“How can you not get romantic about baseball?” – Billy Beane
Starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Directed by Bennett Miller.
Production Budget: $50 Million. Opening Weekend Gross: $19.5 Million.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Lazy Goomba: 8.9/10
In 2001, the Oakland A’s future began to look bleak. After losing in the playoffs to the New York Yankees, and then losing the top three players on their team to free agency, due to salary issues (other teams having more money to spend), General Manager Billy Beane (Pitt) needed help. He found it when he came upon Peter Brand (Hill), a Yale graduate who used a formula along with statistics, to evaluate and assemble the best team they could, with the money they had. But after some questionable signings by Beane, he lost the cooperation he had with Manager Art Howe (Hoffman), who will no longer play the players that Beane wants on the field. Will Beane be able to convince Howe, along with the rest of Oakland, that the team he has put together can make another push towards the World Series Championship?
Lazy Goomba’s Thoughts (SPOILERS)
The Good: I love this movie. I mean, first of all, I am a huge sports fan and almost love every sports movie that has ever come out (with the exception of Score: The Musical… like come on). It is surprising to me that I enjoyed this so much, considering out of all the pro National sports, baseball is my least favorite. I find it to be such a boring sport to watch, and I also grew up with two older brothers who both played, and I often got dragged along and had to watch them play, which I despised. Anyways, despite ALL of that, I still really enjoyed this movie. Not only did I like the script along with the cast and so on, I also enjoyed how it was one of those movies where there were numerous moments where you feel strong emotion. I felt truly disappointed at the beginning (and the end) when the A’s lost in the playoffs. I also felt ecstatic when they won the games to make it as far as they did. So it is nice to watch a film that brings up those feelings inside you.
The Bad: I mean as you might expect, parts of this movie can be rather slow. I didn’t care for the scenes of Beane and his daughter, and she would sing to him and such. But then again, in the overall feel and look of the movie, those parts remain somewhat important. So you can’t blame them for putting it in. It gives the film other dimensions then just the idea of sports, so even though I didn’t enjoy those scenes, they kind of did belong there.
The “Craaaaazy”: The Oakland A’s had struggles in the beginning of the season in 2002, but once Howe decided to play the team Beane had assembled, they went on to win 20 straight games to eventually put them in first place in the AL west division. They were using a first baseman who had NEVER played first base prior to that season, and also had nerve damage in his arm from an injury while being the catcher. There are many parts of the movie, just like that one, that instill hope in people. Fun fact: The Oakland A’s had the same amount of wins that season as the New York Yankers, despite New York spending 1.4 Million dollars per WIN, while the A’s spent only $26o,000 per WIN.
Here was a quote from the Film that explains some of the method to Brand’s (Hill) madness:
“It’s about getting things down to one number. Using the stats the way we read them, we’ll find value in players that no one else can see. People are overlooked for a variety of biased reasons and perceived flaws. Age, appearance, personality. Bill James and mathematics cut straight through that. Billy, of the 20,000 notable players for us to consider, I believe that there is a championship team of twenty-five people that we can afford, because everyone else in baseball undervalues them.” – Peter Brand.Lazy Goomba Movie Critic/Cat Enthusiast
- “Moneyball” (granieral.wordpress.com)