Moneyball (2011)

Genre: Biography, Drama, Sport 

Director: Bennett Miller

Writers: Steven Zaillian (screenplay) Aaron Sorkin (screenplay), Stan Chervin (story), Michael Lewis (Book) 

Staring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman 

Rating: ★★★★½

 

Moneyball is one of my favourite films and its truly brilliant. You know a films great when it focuses on a topic that barely intrigues you but you find yourself watching it being entertained, interested and caught up in the story. Moneyball is that type of film, something a lot of people would be put off by due to its focus on baseball but there’s hidden meanings in this film, and an inspirational story. Based on the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game 2003 but instead of a story this is more like a business meeting with most of the film being inside the head of our two main characters discussing statistics and money. Nevertheless I found myself in awe at the brilliance that is this film.

 

The story follows Oakland Athletic Baseball Team and their manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt). A former MLB player himself he is now a manager with a pure hatred of losing that inspired him to take the A’s to the World Series, however the harshness of the game saw him lose his three best players to richer, bigger teams offering higher salaries. Beane faces the task of rebuilding his team for the upcoming season but has the issue of an incredibly low-budget. With the help of nerdy, brain-box Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) he manages to come up with a strategy to rate players on their value giving the Oakland Athletics a winning formula. 

 

Beane faces a lot problems, he has to withstand the pressure from fellow scouts and his boss, who fails to play his chosen players due to not believing in Beane and Brand’s ridiculous strategy. The film has an emotional side plot too,  Beane trying to balance and win in his personal life as well as his managerial. After a failed marriage he is empty and lonely and attempts to save the love that his daughter Casey (Kerris Dorsey) making an emotional touching story as well as an entertaining one.

 

The performances from both Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill are absolutely flawless. However the casting of Jonah Hill was a big surprise due to his comedy label it was interesting to see how he would come up against this more serious role but his performance was unbelievably amazing. The screenwriter Aaron Sorkin previously responsible for The Social Network brings the same intelligent depth into Moneyball making it more than just a sport film. 

 

The film brings a breath of fresh air to the somewhat exhausted predictable “underdog” sports film. Like I said previously its more than a film about baseball and it only enters the field when it’s a crucial moment. For those who don’t like baseball it’s more than a great watch that will drag you into the brilliant story, also providing laughs but those laughs of recognition of real life. Those who do like baseball will begin to realise that it’s a business more than a sport and what happens behind the scenes. It got nominated for an amazing six Oscars and no surprise, it’s a fantastic watch and a real great that should be remembered for a long time. 

 
 
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My Top 5 Actors Of All Time

#5 Bruce Willis: Born March 19, 1995 he’s currently 58 years old and has been in the film industry since 1980. He features in the top ten stars in terms of box office receipts made. Most known for playing hot-headed, wisecracking and hard-edged characters he has his own franchise that is Die Hard where he plays officer “John Mclane”.

Die Hard (1988) is rated just outside the best 100 films of all time, and has brought along sequels of Die Hard 2 (1990), Die Hard: With a Vengeance and more recently Die Hard 4.0 (2007) and Die Hard: A Good Day to Die Hard (2013). The franchise has made $502,440,899 in lifetime gross being one of the most successful set of films of all time.

Bruce Willis isn’t just an action-hero, he’s played roles in dramas, thrillers and sci-fi films. Most popular playing the lead role in The Sixth Sense (1999), written and directed by at the time brilliant M. Night Shyamalan it got nominated for a staggering 6 Oscars and is rated 143rd best film of all time. He has also worked alongside with possibly the best screenplay writer and director of all time Quentin Tarantino in Pulp Fiction (1994) and finally he played lead role as a taxi driver in the brilliant The Fifth Element (1997) and starred alongside an all-star cast in Twelve Monkeys (1995).

 

Staring as lead role in an amazing amount of award-winning successful films he definitely deserves to be on this list. For me he is the best action actor and my favourite. His roles in the Die Hard films are amazing and they are one of my favourite sets of films. He is a truly talented guy too also writing, producing films and occasionally making soundtracks. He’s had a stunning career and is still going strong to date, well done Bruno.

#4 Morgan Freeman: Always playing “God” in films he has established a very godly prestigious role in the film industry and Hollywood. Known for his calm, and authoritative voice and demeanour he is possibly one of most well-known actors to date. Born June 1st, 1937 some would say he’s been around since the Stone Age but with those years he’s featured in some of the best films ever made, on the way winning an Oscar and a further 55 awards.

Playing one of the lead characters in The Shawshank Redemption (1994) voted the best film of all time, his role as Ellis the prison “getter” will be remembered for a very long time. He also played alongside Brad Pitt in the hugely successful Se7en (1995). Total gross of all of Morgan Freeman’s films stands to a staggering $4,003,514,144 with films such as Deep Impact (1998), Robin Hood (1991) and Driving Miss Daisy (1989) providing a big lump of that sum also not forgetting the Batman films.

