I love movies with a predictable twist.
Okay, not really. I hate movies with a predictable twist, actually. But you know what I hate even more? Movies with no twist at all.
I woke up with an incredible urging to see the movie now that it’s finally out and even tweeted “Happy #Moneyball Day!”, because, as I’ve said, I really wanted to love it. But I just didn’t. A few things in particular…
The Types Were All Wrong
The movie didn’t delve very deep into personalities, which is fine, but I think they got all the stereotypes wrong, too. One could argue that since it’s a fictionalized account, the characters being realistic isn’t important, but I think in this case the types are integral to the story. Billy Beane, in particular, came across like a glorified, grown-up jock who was in the right place at the right time and put faith in Peter Brand, who was the smart one. Brand’s character was also odd to me because his type seemed like he should have been funny, a kind of a klutz, etc. Instead, he was pretty much a total straight man.
No Big Three
This was a gripe I had with the book, as well, but even more so with the movie. Where was Mulder? Hudson? Zito? Speaking of which…
The 20th Straight Win
I think Hudson being on the mound was a big part of that game, against the Royals, where the A’s went for their 20th straight win. More importantly, even, was the whole thing after Hudson was taken out. Howe brought in someone for the lefty-on-lefty matchup, if I’m remembering correctly and they totally ommited that. I guess it was cute for the whole “Beane-jinx” storyline for it to seem like the letting in 11 runs was a fluke, but it just felt random and meaningless then.
I think that was just one place out of many where they profoundly missed the original point of Moneyball. Which is fine, but then they needed to make their own compelling point, you know?
Sabean Doesn’t Talk Like That!
‘Nuff said. I’m glad they didn’t include Dombrowski’s voice too or I might have ended up being That Person who yells are the screen in the theatre.
Not the yummy, yellow, gets-stuck-in-your-teeth-kind. The kind that makes you roll your eyes and drum your fingers. I think Aaron Sorkin is a really great script writer so I don’t know quite where this went wrong, except maybe that they told the story totally straight. It was weird, really. And the daughter storyline was undeveloped and incongruous, as far as I could tell.
Saving it for last, because I’m a downer like that. I thought the Hatteberg storyline was absolutely great. It felt real enough that it made sense, but it also had a nice Hollywood twist to it and worked in a movie format. The acting was good and the whole thing was well done. The guy who played Wash was pretty good too.
I didn’t hate it as much as I may have implied so far. It was fine, really. Just a bit confused, a bit boring and very, very flat. Not up to its potential, neither a baseball movie or an Oscar movie or even a business movie. One of the best movies of the year, Rolling Stone? Eh, nope.
p.s. I think the Dodgers read my blog post from yesterday and were all, “Scoring eight runs is rad! We should do it, too!” Which was not my intent.