Via Rob Neyer, Steven Soderbergh is shooting for new heights of realism as he makes the Moneyball movie
“We have the dramatic building blocks, so the question is how real can we make the world?” …My clearly stated goal is to set a new standard for realism in that [sports] world.”
To that end, he’ll be recreating the bowels of Oakland Coliseum – where the A’s play – on a soundstage and filming at actual American League stadiums around the country. And since he has the cooperation of the MLB, “Moneyball” will also be able to use actual game footage from the 2002 season.
Sounds terrible first of all, because despite the best intentions, baseball games don’t really make good movies. The best baseball movies aren’t about baseball games, they’re about the characters who play the game or are involved with the game. The Natural for instance is a great baseball movie. I wouldn’t say the game footage is all that realistic, but it doesn’t matter, the characters are compelling, the acting is great, the dialogue is just cheesy enough but not enough to make you want to squirm.
That’s the thing with Moneyball. Moneyball is really not a book about baseball, it’s a book about logic, and economics, and change management, and cultural revolution, and Billy Beane I guess.
Frankly, I have a very easy time imagining a Moneyball movie that doesn’t have any ‘game shots’ at all and still works great.