Saturday, July 26, 2014

Million Dollar Arm Review

                                                         Million Dollar Arm
                                 By Adam Daly

     Million Dollar Arm is film about sports agent J.B. Bernstein’s quest to overcome his competitors.  With the fear of losing his business he turns to an unusual sport, cricket.  He flies to India in hopes of turning a cricket player into a professional baseball pitcher.  He holds a competition for all the cricket players in India called, “Million Dollar Arm”. 
    So Disney is at it again.  Another year and another based on a true story sports movie.  Going into this film my only thought, and rightfully so, is this going to be just like, “The Rookie”?  Another big question I had with this film is that I had never heard of the two soon-to-be baseball players that this film was about.  Even though it’s about the search of these players the film is more focused on Jon Hamm’s character.  Hamm basically plays a really toned down version of his role in Bridesmaids, but still has the similar swagger he has in Mad Men.  
    As the movie begins, we meet J.B. Bernstein (Hamm) and his partner Ash (Aasif Mandvi) prepping to WOW a new client.  As they tried and failed, again, they realize that if they don’t think outside the box that there company will go under.  As J.B. is flipping through the channels he comes across cricket playing on TV. So he gets this crazy idea of turning a cricket player into a baseball player.  So J.B. starts to form a team to help him in this crazy plan.  He finds a pitching instructor (Bill Paxton), and ex-scout (Alan Arkin) to help with the future player. 

     J.B. and Ray fly to India and hold the “Million Dollar Arm” competition.  After a long search he finally strikes gold on not one but two players.  As Rinku Singh (Suraj Sharma) and Dinesh Patel (Madhur Mittal) win the contest they are conflicted by leaving all they know to pursue a once in a life time opportunity.  As they get to America they quickly realize that baseball is harder than they thought. 
    J.B. also has good intentions but his true colors come out.  When the opportunity of a big client comes into play, all other things fall by the way side.  Even his relationship with his tenant, Brenda (Lake Bell) takes a back seat.  His only focus is the payday he will get and not the kids he brought here to the states. 
As the day of a major league tryout comes all eyes are on Rinku and Dinesh.  Let’s just say that things don’t go like J.B. plans.  He then realizes what’s more important in his life, his relationships.  He sets up another try out with less than half of the original scouts there.  This time they pitch their hearts off!  And the rest is history.

    There are some good performances in this movie.  Suraj Sharma and Madhur Mittal do a great job relaying the emotions that their characters are going in.  Another is by Pitobash.  He plays a character who translates for the two pitchers and dreams of being a baseball coach.  He brings the humor at just the right moments that made me laugh and clap.  He also gives a very amazing monologue that put a big smile on my face.  But with the good there are also some bad ones.  Alan Arkin, though he had his moments he mostly was just there and that’s about it.  But that's typical Arkin and his humor.  Bill Paxton had a fine performance but nothing mind blowing.   Also Lake Bell and Jon Hamm’s chemistry together seemed off.  I feel weird saying this but Jon Hamm looks way better then Lake Bell and couldn't believe that they were a couple in the end.  I have always enjoyed Hamm's acting and even though this might not be his best role he makes it work like only he can!   
     A little side thing that I caught is that even though it’s a Disney movie there shouldn’t be in Star Wars jokes in it.  There was one joke in here and it totally seemed out of place.  Disney we get it you bought the Star Wars rights!  But I could also just totally be over thinking this too.
    I still enjoyed this film and my original thoughts were gone by the time it ended.  If you enjoy baseball movies and are expecting to see "Moneyball" or "For the Love of the Game" then this is not it.  I definitely think though it is one of the best sport movies that Disney has come out with.  I will be interested in seeing how their next movie will turn out.  
     Being a baseball fan it made me want to research these two players.  As I dig deeper into these players I found that Dinesh has actually already retired in 2010.  Rinku is still pitching in the minors and has made it to high AA.  Though he has fallen victim to the popular trend that's going around MLB and had season ending Tommy John surgery in 2014.  Hopefully he will make a comeback and make it to the Pirates major league team soon.
    Well in conclusion, I enjoyed this film enough to look over the character flaws and flaws it has.  The monologue at the end of the film and the conclusion brought up may rating a bit.  I give it... 
3 stars!

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