Saturday, January 14, 2012


***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Moneyball - 4 out of 5 

When I was little, I played little league.  I wasn't good because I am a nerd and genetically programed to be incapable of having any athletic ability.  But I played nonetheless.  Besides this pointless fact, the only other real experience I have with America's Past Time is going to a couple of Brewers games with my brother-in-laws.  Other than that, I don't watch the sport or give any amount of significant thought to it.  

This is the look Brad Pitt gives when he wants something...and it always gets him what he wants.

That being said, I sat down and watched Moneyball, the sports drama about the real events that happened during the 2002 season for the Oakland A's.  The film revolves around General Manager Billy Beane trying to use what little funds the organization had to create a viable team.  With no seemingly endless flow of cash like their competitors the Yankees, Beane (played by Brad Pitt) takes a very unlikely approach and teamed with an economics wiz (Jonah Hill) who used a mathematics formula to create the perfect roster.  (See, math has its usage, Jock Who Would Pants Me After Algebra Class After Yelling To The Teacher "When Am I Going To Use Math In The Real World."  Believe it or not, that's not a description of the man but his real name.)

Hey, it's that actor from Parks & Recreation that I don't feel like Googleing what his name is.

Even when he's supposed to be weathered and beaten down,
Brad Pitt is still better looking than I'll ever be.
When I first read about this film before it went to theaters, I didn't give it much thought for a few reason.  The film didn't sound too interesting and when I heard Jonah Hill was in it, I laughed--not because Jonah Hill, playing the same sarcastic character he plays in every movie makes me laugh but the fact the film is a drama and I really did not believe, for one single solitary second that Hill could pull it off.  Even with Brad Pitt sharing the film with him, I doubted Pitt's ability to save the movie.

Then I picked up the DVD and I have to eat my words.

Pass the ketchup.

I have to say I bet on the wrong horse here because this movie was very good and Jonah Hill...shockingly pulled off a realistic role.  In fact, I was really taken back by how Hill wasn't the same character I've come to hate him as.  Instead, he was a down-to-Earth character who wasn't spouting off bad one-liners every two seconds or being the fat comic relief.  He definitely proved that he has a career after the bad comedy roles dry up (and if the trailer for The Sitter is any indication, that time is almost upon us).  And, I don't think I have to say it but Brad Pitt was great...but I had no doubt in my mind that he wouldn't deliver.

Hill proves he's more than bad jokes in this one.

For a guy who doesn't know or care about the dynamics of sports other than the fact it sometimes makes people drink too much and allow men to smack each other on the rear ends without it being an act of homosexuality, sitting through a film about sports must require an interesting story and this one had it.  Watching the characters of Beane and the econ wiz Peter Brand use a mathematical formula to create a team when the majority of the time teams are created simply by watching players in action and saying, "hey, that guy looks good, let's throw tons of money and endorsements at him."  It was this out-of-the-box thinking (or since it's a movie about baseball, out-of-the-diamond?  Sorry, I'll punch myself in the baseballs for that joke) that put Beane and Brand in hot water with the scouts who were trying to make the Oakland A's a viable team and with the team manager, Art Howe (played by the incredibly talented but rarely seen in this one, Phillip Seymour Hoffman).  It was this tension and the tension felt by all the players chosen to be on the team and their feeling like they don't belong there that really sold the film.  It wasn't about the peanuts and cracker jacks, it was about the people involved in the game.  Not the game itself.

People say I look like Phillip Seymour if only I had his money and talent.

When the seventh-inning stretch of the film hit, I definitely realized I judged this film without giving it a shot when it was in theaters.  I read about it and ignored seeing a trailer because I believed it wasn't for me but the reality is Moneyball is an excellently crafted piece of drama with a interesting story and fantastic acting.

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