He finally won his much deserved Oscar in 2009 for Invictus where he had the honour of playing the character of Nelson Mandela in his first term as president of South Africa in a battle to win the Rugby World Cup. In his career he has also been on set with David Fincher, Clint Eastwood to create amazing films.

For me he’s an outstanding, talented actor and without him some of my favourite films wouldn’t be as good. His presence is unique and his ability to draw you into a film is unbelievable. I think he no doubt deserves the credit he gets and of course the spot on this list. Although old he’s still going but you have to admire his fantastic career in film whether it be acting, producing or writing.

#3 Brad Pitt: A name that everyone knows and an even more popular face. Brad Pitt born December 18th, 1963 started his quest to Hollywood fame in 1987 in “Hunk” as an un-credited character of a guy with a drink on a beach. A further 67 films later he has been nominated for 4 Oscars and has won 37 awards, featuring in possibly some of the best films made.

The film that everyone will remember is Fight Club (1999), he played alongside Edward Norton in a film rated 10th best film of all time, but shhh we’re not allowed to talk about it. He has further acted in films such as Se7en (1995), Twelve Monkeys (1995) where he got his first nomination for an Oscar, furthermore and more recently films such The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Moneyball (2011).

Moneyball a film that is personally one of my favourites, Brad Pitt played lead role as well as producing. About an underdog baseball team with a low-budget huge success it’s an incredible film that got nominated for a huge 6 Oscars. The total Box Office for Brad Pitts films stand  worldwide at 3 and a half billion dollars showing he’s a top actor in top films.

He’s an actor that brings a certain style and “coolness” to his films that no one else does. His outstanding acting and a relationship with Angelina Jolie he is probably the most famous Hollywood actor and is one of the highest paid A-Listers. He’s certainly a talented guy and with only being half way through his career we’ll definitely see more of Pitt, definitely deserving his place as #3 on this list.

#2 Leonardo DiCaprio: Just missing out on top spot is the heart-throb born in Hollywood, Leonardo DiCaprio. Born November 11th 1974, he started his acting career with minor TV series but after making the world flutter as his performance of Jack in Titanic he cemented his position as an all time great.

In my opinion Mr. DiCaprio hasn’t done a bad film, from the likes of Catch Me If You Can (2002) and more recently The Great Gatsby (2013), he is one of my favourite actors making and performing in some of my favourite films. The world of cinema must think so too as he’s been nominated for 3 Oscars and a further 31 award wins.

Titanic (1997) being his most famous film alongside Inception (2010). In Titanic he played the character of Jack in a romantic drama that swept the nations heart. Although not featuring as frequently in films as other actors every film he has done has been hugely successful. Django Unchained (2012), Shutter Island (2010) and The Departed (2006) all sweeping in awards. His total box office for films standing at an almighty impressive $5billion.

With his unique charm and class alongside be innocent child like look there’s no wonder he’s a popular man. With his extreme talent there’s also no surprise he’s #2 on my list. He has featured in some of my favourite films and played some of my favourite characters, in the words of Jay Gatsby well done old sport.

#1Tom Hanks: top of my list and I’m sure many others is the great Tom Hanks. Not only has he featured and played the lead role in a number of timeless classics unlike most actors he has played in every genre of film, from comedies, dramas, war to romance, each giving an amazing performance. Born July 9th, 1956 in Concord USA Hanks started his career of acting in the 1980’s with various TV series to then play in films such as Big (1988), The ‘Burbs (1989). He is now known for much bigger classic films, all time greats and he is known for his amazing acting and unique voice.

Tom Hanks has played lead roles in films such as Forrest Gump (1994) and PPhiladelphia (1993) that both won him Oscars. Two more of my favourite films of his and of all time, Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Cast Away (2000) also got nominations for Oscars. It’s safe to say his films have had huge success, and no surprise his performances in both Forrest Gump and Cast Away are my favourite and deserve huge credit.

Over the course of his prestigious career Hanks total box office for films is just over $6billion, more than every actor accept Samuel L. Jackson. Over the last decade  he has also shown his talents as he has started to produce and write films such as Polar Express (2004) and Larry Crowne (2011). He’s my favourite actor mainly due to his appearance in a number of amazing films from the Toy Story series to You’ve Got Mail. I guarantee if you ask people they’re top 10 films Tom Hanks is lurking in there somewhere.

 

Tom Hanks tops the list for his unbelievable amount of amazing films and his all round nice guy personality. A truly talented guy responsible for some of the best films and performances in the last 30 years truly deserve top spot.