Reel Watchers: Money Ball
It might be Brad Pitt's all-star name that's filling the stands, but it's the performance co-star Jonah Hill turns in that's really hitting "Moneyball" out of the park. But don't take this as a discredit to Mr. Pitt - his unmistakable flavor was exactly what his role and this movie needed to work.
Moneyball is based on true events and an entertaining look at how two men helped transform a Major League team from one of the poorest in baseball into one that became a serious competitor amongst the much wealthier franchises. In a sentence, it's a story about number crunchers and baseball.
Billy, played by Pitt, meets an awkward Peter, played by Hill, after being told he won't be getting any extra money to recruit this year after losing a shot at the World Series. Billy finds that Peter has the ability to crunch statistics in a way that allows him to pick out unrecognized talent. All this stems from Peter's love of the game and his belief that looking at baseball statistics should be done differently. One less about just breaking the numbers down and more about seeing different objective facts about each player.
Billy embraces this new theory with a renewed passion - mostly because it explains why he never became the player he was drafted to be. It's said he had all the tools they look for in a player, only they just didn't work in the Major Leagues.
There are so many great lines in this movie, but two sum up Pitt's character:
Billy Beane: "I hate losing more than I love winning," and "When your enemy's making mistakes, don't interrupt him."
Moneyball feels remarkably like another Aaron Sorkin-written film, "The Social Network" - the major difference being that this one has to do with baseball instead a website. Plus, based on its reviews and performance so far, it looks like Moneyball, like TSN, is going to be garnering some big name nominations come award season this year.
Also, check out Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays the team's manager, Art Howe. He really seems to shine in these type of roles, and in Moneyball he's swinging for the fences and making some serious contact.
I'm going to have to give Moneyball 3.5 out of 4 miners for not being just another boring movie about baseball.
By Michael Esser