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Moneyball

Film Review: Trouble with the Curve

by Jake Kring-Schreifels

Photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

In sports, it usually takes three of something to deem it a streak, especially in baseball where there’s a number for everything. Maybe it’s just a coincidence that for the second consecutive year we’ve been given a baseball film in late September (recall last year’s Moneyball, the Oscar nominated Billy Beane memoir). This year’s diamond flick, Trouble With The Curve, besides a similar release date examines more front office dynamics, but this time with a slap back at the sabermetric world, balancing front office order by chronicling an aging scout who believes in evaluating players without those hokey computers.

Moneyball

by Jake Kring-Schreifels
Sony Pictures - Brad Pitt as Billy Beane and Jonah Hill as Peter Brand

Moneyball, the adaption of the best selling 2003 novel by Michael Lewis, isn't your typical sports film. Then again, what Billy Beane did with the Oakland Athletics wasn't typical either. The movie, directed by Bennett Miller (Capote), centers as a biopic but is laced together through a dramatic narrative. Spanning the course of a year, Miller takes us on the emotional roller coaster of a baseball general manager, insightfully hitting poignant moments of despair and unexpected jolts of hope. In this sense, it's not a baseball movie; it's a movie about baseball. It’s a subtle difference, but one that ultimately is able to capture the hearts of non-sports fans and make them care about a man and team that defied the odds.

Moneyball Still Means Something

by Jake Kring-Schreifels
Sony Pictures - Brad Pitt as Billy Beane

Late September in the baseball year is usually the time for post season surges, when teams jockey for position and aim to win the division or wildcard. That’s probably the reason that Moneyball, the book, now movie starring Brad Pitt about the 2002 Oakland Athletics, is out this Friday. That year, under famed GM Billy Beane, the A’s won 103 games, collecting a late season stash of victories (including a 20-game winning streak) en route to sealing the A.L. west division title. How they got there is more impressive.