Blogs

Moneyball: A Whole New Ball Game

Courtesy: Columbia Pictures

Going into Moneyball, I didn’t know what to expect. The buzz surrounding the film was good but the cloud of the baseball movie genre was hanging ominously over its head.  But luckily the combination of acting, writing and directorial choices helped the piece stray from the cheesy and the movie was an enjoyable way to pass the time.

Based on Michael Lewis’s nonfiction book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, the story follows the 2002 Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane and his struggle to put together a winning team on a very tight budget by using computer-generated analysis to draft unusual players. Yes, the premise could’ve easily come from any cheesy sports flick you could catch on TV any given Saturday afternoon. But the combination of Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin’s (The Social Network) script and Bennett Miller’s (Capote) unusually artsy visuals, gave the film much-needed gravitas.

As Beane, Brad Pitt hones his more subtle acting chops and not only owns the role but serves as a strong backbone for the film. He skillfully weaves a portrait of a man who is dealing with odds as best as he can. His backstory is told through flashbacks, which are spread throughout the film. While I enjoy this technique and its use, I felt that he is the only character who we know anything about, which makes it harder to relate to any other character.

The other characters, the “background players,” left me a bit disappointed, for different reasons. Jonah Hill’s Peter Brand, Beane’s right hand man, was a truly interesting character and Hill’s performance was not only good but also the one true surprise for me in the movie.  He was, however, a tad underused and could’ve provided some comedic relief in the dry parts of the movie. Yet, the director seems bent on having him play it as straight as possible. I had the opposite problem with Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s turn as A’s Manager, Art Howe. His fantastic performance, as Beane’s only true foil kept me wanting more. And yet his scenes are so few and spread apart that I felt like I was robbed of something that could’ve made the film much better.

Where does the movie fall in the grand scale of baseball movies? Well, on a scale of Field of Dreams (sorry Bull Durham fans) to the beyond terrible Mr. 3000, the movie actually fares very well. It is by no means on the top of the list but I would definitely put it in my top 5.

Rating 4/5 "Check this out"

October 2, 2011

Reporters

Carlos Mella


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The college football season doesn't begin until the end of August, but that never stops media o ...

There were indications, even before Lonnie Walker IV was selected No. 18 by the San Antonio Spurs in ...

Add another player to the Miami Hurricanes' 2019 recruiting class. Defensive end Jahfari Harvey ...

From the onset, the Miami Hurricanes' plan was for the Carol Soffer football indoor practice fa ...

Gino DiMare on Tuesday stood in a spot that two men before him had crafted into a pinnacle of succes ...

At the University of Miami, employee recognition comes in many forms. ...

Community art project encourages the public to explore the vibrant downtown area of Coral Gables and ...

It appears that his third run for the presidency will be successful as he distances himself from the ...

Teachers tackle challenging questions at the Holocaust Studies Summer Institute. ...

A University of Miami lecturer explores the role of the front porch in black communities. ...

Anna Runia won the women's 400m hurdles at the Netherlands track and field championships, while ...

The University of Miami volleyball program will host nine ACC home matches and the Sunshine State Ch ...

Walker picked 18th overall by San Antonio Spurs, Brown 42nd by Detroit Pistons. ...

Gino DiMare was introduced as the 10th head baseball coach in Canes' history. ...

The University of Miami women's golf team had three individuals selected to the 2018 Atlantic C ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.