Moneyball DVD Review
“Moneyball” is a masterpiece.
As a longtime Oakland A’s fan, “Moneyball” is a particularly special film to me because it’s a story about the MLB team I follow. I have fond memories of the exciting 2002 season and it was fascinating to get the behind-the-scenes story (with some creative license) of what went on in the clubhouse with the players and manager and in the front office with the GM Billy Beane. But it’s more than just a movie about perspectives. It’s a movie about defying the odds, family, change, second chances, underdogs, the ups and downs of life and baseball, valuing the underrated, numbers, and, yes, baseball. To say it’s a thematically rich movie is an understatement.
Now, I know some viewers may frown upon the idea of watching a movie about a GM and an economist devising a way to compete with high spending clubs like the Yankees, bu it’s written, acted, and directed in a way that ensures there is never a dull moment. It’s simply an entertaining movie through and through thanks to a snappy script by Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian and unforgettable performances by the entire cast.
On the subject of the cast, a lot of praise has been heaped upon Brad Pitt’s performance as Billy Beane and I can say he’s earned every ounce of it. Some folks (including myself) often take his talent for granted, but it’s here that his acting talent is front and center. The most surprising performance here, however, is that of Jonah Hill who plays Peter Brand (based on real life baseball exec Paul DePodesta). Hill, who is mostly known for playing comedic/sidekick roles, shows off his dramatic acting chops here which I didn’t know existed. Hopefully, we’ll see him take on more roles like this instead of doing disposable films like “The Sitter”.
Summary: As clichéd as the saying is by now, it really is true that you don’t have to be a baseball fan to like this fantastic movie. I personally know several friends who could care less about baseball, but loved this film. Buy it, rent it, order it on demand- just see it.
The cinematography by Wally Pfister really shines on this DVD release and I’m sure it looks even better on Blu-ray. “Moneyball” is presented in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio.
I didn’t detect any issues with the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. Everything from the music and dialogue to the stock footage and crowd roars sounded sharp.
* Sony trailers and a Sony Blu-ray ad.
* 3 deleted scenes titled “Billy Tells Art: Play Bradford,” “Tara And Billy Dinner,” and “Peter Offered GM Job.”
* “Blooper- Brad Loses It”- A blooper of Brad Pitt cracking up while shooting a scene.
* “Moneyball: Playing The Game”- An interesting featurette on shooting/recreating the baseball/stadium scenes in the film.
* “Billy Beane: Re-Inventing The Game”- A featurette on Billy Beane. Interviews with the real Billy Beane and Aaron Sorkin are included. Some great insight into Beane’s philosophy here.