Moneyball
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Moneyball

3.5 7
Director: Bennett Miller

Cast: Bennett Miller, Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman

     
 

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Bennett Miller's adaptation of Michael Lewis' non-fiction best seller Moneyball stars Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, a one-time phenom who flamed out in the big leagues and now works as the GM for the Oakland Athletics, a franchise that's about to lose their three best players to free agency. Because the team isn't in a financial position to spend as much as

Overview

Bennett Miller's adaptation of Michael Lewis' non-fiction best seller Moneyball stars Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, a one-time phenom who flamed out in the big leagues and now works as the GM for the Oakland Athletics, a franchise that's about to lose their three best players to free agency. Because the team isn't in a financial position to spend as much as perennial favorites like the Yankees and the Red Sox, Beane realizes he needs to radically change how he evaluates what players can bring to the squad. After he meets Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), an Ivy League economics major working as an executive assistant for scouting on another team, Beane realizes he's found the man who understands how to subvert the system of assessing players that's been in place for nearly a century. However, as the duo begin to acquire players that seem too old, injured, or inept to play major-league baseball, they face stiff resistance from both the A's longtime scouts and the team's manager Art Howe (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who outright refuses to allow Beane's more-nontraditional acquisitions to play. Moneyball screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
If nothing else, Bennett Miller's adaptation of Michael Lewis' nonfiction best-seller Moneyball pulls off the nifty trick of making it just as enthralling to watch people talk about baseball as it is to watch them play the game. The movie stars Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, a one-time phenom who flamed out in the big leagues and now works as the GM for the Oakland Athletics, a franchise that's about to lose their three best players to free agency. Because the team isn't in a financial position to spend as much as perennial favorites like the Yankees and the Red Sox, Beane realizes he needs to radically change how he evaluates what players can bring to the squad. After he meets Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), an Ivy League economics major working as an executive assistant for scouting on another team, Beane realizes he's found the man who understands how to subvert the system of assessing players that's been in place for nearly a century. However, as the duo begin to acquire players that seem too old, injured, or inept to play major-league baseball, they face stiff resistance from both the A's longtime scouts and the team's manager Art Howe (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who outright refuses to allow Beane's more-nontraditional acquisitions to play. Working from a first-rate script credited to Oscar-winning screenwriters Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Miller's sophomore feature proves that his debut, Capote, was not a fluke when it comes to eliciting great performances from actors. Pitt uses all his movie-star charm as Beane: The character needs charisma to convince his team and his underlings to join him on this unconventional path, and charisma is something Pitt brings in spades. Hill gets big laughs playing a brainy nerd who knows he's right, but still can't believe anyone is listening to him. For an actor who gained fame as a loudmouthed extrovert in Superbad, Hill has been consistently proving (in movies like Cyrus and Get Him to the Greek) he's much more than that -- he's got more comedic range than just about any actor out there, and Moneyball showcases his ability to underplay. It's easy enough to laugh at the physical incongruity of Pitt and Hill simply standing side by side, but the film's biggest chuckles come from their verbal interplay. Like many excellent movies, Moneyball not only has good performances, but it teaches the viewer something -- in this case, the new school of baseball statistics known as sabermetrics. And the film is savvy enough to make these explanations as entertaining as possible; we learn as Beane does why it's just as valuable for a batter to get a walk as it is for him to get a hit, and having him explain it to the old-school scouts over and over works both as comedy and as a way for audiences to catch up with his way of thinking. Since the film's main character is trying to go against convention, it's fitting that the movie's story must do the same. The climax of the movie isn't about whether or not the team wins the big game, but whether Beane will leave Oakland to take the GM job with the Red Sox. Admittedly, that kind of drama doesn't lend itself to a visceral, fist-pumping conclusion, but Moneyball is more about the ability to stick by your guns than it is about triumphing in the face of adversity. Integrity means more to Beane than success, but not by much. The drama comes when those two goals seem to be in conflict, when Beane's integrity may cost him not only wins on the field, but a functional working relationship with everyone around him. As he gets older, Brad Pitt looks more and more like Robert Redford, and seeing the two-time People Magazine Sexiest Man Alive in a baseball movie can't help but bring to mind memories of The Natural. But Moneyball is as different from Barry Levinson's fairy tale as it could possibly be. Refusing to see Moneyball because you don't like baseball is as foolish as refusing to see The Social Network because you don't use Facebook. Two features into his directing career, Bennett Miller has managed to refresh not only the traditional biopic, but the inspirational sports drama as well. If he never loses his uncanny ear for dialogue, odds are good he's on his way to a stellar career. Moneyball indicates that, unlike his main character here, there seems to be little chance of Miller flaming out in the cinematic big leagues.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/10/2012
UPC:
0043396392229
Original Release:
2011
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
ABC
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:13:00
Sales rank:
21,166

