Moneyball appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. For the most part, the image seemed good.
Sharpness was always strong, as the movie displayed solid definition. No obvious signs of softness materialized, so we got a tight, accurate presentation here. I saw no issues with jaggies or shimmering, but occasional edge haloes appeared. Print flaws also didn’t pop up, so the movie stayed clean and clear.
In terms of colors, Moneyball tended toward a somewhat green feel. Given the A’s uniforms, that made sense, but other scenes still gave us a mild green/teal tint. This wasn’t heavy and it made sense within the film’s design parameters. Blacks seemed dark and tight, while shadows offered nice clarity and smoothness. Other than the sporadic instances of edge haloes, this was a pleasing presentation.
Don’t expect much from the subdued DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Moneyball. Still, the soundfield opened things up to a moderate degree. Music showed nice stereo presence, and the soundscape broadened when appropriate. This mostly meant ballgame scenes, as the track featured good use of the side and rear channels to recreate the stadium atmosphere. This was a restricted mix, but it was satisfying.
Audio quality was good. Speech appeared natural, and the lines never demonstrated intelligibility problems. Music was dynamic and lively, as the score showed nice range and delineation. Effects were also accurate, with nice clarity. The breadth of the soundfield wasn’t special enough to rate anything above a “B-”, but I thought the track suited the film.
How does this Blu-ray compare to the 2013 4K reissue? Audio seems identical, but the 4K disc boasts slightly improved visuals, mainly because it lacks the occasional edge haloes seen here. The 4K’s not a huge improvement in picture quality, but it shows the superior image.
Unlike the 4K Blu-ray, this one includes extras, and we begin with a blooper reel. it runs three minutes, 11 seconds and focuses on one scene in which Brad Pitt couldn’t avoid the giggles. That concentration makes it more interesting than most blooper collections.
Three Deleted Scenes fill a total of 12 minutes, five seconds. These include “Billy Tells Art: Play Bradford” (4:46), “Tara and Billy Dinner” (2:10) and “Peter Offered GM Job” (5:09). “Bradford” is another scene that makes Art Howe look like a boob, so it would have been redundant. In “Dinner”, Billy mostly talks about how victories are meaningless if they don’t occur in the last game of the season, and “Job” shows what would have happened if Billy left Oakland. “Job” would’ve been a decent addition but the other two seem less valuable.
We also find four featurettes. We get “Billy Beane: Reinventing the Game” (16:02), “Drafting the Team” (20:51), “Playing the Game” (19:28) and “Adapting Moneyball” (16:33). Across these, we hear from director Bennett Miller, author Michael Lewis, screenwriters Steve Zaillian, Stan Chervin and Aaron Sorkin, A’s GM Billy Beane, ballplayers Scott Hatteberg and Alex Rodriguez, producers Rachael Horovitz and Michael de Luca, baseball Michael J. Fisher, baseball consultant Chad Kreuter, Associate Producers for MLB Nick Trotta and Robin Jaffe, production designer Jess Gonchor, costume designer Kasia Walicka Maimone, key costumer Edward T. Hanley, director of photography Wally Pfister, and actors Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ken Medlock, Brent Jennings, Chris Pratt, and Stephen Bishop.
The programs look at Beane’s career, aspects of “Moneyball” and the real people behind the story, the 2002 A’s, cast, characters, performances, and reproducing baseball action, sets and locations, costumes and period details, visual design and cinematography, and bringing the book to the screen. All of the featurettes work well and give us solid info about the movie. These add up to a good collection of programs.
The disc opens with ads for Jack and Jill, The Ides of March, and Courageous. Previews adds promos for The Rum Diary and Anonymous. No trailer for Moneyball appears here.
Part drama, part propaganda, Moneyball entertains despite its flaws. I’m not wild about its factual liberties and ham-fisted ways, but with a talented cast and a fun premise, the movie works reasonably well. The Blu-ray provides good picture and audio and a nice array of bonus features. Moneyball isn’t a slam-dunk movie, but I like it.
To rate this film, visit the 4K review of MONEYBALL