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Moneyball

A 2011 movie directed by Bennett Miller.

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A third base hit

  • Sep 23, 2011
Rating:
+2

MONEYBALL

Written by Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin

Directed by Bennett Miller

Starring Brad Pitt, Johan Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman

 

Billy Beane: There are rich teams; there are poor teams; then there’s fifty feet of crap; and then there’s us.

 

These days, it seems that when it comes to conversations about the American economy, the focus is on the increasing divide between the rich and the poor. In MONEYBALL, that same gap is affecting America’s favourite pass time, baseball. How can a team that only has $40 million to pay its players possibly compete with teams that have three times that amount at their disposal? The answer is simple. Input everything you know about the players into a computer and let it do all the thinking for you. And once you have all your algorithms in place, you can apply them to the sport and rob it of all spontaneity and excitement.

 

Unfortunately, some of the fun and excitement that usually spills over from the sport itself into the baseball movie genre, has also disappeared from MONEYBALL. Bennett Miller’s second film after his incredible debut, CAPOTE, is a succinct account of how former Oakland Athletics general manager, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), changed the way major league baseball teams were formed in 2002. Inspired by a concept that was brought to him by his new assistant (Jonah Hill), Beane began adding players to his roster who were notorious for getting on base. The logic was that these players cost way less and produced more consistent, if not necessarily showy, results. MONEYBALL then becomes a waiting game to see if his theory pays off and less about the actual success of the players themselves.

 

Pitt gives a fine performance as the frustrated Beane, choosing to play most of his struggle internally while presenting with great confidence to all who doubt him. As strong as his performance is, it is not as impressively nuanced as the turn given by Philip Seymour Hoffman as the unfortunate coach who has to play with Beane’s team of mismatched baseball rejects. Even Hill shines as a young actor who is showing more and more promise in dramatic parts. No, the trouble with MONEYBALL is not the acting but rather the thin subtext of the script. Having gone through three hands before going into production, it comes across as self-important but doesn’t have the gravitas to back it up. As a result, MONEYBALL is solid entertainment, but it never manages to crack it out of the park. 

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November 22, 2011
I still need to see this
 
September 23, 2011
hm. Now I am curious. This is really getting a bunch of mixed reviews so now I have to see it. Btw, thanks for the rec on DRIVE...I liked that movie!
September 29, 2011
Yeah, response to this film has been pretty strong. I didn't love it but it was definitely solid entertainment. It's the kind of movie that I'm debating seeing again considering how much everyone else seems to be enjoying it. I've also now seen Drive a second time! Love it.
 
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More Moneyball reviews
review by . September 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The Men Behind The Oakland A's History-Making Season
Oakland A’s fans would be right at home with “Moneyball” as they would be very familiar with the amazing historic run of the team during the 2002 baseball season. Well, I am currently a “retired” baseball fan but even I remember that record-breaking season, when an underdog team actually went on to make history. Non-Athletics fans wouldn’t be lost either since while this is indeed a film about baseball and about the A’s, the film’s focus isn’t …
review by . January 21, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Baseball is a game of spitting, crotch scratching and often interminably long innings. Moneyball is a movie that deconstructs the myths of America’s home-style game and shows how it becomes an exemplar of big business. By the time Moneyball is over, baseball’s traditions are as quaint as long underwear, the players have become work units, and computer analysis is still unknown by the fans as they munch their expensive hot dogs, slosh beer on their neighbors and scream joyously for the …
review by . October 14, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Is it more surprising that a movie was made of Moneyball, Michael Lewis's great account of how Billy Beane made the A's a winning baseball team by finding undervalued players, or that it took so long to do because of Hollywood's sausage-making machinery?  Perhaps what is most surprising is that the result is really, really good.      First, this isn't really a movie about baseball (yes, that's the second time I've used that phrase today--see my review …
review by . September 25, 2011
Billy Beane won, you know. He would hate to hear anyone say that since he never picked up a Pennant, but he won. He changed the way baseball is played. Well, maybe not so much played as constructed, but his method proved to win a ton of games in the end. Most teams are emulating his model now, and as the Boston Red Sox say at the end of the movie Moneyball, those not using it are old dinosaurs. Beane's biggest foe, Joe Morgan, is an old trudging dino these days whom I could probably beat up, and …
review by . September 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
There is a tendency in Hollywood for their movies to have a deeper meaning. If a movie were just about zombies it may be tough to get a broad audience into the theater. So what people tend to do is add a metaphor like zombies that really stand for consumerism or lack of individuality or some B.S. like that. Or they will put in a handsome lead to attract women who may otherwise not want to see a monster movie. Moneyball has every opportunity to do these things as well and while it may touch …
review by . December 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Moneyball was one of my most anticipated movies of this year. The simple combination between Miller, Sorkin, Pitt, Hoffman, and Pfister projected the prospect of a bomb movie. The clock was ticking faster and faster and as soon as I hit the comfortable seat in my theater I decided to let myself caught in this movie's bliss. Did I get caught in that web? Ehh... not really. Sadly, I was too hyped over this project that I left in a way disappointed even though I thought the movie was …
review by . September 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Moneyball' 'Two Jews On Film' Only One Says This Hits A Home Run (Video)
   First thing I must say is...I basically know nothing about sports. I do watch the Super Bowl but only for the commercials. That said, I absolutely loved 'Money Ball'. Which goes to prove, that you don't have to be a baseball fan, to think that this film, written by Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillan and directed by Bennett Miller, is absolutely wonderful.      Brad Pitt portrays real life Baseball legend, Billy Beanne. I'm sure there are many people …
Quick Tip by . October 08, 2011
Brad Pitt leaves his pretty boy roles behind and plays up his acting chops. Overall good story and strong acting by everyone, especially Philip Seymour Hoffman. It has Oscar written all over it as a movie and for various members of the cast and crew. However, I could have done without so many cutesie kids and the lighting in the guitar store scene was more distracting than mood setting.
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #26
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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Wiki

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (ISBN 0-393-05765-8) is a book by Michael Lewis, published in 2003, about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its general manager Billy Beane. Its focus is the team's analytical, evidence-based, sabermetric approach to assembling a competitive baseball team, despite Oakland's disadvantaged revenue situation. A film based on the book starring Brad Pitt was released in 2011.
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