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"Moneyball" Reviewed (More Or Less)

"Moneyball" opens with the Oakland A's losing Game 5 of the ALDS to the Yanks in 2001. I was there laughing at a big sign that read "Who wants to be an Athletic Supporter?" I laughed long and hard, it was barely a month after 9-11 and a time of great joy.

So it is to director Bernard Miller (he did "Capote") and Brad Pitt's credit that I found myself almost immediately rooting for the A's to rebound. Written by Co-Written by Aaron Sorkin, it has the deep smarts of "The Social Network".

Brad Pitt as the A's General Manager Billy Beane has lost his three best players  left thru free agency (two to the Yanks) and the owner won't give him any money to get a good replacement. On a trip to the Cleveland Indians he meets Jonah Hill -an analyst for the Indians, who teachers him about Moneyball – a computer software that analysis players based upon the things the big boys ignore. Like On Base percentage.

After a slow start the A's go on a 20 game winning streak -the all time longest for any ball club.

Pitt is so charming and cool, he gives a superstar turn as Beane. And the movie, for everyone, but especially for baseball fans , is superb.Jonah Hill is very good in his first non-comedic role and Phillip Seymour Hoffman nails the bland Head Coach Art Howe, who we grew to hate at Shea Stadium a couple of years later.

Musically? Not much going on. But the Clash played the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum (ground zero for the team) and there is a poster on Beane's wall and a picture of Joe Strummer in shades.

Also Beane's daughter is charmingly played by Kerris Dorsey (she was in the TV Drama Brothers And Sisters). Beane is divorced and he takes his daughter to buy an acoustic guitar, she strums Lenka's "The Show" for him. It is a very quiet and understated moment and the relationship between father and daughter (Brad Pitt is getting good at father figures, he was just as good in "Tree Of Life") is one of the movies many pleasures.

 Movie: A-

Music: B

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