (#4356903)
Also said that he'd take some roles without even reading the script if they were being shot in an interesting location.

I think both Caine and Steve Martin have described "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" as their favorite film to make, ever, and it's basically because they were getting paid large dollars to screw around on the French Riviera for however-many weeks, in good company.
   98. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: January 28, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4356905)
"I thought of two other baseball scout movies - The Scout and A Talent for the Game. Are those any good?"

Haven't seen A Talent for the Game.

I remember watching "The Scout" maybe mid to late 90's and thinking "that's gotta be one of the worst movies I've ever seen," with the 81 strike perfecto just SO ridiculous that well...

Funny though, as fate would have it, years later......

I'll let you guys know when we find Steve Nebraska
   99. Srul Itza Posted: January 28, 2013 at 06:56 PM (#4356925)
The popular opinion of Eastwood actually began to change when he made "Tightrope" in 1984. He's a detective going after a serial killer, but he's not Dirty Harry, he's actually somewhat twisted there.

Pale Rider came out the next year, and while it had echoes of High Plains Drifter, it was also well received.

Then in 1993, he made A Perfect World with Kevin Costner (although I don't think they are in a scene together until the very end), which was also a departure from his normal work.

There was also the usual accumulation of dreck along the way, but around the time of Pale Rider, they also started to take his directorial work more seriously.

This is a far cry from the younger Clint Eastwood, where he as strictly a box office movie star, making lots of westerns and action movies.

De Niro started slowly, but with Mean Streets, Godfather II, Taxi Driver, Deer Hunter and Raging Bull between 1973 and 1980, he had cemented his position as one of the great acting icons of his generation. For the people who saw those in the theaters at that time, he will always be THAT De Niro, buttressed by roles like Goodfellas, Casino, the Untouchables, and Cape Fear, and even with Midnight Run as proof that he could play a lighter role and do it well.

   100. Greg K Posted: January 28, 2013 at 07:14 PM (#4356933)
An interesting question is who are the current twenty or thirty-something actors who are going to maintain long careers and/or establish themselves as directors, and generally be guys that remain relevant into their 60s.

EDIT: on a separate note (as I believe he's a forty-something) Sam Rockwell is probably the most reliable indicator for an enjoyable movie for me. I'm not sure I've seen a movie of his I didn't like...upon looking it up I see he was in Cowboys and Aliens. The exception that proves the rule!
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