Saturday, September 24, 2011

Full Review: Moneyball

Grade: A+

Billy Beane is the general manager of the Oakland Athletics professional baseball club. The team has been going through hard times lately. They recently lost their opportunity to go to the World Series and their three top players have just been drafted to the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Socks. Billy has another problem; the Athletics have the smallest budget in the MLB in order to pay for players. He needs to come up with a new way to build a winning team on a budget. That is when he meets Peter Brand, a young baseball statistician, who shows Billy a way to use computer generated statistic s in order to build the best possible baseball team on the extremely low budget. If this works, Billy could completely change the way people look at baseball.

I would like to start out by saying that I am in no way a baseball fan, yet for some reason I was drawn to Moneyball. I am glad to say that this movie isn’t really about baseball but rather the business behind baseball. On top of that, Moneyball is an absolutely amazing movie. To start, it is shot beautifully and the story is told in such a way, every once in a while flashing between the present (2002) and Billy’s past as a baseball player, that I found really interesting and captivating. It was directed by Bennett Miller (Capote) who did a spectacular job. It is written by Steve Zaillian (All the King’s Men, Schindler’s List) and Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, A Few Good Men). These two did an amazing job writing this movie, I loved everything about it. The dialogue was interesting, the story moved along at a great pace and it had just the right amount of humor tossed in.

Moneyball stars Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Burn After Reading) who plays the role of Billy Beane, a former baseball player and talent scout who is now the general manager of the Oakland Athletics. This is probably one of Pitt’s best performances, he was absolutely perfect in this role. Some of my favorite moments of the movie are when Beane is interacting with his daughter, you really have to see it to understand. Jonah Hill (Get Him to the Greek, Cyrus) plays the role of Peter Brand, a statistician who comes up with a way to build a team on a budget. It was very interesting seeing Hill in a much more serious and, well, subtle roll. I am glad to say that he really pulled it off and did an amazing job in this movie. Hopefully this will allow him to further expand his talents and take on different roles. The movie also features fantastic performances by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Chris Pratt, Stephen Bishop, Kerris Dorsey and more.

Moneyball is easily one of the best movies of the year. Everything about this movie is great; It looks amazing, the writing is superb and the acting is astonishing. If you’re a fan of baseball or even if you’re like me and find baseball to be about as exciting as watching paint dry on growing grass, go and see this movie, it is well worth your time.

Great quote: “There’s an idea, I can teach one of the fans.”

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