Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Moneyball - 魔球

Moneyball (魔球) is an 2011 film. The film stars Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. The supporting cast includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Pratt, and a few retired baseball players turned thespians.

The Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, has limited funds but wants to win badly. Seeing how the scouting team seems to put items like people's girlfriends as a evaluation point, he seems feed up. When Billy visits the Cleveland front office to offer a trade, he notices Peter Brand, played by Jonah Hill, help in a decision to stop a trade. Intrigued, Billy offers Peter the job as the Oakland A's assistant GM. Once Peter arrives in Oaktown, Billy uses his method of evaluating players based on their stats and salary to make some decisions. Essentially boiled down to "buying wins" with their limited funds. Billy feels push back from his scouts and the manager of the team, Art Howe, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. As the season goes on, however, the A's turn it around and make the playoffs.

I don't know if you would like this movie if you didn't understand baseball. It has a lot of sport jargon that needs to be explained. Like ERA, OBA, etc. Things that only baseball freaks understand. Yes, there's the human element of Billy Beane's battle with old boys club of scouts that have run the show for generations. And there's the part of the movie where Billy balances being a exec of a MLB team and that of a father. And there's the human element of how the front office deals with its players whom are essentially assets for their business. All those make the movie something worth seeing as well. But not understanding essentially why the movie is called "Moneyball" may disappoint you. However, if you do understand, you NEED to see this film. And if you're a fantasy baseball junkie, you MUST see this film.

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