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Jan Wahl Movie Review: 'Moneyball'

(KCBS) - Jan Wahl reviews Oakland A's true story, 'Moneyball' starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

You can hear KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl's movie reviews on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM Fridays at 8:53am & 4:53pm.

PICTURES: 'Moneyball' Premiere

It's not only a baseball story, 'Moneyball' is about a man gutsy enough to believe that money doesn't buy everything, including a winning ball club. Brad Pitt produces and stars as Oakland Athletics General Manager, Billy Beane. On a modest budget, Beane (Pitt) employs a computer generated analysis in order to build a great team. Jonah Hill plays young 'Peter Brand' who helps Beane in this radical quest. Philip Seymour Hoffman also stars in his second outing with Director Bennett Miller. Previously, Hoffman worked with Miller in 2005's 'Capote'. Hoffman's performance as real-life team manager, Art Howe is credible and compelling.

As always, I love baseball films from 'The Natural', 'Field of Dreams' to 'Pride of the Yankees' but this time the movie is too cerebral, it tells us rather than shows us what goes on in baseball. Lots of stats, phone calls, trading talk but it doesn't make the film move. We need visuals and heart. Very rare. Lots of Brad Pitt close-ups, scores and a lot of baseball talk. It is a GREAT local story and that's why I'm giving it 3 Hats.  It really should have "hit it out of the park", but doesn't.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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