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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I went to the show Monday and saw Moneyball. It was a profitable experience as while sitting and waiting for the 11:00 showing at my neighborhood Harkin’s theater, technical problems occurred and the movie couldn’t be shone. Luckily, the theater had another screen where we could see the show at 1:00 so my wife and I packed up our Milk Duds, the free passes the management gave us for our inconvenience, and saw the show a little later.

That experience got us off on the right foot and it only got better with the showing of Moneyball. I think it is a fine film but I want to issue a couple of warnings to those who may not be familiar with what this is about: It doesn’t matter what anyone tells you; this is a baseball movie that stars Brad Pitt. Other than fine support from Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jonah Hill (Cyrus), you probably will not recognize any supporting players.

The film runs 2:06 which is normally about twenty minutes longer than I prefer but it is worth it. There are no romantic scenes. It is the story of a major league baseball general manager named Billy Beane (Pitt) and how he goes about building a team (The Oakland A’s) via computer printouts on player performances rather than offering outlandish contracts to superstars. Pitt and Hill are outstanding as Beane and his computer nerd buddy Peter Brand.
Moneyball , the book, by Michael Lewis was published in 2003. I enjoyed it and being a baseball fan I liked the way Beane was able to create a major league baseball team on a short budget via using aggregate statistics of two to three lower priced played to equal the output of expensive superstars. Pitt plays Beane to the hilt and is in basically every scene.

Unless your girlfriend or boyfriend is a baseball fan, this is not a “date movie.” Pitt is great looking as usual and if that is all you care about, Moneyball is for you. He laughs, he yells, he smiles, and he owns the movie: all the things people like to see him do. Hoffman is good as manager Art Howe who is in total disagreement with Beane 99% of the time.

In its first weekend, Moneyball took in $19.5 million, not bad for a specialized movie. Rotten Tomatoes gives it 94% on the tomatometer and the audience reaction is 92% liked it. IMDB gives it 8.3 out of 10. It has humor, drama, good acting and, of course, the still handsome Brad Pitt at age 47 and in terrific shape and luckily without Angelina in this one.

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