Moneyball: Bad News Bears Meets The Social Network

Moving on to Moneyball.  Brad Pitt?  Yes please!  Baseball?  OK...sure, why not?  I liked Field of Dreams and The Sandlot.  Statistics? ... ... ... do we have to?

This movie is magic.  You want to know why?  Somehow it manages to make baseball management exciting, statistics less mind-numbingly dull, and Jonah Hill likeable.

Bottom line, if a movie can do all of those things, it can do anything.

Now maybe I think this movie is good because I happen to like Brad Pitt, and maybe the fact that I know jack shit about baseball makes it easier for me to overlook the things that it gets wrong.  Maybe.  But the fact of the matter is, this is an interesting story about an innovator who tried to revolutionize the game of baseball...with America's favorite pastime...based on a true story.  Is it even possible that this movie could fail?

No but seriously, I can understand people who think that it's boring, and to be fair it does get a little bogged down in the ending.  So he fails, but he wins, and he gets offered an amazing job managing an amazing team, and he doesn't take it, and the A's still haven't won the World Series...I'm really not sure if I'm supposed to be excited for him or disappointed.  The tone is a little off.  And I think it was a bad decision to have his daughter singing "You're a loser, Dad" while the title card says that he's still trying to get the A's to the World Series.  It's a little awkward.

That said, I think Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill do a really good job here with their respective parts.  You have no idea how weird it is for me to be commenting positively on anything Jonah Hill does, so this should be seen as the highest of compliments.  Seriously.  It's a surprisingly subtle performance from someone who has made broad comedy his schtick.  Brad Pitt is very good as per usual, another solid performance from someone who has grown into an impressively accomplished actor.  Was Robin Wright in this movie?  For like a minute and a half?  But she gets fourth billing?  Somebody's got a good agent.

So yeah, I was actually pretty surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie.  Definitely a solid, entertaining movie.  Although I'm curious to see what my boyfriend, who actually does know a lot about baseball, thinks of it.  He's probably going to point out a bazillion inaccuracies and ruin it for me.  Le sigh...

Random Musings:

  • "We were so close", "They played their hearts out", "They played fantastic and it just didn't fall our way."  #thingsloserssay  That's right up there with, "We had a lot of injuries this year," and "We're just in a really tough division."  Trust me, I would know...I'm from Buffalo.  Seriously.  We have no good memories involving sports.

Best not to dwell...

  • I love that the people who recruit for the A's have an ugly girlfriend test to assess a player's self-confidence.  Now I'm no expert, but I do think that maybe there needs to be a little more math and a little less misogyny in these decisions.

  • Maybe it's because I don't know baseball that well, but...would it really have been that big of a deal if Billy played baseball in college before joining the MLB?  Wouldn't that result in a more polished player who had demonstrated his ability to develop?  I mean, 18 is really young.  What do you lose by getting him at 22 instead?

  • I'm having a really hard time with the fact that I don't hate Jonah Hill in this movie.

  • I really like the conversation he has with his daughter about how she's been reading about him on the internet.  If only because I can see Brad Pill having the exact same discussion with his real kids.  I can only imagine the creepy shit those kids must read about their parents every time they go online.  Especially about Angelina.

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