Monday, May 19, 2014

Movie Review, Million Dollar Arm

Another baseball movie, this one by Disney, and at least the critics were favorable in their reviews. The Million Dollar Arm is based on a true story of a down and out sports agent, JB, played by Jon Hamm, who dreams up a contest to get cricket players from India to compete for a trip to America to train for a chance to pitch for an American major league baseball team.

My thought was, could Disney produce a movie without removing the edge, making it sappy, and basically gutting a perfectly good story? The story takes place in India and Los Angeles. The filming in India and the part of the story that takes part there makes the film exoctic and brings a different spin to a baseball film. And there is romance as in boy meets girl, boy is a jerk, girl is smarter than boy, boy finally smartens up. 

As with everything they touch, Disney cannot leave it alone. There are signs of Disney's finger prints all over it. Parts are too predictable and sappy. Places in the screen play that need to be a little raw are smoothed over. But still it is a great story that is entertaining, humorous at times, and heart warming. It moves along and doesn't lag or stumble on itself.   

The engaging screen play is even more interesting when you remember it is a true story, after all the truth is so much better than fiction. All in all it is an enjoyable film and the 124 minutes does not feel like 2 hours. Best of all it has a little for everyone, the sports enthusiasts, those who just enjoy a good story, and anyone with an interest India and her people.

I recommend it. I do not see it as an Oscar contender, but then I would rather see a movie I enjoy than suffer through something that is award winning but tedious. After all, movies are an escape.

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