Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Moneyball 2011 - the Movie

I am a little susprised that the film "Moneyball" received prededominently good reviews.  While I enjoyed the movie, I thought at moments it dragged a bit and I would think that a person that is not a baseball fan would find the film somewhat long.  Slow pacing is a pet peeve of mine - like when I am watching the Cardinals continually rotate in pitchers with a 5 run lead, I suppose that may happen less in the future...
 
Other than that I found Moneyball to be an enjoyable experience.  Brad Pitt played Billy Beane as a thoughtful and challenging leader.  Comedy stalwart, Jonah Hill, plays a straight roll as the stats guy well - The always enjoyable Phillip Seymour Hoffman has an excellent turn as the old school Manager Art Howe,   Bennet Miller is able to balance a little baseball into the story and conveys a bunch of ideas on film that might otherwise be dry - One Base Percentage, Major League Scouting, Bill James, Giving away outs via Sacrifices and small ball, Working Pitchers, etc.  There is a background story regarding the Beane family that is built into the narrative that I don't recall from the book.  The film also all but neglects Jeremy Brown and the draft that the book details which covers at least 2 chapters of the Michael Lewis story. 
 
We all know what happened because this is relatively recent history - but I must mention a minor spoiler alert here - don't read rest of paragraph if you fear this will ruin your experience.  During the epilogue of the Movie it is mentioned that the Bosox won the 04 World Series using Moneyball methods.  It does not mention that they also outspent the rest of the league other than the Yankees.  And I could go on further and mention that a key play for the Red Sox was Dave Roberts critical Steal of second base in the ALCS vs the Yankees. 
 
Moneyball works for a few reasons - Both Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill give likable performances in the lead roles of two guys trying to challenge the status-quo.  There is enough baseball in the film to provide a fan with a few chuckles - several players and people with Phillies connections are mentioned during the film.  Finally as a non-baseball movie about baseball "Moneyball" does successfully bring the romance of the game to the fore (even if they have to tell you they are doing so)
 
Moneyball 2011
 
Links to  previous MB 2011 posts
 
etc
Here is a link to a Moneyball and Collecting related article in Beckett that I first saw referenced by Chris Olds via Twitter. 

1 comment:

ThingsareFunnerHere said...

I am 100% with you here. I hardly ever go to movies, but I really wanted to see Moneyball because of my interest in baseball. I thought it dragged a bit too, and some of the story lines mixed in were awkward. Had I known, I would've rented it and saved my ten bucks. Not a horrible movie, but not great either.

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