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Moneyball Review

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PG 13 126 min


Well like I said last issue the two best sports themes for films are boxing and baseball. This week we have a solid entry based on the American pastime, MONEYBALL.

This is based on a true event being the Oakland Athletics’ record setting win streak back on ‘02. Even more amazing was the fact that it happened due to non-traditional methodology and a team of apparent misfits.

The As were going nowhere under past wunderkind GM Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) who shook up the baseball establishment with a fresh new approach to the game.

The team was struggling despite a handful of stars and the huge salaries they commanded. At a sit-down with management of our beloved tribe Beane notices a nerdy assistant to Mark Shapiro named Peter Brano (Jonas Hill) who seemed to have a head full of stats and figures on every member of the team. Those numbers, including on base percentage etc. seemed they might be more important to the overall product than merely hoping for big plays from the stars. Not only that but too many baseball scouts put stock in unimportant off field activities and surface quirks. Brano bails on the Indians to become Beane's right hand man and the two put together a plan that will take Oakland almost to the top. It also pisses off just about everyone from the scouting staff to the team skipper (Philip Seymour Hoffman).

I’ll admit that I don’t care much about Oakland but the idea that Brano came from the Indians organization gives MONEYBALL a bit of a rooting interest. Keep in mind, however, that in a film based on an historical event that you already know the outcome. Well, unless it’s a Tarantino flick…

So it’s the ROCKY hook, ie. overcoming the odds even if you don’t win, and that’s woven into the story well. One of the better scenes is Pitt mulling over the reality that if you don’t win it all, you’re soon forgotten. Still this film is about fighting the good fight and does a good job with that theme.

Beane is a likeable and compelling character and Pitt fills that bill as well as anyone in the business.

As a matter of fact you’ll probably develop a rooting interest even for the Athletics in a non-traditional sports flick. I did.

I waffled between a B- and a B since as good as it is the sports movie curve is pretty steep (It ain’t FIELD OF DREAMS or THE NATURAL) but it’s still damn good and in the end settled on…




Email westsidesteve@aol.com,


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  • 1 year later...

I finally got around to watching this last night, and as a Baseball aficionado, I enjoyed it. I wish they wouldn't have tinkered with the some of the storylines and characters, I think the movie would have played just fine with the accurate stories, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.


Beene did change the game, and it has been a good change as small market teams had to find a way to compete and they have.



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