Did We Enjoy Moneyball?

All baseball teams may be created equal, but they’re not funded that way!

Helaine and I saw Moneyball today. We went into New Haven and the Criterion Bow Tie Theater for the 4:00 PM showing. That way we could also see the Phillies lose a pair to the Mets!

First things first. It’s a financial hit. I can’t remember ever seeing an afternoon showing this full.

The movie is the story of Billy Beane (Brad Pitt). He’s the general manager of the Oakland Athletics. All baseball teams may be created equal, but they’re not funded that way!

Beane’s A’s had a payroll around a third that of the Yankees! When the A’s had a good player he was quickly spirited away for more money in a bigger market.

Helaine says she doesn’t find Pitt attractive. How? He is the most beautiful man alive. Even I see that.

Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) is his assistant. Brand is a disciple of Bill James. James realized there was mathematical importance to certain stats and a very good team could be built by finding the right undervalued players. The Bill James school-of-thought is called SABERMETRICS.

As a math guy I find the whole concept of SABERMETRICS fascinating. It breaks down a player’s value to a team with more precision than batting average or runs batted in.

After early adversity Beane and Brand become successful.

If that’s a spoiler, excuse me. I’ve seen it in nearly everything I’ve read about the movie. Maybe Columbia is pushing it in its promotion.

Aaron Sorkin is listed as one of the writers, but the script wasn’t his. He was brought in for revisions. The sharp and witty dialog of Social Network, West Wing and The Farnsworth Invention that is a Sorkin trademark is missing.

The acting is very good.

I’m a fan of Philip Seymour Hoffman. He’s listed third. Minor role. Disappointed.

Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill were effortless. Hill specifically reminded me of my most nerdy friends–you know who you are. He was plausible as a guy who understood stats.

The movie was too long by a third. The pacing was slow. They did manage to “de-glam” the East Bay area.

Good movie. Glad we went.

If you enjoy baseball you’ll enjoy this. There is respect for how the game is actually played.

12 thoughts on “Did We Enjoy Moneyball?”

  1. I have to agree with Helaine – not a fan of Brad Pitt’s looks. However, I do like baseball and have been strangely drawn to this movie. Now to convince someone to see it with me….

  2. Hey,GEOFF! Saw it, sat, in MILFORD. By the way, its B-E-A N- E !! He was a high mets draft pick in the 90’s,but, didn’t pan out. I thought the film hit the bullseye! Very touching, informative AND funny. My only beef, was the way they glossed over,some of the players,very few A’s playing that year were mentioned. ART HOWE, later managed the METS for one DISASTEROUS year,UGH!! PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN played him well,but, a bit restrained. As for BRAD PITT, he was terrific,though, not everyones cup of tea. The theatre was half full, for the 12:00pm show,not bad for a rainy friday,in MILFORD.

  3. I like the look of a very young Brad Pitt(Legend of the Fall and the Vampire movie) I am with Helaine. He’s not all that good looking now and most of his movies hold little interest for me.

  4. Philip Seymour Hoffman had had many, many supporting roles, I can’t think off the top of my head the last time he’s had a lead role.

  5. My husband and I like going to the Criterion but parking the car was ridiculous as it cost $13.00 to see a movie. We can’t do that any more!

  6. The RAVE theater in North Haven just instituted $6 tix for people over 55! We enjoyed “Moneyball” far more at the discounted price. Jonah Hill was outstanding — I have new respect for him. Brad was Brad.
    PSH had a leading role not too long ago — he won an Oscar for it in 2006 (“Capote”). Saw him sitting a few rows behind us in the audience of “The M-F With the Hat” on Broadway in March, and he looks exactly as he looks in most of his movie roles — shlubby and ordinary. My sister was complaining that we never see anyone famous when we go to NYC, which we do a few times a year. “Oh yeah?” I said. “Turn around — it’s Philip Seymour Hoffman.” “Oh SURE,” she said, thinking I was joking. Then she looked for herself and plotzed!

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