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Moneyball Movie Review

Something impossible happened when I was watching “Moneyball.”  I felt a rush of excitement & literally chills while grown men were talking about baseball statistics.  That’s right, stats!  That’s a credit to good writing & director Bennett Miller. I can’t say these same feelings will ring true for people who aren’t students of the game.   Moneyball is the phrase used for creating a team through stats rather than starpower. That’s the entire movie in a roasted ball park nut shell.

Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, a one time unsuccessful pro ball player who is now the General Manager of the Oakland Athletics. Utilizing the theory of Sabermetrics, that’s just the Fancy-Pants name for Moneyball, which factors in percentages & seizes undervalued players, the A’s 2002 season was simply spectacular.

What I loved about “Moneyball” was Brad Pitt’s fast-paced negotiating of professional ball players.  Man, this is pure wheelin’ & dealin.’  This gives the audience & possibly never-before-seen insight of these conversations between big league managers & how a player’s destiny can change faster than a Nolan Ryan fastball on a hot day in Texas.

I also loved how the theme of redemption.  In this newfangled calculated strategy of baseball, ballplayers were given a second shot at The Show.  The conventional system of baseball scouting would spit out a player for life for any number of reasons: Age, addictions, attitude, ability, apathy & injuries.  Damaged Goods?  Bring it on!  Billy Beane, basically went to the junkyard, got forgotten parts & went for wins not winners.

The only real bad guy in “Moneyball” are the games lost. You are pulling for the A’s with every pitch.  The winning streak in 2002 was affirmation of this incredible new way of thinking.  Loved everything about the way the winning streak was played out in the film. You will too.  The pace of the movie is slow & steady & builds as would a traditional baseball game.

Some might find the pace slow, but I thought it was perfect.   Philip Seymour Hoffman was perfect as A’s Manager Art Howe.  Hoffman knows the golden rule in acting, this is a Brad Pitt movie, not a Philip Seymour Hoffman movie.  His performance is understated with a defined presence. It brought perfect authenticity.

There’s no love story in “Moneyball,” sorry ladies. I’m sure Brad Pitt’s face always attracts females at the box office.  It’s a solid movie that scores a “W.”

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