Brad Pitt's 'Moneyball' swings for the fences [Trailer]
It’s hard to imagine a contemporary sports movie packing in more than the usual cliches about a fighting spirit -- almost as hard as it is to imagine Michael Lewis’ idea-heavy "Moneyball" becoming a movie in the first place –- but the trailer for Brad Pitt's September film manages to upend both preconceptions.
The piece, which hit the Web on Thursday, begins with a bit of "Bad News Bears" familiarity, as Pitt's Billy Beane, of course the Oakland A's general manager, tries to win by fielding a group of misfits. But once that's out of the way it buckles down to the more interesting dramatic subject of a man trying to change a system while carrying no small amount of doubt himself, rendering visual the story Lewis told in the Beane plot line of his 2003 nonfiction bestseller.
In between, it flashes just enough numbers and spreadsheets to imply that Lewis' ideas about sabermetrics aren't entirely forgotten, while also suggesting that Beane's confidence -- and his clashes with the baseball-scout old guard -- provide some humor.
"If we win with this team, we’ll have changed the game," Pitt’s character says. It's of course far too early to say whether the movie will be a game-changer in the Hollywood sense of the term. It certainly has the team –- which, in addition to Pitt includes writers Steven Zallian and Aaron Sorkin, a (refreshingly less jocular) Jonah Hill and director Bennett Miller, handpicked by Pitt because of his feature debut, "Capote."
And while there's always the question with a movie like this of whether the stakes can match the drama –- it is just about a baseball game, after all -- the trailer contains plenty of hints that Miller reaches base safely, and then some, with his first film in six years.
-- Steven Zeitchik