September 24, 2011

Moneyball - 2011

Director: Bennett Miller
Writers: Aaron Sorkin & Steven Zaillian
Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, & Philip Seymour Hoffman

"There's rich teams, then there's poor teams, then there's fifty feet of crap...and then there's us." The Oakland Atheletics aren't as financially well-endowed as general manager Billy Beane (Pitt) and the team would like. However, thanks to a statistical strategy from Peter Brand (Hill), Beane attempts to get a winning team together in spite of his monetary shortcomings.

If you'll pardon my use of an expression from a sport I don't care for, I thought Moneyball was going to hit it out of the park. I'd heard nothing but good things about the film, notably Brad Pitt's performance (which is great, don't get me wrong); a script reworking by Social Network scribe Aaron Sorkin didn't hurt my expectations either. Unfortunately, it's a bit closer to a double for me. The script runs a little long (there's some bits with Beane's family that don't really tie in with the rest of the story), making this 135 minute film seem more like 180...just like a real baseball game! Hill's just a tad miscast, and some of his lines end up funnier than I think they were intended to be. Something I noticed: the MPAA let them slip by with two uses of the F-word without an R rating, so that seems to be the new standard. If you're a fan of baseball, and Oakland in particular, you'll probably like this film a lot more than I did. B

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