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    Moneyball Review -- So Tired Of All These Moneyballs

    Moneyball is a movie about how one man, no one expected much from, beat a system corrupted by money. Also, Jonah Hill's creepy stare

    The formulaic "sporto movie" starring a big name actor that’s totally meant for Oscar fodder -- is, well -- good. You’ve seen the formula before. Introspective film about one man’s struggle to find himself via whatever creative outlet he endeavors [and it usually involves a male character]. Add a couple heartfelt moments, filled with minor bits of comedy to add brevity to a dour situation. Also, there is Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Moneyball is a movie about a very specific aspect of sports that I’m not sure is for everyone. I remember talking to a coworker and the phrase, “this movie made me want to care about baseball” was uttered. Even as a baseball fan, I felt the same. Moneyball is so deserving of all the accolades it receives. I almost feel a little sick showering it with so much praise. Heck, even Jonah Hill is great in it.

    With only Capote under his belt, director Bennett Miller had the arduous task of recreating an event in baseball history over the span of 30 years the era, not the film's production. I say baseball history, but I should say American history. Moneyball covers a sport that was so representative of the changes in American ideals. We went from having athletes you’d see at your local mall to seeing athletes on the flat screen television at your local mall. Every scene of Moneyball involving some high-priced athlete trade, reminded me that this was around the time were I stopped watching the sport of baseball.
    The context-heavy dialogues between Hill and Pitt are executed expertly by the pen of Aaron Sorkin. They make it look easy.

    This isn’t to say I stopped paying attention to the game. Much like what basketball is going through currently, baseball became more interesting as a business. Rumors became more interesting than final scores. Contracts and deadlines became topics of interests on ESPN, moreso than an athlete putting his very expensive body on the line for a line drive.

    Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian adapted the screenplay of the book “Moneyball: The Art Of Winning An Unfair Game” by Stan Chervin. A book I’m currently thumbing through and finding it absolutely heartbreaking. Which is an endorsement. Since this is close to an Aaron Sorkin joint, technical jargon of the sport of baseball is thrown around frequently. One of the joys of Sorkin’s work is having all of this verbiage thrown at you and still coming away knowing what the conversation entailed.
    Phillip Seymour Hoffman probably had a paragraph's worth of lines, yet his convincing gut and catipillar eyebrows stole every scene he was in.
    Brad Pitt as Billy Beane seems like a great favor to Billy Beane. I remember hearing about this dynamo of a young athlete when I was a child. Everyone thought Beane would be a huge star. Life didn’t work out that way. Beane ends up coaching an Oakland Athletics team, during an era where money buys wins. The parallels one could draw between how America economics and American baseball evolved into this ugly state are plentiful. The sport [and the fans] went from relating to shows like Roseanne and The Wonder Years to Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

    It’s hard to not see the rough edges in Moneyball. Hokey scenes of Beane and his daughter that, oddly enough, involves a guitar. Seemed like a tiny violin should have been accompanied. All the while, Jonah Hill is delivering one of his best performances to date. I just wish someone would have nudged him occasionally to drop that odd [creepy] stare he projected in a few scenes.
    Moneyball isn't just for sport fans and baseball historians. There are scenes wedged into the well-crafted film clearly aimed at making you cry and have an emotional response. However, the ones with guitars don't really mesh well.

    I’d also like to impose a ban on Phillip Seymour Hoffman in movies of this caliber. He’s just too good. Even in scenes where he’s saying a single sentence, his character presence is beyond that of any actor. He played a very convincing and beer-gutted baseball coach.

    Moneyball is good. You’ll probably appreciate it more if you’ve tepidly followed sports. I’d even add, that it helps if you have issues with how money and wealth have changed certain aspects of American culture. We once viewed blue collar, hard workers in any profession, as inspirational idols. Now we can’t wait to see someone rich on a reality show, or someone quickly acquire oodles of cash. Moneyball is a movie that asks, “how did we get this way?”

    I give Moneyball ...







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