365 High-Def Days of Oscar: Day 90
Release Year: 2011
Best Supporting Actor
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Sound Mixing
THE PLOT THUS FAR
Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
Billy Beane is a former major leaguer turned general manager of the Oakland A’s. After losing in the playoffs to the Yankees, the A’s lose their stars to free agency. Billy is tasked with rebuilding despite a payroll that leaves the A’s trailing the competition. While going through the usual motions, Billy happens by Pete Brand, an economist who may have found a way to scout baseball with the efficiency the A’s need. The two delve in head first, and despite some tough outings they never back down.
Pitt is at the top of his game. As an everyman—or at least one that isn’t played up as wealthy, a man struggling to keep his job—frustration is clearly seen in Pitt’s face. Pitt brings humanity to the ominous job of a general manager. Flashbacks of his stint in “the show” surmise his entire life, be it his divorce or relationship with his daughter Casey.
Moneyball is not the action-packed sports outing one may be expecting. Director Bennett Miller spends very little time focusing on the game of baseball, or even the personalities of the players. Moneyball is a movie about management. Its deadpan, forthright approach is fresh compared to the typical underdog story filled with home runs and stolen bases. There’s no electrifying music or thrilling speeches, but the excitement found in a phone call is realized as well as one could imagine. I don’t think any actor other than Hill could pull of his slowly clinched fist.
The one thing that this movie has going for it is the lack of actual action on the diamond. There are some great scenes of actual baseball, one at bat by Hatteberg in particular struck a chord with me, but for the most part the action is behind the scenes. There is enough for a sports junkie to get their fix and enough drama and with Beane and his family to entice any average viewer into the theater. I can’t think of many target groups that wouldn’t find it interesting, except for children, due to language and complexity of some of the dialogue.
The Blu-Ray comes with a DVD and Digital Copy. The deleted scenes, featurettes and bloopers are fun. However, I would appreciate more information on the real book and cases that made up the principles of Sabremetrics. The 1080p transfer was sharp and the DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track were reference quality. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!