on 17 December 2011
I had to post this review mainly in response to the only one that gave the film 2 stars.
This is a travesty of a score and with the basis of it seeming to come from one who is much more at home with action movies or cheap comedies.
The film is fantastic with great acting from Pitt and Hill who give very strong performances, Hill's actually fairly surprising as he usually does Kevin Smith style comedies. The script is great and draws a great deal of laughs.
Whilst being a film based on sport there isn't a great deal of sports knowledge required as this is more a film of overcoming adversity and any sequences on the pitch are very short. To get a real idea of this film check out Roger Ebert's review by just searching Roger Ebert review Moneyball in google.
This is a film to see from the script writers of Shindlers List and the Social Network. It is funny, engaging, interesting and heartwarming. You do grow to love several of the characters and become invested in them. One of the films of 2011
on 22 March 2014
In 2001, General Manager Billy Beane's Oakland A's lose to the Yankees in the playoffs then lose three stars to free agency.
To the consternation of his scouts, Beane hires and listens to Peter Brand, a recent Yale grad who evaluates players using Bill James' statistical approach.
Beane assembles a team of no names who, on paper, can get on base and score runs.
Then, Beane's manager, Art Howe, won't use the players as Beane wants.
Can Beane circumvent Howe, win games, and make it to the 2002 Series..
I'm English, so I have no concept or interest in the game of baseball, I played rounders at school and it was the closest thing we had.
So I had no idea what I was expecting, just wanted to see the movie because of the plaudits it has received, and the blindingly intriguing notion of Hill putting in an Oscar nominated performance.
And while some of the films references and Baseball speak goes over my head, the feeling of emotion that emulates from PItt and Hill is very much there, and makes the film what it is, a marvellous portrayal of two men who start from scratch and against the odds, make it.
Now it sounds like any other struggling sports movie, but thanks to some very funny moments, and Pitt and Hills chemistry, it puts it yo there as one of the best sports dramas ever made.
The film reaches it's peak when little gestures of the hands by the two stars when closing a deal gives the audience goose bumps. Simple things like this make the film more interesting, despite the heavy subject matter.
It's a film that can be viewed several times on many levels. An education into the world of Baseball and how money rules the game, an underdog feel good film, or just an excuse to see Pitt and Hill give their best performances.
It's not for everyone, it does become really slow at times, but the script more than makes up for the pace.
But it's truly a memorable film, made better with performances and some stunning set pieces.
This film is a sleeper in the UK because most people will write it off as a 'stock' US baseball movie.
That it ain't.
If you want fine acting ( Pitt and Hill), a great script ( Sorkin) and a true story about how one individual challenged the status-quo/flat-earthers and in so doing took his team from under-dogs to game-changers, then you will find it here.
An outstanding find and quality film.
This is the film of the Michael Lewis book of the same name. It deals with the real life story of Billy Beane.
Though I have no interest in baseball (I have only a hazy idea of the rules) that is not the case with this film.
I also bought the CD version of the book, narrated by Lewis himself, and found it fascinating.
Billy Beane is a guy who many would say got a raw deal in life. After showing so much promise as a junior, it all went pear-shaped. Later in life he adopts an entirely new mathematical system for picking out promising baseball players. The system, born out of sheer financial necessity, is a new metric for spotting potential talent.
This film does not have any car chases or shoot outs. It ain't that kind of film.
It's just a very interesting and thought provoking film. That's why Michael Lewis wrote the book. That's why Brad Pitt choose to do the movie.
on 21 August 2013
This movie is based on a true story and is a must see for baseball fans, especially those who play fantasy ball. After losing his top ballplayers, Oakland A's GM Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) finds himself a computer nerd (Jonah Hill) to pick players for him, players that are cheap. They sign a catcher (Chris Pratt) who can't throw, an outfielder (Nick Porrazzo) with an iron glove, a "has been" with bad knees (Stephen Bishop), and a pitcher (Casey Bond) who throws underhand. The stat they use to obtain talent in the film is primarily "On Base Percentage" (OBP).
Philip Seymour Hoffman, nearly unrecognizable with his head shaved, plays Art Howe the field manager of the team. The movie is interrupted by flash backs in Billy Beane's baseball player career, and his present home life. Art Howe doesn't like the team he has been dealt and fails to manager the team according to the expectations of Billy Beane. This is primarily the fault of Billy Beane who failed to bring in Art Howe on the decision making process to obtain the new players. Howe looks at them as being defective and unusable.
A person can watch and enjoy "Secretariat" without being a horse race fan. This movie is different in that it incorporates a lot of baseball jargon. It attempts to have universal appeal, but I would suspect non-fans might lose interest. If your girl friend is not a baseball fan, you might first wean her in with that Dru Barrymore Redsox Movie.
on 27 May 2013
So good a movie that, having first seen it via LoveFilm rental, I bought my own copy to watch at leisure.
An essential management tool for any business and, it's based on a real happening(s).
Brad Pitt did himself proud with this one and too, his viewers.
Moneyball is a brilliant film, and the one thing the yanks are good at, and that is making sports films.
