Moneyball

February 28, 2012 at 9:00 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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I went to see Moneyball the other day.

This is an interesting look at the major league baseball.

Unlike most sports films, this film shows very little sporting action. The tension and excitement is created by observing the General Manager of the Oakland A’s. The film rests on Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Billy Beane – the General Manager.

This film is based on the book of the same name, based on the events surrounding the Oakland A’s in their 2002 season. When, without their three top, from the previous year, the A’s won 20 consecutive games (a major league record) and almost made the play-off. All done with the lowest budget in the whole league.

Billy Beane and Peter Brand (his assistant played by Jonah Hill) bring a new perspective to the game of baseball and achieve some amazing results with underrated players.

Beane and Brands’ ideas are not well received at the A’s – nor by the establishment.

The film also explores aspects of management and leadership. How Beane was able to communicate his vision to his players – despite resistance of the team’s manager. It seems in major league baseball, the general manager hires-and-fires and the manager manages the resulting players; there is a separation between player selection and how they play the game.

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Tinker Tailor Solder Spy

February 28, 2012 at 8:00 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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I went to see the film based on the book by John Le Carre and it held my attention. In a world where spy movie means explosions and action, this was a spy movie with a difference.

There is lots of tension created by the skills of the director (Tomas Alfredson) and the actors.

For me the two standout actors were Gary Oldman and Colin Firth.

Gary Oldman is George Smiley, brought back into British Intelligence to find a ‘mole’ at the highest level of the Service. Since the plot revolves around Smiley, the film’s rests solely on his performance. Gary Oldman does an excellent job of bringing the role out of the shadow cast by Sir Alec Guinness – who played the same role in the acclaimed BBC TV series.

Colin Firth is Bill Haydon, a senior member of the Service. Colin Firth puts in a very subtle performance – playing spy who can seduce and charm both sexes.

My only question: Did people really meet and have offices in special rooms that resemble suspended refrigerated shipping containers?

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