You don’t have to be a baseball fan or a spreadsheets lover to enjoy Moneyball. The story of how an under-resourced team found a way to be smarter than their bigger and richer rivals has an appeal that works even if you’re not sure what a strike is and aren’t moved by the idea of someone pouring over data to find a different way of looking at things.
That is a large part of why Moneyball, the movie of Michael Lewsis’s book about the Oakland A’s baseball team, is such an enjoyable movie.
Add in some great acting, a script written by someone (West Wing’s Aaron Sorkin) who values words rather than seeing them as placeholders between special effects, great editing of footage and a nicely judged music score and you have a wonderfully enjoyable movie. Even if you don’t like baseball.
Often the extras on a DVD are of limited value, but in this case – save for the one that give you the chance to watch Brad Pitt sitting laughing for several minutes – the extras add greatly to the film, both in explaining the context and (in the case of the deleted scenes) rounding out the characters nicely.
Of course, being the film of a book there is the ultimate extra – the book itself. Don’t think of one as a substitute for the other. If you enjoy one, dive into the other too.
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