It’s a rare sports movie that can appeal to just about anyone. But there has never been a sports movie quite like Moneyball, which tells the true tale of how Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt, above) and his assistant (Jonah Hill) turned baseball on its ear by trumping 100-year-old methods of evaluating talent with a new statistics-based system. Don’t be fooled by how dry that sounds: Moneyball transcends its subject by presenting two regular guys fighting against the tide of conventional wisdom, all in the name of allowing cash-strapped underdogs (the A’s) to compete fairly with the big boys (the Yankees). Who can’t relate to that? Then there’s Pitt, who knocks it out of the park with a subtle and finely controlled performance. The Blu-ray manages a walk-off homer of its own: Image quality is beyond reproach, remaining consistent even as the film blends archival footage with carefully crafted re-creations for crucial on-field game scenes. And the sound captures the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd in thrillingly realistic style. Even the documentary material is a cut above, using interviews with the real Beane, director Bennett Miller, co-screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, and others to show how a rousing and memorable movie can be culled from the complicated stuff of real life. Play ball!
Video: 1.85:1. Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Extras: four featurettes on the production, adapting the book, casting the movie, and Billy Beane; deleted scenes; blooper. Studio: Sony.
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