Omigosh! I officially have a new movie to add to my favorite sports movie list. I'll try to remember to post that list soon. Leann and I went to see Moneyball and it is so so so so good. And did I mention...? Since we went to the pre-screening I'm not going to ruin it any more than life or the trailers did.
Leann mentioned that she had just recently heard about Moneyball whereas I've seen the trailer many MANY times since I am a movie freak and go to the theater more often. This is one I'd been anxiously awaiting and I definitely would not have minded paying for it. I guess that makes it that much better since it was free. Wahoo!
I should mention that I'm a baseball fan. Let me rephrase. I like to watch baseball. Let's try again. I like to watch certain teams and I tend to not care about any others. So! If you aren't playing the Rockies or the Redhawks you are not on my radar. I tell you this to say that I had no idea how this movie was going to turn out. Was I happy with how it ended? Not gonna tell ya. Oh! And I also need to mention that while I am a fan of baseball I enjoy it purely for the fun of watching. Do not ask me for stats. I won't be able to answer with even a teensy tinesy shred of confidence. It just won't happen. It's true.
This movie was all about the stats. Let's hear for a sec from IMDB:
"The story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players."
Yup. That pretty much sums it up. They went completely by the numbers and not by popularity. I think I said that right. It's almost like the baseball version of The Replacements in that these were players that pretty much no team wanted. Some had knee injuries. One had a real weird, but effective, way of pitching (I need to see if he still plays. I would love to watch one of his games). Some were getting on up there in age. I hate that last sentence because the player I'm talking about was 36. But that's OLD in sports. One was a catcher who got turned in to a first baseman. Craziness! Why did the Oakland A's or, more to the point, Billy Beane want these guys? Because they could get on base. And that's way important in baseball. Yeah. I knew you knew that. I was just sayin'.
I could go on and on about the movie itself but I won't. I'll just give you the down low (yeah, I said it) on a few of the actors. Let's begin with Robin Wright. Why on earth did she get top billing? She's in the movie for about 5 minutes. Big woo! Moving on. Brad Pitt was great as Billy Beane. I say that knowing nothing about Billy but I'm guessing that he had some say in how he was portrayed. Not only did we get to see what a good GM he turned out to be but we got to see what a great dad he was as well. The music store scene about did me in.
Jonah Hill played the Assistant GM, Peter Brand. I haven't really liked him in other movies but I did in this one. Peter is basically the man behind the madness. He's the analyst who gets "recruited" by Billy. His figures decided who was going to be on the team. And he was loyal. Holy cow was he loyal! Once again, not knowing the real person I think Jonah was really good in this role. I hope he gets more roles like this and less stupid comedy.
Kerris Dorsey plays the part of Billy's daughter, Casey. I really REALLY want to know if that was actually her singing in the movie. It was so good! And I loved her rapport with Brad Pitt. I could totally believe them as father and daughter. I hope she is in many many more movies.
And finally, Philip Seymour Hoffman. In Twister he was annoying but somewhat likeable. In several other films he was just kind of meh (or so so if you will). The movie Capote is the reason I've had trouble watching him in anything else. I saw only an hour of it and it was one of the most emotionally painful hours of my life. Okay, that was a tad dramatic. I've had far more emotionally painful hours but that's the way it felt at the time. I was determined that I was going to like Moneyball despite him. I didn't have to. I liked him. Yea! I didn't like his character much at first but he was entertaining to watch. He is expected to take the new system on faith and he just doesn't do it. I can totally see his side of the argument but, of course, I was rooting for Billy and Pete.
Since a lot of you haven't seen this yet I'm going to jump on to the break down.
Cussing? Yup. There was. And the big ones too. It was mostly in the first half of the movie. The main reason I even noticed is because I saw two very young children a couple rows in front of me before the movie started. This movie is rated PG-13 and they were nowhere near this age. Grrr!!!
Drinking/Drugs? Drinking. No drugs but marijuana is mentioned.
Violence/Blood/Gore? Billy gets really angry and throws things but that's the worst that happens.
Whether you like baseball or not I recommend this movie. I think it'll be interesting and fun for most anyone. I will definitely buy the DVD when it comes out. Go see this if you have the chance. It's a good way to spend a couple hours. And I'm thinking at least one Oscar. Maybe?
P.S. There is no reason to sit through the credits unless you just happen to be sitting right in front of the projector and decide you want to make bunny rabbit shadow puppets on the screen. But I don't know anyone who would do anything so unmature (as one of my relatives has been heard to say).