Moneyball is a baseball movie, an underdog tale, a true story and a Brad Pitt vehicle. But more than any of those things, Moneyball is a character study about what it’s like to stand up against everyone and everything because you have faith in an idea.

In 2001, the Oakland Athletics, with a payroll of about $40 million – almost a third of the ultra-rich New York Yankees – made the playoffs. The next year, three of their marquee players were poached by other teams for bigger contracts and, with little money and few resources, general manager Billy Beane (Pitt) was forced to embrace a whole new way of looking at baseball to stay competitive.

Directed by Bennett Miller, who directed Philip Seymour Hoffman (also in this movie) to an Oscar in Capote, Moneyball plays like an exciting fantasy baseball draft if everyone was in on the intricacies but, at its heart, it’s really about the struggle of being different. And that’s something we can all relate to. Read More »

.

Please Recommend /Film on Facebook

When I read Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball back in 2003, the idea that a movie could be made never crossed my mind. The reality of the situation – A’s general manager Billy Beane changing the game of baseball – was being played out in reality. Players like Nick Swisher and Kevin Youkilis, whom the book was about, were playing for real and that was proof enough for me.

But now, the changes in strategy that Beane and his team implemented are proven practice and it seems right to go back to where it all began. Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman, opens September 23 and the more I see from it – this new UK trailer for example – makes me realize, even though it wasn’t my first instinct, this was born to be a movie. Check it out after the jump. Read More »

‘Moneyball’ Trailer #2

Rounding out today’s batch of ‘second-look’ trailers (see also Killer Elite and In Time) we’ve got the alternate second trailer for Bennett Miller‘s Moneyball, which stars Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill as two men whose stat-based approach to building a baseball team had a deep and lasting effect on the business behind the game. This is a slightly expanded version of the first trailer with some extra footage (Philip Seymour Hoffman speaks!) and the same heart-tugging blend of earnest pathos and ‘up against the wall’ desperation, all set to music that Friday Night Lights fans should find quite familiar.

In other words, it’s basically the same trailer, only with a little more of everything. But after covering so much of the behind the scenes wrangling that led to this true story of Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s hitting the screen, how can we not toss this one your way? Read More »

If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.

Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »

Quite a lot of new posters showed up on the internets during the first official day of Comic Con today, and there are a few good ones. The teaser poster for The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t high-res, sadly, and it basically repurposes a shot of Spidey’s back that we saw via EW last week. But it’s a good teaser shot regardless.

There are two new Steven Soderbergh images, for Haywire and Contagion — or two and a half Steven Soderbegh posters if you count the new one-sheet for Moneyball, which Bennett Miller ended up directing after much drama. Andrew Niccol‘s In Time (formerly I’m.mortal and Time) gets a poster and two character sheets. And, finally, James McTeigue‘s The Raven gets a poster with some very Ralph Steadman-esque ink splashes and title scrawl. All good stuff, and all after the break.
Read More »

Did you skip the awful Entertainment Tonight presentation of the trailer for Bennett Miller‘s Moneyball, which came complete with unwanted additional voiceover? So did I, but we’re all in luck now, as Sony has released a clean HD version of the trailer to Yahoo. Check it out below. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Editor’s Update: Entertainment Tonight has aired the full trailer for Moneyball (with only minor annoying voice over). Watch it now embedded after the jump. Thanks to /Film reader Eric B for the tip.

If you wind the clock back to mid-2009 and took a look at /Film you’d find the film Moneyball as one of our most-covered topics. The film took an unusual path to the screen when Steven Soderbergh‘s version of the movie was canned at the last minute by Sony chief Amy Pascal. The movie was shopped to other studios, which passed on it, and Soderbergh soon left the project. Several writers worked on the project, but eventually there was a Steve Zaillian draft rewritten by Aaron Sorkin, which then got a last polish from Mr. Zaillian before Bennett Miller came on to direct the movie.

Throughout the process, Brad Pitt was set to play Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane, who worked with a young statistician, eventually played by Jonah Hill, to revamp the hiring process for the A’s. They built the cheapest winning team in baseball, and their approach certainly did change some of the business practices behind the game. Now a trailer is about to hit for Bennett Miller’s version of the film, and the firt clips of footage debuted on ET last night. Check out that montage after the break. Read More »

If you read my top ten of 2010 you saw that, despite some diamonds in the rough, I felt 2010 was largely unimpressive in terms of film. Well, if potential says anything, 2011 is going to be amazing. We’ve got new films from filmmakers like Terrence Malick, Michel Gondry, Ron Howard and Jodie Foster, incredible genre action with films like Cowboys & Aliens and Green Lantern, the return of epic franchises with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol and X-Men First Class and even huge blockbuster comedy with films like The Hangover Part II.

And as exciting as all those films sound, none of them made my top ten most anticipated. That’s how good 2011 looks. On paper at least. These things rarely pan out. See what I mean after the jump where you’ll find both my most anticipated films for 2011 as well as the films I picked at this time last year with retrospective commentary.

Read More »

moneyball-p-s-hoffman-slice

Bennett Miller is finally directing Moneyball with Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and here’s the first look at Hoffman as Oakland A’s manager Art Howe. Not the most remarkable photo, really, but it at least looks right. Hey, it’s a baseball movie striving for at least some vague realism; you can’t expect him to be brandishing bats as weapons or anything. See a larger version after the break.

But the more interesting news is that, after years of development, Paul DePodesta, former assistant GM for the A’s, is reportedly asking that his name be taken out of the film. Read More »