Moneyball (2011)

Pretty much every time I do a write-up for a baseball movie, I start with “I’m not a baseball fan, but there’s something about it in the movies” and how I despise watching the sport, but I enjoy movies about it.  It’s like how I love ketchup, but hate tomatoes.  I like the processed versions better, but this doesn’t apply to everything.  Anyways, Moneyball is based on the actual events of the ending of the Oakland A’s 2001 season and to the end of the 2002 season.  A SEASON THAT CHANGED BASEBALL FOREVER or something.

A’s General Manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) loses three of his biggest players in the 2001 off-season, and when the owner of the team refuses to put more money in the budget, Beane decides he has to change the way the A’s .. well, their entire identity.  Most of it has to do with the type and qualities of the players that Beane wants to bring in, a philosophy and approach he learns from Peter Brand (Jonah Hill).  There is much internal resistance to this stance, and much outside mockery, but the system provides solid results and soon it’s a romantic sports movie.

I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and that was mostly because of the performances of Pitt, Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman.  It’s also gorgeously shot, not looking at all like your typical baseball movie.  The dialogue is great and yes, it casts this romantic aura over the events, and of course that’s because it’s partially written by Aaron Sorkin.  Thankfully there was no long-winded speeches about how the world is watching the A’s because they’re the most important thing ever.  It’s dialogue heavy, and while not completely dependent on having a knowledge of “how sports works!”, if you come into the movie knowing nothing about modern day sports, you’ll be bored most likely.

Brad Pitt also looks weirdly like Benicio del Toro a lot throughout the movie.

4.5 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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