When the Academy Awards roll around I try to see as many of the movies in contention as I can. "Moneyball" was on my list last weekend and it turned out to be a lot better than I ever thought it would be.
I lived through the 2002 baseball season and remember the Oakland A's. I know the story of Billy Beane and I know about Sabermetrics. It's an OK story but I wondered if it could carry an entire movie.
Well, it turns out "Moneyball" is less about baseball and a lot more about commitment and belief. It's about fighting the "this is how we've always done it" attitude that has an impact on everything from education to politics to social interactions.
I thought Brad Pitt was pretty good, although I wonder about his nomination for Best Actor. He's cute as all get out, as always, but I've always been concerned about his depth as an actor. I think he's so good looking that he has an impact just by showing up on the screen, and he knows it.
But Jonah Hill delivers a wonder as Pitt's muse. Maybe I've got a thing for fat Jewish guys with glasses and a strong core of belief, but Hill provides both drama and humor and a base for Pitt to run to when he seems like he's about to get lost.
There is another minor character worth seeing. An actor named Stephen Bishop, who played minor league baseball, plays veteran outfielder David Justice and his portrayal is about as accurate a depiction of a professional athlete as I've ever seen.
One more thing that's important. Sports movies normally have a tough time making the action on the field look realistic. Not here. With a mix of actual footage from that season and staging that seems just as real, "Moneyball" is a movie fit for baseball fans and everyone else.
DT | Feb. 16, 2012 at 10:03 a.m. (report)
This movie has been staring at me on Netlix for too long. Gotta watch it this weekend. Continue to hear great things.
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published Oct. 20, 2016
For many Milwaukeeans, Sheriff Clarke's recent comments have only made him more of a national and international embarrassment to the city. Perhaps the answer is a recall election - which requires only 13% of the adults in the county sign a petition.
Published Oct. 18, 2016
Sometimes it can be difficult to fully understand how magnificent First Stage is in the theatrical firmament, not just in Milwaukee, but across the country as well. Take a look at "Goosebumps," which opened over the weekend, to see how they do it every time.
Published Oct. 16, 2016
It's not always the case that a play lives up to either its title or its billing, but First Stage, as you might expect, does just that with "Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium: The Musical," which opened over the weekend.
Published Oct. 13, 2016
The Milwaukee Ballet opens its season Oct. 20 with two one-act programs that are as different as night and day. "Angels in the Architecture" is about the Shaker religion, while "Scheherazade" is filled with romance, intrigue and spectacular costumes.
Published Oct. 12, 2016
Disney princesses are revered in the world of storybook tales, films, books and theme parks. "Disenchanted," the musical review running at the Marcus Center, turns those princesses around with a musical of riotous humor about how ridiculous they can be.
Published Oct. 11, 2016
I made a mistake and I'm sorry. In my review of "Dracula vs. the Nazis," which opened Friday night at In Tandem Theatre, I identified a couple that slept through much of the show. Naming the couple who invited them was out of bounds.
Published Oct. 8, 2016
How bad was it? This bad. A couple who were the invited guests of the couple that sponsored the play, slept through giant chunks of the play. That's the low point of "Dracula vs. the Nazis" that opened at In Tandem Theatre Friday night.
Published Oct. 6, 2016
I am now almost 1,500 rides into my part-time job as an Uber driver, and one of the most fascinating things I have noticed, and continue to notice, is apparel. People wear a variety of things - a lot of it depending on where they are going.
Published Oct. 5, 2016
I've known Charlie Sykes since he was 16 years old, a freckle-faced kid swimming in the wake of his colorful father, Jay, trying to keep up. He's leaving WTMJ after a quarter-century and the Milwaukee radio landscape is going to be poorer because of it.
Published Oct. 4, 2016
For a play that takes place largely on a cross-country trip on a Greyhound bus, "Violet" never really gets out of first gear. The story of the disfigured young girl from North Carolina opened at Skylight, kicking off the company's 58th season.