Thanks to my bizarre work hours – hours, mind you, that suit me to a “T” – I have all morning to do as I wish. Usually, I’ll hit the gym for a good 90 minutes, then the grocery, and finally, read, read, read at the bookstore. Sometimes, I’ll catch a matinee, which is my favorite part about working silly night hours because I’m scoring $6 movies like an old man.
TANGENT: Earlier this year, I was in the gym locker room changing, and this wrinkled old guy, hunched over a bit, asked if I would go to Whole Foods with him to “pick up broads.” Declining that offer is one of the biggest regrets of my life. I keep hoping he’ll ask me again, but months later, nothing. There’s a good chance we would’ve cleaned up… or gotten arrested.
Typically, I have the theatre all to myself, but that was far from the case at yesterday’s 10:45 AM screening of Moneyball. I was there a solid 20 minutes before the next human entered, so I got a good look at everyone that packed the joint, and I’ve got to say, there was really no one demographic.
I think that sums up Moneyball. There is something for everyone. Sports buffs get their fix on the 2002 Oakland Athletics season. (SEE: Oakland A’s Foogos!) The ladies get two hours of Brad Pitt throwing things across rooms as general manager Billy Beane, along with a nice little sub-plot surrounding his daughter. (By my count, there was four: a radio, desk, chair and… something else. I forget. But it was four.)
I was riveted throughout the entire flick, and I empathized with a lot of the events, both on and off the field. A team of nobodies and spare parts, left for dead and finally coming together, vindicating the “crazy” management team. A lot of it tugged on my own sporting heartstrings, having grown up in a family that revolved around the ups and downs of the small market NHL franchise my father worked for. Plus, it’s really hard to NOT like the A’s, because they epitomized the term “underdogs.”
But this isn’t so much a baseball movie; rather, it’s a film about redemption – with sports as the backdrop – that reaches its ultimate crescendo during the A’s 20-game win streak, which was nearly thwarted by the Kansas City Royals when Oakland blew an 11-0 lead. I remember watching those ESPN highlights. Crazy. (READ: the game recap.) Redemption comes for both Beane and his assistant, Peter Grand (played by Jonah Hill), a character based on Beane’s former assistant, Paul DePodesta. It’s also about the redemption of misfit toy first baseman Scott Hatteberg, hero of that historic 20th win in a row (an American League record).So my cereal verdict on Moneyball is that it is decidedly Golden Grahams, plus Cinnamon Toast Crunch, mixed with the protein of Kashi Go Lean Crunch (the commercials say that’s as much protein as an egg!). It’s hands-down the best movie I’ve seen all year, with enough complimentary flavors to keep everyone happy. Highly recommended. (LISTEN: Billy Beane’s thoughts on the movie.)