This film is based on a true story about a failing baseball team. Jonah hill plays the part of a yale number cruncher, I have seen a few films with Jonah hill in and to tell you the truth he is not my cup tea but his acting in this film was very good. The late Philip Seymour Hoffman was his normal brilliant self, but I must say for me anyway this has been brad pitt at his best, if not his best part I have seen him in.
What I loved about the film was the amazing live footage of the winning run, which just added to the true events. Oh and the song brad pitt's daughter sang was just lovely.
Billy Beane: Re-inventing the game
Blooper with Brad Pitt and Jonah hill
Moneyball: Playing the game - making of moneyball
Drafting the team
I watched Moneyball as a Liverpool FC follower. Having been over-run, sorry, taken over by the owners of the Boston Red Sox I could see far more clearly the mindset being introduced into UK soccer. A steady income is more achievable than top honours.
I could also get a better sense of why Kenny Dalglish was sacked. The storyline about cutting players from the team could have been part of the Dalglish demise. Early on in the film player marketability is shown to be foolish. Facets of baseball playing technique or even his looks were overriding the key element of scoring more points than the other team. In some soccer conversations the way a team plays is more important than winning. Strange.
Okay I struggled with the implications behind playing on first base. I could only recall Abbott and Costello's brilliant 'Who's on first base' routine. And it was only during the end of the credits that I realised the players names are real players. But the fundamental alteration in mindset in the dressing room and with the coaching staff was easy to follow. And after Man City's dramatic last minute capture of the Premiership, the Oakland Athletic rise and then nearly fall on the last hit of the bat thing was eerily pertinent.
I would also say that after seeing this film there is no chance of a new Anfield stadium being built. My preference, and I know this is controversial, would be for a ground share with Everton. It makes the most sense. It cuts out sentiment and romance. Funding much easier from Europe and UK government. It's daft having two passed their sell by date stadia so close together in the same city. But such a scheme would be for the people of the city. Not shareholders.
I must make it clear that Moneyball centres on winning. Million dollar baseball players who are unperturbed by losing a game were 'traded' or let go. This I do like. Money and sport have always had a shy relationship. Unless you are a winner. Brendon? I don't think you are the one.
on 17 October 2014
Winning the world series of Baseball is kind of like winning the world series of cheese chasing; both are sports that are only really played in one country so the world doesn’t really care. However, the rest of the world has come to care about sports such as baseball because we watch so many American films, some of which are about the ball of base. ‘Moneyball’ is the true story of Billy Beane and his running of the Oakland A’s; he took them to an unprecedented winning run by hiring players that were forgotten elsewhere and getting the best out of them. To do this he needed Peter Brand, a talented statistician whose theory was that you can make a team better by playing the odds.
Statistics, freakonomics, baseball, not really that promising a mix on paper, but director Bennett Miller has imbued both a sense of realism and tension to the film that lifts it above the usual sports fare. As someone who knows little about the fortunes of the A’s, the conclusion was a surprise for me and this really added to the thrills. Brad Pitt is ably helped by an impressive cast; finally someone has been able to harness his almost sleeping style of acting in a way that works; he actually pulls his weight here. Jonah Hill is also good as Brand; ably playing the geeky mathematician who hitches is horse to Beane’s wagon.
In a way it is not the direction or the acting that makes ‘Moneyball’ such a compelling film, but the system itself. It suggests that just because you are not the elite does not mean you cannot be a winner. The way in which Miller weaves the theories into the film are natural and you never feel spoken directly too. There is a surprisingly large amount of drama to be found just in watching people having a new way of working forced upon them. This creates friction and that is the very basis of drama, in fact the baseball itself has relatively little to do with the film and you can watch it with no knowledge at all and still enjoy yourself.
The film has a slight gritty feel to it, but the BluRay does look good. There is no director’s commentary on the version I saw, but the feature on the real life Moneyball system is an interesting watch.
on 1 November 2012
An intelligent film focussing more on stats than the actual sport of baseball. Moneyball features two outstanding performances from Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, however it is Jonah that really shows off his acting chops. A serious performance imbued with a dry sense of humour helps carry the film through some of its slightly duller moments.
The film itself is well written as you would expect from the writer of The Social Network. However it does suffer from being a bit too talky. There are times when the narrative drags a little and it can all become a little tedious, but once Pitt and Hill are sparring again the film comes alive.
The film is interesting in its portrayal of human nature. As humans it is our default mode to resist change. In Moneyball there is a radical change in the way the game of Baseball is thought about. Stats become more important than players individual skills or reputation and the team is changed with that in mind. Players are dropped and transferred in favour of older players or less experienced players. As expected not everyone is behind this move and colleagues are lost along the way. Change is powerful for all sorts of reasons.
Based on a true events it makes for an interesting insight into how a team on the verge of collapse went on against the odds to achieve record breaking success. The film feels natural and real and it makes for a refreshing change that the general manager doesn't jump at the next high profile job that comes his way. This isn't all about money it's for the love of the game.
A slow burning but always interesting look at Baseball with powerhouse performances.