Review: Moneyball

February 22, 2012, 2:13 pm
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With apologies for being late to the party, don't believe the studio spin, if you don't like baseball, you won't like Moneyball. It's 100% baseball and like the sport, replete with a dizzying dose of stats, mostly hits but some errors to boot.

Brad Pitt plays payroll-challenged Oakland A's GM Billy Beane, trying to compete with a budget roughly a third what the big boys (Red Sox/Yankees) roll with. The years have turned the former Fight Clubber into a facsimile of Robert Redford, same look - lesser talent. 

Like virtually all actors, Pitt plays slight variations of himself in his big screen roles. Problem is, there are numerous times that Pitt comes off as clueless when it comes to baseball, not because of his character, but his acting. 

Pitt isn't as consistently commanding as a general manager needs to be. In one of Pitt's first meetings, he's upstaged by the opposing GM, something that an A-list actor should never be guilty of (don't get me started on Pitt's incessant biting his lower lip habit).

Jonah Hill (before he went anorexic-like) is fab as Pitt's stat-obsessed Yale grad assistant - his acting minimal but delivering maximum impact. Philip Seymour Hoffman delivers a fine performance as the team's manager, although his eyebrows are beyond bizarre.

With a runtime of slightly over two hours, Moneyball is a good 20 minutes too long. The climaxial game (have petitioned the English police for legalization of that word) feels like an 18-inning contest. The end result mirrors the actual season Moneyball depicts, a memorable run but a loss in the final game played.

Grade: B

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It was many moons ago in a darkened theater that my love of cinema took root as I snuck in to see my first R-rated film, Blade Runner. The futuristic vision that Ridley Scott unleashed on the screen was simply soul-expanding — spiritual even. From that moment, my mission to have that kind of magic strike again began in earnest. My hope is to be able to shine a light on films that may just have that kind of effect on you — films that may be lesser known, but not lesser in impact. 
             
- Erick Weber

Final Cut Scoring System
99-95% Opening night
94-90% Opening weekend
89-86% In theaters
85-83% On Demand
82-80% Netflix/Redbox
79-75% If desperate
74-70% If dozing off
69-65% If intoxicated
64-60% If comatose
Below 60% If brain dead

Erick's reviews
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