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Robert Wilonsky

The angst of the game: Brad Pitt in Moneyball

Moneyball Review

At the time of this writing, the Oakland Athletics sit at a distant third in the American League West, 18 games behind the Texas Rangers managed by Ron Washington, once the first-base coach under A's wonderboy Billy Beane. The A's have not had a winning season since making the playoffs......
Seth Rogen has really lost weight.

Paul: Planet of the Aping

Paul, it should be noted up front, is not the third installment in the so-called "Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy" featuring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, though there are indeed servings of both. Note the one key missing element: Edgar Wright, who directed and co-wrote with Pegg both the 2004......

The Dilemma

THE DILEMMA Vince Vaughn is Ronny, co-owner of a boutique car-engine manufacturer. He’s the pitchman; the brains belong to Nick, played by Kevin James. Their intention—to build the guts for the first electric-powered muscle car and sell the prototype to Dodge. From Ron Howard, director of the better carmaker dramedy......

MEGAMIND 3-D

MEGAMIND 3-D On matters animated and three-dimensional, I take my cue from the 7-year-old sitting at my right, who got megafidgety about 10 minutes into Megamind, a 3-D superhero story about the villain who — shocking — turns into the good guy. ("Same story as Despicable Me," said the wee......
Old people with big guns in Red

Red: Classiest. Comic. Book. Movie. Ever

Not the best. Not the worst. Just the classiest. Based on a Warren Ellis three-issue toss-off, Red barely acknowledges its roots. The original — a straight-ahead tale about a retired Company hit man named Frank Moses next on the CIA's to-do list because he's an embarrassing relic — was bloody......
Michael Cera powers up in Scott Pilgrim.

Precious Little Life

Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is every bit as faithful to its source material (Bryan Lee O'Malley's six-volume series about a 22-year-old go-nowhere man-boy fending off his new girlfriend's seven evil exes) as Zack Snyder's Watchmen was to his (Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' brooding comic-hero deconstruction). Both......
Middle Men

Middle Men : The History of Internet Porn. Sort Of

If the plot of Middle Men sounds familiar — Luke Wilson gets in bed with James Caan, who just wants to fuck him — that's because it's the same as the plot of Bottle Rocket, Wes Anderson's 1996 directorial debut, in which Wilson and Caan worked together for the first......
Paul Rudd in Dinner for Schmucks

Paul Rudd: He's an Actor … Right?

When last I saw Paul Rudd, in person, it was March 2009 in the lobby of the Four Seasons in Austin. It was 3 in the morning, hours after I Love You, Man had its premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival, and co-star Jason Segal had long ago......
Mile high club; Credit: Dale Robinette

Up in the Air: Open Skies

There is something oddly familiar about Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air, in which George Clooney plays a commitment-phobic business traveler with no use for meaningful human interaction. Could have sworn we’ve been here before. When was it? And where? Oh, yes, of course: Joel and Ethan Coen’s Intolerable Cruelty,......
The Whitacre identity (crisis); Credit: Claudette Barius

No Punctuation Necessary in The Informant!

As evidenced by The Informant!, it’s a hell of a tricky thing turning real-life pulp into floss sugar. The story of Archer Daniels Midland biochemist exec–turned–crooked federal-snitch Mark Whitacre is a tragicomedy. Journalist Kurt Eichenwald spent five years trailing the bipolar fuckup, and his 2000 book, The Informant, is so......