review: moneyball.

by Mindy @ Just A One Girl Revolution on September 7, 2011

in Reviews


I’m a sucker for any underdog story; throw in a sports storyline to boot and I’m hooked.  Moneyball is the based on a true story tale of the 2002 Oakland Athletics (the Oakland A’s) Major League baseball team.  Yet, it’s definitely a film you don’t need to be a baseball fan to enjoy.

The film opens with the A’s finishing the 2001 season with a heartbreaking loss to the New York Yankees in the division playoff games and losing three of their top-notch players.  Billy Beane (Pitt), the team’s general manager is up against a wall trying to rebuild his team on a minimal budget while facing the all-star teams with the multi-million dollar budgets.  He is convinced the problem is in the system itself; it’s no longer baseball, it’s moneyball.  He who has the money dominates the ball game.

When Beane meets Peter Brand, a recent Yale graduate with a new outlook on how to win the game, he’s convinced the A’s have found their solution.  Brand doesn’t look at anything beyond the statistics – it’s all about getting players on base.  Using computer analysis, the pair hire several players the rest of baseball has written off for one reason or another.

The 2002 ragtag team faces one obstacle after another, including their manager, Art Howe (Hoffman), who is convinced this method of picking players has set the A’s up for failure.  The beginning of the season has everyone questioning not only the team, but the credibility of Beane’s methods as the A’s rack up one loss after another.

The film is a good balance of on the field scenes, but balanced with the behind the scenes business aspect of the sport, plus Beane’s home life and history as a player.  I couldn’t help but rooting for the Oakland A’s as they struggled to make a comeback, and many of the jokes made me laugh out loud.

Based on the book Moneyball:  The Art of Winning in an Unfair Game (aff), the film features an all-star cast including Brad Pitt, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jonah Hill, and Robin Wright amongst others.  It was Hill that I thought was the standout star amongst the cast; it was a strong departure from his usual comedic roles (Superbad, Knocked Up, etc.) and showed that he can hold his own in a more dramatic role while still using the skills he’s honed in comedy.  Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillian contributed to the screenplay.

Moneyball is released in theaters nationwide on Friday, September 23.

Disclaimer:  The Glam Network offered the opportunity to a free sneak preview of the Sony film; however, all opinions are completely my own.

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