Special Features

Deleted scenes; Billy Beane: Re-Inventing the Game; Blooper with Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill; Moneyball: Playing the game - a complete behind-the-scenes look at the making of Moneyball; Drafting the team; Adapting Moneyball; MLB 12 the show preview trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brad Pitt Billy Beane
Jonah Hill Peter Brand
Philip Seymour Hoffman Art Howe
Robin Wright Sharon
Chris Pratt Scott Hatteberg
Stephen Bishop David Justice
Reed Diamond Mark Shapiro
Brent Jennings Ron Washington
Ken Medlock Grady Fuson
Tammy Blanchard Elizabeth Hatteberg
Jack McGee John Poloni
Vyto Ruginis Pittaro
Nick Searcy Matt Keough
Glenn Morshower Ron Hopkins
Casey Bond Chad Bradford
Nick Porrazzo Jeremy Giambi
Kerris Dorsey Casey Beane
Arliss Howard John Henry
Reed Thompson Young Billy
James Shanklin Billy's Dad
Diane Behrens Billy's Mom
Takayo Fischer Suzanne - Billy's Secretary
Derrin Ebert Mike Magnante
Miguel Mendoza Ricardo Rincon
Adrian Bellani Carlos Pena
Tom Gamboa Scout Martinez
Barry Moss Scout Barry
Artie Harris Scout Artie
Bob Bishop Scout Bob
George Vranau Scout George
Phil Pote Scout Pote
Art Ortiz Eric Chavez
Royce Clayton Miguel Tejada
Marvin Horn Terrence Long
Brent Dohling Mark Ellis
Ken Rudulph Reporter
Lisa Guerrero Reporter
Christopher Dehau Lee Eric Kubota
Joe Satriani Himself
Simon James Voos
Greg Papa Game Announcer
Tim McCarver Sports Announcer
Bob Costas Sports Announcer
Eddie Frierson Call-In Radio Host
Glen Kuiper Oakland A's Announcer
Joe Provost Oakland A's Security Guard
John Cole Young Jongewaard
Jake Wilson Sabatini
Robert P. Macaluso Coach Bob
Keith Middlebrook Coach Parker
Damon Farmar Shapiro's Advisor
Michael Gillespie Ken Macha
Chad Kreuter Rick Peterson
Blake Pike John
Robert Ninfo Eric Byrnes
Gary Johnson Jermaine Dye
Corey Vanderhook Ramon Hernandez
Melvin Perdue Ray Durham
Ari Zagaris Jim Mercir
Jonathan Stein Seymour
Madeleine G. Hall Hattebergs' Daughter
Holly Pitrago Shapiro's Assistant
Ken Korach Radio Color Commentator
Julie Wagner Clubhouse Reporter
Ken Colquitt Clubhouse Reporter
Eric Winzenreid PR Guy
Richard Padilla Umpire - Game 20
Ed Montague Umpire - Indians
Jack Knight Umpire - 1984
Patrick Riley Umpire - 1989
Phil Benson 1st Base Umpire
Joyce Guy Flight Attendant
George Thomas Security Guard #2

Technical Credits
Bennett Miller Director
Mark Bakshi Executive Producer
Jean A. Black Makeup
Stan Chervin Original Story
Mychael Danna Score Composer
Michael De Luca Producer
Jess Gonchor Production Designer
Greg Hooper Set Decoration/Design
Rachel Horovitz Producer
Andrew S. Karsch Executive Producer
Sidney Kimmel Executive Producer
Kasia Walicka Maimone Costumes/Costume Designer
Francine Maisler Casting
Wally Pfister Cinematographer
Alissa Phillips Co-producer
Brad Pitt Producer
Rhythm & Hues Studios Animator
Brad Ricker Art Director
Scott Robertson Asst. Director
Scott Rudin Executive Producer
Aaron Sorkin Screenwriter
Christopher Tellefsen Editor
Steven Zaillian Screenwriter

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Moneyball 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chapter1-Take1 More than 1 year ago
Moneyball is a home run. Moneyball knocks it out of the park. I could go on with the baseball themed cliches but the point is, what a wonderful film. Now the film is based on the book, "Moneyball, the art of winning an unfair game" by Michael M. Lewis. Did I read the book? Not a chance! The book explores how the GM of the Oakland Athletics turned the team with the lowest payroll in baseball into a winning ball team - while they didn't win the series in 02, they did have a 20 game winning streak. Billy Beane, (played by Brad Pitt) the GM was (and is) a former baseball player himself who was recruited right out of high school. Unfortunately, his career as a player didn't pay off. He just didn't have the juice! As GM, he uses stats and analysis to recruit undervalued players and assemble a team of affordable winners.Not a book I would read. But put that theme of turning losers into winners onto the screen and suddenly, "Baseball" as Billy Beane says in the movie "is romantic." There are some lovely lovely moments when I actually got a tad choked up rooting for the underdog, hoping they would win and then watching them score victory. Jonah Hill was terrific as the somewhat terrified young baseball analysist, Phillip Seymour Hoffman always brings his A game - I don't think he knows how to do anything other than embody each character he plays. The casting of the young Billy Beane is bizarre - the supposedly 18 year old player looks absolutely nothing like Pitt. Played by Reed Thompson, in the film he has dark hair, appears taller, and has none of Pitt's sex appeal. I jsut don't understand it - it's not like they had to cast a good ball player; you would think that finding a Brad Pitt look-alike would be job one! Admittedly, in his imdb pic, there's a bit more of a resemblance (soft pouty lips, pretty eyes). Seeing him as the young Beane pulled me out of the story every single time but then the scene would return to Pitt and I'd happily forget the incongruity. Another casting wierdness was Robin Wright as the wife - totally underused and unnecessary for an actress of her caliber to play such a small part. Was it a favor to a friend, a paycheck, a chance to work with Brad Pitt or the director. And speaking of the director, Bennett Hill has an interesting story. He has been friends with Phillip Seymour Hoffman since high school and directed Hoffman in Capote. Hill received an Oscar nomination for his work on HIS DEBUT FILM! And could very well recieve an Oscar nod for his work here. What came first the director or the smallish part for Hoffman in this terrifc film? Another high note, adorable Kerris Dorsey as Beane's daughter and her performance of Lenka's The Show.
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