Saturday, October 01, 2011

Moneyball (2011) - Movie Review

The Red Sox are one of the teams in baseball that uses a strategy called moneyball as a large part of their team building philosophy. While they use a good portion of this tactic, they didn't invent it or make it popular. Bill James is mainly responsible for this philosophy of baseball and Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane help put it on the map. The movie "Moneyball" is about Beane and how he implemented this approach to his own team. 

After being eliminated by the New York Yankees in the 2001 playoffs, a trio of star players become free agents and leave the Oakland A's for greener pastures. Johnny Damon signed with the Red Sox, Jason Giambi went to the Yankees, and Jason Isringhausen joined the St. Louis Cardinals. Realizing that these moves could severely hurt his team, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) asks the team's front office for more money and is rejected. After meeting Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), Beane decides to resort to an unorthodox way of building a team by utilizing what is called moneyball or sabermetrics.

"Moneyball" is a solid movie. It really takes an in-depth look at the career of Billy Beane. It also shows a little bit about his background in baseball as a former prospect. Despite it being a sports movie, it didn't always feel like it. The film lacked the energy of your usual sports film. I hesitate to even call it a sports movie because the core of "Moneyball" is more about the behind the scenes activity in baseball than the actual sport itself. Both Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill deliver what I would consider more laid back characters than what we would usually see from them. Although both were good and fit their roles well, Pitt seemed to stand out more. The chemistry between these two seemed believable, fluent, and without effort. They played off of one another really well. Then again, Pitt worked well with everyone on-screen. I also have to point out that this movie featured quality performances from others like Philip Seymour Hoffman in the smaller roles they portrayed.

Despite his successes, Billy Beane and his Oakland Athletics have yet to win a world series. With that being said, Beane changed the way many front offices look at building teams. It can be said without discussion that Beane has earned the respect of baseball minds all over and is considered one of the best General Managers in the sport. This movie attempts to show that and puts a lot of emphasis on how things got to the way they are now in the world of baseball. It's something that baseball fans could probably enjoy and truly appreciate.


Post a Comment